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Acting through song: Thoughts and tips from MT experts ⏱ 3 mins

    What’s the most neglected skill in voice training? Voice teacher and founder of Singing Revealed, Philippe Hall, believes it’s acting through song.

    Philippe discusses acting through song in the Singing Teachers Talk podcast. 

    He says: “If a student comes to you, one of the first things they ask you for are exercises to develop their range or to hit higher notes. 

    “And, of course, the client is King – we give them what they want. But when you’re looking at a piece, and you do the technical preparation first, and then try to add on emotional layering, it’s not going to be authentic. You’re going to be backtracking. 

    “Whereas if you really work on the text, the emotional layering and taking it apart, then you will discover your true desire to communicate.”

    Listen to the full interview with Philippe here.

    If you like what you hear, you may be interested in Philippe’s Emotional Layering course, which explores singing with real emotion and developing vocal identity. 

    He’s offering friends of BAST access to the course at a discounted price. CLICK HERE to get started and take advantage of this offer.

    Three tips to enhance Musical Theatre storytelling

    1.      Research

    Researching the world in which the character lives, including that of the social and political climate of the time, provides context which can help highlight the character’s ideologies, life experiences and thus the reasons for their behaviour.

    Who better to elaborate on this point that the one and only Dame Judi Dench? In 2011 she said: You have to, somehow, find out not as everybody thinks: ‘how do you learn the lines?’, but why does that person say those lines in answer to something that somebody else has said? What is it in that person’s make up that makes them react in that way?”

    2.      Musical clues

    “The music never lies,” say Joe Deer and Rocco Dal Vera in their book Acting in Musical Theatre: A Comprehensive Course. Studying the instrumental and written dots for the likes of rhythm, crescendo and accent markings can provide clues on how to deliver a song.

    The singer can sometimes discover that their technical choices contrast with what the music is communicating. 

    3.      Textures

    In BAST’s webinar on Acting Through Song For Children and Young Voices in Musical Theatre, coach Amelia Carr explains an approach using a ‘Feel Bag’ of materials.

    She says: “These are touching and feeling objects. I will ask students to sing the texture: a bobbly ball versus a golf ball, versus a stone vs a pencil. It can inspire children who aren’t great at articulating in words how they feel or young kids who don’t yet have the terminology.”

    BAST members can find the full in the Masterclass Library.

    These strategies aren’t unique to Musical Theatre and can be adapted to suit the needs of other commercial artists, too. 

    More goodies for BAST members 

    BAST’s Alexa Terry will present a webinar on Considering Context for Authentic Musical Theatre Performance at the 2021 Vocology in Practice Virtual Conference on Sunday, November 14. 

    ViP is granting BAST members FREE access to this session. BAST Members can also get access to presentations by Eimear McCarthy Luddy and BAST trainer Kaya Herstad Carney).

    Members can also get a ticket to the full three-day event at a discounted price. Just check the slack forum for your code, and secure your seat here.

    Well, what are you waiting for? 

    IMAGE CREDIT: Photo by Josh Rocklage on Unsplash