I had my first individual practice last night for the play. I only have one solo, and it’s a silly number where I’m pretending to be an old woman. I’ve listened to the CDs, and the girls who have this part almost all speak-sing it rather than regular old sing it. Personally, I’d like to at least try to sing-sing most of it.
After my first go last night, it’s pretty clear that my diaphragm is a little out of shape. I’ve always known this. Projecting has never been my forte. I think it has something to do with having a primary goal of not embarrassing myself; the louder I sing, the more likely people are to hear me mess up. But okay, I’ll work on singing louder. At least I know how – in theory – to fix that. (Fff, Sss, Sssh!)
After my second go, one of our several music directors (we seem to have a little uncertainty about who is actually in charge of the music) suggested that I should try not to go “over the fence” on my concluding notes. I wasn’t sure what she meant at first, but then she pointed out that I shouldn’t follow her example of singing, because – since she has perfect pitch – she can’t actually sing it the right way herself.
So she means I’m sharp. She’s probably right, but… very strange.
And the advice just kept getting stranger. After practice, she suggested I could try licorice drops to cure my laryngitis.
Laryngitis? I don’t have laryngitis. Was I doing worse than I thought? Was she confusing me with someone else? Sharon has laryngitis.
No, no. She had me straight. Apparently I was singing like I have laryngitis. (Well crap.) I came home and did a little research. Sure enough, the Mayo Clinic’s website says I could perfectly well have a temporary case of laryngitis from over-extending my rather rusty vocal cords. (And I must say, I was doing an admirable job hitting high F#s last night. Or maybe F# and 1/2s? :p Anyway, notes higher than any normal person normally sings.) Of course, it also says I might have gotten laryngitis as a result of diphtheria.
But probably not.
A little more research shows that using licorice as a cure for ailing throats is a practice that started with traditional Chinese medicine, but that in traditional Chinese medicine, it’s rarely ever just one herb used on its own.
Well, that’s all right. I may just toddle myself down to a health foods store and see what they recommend. Maybe they can also give me something to encourage my diaphragm to help me out a little more. On the other hand, there probably isn’t an herb in the world that can fix my sharpness problem. Guess I’ll just have to practice more. Good thing Dustin has headphones.