Tag Archives: singing

Hands and Mouths

So one of the things I’m thinking about today is how we can be creative with so many parts of ourselves– it is, in fact, part of our very essence.

We dance with our feet, our legs.  We cook, paint, draw, or sculpt with our hands.  We sing and speak with our mouths.  And that’s if we don’t count every other system that’s involved in these actions.  Muscles, bones, skin.  All of our senses and sense organs– eyes, ears, noses, tongues.  And, perhaps, most of all, our powerful and awesome brains.  And, of course, I’m leaving out a slew of other creative activities and bodily parts.

I’m thinking of this because I want to focus on my singing for a bit, but I also need another outlet to replace my dance class.  And I’m thinking the combination of cooking and singing is a good one.  When I first thought of this today, I thought– oh, I’ll be doing two creative things with my mouth.  And then I realized that I wasn’t thinking about cooking– I was thinking about eating.  🙂  But how cool that I can use this summer to try to be more creative– all over!  (I’m even looking to see if I can find a bellydancing class nearby. I’ve been dying to at least give it a try).

I think I’ve got “Cheek to Cheek” mostly down, completing Song 1 of my 52 Songs in 52 Weeks challenge.  My song for this week, although it was not on my song list, is Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.” Now, technically, this is the song for this past week, but I plan on making up the time I lost due to icky stomach feelings.  I already know this song fairly well, so it’ll just be an issue of remembering which verse is which and where it sits in my voice.  Hopefully by next week I’ll get a video or audio clip up.

As for cooking, I bought some packages of yeast last week.  And I’ve been wanting to make something bready– mostly because I feel like I want to work with some kind of dough and bread products seem like, first, a really good way to get your hands dirty, and two, such a simple pleasure– such a basic staple of human existence.  I’ve got in mind something hearty and crusty, maybe something to make a nice sandwich on.

So the question really is:  bagels, pasta, or bread?  I’m leaning towards a simple bread first, then bagels, then pasta— but I’m open to opinions on which you think I should try first.  Or if you have any good recipes– hook me up!  copy and paste, link, or even comment right here!

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Song #1.

So my first song to be covered is Cheek to Cheek.

Some life craziness and a potential stomach bug have been slowing my progress on my first song (thus pushing back the start of Song #2), but I’m not losing hope yet.

I know most of the words and melody now, so it’s more a matter of putting things together when my stomach stops hurting (if any singers are reading– am I being wimpy that I can never seem to sing properly with a stomachache?  If my “support” is compromised this way I just can’t seem to do it…).

So this is just a short post today… but I wanted to be sure to write– and also make sure that I’m not giving up before I even learn one song!

Hope everyone else is having a happy, healthy day!

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Song List

So here’s the list for my 52 songs in 52 weeks project!  I have 13 songs and 12 other artists who I’d like to cover, but have not yet chosen a song.

That only brings me to 25 songs– just about half the number of songs I’ll need. Which means there’s still time for you to weigh in! So if you want me to learn a particular song, comment and let me know!  Or if you see an artist you like and I haven’t decided on a song yet, feel free to give me some ideas– or if there’s an artist or show I’m covering and you think I’m crazy for picking that song, tell me.  And give me another idea!

There is no order for this list, each week I’ll just pick a song I feel up to tackling that week, based on how I feel (and also any encouragement or opinions you post).  Things that come out well will be recorded and posted.

This week’s selection is “Cheek to Cheek” originally sung by Fred Astaire.   More updates to come!

Song List: 
Edge of Seventeen (Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks)
Landslide (Stevie Nicks)
I Love Rock N’ Roll (Joan Jett)
Me and My Bobby McGee (Janis Joplin)
Material Girl *OR* Like a Prayer (Madonna)
You’re So Vain (Carly Simon)

Don’t Know Why I Didn’t Come (Norah Jones)
Cheek to Cheek (Fred Astaire)
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (The Andrews Sisters)

The Wizard and I (Wicked the Musical)
Take Me For What I Am (RENT the musical)
All That Jazz (Chicago the musical)
Warm All Over (The Most Happy Fella- musical)

Janet Jackson
Whitney Houston
Barbara Steisand
The Beatles
Bob Dylan
Billie Holiday
Peggy Lee
Joan Baez
Mary Chapin Carpenter?
The Carpenters
Aretha Franklin
Spice Girls?

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Sing a Simple Song!

Just a short update today- with more of a hint of creativity.
Violet (my car) is in the shop.  She was towed yesterday morning and the estimated damage amounts to $1600, which, thankfully, I will pay very little of thanks to my car insurance.  What I couldn’t see under the scratches and scuffs (and possibly because of the shape of my car…) was that the fender had actually cracked in the impact.  I am car-less for the rest of this week– and possibly until mid-next week.

I’m also planning on seeing a doctor about my neck, as the pain is worsening again, causing me to need to sit out for jumps and turns yesterday in ballet class (slightly less than half the class!).  This was a shame because we (they) began pirouettes with partners.  So girls pirouetted while the boys helped them stay stable and not fall over.  As an outsider, each pair seemed terribly awkward at first, but by the end most had overcome this and looked nothing short of graceful, while each pair attempted balancing and then some progressed to trying small turns.

I’m in a less than great mood this week, although I woke up with the following song on my mind yesterday:
“Lord, I worship You/I won’t be overwhelmed/Give me vision/to see things like You do./ Lord, I worship You/You’re where my help comes from/ Give me wisdom/ You know just what to do”
Apparently, the song is called “God I look to You.”  I heard it for the first time this Sunday in church, although I’m not sure if they changed the words a bit or if I’m just mixing them up (if you Google the song, you’ll find a slightly different version).

I was singing this song all day yesterday– around campus.  Out loud.  Ok, not terribly loud– but audible.  And it comforted me quite a bit.  The chords look fairly simple (see link), so I’m wondering if I should pick up my guitar and try to teach it to myself later.  My guitar skills are lacking, but one of the things I’ve been wanting to do is to get into it a bit more and see if, with a little more time and work, I can’t self-teach after all.

On the topic of singing, don’t forget about my upcoming challenge: 52 songs in 52 weeks! I’m still looking for song suggestions– I start next week!

Lesson for the day: sometimes if you’re down, humming a little tune works wonders.

Ps- if you don’t know the title reference, find it here.

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52 songs in 52 weeks.

I’ve been a very lax singer.  Yes, I sing.  But I’ve never been a terribly disciplined musician.  Ever.

I’ll practice steadily when I have a performance coming up.  Pretty well if I have a (big) audition… usually.  And– occasionally– if I’m taking lessons at the moment.

This is a fairly terrible attitude towards rehearsals and if I’m ever going to really sing I need to fix this.  (For one, as I check playbill.com for job postings– most professional auditions give VERY short notice.) So what better time than in this summer when I seem to be making “summer resolutions”?

Need to open these!

So, I need your help.  I’ll be trying to learn one song a week, gaining 52 songs in 52 weeks.  I’ll include mention of my work/progress here at some point each week.  If something goes particularly well, I might post an audio or video clip!

Here’s where you come in:
I need 52 songs!  I’ll be asking friends, family, and my online communities in order to compile a list.

My “norm” is Broadway or female singer/songwriter repetoire… you can give me something of this nature– or not!  I’m up for a challenge 🙂  Songs MUST be vocal, but don’t have to be written for or previously sung by a female artist.  I can just change keys accordingly, as I’ll probably be doing most things sans accompaniment.
So give me your favorites, what you consider “standards,” or look through your CD collection (or records, or iPod…).  Also, any era goes.  From Billie Holiday to Carole King to Pat Benatar to Taylor Swift (or Frank Sinatra to Michael Buble to Tom Petty to the Backstreet Boys).

Please comment with your selections!  I’ll post a list when I have one at least semi-compiled and we’ll go from here! I’m looking to start this the first full week of July.

Thank you in advance!

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