Are you a pack mule when traveling?

I have a great “gadget-related” advice!

We all know the scenario: You have to hit the road for some reason, staying away from home. This means that you’ll need to pack your bags: You’ll need to bring your music, (maybe even scores you need to study), a small portable keyboard, books, dictionaries, etc. Oh, and yes: of course some clothes, a galladress perhaps, shoes, hair and makeup products…….*SIGH*

I might be the only one, but I hate that I have to bring a donkey-cart with stuff everywhere I go. Even for smaller trips I would like to carry as little as possible!

So what is the best investment?
An iPad.

No, I’m not working for Apple, (that would mean I had a steady and probably awesome income, and I don’t), but seriously: It has made my life SO much easier when it comes to traveling. In more than one way.

Here’s a word for you,
get familiar with it if you aren’t: APPS (application software)

These (often free!) amazing little programs are your best friends. But first you need to buy yourself an iPad. Yep, it’s worth it. Then you go to app store and have a look. But to help you a bit on your way I will now share mine!

So, what can you do with your iPad?

  • Scan your repertoire (standard audition arias etc) and add them as pdf-files and you’ll always have them available. (It doesn’t use up your storage, and there is almost no limit if you buy a 64GB iPad) This might take some time, depending on your scanner. But I found it really helpful!
  • Download Virtuoso Piano (an app to get a free keyboard, to find your notes when you don’t have a piano available).
  • iBooks. Buy (or download some free) books, libretti, etc on iBooks, (you can download the iBooks-app for free in app-store).
  • iTunes. You can buy movies, series etc from iTunes, to watch whenever you like. (NB! Some countries haven’t opened up for movie-purchases yet).
  • Metronome. Always be on time. Download a free metronome in app-store.
  • Spotify. Free (and premium) service. You’ll have a wonderful music-library. If you pay monthly you can have your lists with you everywhere. (Also off line. You’ll find the spotify-app in app-store, and can also download it to your smartphone).
  • Comics. You can also download cartoons via app-store. For example Doctor who
  • Games! Kill time with puzzles, yatzy, wordfeud, angry birds, Harry Potter, solve mysteries, etc. (Tons of freebies!) I love games from: “Big Fish

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So plan ahead & fill up your iPad and never have a dull moment when traveling again.

It’s kind of easy. You are about to travel on tour; Which pile do you want to carry around?

This one or the one below?

I hope that this post was inspiring or helpful. If you have any great app’s to share please feel free to write us!

We will do our very best to answer all comments & questions!

UPDATE! Funny enough another article was brought to our attention today, about iPad and musicians!
Take a look at New York Times!

“If Mozart could have used an iPad, he would have done it”

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Tonsillitis & flu remedies

Aah-choo!

Oh yes, the flu and cold-season is upon us, and who fears it more then us?

Unfortunately we singers, although we should be excused,  also get sick from cold, flu and tonsillitis. And often (you can count on it if you have an important audition or concert) loose your voice.

So what to do when you get the flu, tonsillitis or just loose your voice? Well, there is just so much one can do when you first get sick, but luckily it exists some great “old knowledge” on the subject.

Tonsillitis

Are usually caused by a virus, (but could also be caused by bacteria). Please consult your physician!

Here are some advice to relieve the general pain and discomfort and hopefully help you regain your voice as soon as possible! This are supposed to be complimentary treatments to facilitate healing and provide relief!

  • –  Gargling with warm salt water several times a day. You can make your own salt water by mixing 1 tsp (5 g) salt to 8 fl oz (118.3 mL) warm water.
  • –  Using a vaporizer or humidifier in the bedroom.
  • –  Drinking warm or cold liquids (and frozen desserts like ice creams, etc) whatever feel most helpful. 
  • –  Pain relief, anti-inflammatory, fever reducing medications (paracetamol and/or ibuprofen)

Some great remedies you can make yourself!

  • Lime is one of the most effective remedies in the treatment of acute tonsillitis. A fresh lime squeezed in a glass of warm water, with four teaspoons of honey and a quarter teaspoon of common salt, should be sipped slowly in such cases.
  • – Milk has been found valuable in tonsillitis. A glass of pure boiled milk, mixed with a pinch uf turmeric powder and pepper powder, should be taken every night for three nights in the treatment of this condition. It will bring beneficial results.
  • – Chamomile tea along with honey and lemon is a great home remedy for providing relief from the symptoms of tonsillitis

Homemade mixture

1 onion (chopped, not too small)

2 large spoons with honey

Mix onion and honey together in a screw-top jar. Leave it overnight.

You can then take a spoonful of the liquid whenever you feel you need it. (Soothing/relieving).

You can keep it in your fridge for about 3 days. (Also great against coughs).

Both onion and honey have anti-microbial properties

Influenza (flu)

Are caused by different types of viruses. There isn’t really much medicine to take if you get it, but you can take some paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve

the muscle ache and fewer. Get lots of rest, drink plenty of liquids and stay away from tobacco and alcohol.


Treat that stuffy nose

Salt-water rinsing helps break nasal congestion, while also removing virus particles and bacteria from your nose. Here’s a popular recipe:

Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water. Use a bulb syringe to squirt water into the nose. Hold one nostril closed by applying light finger pressure while squirting the salt mixture into the other nostril. Let it drain. Repeat two to three times, then treat the other nostril.

Garrrrrgle

Gargling can moisten a sore throat and bring temporary relief. Try half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces warm water, four times daily. To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle — such as tea that contains tannin — to tighten the membranes. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey, popular in folk medicine. Seep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water; mix with one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling.

– Try remedies that contains Thymus. For example: Fenu-Thyme. (Supposedly great in helping the respiratory system).

– Breathe Aromatic Steam

– Fill the bathroom or kitchen sink with steaming water, and add two teaspoons chopped fresh ginger (Zingiber officinalis). Drape a towel over your head and lean over the steam to get maximum benefit. Or add one teaspoon of the over-the-counter ointment Vicks VapoRub® to the steaming water, then breathe in the steam for several minutes until you get relief. Another flu remedy is to add a few drops of oil of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) or menthol to the water. Eucalyptus is known to open up bronchial tubes, ease congestion, and make breathing easier.

Rest, drink lots of liquids, sleep, rest, drink, sleep!

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Hopefully you will recover quickly and be singing again in no time!

We hope some of these advice have been helpful!
Get well!

Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Verdi, Rossini and all their talented friends miss you….

Helping you learn your arias and lieder!

We are starting out by sharing five very good online tools for learning music. Many have probably all ready found these wonderful sites, but for you out there

who are not familiar with them, take a look!

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Wondering what your role sings about in your opera aria?

Are there more arias for that role?

What fach it is?

What is the range?

Want to find a libretto and translation?

This is a great place to start if you want to search online!

 The Aria Database

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You are going to sing a recital?

You need to find translations?

Maybe browse for specific songs or composers?

You will find amazing help here!

The Lied, art Song Project

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This is a great tool if you don’t play the piano.

You get great help finding your notes when learning the melody.

A pianist have recorded the piano-part, so this is actually like karaoke. Opera Karaoke. (They also have video now, for the text)

Great if you are to sing at family events/just for fun and you don’t have a piano or pianist available.

Or you’d like to practice at home, testing if that aria or song was correct for you.

They also recorded the pronunciation. Handy if you don’t want to pay lots for language coaching in the beginning.

Easy to download and can be used in any mp3-players, iPods/iPhone and computers.

 Opera Karaoke

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Didn’t have the time (or forgot) to go the library and finding scores?

Wondering if a role is correct for you? (pitch/tessitura etc)

Or just study at home?Need to print a score asap?

Petrucci Music Library

Variations are both wonderful places to search

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“Singing is a way of escaping. It’s another world. I’m no longer on earth.”
Edith Piaf

“Singing becomes a form of therapy.”
Placido Domingo

*Beats the conducting baton on the music stand*

Ahem….Welcome!

It makes us happy to see that you have found your way to the very first post of our new blog; Tessitura.
Meaning: the ‘best’ or most comfortable pitch range, of course talking about singing.

We would like this blog to be a tool, a place for you to find (and maybe share?) some advice on topics related to the art (and life!) of singing.

As a singer you know that the voice often seems to live it’s own life, being prone to illness and sometimes being plain moody! Taking an unannounced holiday without telling you where it went or when it will be back. But there are lots of advice out there! We want to collect and share the experience on some of the uncertainties you can run into as a singer. For example; vocal health, vocal fachs, traveling & audition advice, general health/nutrition, music resources online, great books/biographies, where to find translations, polls, helpful and inspiring quotes, etc.

NB! We always recommend you to seek professional medical help or/and singing teacher if you have severe trouble with your voice.  Only use this as general advice.

We also want this to be a fun place, so watch out for silly music-related jokes, pictures and videos who hopefully brings a smile to your face!

 

Want to share something with us?
Did your teacher give you an amazing advice?
Do you think there is something in; “do not to eat before singing?”
Do you know of any fantastic online music resources?

Please share with us!
Use the email if you want to have it posted or comment on an existing thread.