Following the publication of Trinity’s new Vocal Exercises Initial-Grade 8 book, we spent an afternoon exploring some of its short, fun mini-pieces with peripatetic singing teacher Lucy Mair and some of her students.
Whether you’re helping your students prepare for a singing exam, or using vocal exercises as part of your daily lessons, we hope these videos will give you some ideas to use in your teaching, and to help encourage your students to develop their musical creativity. We’ve pulled out some of the videos below, highlighting what skills they are developing, and you can find all the videos here.
‘The Swingin’ Band’ (Grade 3)
This exercise is all about spirit and character, and starts by developing how to ‘own’ a confident swing feel. It continues by exploring techniques for maintaining tempo, such as clapping and stressing syllables on primary beats 1 and 3.
‘All in the Dreamtime’ (Grade 4)
To help learners develop the skills of performing without a score, Trinity’s singing exams require technical work, including vocal exercises, to be delivered from memory. Subsequently, in this lesson Lucy encourages the student to look away from the printed music. The music has also been transposed down to suit the student’s voice – this is perfectly acceptable as stated in the syllabus, provided that all three exercises are transposed by the same interval in the exam.
‘A Mango Mystery’ (Grade 6)
This humorous exercise is all about diphthongs, but there are also some challenging repeated intervals. Here, Lucy looks at some different techniques for pitching some of the entries.
Lucy Mair is a lyric soprano and singing teacher, based in the South East of England. She is a regular oratorio soloist and frequent recitalist and is a member of Pippa Dames Longworth’s “Singing Salon”, performing interesting and new adaptations of operas in different and exciting locations. She teaches privately at home in Hove and in schools in West and East Sussex.