An added note

An added note

Because of its vocal range, most people are somewhat intimidated by “The Star-Spangled Banner,” say two Tupelo vocal instructors, Dr. Suzy White Williams and Gail Harris.

They added, however, that almost anyone can learn to sing this or any other song if they practice the right techniques.

“The voice is a muscle and like other muscles it takes time and work to train,” Williams said. “Most students have a large range but do not know it. Students limit themselves to small ranges because of a confidence problem and/or lack of coordination between the breath and voice. Many singers suffer from acquired anxiety regarding high pitches. But all these problems can be solved.”

Here, from these pros, are some hints to help you hit the high notes:

– Learn proper breathing techniques. “When you breathe correctly, your lower belly should expand as you breathe in and contract as you breathe out,” Harris said.

– Work on vocal exercises that move up by step, others that move by skip and still others that move in leaps. “This stretches the vocal chords and increases range,” Williams said.

– Remember that proper coordination between the voice and breath can remove anxiety when singing pitches that seem too high or low. “You must be willing to accept new sounds from your voice as well as accepting new ways of producing those sounds,” Williams said.

– Choose a song to work on that challenges your range and continue to work on this song as you do vocal exercises to improve. “Realize that most voices have a range of at least an octave and a half,” Williams said.

Most of all, the experts said, especially when you’re singing the national anthem, don’t worry so much about hitting the proper note and just focus on the song’s meaning.

“If you learn all the techniques in the world and don’t believe in what you’re singing,” Harris said, “you won’t enjoy it. And joy is what singing is all about.”

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