Music promotes Resiliency

What is Resiliency through Music Education?

Much continues to be written about people of all ages being “at-risk”. On the flip side of “at-risk” is the term, “resilient”. Resilience has been defined as the ability to bounce back after adversity such as a personal crises, or stress.

Resilience researchers have outlined a number of protective factors that appear to foster resiliency in children and adults. These factors include categories such as (1) caring and support, (2) high expectations, and (3) opportunities to participate in a meaningful way.

Music educators have a unique opportunity, in most school situations, to foster resiliency among their students during general music classes and ensemble rehearsals.

Daily Warm-ups to Keep Your Voice in Shape!

Check out Wendy Nixon Stothert’s 30-Days of Warm-ups on YouTube

Albert Schweitzer Quote

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”

― Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer (4 January 1875 – 4 September 1965) was an Alsatian theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”, becoming the eighth Frenchman to be awarded that Prize.

Let’s Sing Some Quodlibets

The famous Bach Family (a very large family) used to get together and sing quodlibets or several songs at the same time.  If anyone came to protest the “noise” they were invited to come in and join the fun.  You all can do this too.

Try singing 3 traditional rounds at the same time (maybe start with just 2).  Try “Frere Jacque,” “Three Blind Mice,” and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” all together.  Let me know how it goes.

The Bach Family By Toby Edward Rosenthal [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Aging Singer and the Middle Voice


Female singers may remark that they have beautiful high notes and beautiful low notes, but don’t ask them about their middle voice.  Those are the pitches where there is the most fatigue due to the fact that is also where the speaking voice lies.  

As we age all of our muscles lose elasticity and the  muscles in the larynx are no exception.  

In order to deal with this factor, older female singers should use their chest voice Eb 4 and lower. Tones should also have the sensation of much head space which will enhance the round quality of the vowels.

Sing Better as You Age


“We don’t stop singing because we grow old.  We grow old because we stop singing.” – George Bernard Shaw

Aging is a fact of nature but many singing challenges often blamed on aging can be improved through adjusted physical habits and acquired vocal skills.  Aging singers need to understand how the voice works and what happens physical as singers’ experience vocal changes as they age.  

There are particular exercises and strategies that help to overcome the effects of aging so that singers can continue to enjoy gratification from singing.

Contact Priscilla if you have any questions or would like to learn techniques to improve your voice.

The Dog, the Duck and the Dino

Priscilla Zimmermann teaching a class at SFCC

Body alignment is fundamental to singing!

There are two postures that are common to those who need to improve their alignment for singing:

1. The Dog – where the pelvis is tipped forward.

2. The Duck – where the pelvis is tipped back.

Both of these inhibits deep breathing on the part of the singer!

The Dino – or Dinosaur – is the goal!!

The Dino posture, which is also represented by typical regal stance, separates the pelvis from the ribcage resulting in a lifted stance. This is ideal for effective deep breathing for singing.

Singing Changes your Brain (article)

Here’s a wonderful piece by Time Magazine entitled “Singing Changes your Brain”.

Wonderful that science is revealing what most of us already know!