Now that I have a repertoire of vocalization exercises, I thought it could be a good idea to put them all together and create sort of a daily routine. I asked Patrick about that, and he suggested an order based on the exercises that we’ve seen so far in our weekly lessons. Down below in the recording section, you can listen to my brand-new routine 😄.
When I started this project, I had anticipated that I’d probably improve some aspects of my German skills as a secondary benefit. After the seventh lesson, I can say that the German ‘gains’ in this regard are already greater than I had already expected. I’m expanding my vocabulary and getting comfortable interacting in a lesson in German all the time (we almost never resort to English; usually only when introducing new words, such as Gaumensegeln (soft palate). The main thing, though, is pronunciation.
There are many differences between the pronunciation of certain sounds in spoken and sung German. One of the most obvious is the pronunciation of the ‘R’ sound. In spoken German, it sounds like this:
And in sung German, it sounds like this:
There are other pronunciation features that I’m discovering in our lessons. Even though there are certain things that are specific to the sung German, others apply to the spoken language as well. My teacher is very detail-oriented in that regard, and I really appreciate that. Getting corrected during the lessons is not comfortable, but this is how we get better!
The Seventh Week of Practice
This week and the previous one, I made time during the daily routine to practice pronunciation. Normally, I use recordings of my lessons as a reference. Anyway, getting feedback during a lesson has a powerful effect on me, and I tend to remember well the pronunciation corrections. But that is just one part (knowing how we should do it). The other part is practicing it, replacing the old habit with the new, improved, one.
I’ve noticed that the vocalization routine gives my practice a lot of order. I like the practice sessions to be predictable. I thrive on that. That’s why I intend to continue doing it for the rest of the project. This is not the first time I see this. I had the same experience at the start of the year with Chess in Italian. After a couple of weeks, I had developed a routine: I started with 3 Storm tactics on Lichess, then I did a couple of other things, then there was the main material, and maybe in the end a secondary one. I always started my sessions the same way. This worked so well for me, that even to this day (eight months later after finishing the project), whenever I play some online chess games, I usually play 3 Storm tactics as a warm-up.
This is the vocalization routine I’m practicing (this particular order was suggested by my teacher):
- Breathing, body movement/yoga exercises (warm-up)
- UH vowel vocalization (keep larynx low, open the jaw, lips open) => DO – SOL↑ – MI – DO
- UH vowel vocalization in falsetto => DO – MI – DO
- I vowel vocalization (the sound always in the front) => DO – SOL↑ – MI – DO
- I to OH vowel vocalization (change to OH in the second note) => DO – SOL↑ – MI – DO
- I to OH vowel vocalization (change to OH during the first note) => DO – MI – SOL – MI – DO
This is how it sounds like (starting from the second step):
That’s all for now! 😊