Sample progress report for Marcus

Progress is monitored by tracking the pupil’s performance of Ex.1. The result is a summation of the effect of all the basic and advanced calisthenics but this exercise is the best for demonstrating the extension and integration of the voice ranges (baritone/tenor/alto/sopranist) which is the object of my work with the male voice. In the range indications for this exercise the dominant of the scale is the highest note – ie the male voice singing the UHR version is reaching g’’ actual pitch.

October 2007 Marcus began the first Calisthenic Module with an average baritone sound and range. He could not sing D and d’ was a strain.

December 2007 – Gaining proficiency in all the exercises and beginning to look at the Choreographic and Pattern studies. Head voice established and light tenor range appearing up to b’flat – Falsetto accessed up to e’’ but with an audible ‘gear change’ – able to negotiate Jeff Buckley’s Corpus Christi up to the final e’’. Baritone range explored in RVW’s ‘Vagabond’ and ‘Let Beauty Awake’ working on the different timbres required for each song. Along with understanding the philosophy behind the calisthenic ideas the pupil is coping with music reading in terms of melodic shape and note durations – responds well to tutor demonstrations of interpretive techniques from the calisthenic patterns.

January/February – more intense work on extending the falsetto range with Ex 1 reaching g’’ – Now beginning to notice a reciprocal effect on the low voice taking Ex 1 down to E and beginning to work on keeping the baritone timbre up into the tenor range – g’ – giving a safety margin for singing ‘The Vagabond” in full voice on e’

March/April – extended falsetto range to c’’’ using Ex 1 – dramatic effect on the tenor voice which has extended to d’’ without requiring falsetto – able to sing from G to d’’ as baritone/ tenor making smooth transitions across all potential break-points. Is now able to separate three voice ranges singing in succession ‘The Vagabond”(B) “Every valley”(T) “If God be For Us”(A)

May – Exploring more of the exercises in the UHR range – the extension up to c’’’ has had the effect of creating a very powerful g’’ (including a leap from g’ to g’’ in Ex7) and also allowing controlled singing of Ex9 which traverses d’’,e’’,f’’,g’’ several times in the final cycle.

This pupil’s original aim was to get his natural voice into shape with a view to forming a pop group for enjoyment – he certainly had not envisioned the journey of the last seven months.

This is the sort of progress I would expect to record and document with an average voice as a starter – working with someone who thinks they are ‘tone-deaf’ presents a different challenge but results can be equally dramatic.

The academic aspect of the proposal is to locate the calisthenic ideas within historical voice production and development theories.