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DEDE NOTES (Jan 10-11)

posted Jan 12, 2015, 1:37 PM by Kathy Scheel
Here are some notes from this weekend's wonderful sessions with Dede Nibler.  I am thrilled with the whole thing - and I can tell that YOU ARE, TOO!
  • Mental focus - remove all distractions and be "in the moment" when you are singing, rehearsing
  • Performing every time you step on the risers so it becomes your new norm - a great new habit
  • Appoggio - Sternum up - body alignment
  • Pre-Phonation
  • Silent breath
  • Inner smile - feel the widening and additional height inside the back wall of the throat
  • Lips with pillar lift - corners slightly uplifted (not sideways - check in your mirror)
  • Back expansion exercises (do frequently to strengthen breathing skills - see below)
  • Work on 1/2 step intervals - here's a good exercise to do:
    • Pick a note (use keyboard, pitchpipe, phone app, - need to be able to play it to start - and again when ending exercise
    • Sing "Mary had a little lamb, its' fleece was white was snow" - going 1/2 step up on each note.
    • Then come back down the scale, sing "Every where that Mary went the lamb was sure to go."
    • Now check and see if you landed on the EXACT same note where you started (be super-accurate)
    • AIR
      • Lift ribs - out, out, out, out, out, repeat
      • Hold them out for a few seconds
      • Repeat - lift out - out - out - out - out
      • Hold them out for a few seconds and hummmmm
      • Repeat - repeat - repeat
    • SPACE
      • Blow "fog" onto your hand - feel the space created in the back of the mouth/throat
      • Do that every time you breathe / sing
      • I sometimes refer to this as the pre-yawn space
    • IN THE NASO-PHARYX (3rd floor)
      • 1st floor is chest
      • 2nd floor is mouth
      • 3rd floor is above nose
      • Record yourself to check and see if you're maintaining the air/space and putting the sound into the 3rd floor
      • Have an "Inner Smile" - that's where you will feel the sound
      • Target vowels should be sung in the 3rd floor - always


  • Wear your cat stuff every week - keep adding to the fun environment of living in a 40-cat household
  • Pick your cat personality and stick to it - but it must be obvious at all times during the 12-minute package
  • Being a cat may require some odd facial expressions - that's okay!
  • The list of props is growing - who will make / bring them so we can start practicing with them?
    • Big box for a couple cats to sit in - maybe 2 boxes
    • Big sack (I saw one there Sunday) to sit / play in
    • Cat litter box
    • Balls of yarn (I saw 1 large one - need one more)
    • Poop scoop
    • Cat door
    • Cat toy (needs string that will bounce)
    • "Laser" light (flashlight)
Your individual commitment to excellence will enable OSC to shine on stage and give the entire audience of about 15,000 Sweet Adelines a thrill that they will remember forever.  I know what a huge and lasting impact those performances had on me, and it's such an honor to now be in a position to give that kind of gift to others.  We'll be performing our cats package in June, August, September, and October (hmmmm...need to find a place to do it in July) so we'll be totally ready to WOW the audiences in Oregon, California, and Nevada!   I know that you are all sacrificing some personal vacation time this year - or planning it around Tuesdays and coaching sessions - and I love you (and your families) for that.   
Thank you for all that you are - all that you give!
Love - Kathy