The Newsletter
November 1st, 2008                                                                  Find your natural dynamic speaking voice and maintain it!
Vocal Tip of the Month!

Candy Alert!

It is really tempting to indulge in candies after yesterday's "Trick or Treat".   But RESIST!  Sugar is the number one cause of body acidity, which in turns makes one vulnerable to viruses and bacteria.  It is not a coincidence that the cold season starts right after Halloween both in warm and cold winter places.  

Put away all your leftover candies in a secured cupboard to completely forget about it instead of satisfying your craving for sweets during the next few days.  Well, that is how I do it!  You will notice that once you stop eating candies and deserts, once you stop adding sugar to your food or coffee or carefully start choosing food that are low in sugar (avoid sucrose, lactose and fructose on labels), the urge for it goes away almost instantly.  That is because the sugar rush is addictive as I'm sure you know.  Plus, because it is digested so quickly, the energy is only short lived.  

Natural sources of sugar are much better than white refined sugar.  If you must sweeten your food, replace it with organic honey or pure maple syrup while cooking.   Or better yet, substitute sweets for fresh fruits at snack time. Again, I'm probably not teaching anyone anything new with this, but sometimes we forget and I thought this would a good time to remind everyone that natural sources of sugar are better!

Interesting Facts

Acidic or Alkaline?

An acidic body attracts illnesses.  To find out whether or not your body is acidic or alkaline, visit your doctor or buy pH test strips (they are not available in Canadian drugstores but can be purchased on-line*).  They are cheap, accurate and usually easy to use allowing testing of both urine and saliva.  The pH scale goes from 0 to 14.  Anything below 7 indicates an acidic environment.  A balanced pH should fall between 6.75 and 7.25.  A diet high a green vegetables and fruits and low in sugar of course, meat and bread will help alkalize your body.  Also, be aware that even thought most fruits have an acid pH level, they leave an alkaline residue in the body after being metabolized.  


What's Happening?

Choral Symposia

I had the pleasure of attending a workshop on choir conducting.  It was fun to touch base with my sight singing skills, something that I really hadn't done so much in the last years, and to learn different pedagogy on how to better direct a choir.

If you are interested in choral music and live in Toronto you might enjoy the following concert evolving crowd interaction:

Wednesday, November 5, 6pm               
Church of the Redeemer

The audience-with-artists Bach sing-along actively engages participants in one-hour of music and theology singing Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, closing BACH IN THE CITY with Part II, closing chorus and chorales.
Free Admission, donations accepted for chorale books.*

I will try to make it.  See you there!
Relevant Links

Voice Yourself in the Classroom

Valerie Bastien

The Voice Connection
Inspiring Quotes and Stories...
The Importance of Story Telling

One of the things that stuck to my mind during my Choral Symposia is the importance of story telling in songs and music.  This is done by using the inflection of the voice, different dynamics and accentuation of particular words to bring out specific feelings out of a lyric.  I believe that to a lesser degree, the same applies to the way one uses the voice to convey ideas in the classroom.  An unanimated dull straight tone will bore the life out of any students despite the most amazing genius lesson plan.  Therefore, add enthusiasm to your voice by colouring it with texture and movement to convey a compelling message and capture everyone's attention. Good luck!
Things to Note
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Have a wonderful month!

-Valerie Bastien