Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mean what you sing!

Grace Notes had to change a song with the little time we had left to practice but some of us was worried as it will mean memorising an entirely new song in just a matter of days. Joanna and Lee Mei reminded me of something I do but silly enough not to practice it when memorising lines for songs - write it all down. I once heard someone telling me that it works because you'd be processing it 3 times when you write something down: you think, you write, you read at the same time.

I did some checking and found this interesting article "Acting: How to learn lines" which I think applies to singing just as well.

Acting: How to learn lines
What is absolutely the best way to remember your lines while rehearsing?


Tony Noice, an actor, director, teacher and cognitive researcher and author of "The Nature of Expertise in Professional Acting: A Cognitive View (Expertise, Research and Applications)" has done research on how actors learn lines - and on memory in general. One of his latest studies confirms what professional actors already know:

The best way to learn your lines in rehearsal is to "mean what you say." Tony calls the process 'active experiencing:'

"[The] First thing you do is read [the play] and read it again, and read it again, and read it again, because the most important thing to lay the basis for memory is to really understand the meaning, the deep meaning. Then when you do that, you then go back to the beginning and now that you have a knowledge of the essential core meaning."

"You ask yourself 'What am I really trying to get from the other person or do to the other person? What behavior can I see in the other person that will make me know I've achieved my goal at this moment?'"

>> read more

The beauty of this is this was exactly what Joanna has been trying to get us to do - mean what we sing. Until and unless we mean what we sing, we will not be able to get it across to the people who listens to us. And what do you know, it helps in memorising as well.


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