The Where, When and Whether of Marking

Road marksRichard Miller, in his book “Solutions for Singers”, gives this good definition of marking: “Sparing the voice during rehearsal through reducing dynamic levels; indicating certain pitches rather than singing them fully.”

While the purpose of marking is to save the voice, particularly when directors are placing high demands on a singer, or a singer is “out of voice” (due to illness, oversinging, etc.), many teachers and singers claim that it hurts more than it helps. Still, I have yet to meet a professional singer that does not mark from time to time, and have met many an amateur who could benefit from marking techniques. Continue reading


Ten Terrible Things to be Thankful for Today

As a singer, I know it often feels like there are vocal disasters lurking around every corner, and each performance brings on a host of new and unexpected ones. Some are more serious; others you can laugh about days (or perhaps years) later. Here’s a list of some of the most terrible things that have happened to me and singers I know, why you can hope – in some strange, twisted way – that they happen to you, and some reasons to be grateful for when they do. Continue reading