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Upending the Practice

Upending the Practice

At the beginning of this week when I met with my students for our usual Monday group lesson (another teaching paradigm that Westney praises for its horizontal and experiential learning possibilities), we talked about ways we might turn around our practice. We talked about paying attention to the experience of it and challenging ourselves to be more experimental and playful, rather than being focused on routines and results…

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The Beauty of Imperfection

The Beauty of Imperfection

The walls lead somewhere good (Celestun, 2020) We're hooked on being perfect. We filter our photos (especially our selfies). We pay big money for all kinds of "beauty" interventions--eyelash extensions, fake eyebrows (guilty!), peels, botox (just a little...

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Heart Matters

Heart Matters

My heart in my hand (photo: Kimberly Barber 2020) Well, it's Valentine's Day, and what better time to think about matters of the heart? The stuff of the heart has been themed on these pages before. No surprise, since singing is so connected to emotion--indeed, I would...

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The Gift of You

The Gift of You

Recently I participated in a workshop with the wonderful Leigh Graham, founder of https://fitforthestage.com . This highly experiential workshop consisted of many elements, but one of the biggest takeaways was something she calls “State as a Gift”. That is, centring in on the gift we wish to give as an artist to our audience.

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Fear of Exposure

Fear of Exposure

Kimberly Barber, January 2020 We're in the Deep Freeze in Canada at the moment. In some parts of the country, exposed flesh can freeze in a matter of seconds. No wonder we are afraid of exposure... As artists (and ordinary humans) we are afraid of outing ourselves in...

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The Spaces Between

The Spaces Between

The Spaces Between, photo: Kimberly Barber, 2020 This week I've been pondering the spaces between. We tend to focus on the concrete, tangible stuff. But what about what lies in the openings on either side? In music, we have silences, or rests. These moments of repose...

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There and back again

There and back again

I have been reminded multiple times in the past week about the spiral nature of learning and experience. We experience, reflect, experience, reflect, constantly returning back to the practice each time with new knowledge…As Samuel Beckett famously said: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

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At X purposes

At X purposes

We all do it. Why? Sometimes it can simply be blamed on ignorance or inexperience. We all misstep. But so frequently, we act in spite of knowing better. We choose the path we know all too well is not the most efficient, beneficial one, but rather the one that feels so painfully familiar. We work at cross purposes to ourselves and our goals.

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Brave New Year

Brave New Year

It’s a new year. A new decade. I’m reflecting with intention on whatI’d like the next days, weeks, months and years to look like as they pertain to my singing life. And as we know from these last few months of Singing and Self, I take the idea of Singing and Voice personally. Which is to say that I believe that they are metaphors for life itself.

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Peeling the onion

Peeling the onion

the way I experience it, both as singer myself and as a teacher of singers, is that the act of learning to sing better is a microcosm of life itself. So it has some kind of poetic sense that a living thing–an onion–might be used as a metaphor for this process.

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Upending the Practice - from the Singing and Self Blog - https://t.co/ahrCJ8I9km

The Beauty of Imperfection - from the Singing and Self Blog - https://t.co/jV4fRdy6TH

So excited to finally get my copy of my friend #FunkyElder Rene Meshake’s new book! https://t.co/a6E9d4XeAY

Heart Matters - from the Singing and Self Blog - https://t.co/2UXV2T5HIx

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