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    Pavarotti Jr.

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    Say hello to Sislena Caparrosa. She is the granddaughter of the highly acclaimed Luciano Pavarotti. She is certainly carrying on the Pavarotti name and talent.

    Here she is performing a song made famous by her grandfather “Nessun Dorma”.

     

     

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    Tori Kelly and James Bay

    https://tune.pk/video/6410145/tori-kelly-james-bay-let-it-go-and-hollow-grammy-awards-2016

    If you missed Tori Kelly and James Bay’s performance at the Grammy’s, do yourself a favor and check it out. This was their first ever Grammy performance and it did not disappoint. Both Kelly and Bay were individually nominated in the best new artist category.

    Best “new” artist is a fairly inaccurate term. These artists have been grooming their talents for many many years long before they are given the title of best new artist.

    Tori Kelly built a massive YouTube following with 8 years of hard work, over a million followers. James Bay, a British singer/songwriter, caught the attention of a Republic Records A&R after a fan uploaded a video to YouTube of him performing at an open mic in London, and within a week he was signed to the label.

    Every day thousands of hopeful young musicians are following in Kelly and Bays’ footsteps posting videos of themselves singing their hearts out. They are on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Periscope; using every platform possible in hopes that maybe one day they too can be considered the best new artist.

    This year’s Grammy went to Meaghan Trainor who became most popular for her song “All about That Bass” but Bay and Kelly’s live performance definitely left its mark. We’re looking forward to great things from these two talented artists.

     

     

     

     

    The Music Junction offers piano and voice lessons at our Burbank and Hollywood locations. Call us today to learn more.

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    Try Out “StarMaker” – a fun Karaoke App from The Voice!

    Traditionally, we’ve gone out to our local Karaoke Night to do some singing with a group of friends, but lately, those with a Karaoke itch have been turning to their smart phones.  That’s why The Voice created StarMaker, a karaoke app for android and iphones, says its users have logged 2 billion minutes of singing time since launching in 2010 – around 23,000 hours per day – and has nearly half a million likes on Facebook.  You can choose to submit a recording from the app to The Voice for consideration to be a contestant on the show.

    According to The Voice, StarMaker has “all the stuff that lets you create high quality recordings…StarMaker is your license to sing again, to practice a song until you nail it, to learn how fun it is to sing a great song. We’ve added studio-quality voice effects to help you sound better, and you can share your recording anonymously to the StarMaker community to see what people think”

    One thing that is great about this app is that StarMaker actually shows you how long or short your notes are, and if you are moving higher or lower with each note, in a way that borrows from reading music notes on the staff.  It’s nice to have a visual guide to a song – even when you’ve heard a song on the radio a million times, it’s still hard to remember every little nuance in the piece when you’re singing it on your own.  Another fun feature is “auto tune,” which corrects pitch for out of tune notes.  The corrections end up sounding a little computerized – think Cher in her song “Believe,” – but it does the trick.

    Karaoke apps are a great way for a singer taking voice lessons to try out their new vocal skills and have fun doing it.  In StarMaker, you have the opportunity to listen back to your recording after you’re done singing.  This is a perfect opportunity to check in on how you sound and make an analysis of vocal aspects you’d like to improve.  Then, try singing through again and see if you can make those improvements!  Or, take those concerns in to your voice teacher to get personalized instruction.  Your voice teacher will be your personal guide, and StarMaker can be your workshop!  If you love how you are sounding, submit to The Voice and see if they feel the same way.

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    “Let it Go” performer Idina Menzel – Rushing & Voice cracking at the Oscars

    Idina Menzel – or “Adele Dazeem” according to John Travolta’s botched introduction – gave a riveting performance of “Let it Go” at the 2014 Oscars this past Sunday.  But perhaps it was John Travolta’s mispronunciation stealing the media focus away from Idina’s performance, or perhaps the problems that came up were too subtle for an untrained ear to pick up on, but for whatever reason, few seemed to notice some of the tempo and vocal problems in Idina’s performance (which she sold like a pro, to her credit).

    Idina’s fantastic voice was a show stopper in her role as Elphaba in Broadway’s Wicked, which won her a Tony for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.  Then there was her recurring role on Glee as the birth mom of Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) who happened to conveniently have a spectacular voice for endless duets with Lea.  Now she is gaining rising acclaim with her performance of the Oscar winning “Let it Go.”

    So what happened at the “Let it Go” Oscar performance?  Idina took off like a race horse from the start, rushing through the first verse until she was a full beat ahead.  She had to hold off on starting into the next section to get back on track, but then there was still more rushing throughout.  It seemed like Menzel was nervous – which would just go to show that even a Tony award-winning performer, who sang on stage live for 8 performances a week for 2 years with Wicked, can still sometimes get nervous!  But to be fair, this problem can also happen if there is an issue with the monitors.  Since sound waves take time to travel, being too far away from the orchestra (or speakers if they used a per-recorded track) and then not having good ear monitors to rely on instead of the live sound, can throw a performer out of sync very fast.  If this was the situation, there would be nothing Menzel could do – you can’t tell the orchestra “hold it, stop everything, I’m having trouble hearing you right” in the middle of the Oscars.

    Secondly, Idina virtually screamed her last high not (“the storm raged oooon“).  She totally committed to it with plenty of breath support and luckily, the pitch didn’t change, but the tone broke into an airy crackling sound, then turned back into a clear tone for a moment with a little nice vibrato, but then just cracked and broke off completely at the end so that the note came to an involuntary halt.  (You can see this progression at the end of the video above.)  You could tell Idina Menzel felt a little insecure about that when she closed her mouth, but of course the audience was already so impressed by her at that point that she could do no wrong.  She jazzed up the last moment of “the cold never bothered me anyway” with a little riff to pull focus from the rough note, and of course she totally sold the song regardless.  But from a vocalists point of view on this performance, it sounded like Idina’s voice was a little worn out – which could be caused by different stressors like a little cold, too much singing, or not enough sleep.

    Even for someone who has a top notch belt, a singer is at the mercy of their vocal health.  That’s why professional singers have to be extra careful all the time about taking care of themselves, especially if they need to have regular access to the best version of their voice for constant performances.  That means they have to keep their immune system strong and find a way to never be sick!  A professional working vocalist has to do things like go to bed early, eat healthy, avoid foods that can create mucus or acid reflux, avoid caffeine or alcohol that could dry them out – basically live the life of a Saint – if they want to guarantee that they will always have the perfect version of their voice to conjure up at a moment’s notice.

    So it’s understandable why both the rushing and voice cracking can happen even to an expert like Idina Menzel, and luckily she still made the song come to life like the pro she is.  The aesthetics of her gorgeous dress and the twinkling ice mountain-shaped curtain light display set the scene.  The amazing versatility of Idina’s voice created dynamic, emotion, and contrast.  And her acting talent brought life to the lyrics.  When it comes to musical theatre (and Frozen could fairly be called an animated musical), the emotion and acting of a song takes precedence over tone quality and vocal perfection.  Adele Dazeem, er, uh, we mean, Idina Menzel, is still a singing goddess.

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