I had another lesson with a Cornelius Reid student yesterday and it is a wonderful way to work, for my purposes.
When I arrived, I sat in on the final bits of the previous student -- a high mezzo? It was very interesting to hear the lack of dogma being thrown around. The focus was entirely on sound and musical approach that was happening -- almost more like a coach.
No "life your palate" no "make sure to support it" none of that. Instead, as this student was asked to sing an arpeggio to the dominant, trill, then cap it on the tonic 2 octaves above where she started on a sustained tone, and then arpeggiate back down, she was encouraged to follow the line of the music, to make it rhythmic and fill it with musical intention.
Then the assignment was slightly altered. She was asked to ascend just as quickly before, to let the rhythm take over and just go with what happened -- but on the sustain and on the way down, really focus on how everything changes in feel on the way down. The teacher likened this to what happens when you're in a car and drive at 5mph vs. at 60. When you're moving slowly, you can open the door and fish out that seatbelt that got caught in the door. At 60, not so much. Rules change, as you change the parameters.
My lesson was far more exploratory. And the diagnosis was both one that I already knew and also very positively put. 1) the voice can function in the two registral actions that are necessary: falsetto and chest -- and 2) the voice is responsive to these exercises that seek to reveal its reflexive actions. Additionally, little throat constriction.
It's nice to feel that I've made some progress on my voice in all my efforts. My singing was not always responsive. Both registers of my singing have become more and more refined and under my command. The biggest hurdle is figuring out how to mix the two together. And it's a big one.
This teacher explained that right now the voice ones to flip into one register or the other -- kind of like if I had two cans of paint: blue and yellow for chest and falsetto respectively. Ideally, I'd want to sing in a green color all the time. It can be a very deep green or a light green, and it certainly should change at will depending on what I want. But it should be green. Right now it's decidedly blue and yellow.
Where is my paint mixer?