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#2171346 - 10/24/13 03:35 PM Sing What You Play
Randy Klein Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 59
Loc: New York, NY
Sing What You Play

I have recently been asking my students to sing what they play. The reaction ranges from, ‘I have a horrible voice, I can’t sing!’ to ‘I can’t play and sing at the same time!’ to ‘It’s too hard to do!’. But, the students who do embrace the idea have an overwhelming positive reaction. The result of singing what they play is first a smile because there is a visceral connection to the music they are playing. It connects the senses of touch and hearing. And, when they sing the wrong note, the result is that they are usually playing the wrong note. Hence, when they correct the singing, they correct the playing. It is a wonderful exercise to use and it works for both left and right hands. I’m sure this is nothing earth shattering, but I thought I would bring it up and say ‘If you can sing it, you can play it!’ Food for thought!
improvisations: http://www.youtube.com/user/randykleinmusic

Yes! I teach. Online and privately!

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#2171351 - 10/24/13 03:57 PM Re: Sing What You Play [Re: Randy Klein]
peterws Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 5327
Loc: Northern England.
That takes me back! I sang between the cracks even when I was 11 or 12. So I shut up when everybody else sang at school. I remember the nice bass accompaniment the music teacher gave to the tune she played (school pianos are great). I also remembered standing before The Beak for not singing . . .

I was singled out for "individual" singing practice before the whole bloody school ,. . . the little rascals love anything like that; next best thing to a playground fight.

My dancing was no better heh heh . . what fun!

Later, I led the music at church, had to sing the first line to get everybody else going. . . . It worked!

Edited by peterws (10/24/13 03:59 PM)
"I'm playing all the right notes � but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe


#2171403 - 10/24/13 05:26 PM Re: Sing What You Play [Re: peterws]
Farmerjones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 386
Loc: Midwest USA
Do they scat sing or solfege?

I can hardly play a melody at gunpoint, but I chord along and sing old standards. Musiciality if there were such a word. I seem more connected with the song/tune/music, when im singing along, even a bit. Yes, indeed. I don't think I ever actually sang on pitch until I played an instrument.
view my profile for a link to my YT page.

#2171439 - 10/24/13 06:34 PM Re: Sing What You Play [Re: Randy Klein]
Randy Klein Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 59
Loc: New York, NY
The more you sing what you play, the more connected you will be to the music you are playing. So, don't be shy! Sing! Pitches will come as you continue to do this and your ear continues to develop. Sing what you play!

#2171585 - 10/25/13 12:45 AM Re: Sing What You Play [Re: Randy Klein]
BenPiano Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Randy Klein
Sing What You Play

I can't speak for myself, but a lot of the pieces my youngest learns on piano I sing along to as he's practicing (to help him with the melody and note durations) - but I've learned that by the end of his practice week he's singing along as well.

Personally, singing and playing is tough, as I'm sure many here will admit. I'm glad he's learning to play and sing since the beginning. For him, it's just how it is.

If one learns it from the beginning, then the difficulty is eliminated apparently (at least for 7 year-olds) laugh
Learning to play since June 2009.
My piano diary on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/afpaSTU1096
<- 10+ ABF recitals

#2171669 - 10/25/13 05:36 AM Re: Sing What You Play [Re: Randy Klein]
evamar Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 579
Loc: Spanish living in UK
Originally Posted By: Randy Klein
The more you sing what you play, the more connected you will be to the music you are playing. So, don't be shy! Sing! Pitches will come as you continue to do this and your ear continues to develop. Sing what you play!

As I'm dyslexic and cannot read traditional music sheets, I find that singing along my playing helps me memorise the piece and as you say it makes me connect better to the piece I'm trying to play. (terrible tone ear and singing, though... I only do it when I'm on my own! blush )

When I studied music the teacher put me with the sopranos simply because there was only 2 of them, but my voice is more suited to contralto... she had plenty of those! At the end I simply pretended I was singing, I couldn't reach the tones.
Serious since Dec 2013. March 2014, Kawai CA95!

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted

#2171699 - 10/25/13 08:11 AM Re: Sing What You Play [Re: Randy Klein]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 13739
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I do think it's best to get them to do this young before they are old enough to be self-conscious about such things. Most method books have words to the songs so they can sing them while playing. It it a tough thing to do, but when first learning to play it's not that difficult and most kids naturally want to do it. In fact, my young student right now thought it was odd when she saw piano music that didn't have words to it!
private piano/voice teacher FT


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