My life has been eventful to say the least. In the afterlife you have a lot of time to reflect on your life and although I try to avoid it, my past always seems to crawl back into my mind. Over the years of being the King’s mistress, I had quite a lot of time to ponder my decision to becoming a ______. The biggest thing on my mind right now is my final moments on earth. Before the King died, he suggested that I flee to the country side because he wanted to save me from infection and so he could prepare for confession and his last rites. I was relieved of my duties and I retired to Aiguillon’s estate because the King arranged for me to reside there, that was, until Marie Antoinette become queen. She made sure that her husband exiled me, just because we had conflicts in the past. I was sent to Abbey du Pont-aux-Dames of all places! She just knew that those nuns would try to avoid me. I was the ex-mistress of the King! Thankfully, the nuns grew accustomed to me and I ended up befriending a couple. A year after, I was finally granted to leave the Abbey and I bought a plot of land with a chateau to live in for the rest of my life but boy, was I wrong. In 1792, I was suspected of financially assisting émigrés who had fled the French Revolution and a year after I was finally arrested. The Revolutionary Tribunal of Paris accused me of treason and condemned me to death. I couldn’t believe it. If was already in exile why did they want my head?
May 15, 1790
Every day I wake up at 9am to the lovely smell of hot chocolate. Zamor, my young African servant, walks in wearing an extravagant outfit I pick out for him every day. I give him nice clothes not only because I like to flaunt my belongings, but because I feel a bit bad for him. He didn’t ask to be a servant. It was an incredibly hard decision for his parents to trade him off to the slave traders and it reminds me of the decision I made to work the job I have. He’s so lucky I treat him well. After my morning chocolate, I pick out my gown for the day. Usually I take about an hour to pick out my gown and get it on because of the complexity to my dresses. Let’s not forget about my jewelry as well. The King gives me so many jewels I don’t know what to do with them sometimes. Then my hairdresser Berline will come in and do my hair in powders and curls with the help of Zamor. Throughout the day I receive friends, dressmakers, jewellers and artists showing off their new stock hoping I would be interested in buying something of their offers. At the end of a busy day, the King usually requests my company in the bedroom. After that I head back to my quarters and get ready for bed. Repeating this process day after day is honestly exhausting. People say I have a “lavish lifestyle” but it can be tough. Recently, to get through the boredom I have been thinking of what it was like before I chose this occupation. I feel trapped by the rules of what I can and can’t do in Versailles but it’s better than the life I was living before. I hear the people are angry at me because the king is pouring money into my funds for gowns and jewelry but they shouldn’t blame me! It is hard to be in my position because on one side I have the King giving me new gowns and such but on the other side there are people who are angry that I live such an extravagant lifestyle. I work an emotionally straining job for this jewelry and I’m going to take everything I can get. Deep down I know it’s wrong but I’m hooked on the amount of gifts and money I have received. It’s too hard to turn it down. I wish that people would just understand that I’m just trying to do my job.
Jeanne du Barry
For this assignment, Mr. J asked us to find article, pamphlet , picture, etc. from the french rev that is related to your character. When I arrived to the page I just searched for my character’s name: Madame du Barry. I didn’t think this would work but there was actually an entire pamphlet on my character’s relationship with the king! I was very excited because it would gain me a little more insight on my character because it was based on her and I definitely did get to know more about her! Here is the link to the pamphlet:
The author of this pamphlet was a journalist named Mathieu Pidansat de Mairobert who had been an active supporter of the pro–Parlement party. He created it to make a parody of the relationship between King XV and Madame du Barry and shine a negative light on the monarchy. The anecdotes might not have been 100% truthful though and it may have been a bit embellished.
It is significant because it shows the angst people had against the monarchy. Since this article was published after the death of King Louis XV it really affected King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette negatively. People were already mad and bringing up the fact that the last King had sexual relations with a “commoner” was not good for the monarch’s reputation. It kind of added some fuel to the fire in a way.
The anecdotes also show us that in the french rev, although it was a tough time, people weren’t afraid to be a little comedic. It’s kind of like how we make memes of Donald Trump and like political cartoons. The thought of there even being sarcasm in 1775 is kind of hilarious actually. Its also kind of weird to see their humor back then. Its also weird that sometime in the future people will be staring at a picture of Pepe the frog and thinking “Why was this funny?”.
The reason why this was related to my person was because the article was about her and it showed insight of what people thought of her back then. I got to learn about more about the factual side of this project like her life story and such but I also learned about people’s perspectives on her life and what they thought of a mistress getting special treatment from the King.
Overall, I think that this pamphlet was very benificial to this ongoing project for me and I hope you get the time to check it out!
Hey this is just a quick update on my progress for In-Depth so far! Since I am in the final stages of my project, I am stressing out a little but so far it has been such a fun ride! My meetings with Claire have been going great! We have been developing the skills I have learned from past meetings and I have been working on my singing a lot. Claire and I have been very busy but we are making it work very well. We haven’t worked on my song for the final performance yet but I have been doing that on my own time.
I have recorded some songs but I am having trouble with uploading them to SoundCloud AGAIN. I am going to try on a different computer on Monday to see if it’s not working because of my laptop but hopefully it will upload! I have recorded 2 portions of songs instead of a full song because it makes me less nervous. I feel as though before, I had been very stressed out about the parts of the song I didn’t like to sing and just singing portions has definitely taken away the stress but it still adds challenge because I tried to pick the section of the song I worked hardest at. The songs that I have recorded will be a surprise until I upload them because I want to keep it suspenseful!!! One thing that I am not going to keep a secret is what song I am going to do for In-Depth Night!
For In-Depth I have been thinking about what I want to sing for such a long time now but I think I finally figured it out. I am going to sing *drumroll*……. Lava from “Lava” a Pixar short film!!!! It’s a super cute ukulele song about 2 volcanoes who just want to find love. I’m going to be singing this song and Jordan is going to be accompanying me on the ukulele. We wanted to work together for our final project so we had a little more stage time. It’s also good because we have already worked together once before when we did Count on Me which is by the way now up on SoundCloud! You can find the song at my SoundCloud which is right here: https://soundcloud.com/user-399318235.
Jordan and I just came up with this idea Thursday or Friday so we haven’t met together to practice it yet but I have been practicing a little bit already by myself using the techniques Claire had taught me. I think that this song is a perfect fit and I can’t wait until In-Depth night!!! I think I might do a little update before In-Depth Night but it probably won’t be very long or very detailed. Probably just a quick summary. Until next time…
April 17, 1763
Over the past few months I haven’t been writing in my journal much, but a lot has happened in that time. After getting sent away from my old job with Madame de La Garde, I have been on the look for some ways to earn money. I can’t believe she dismissed me from that job! It’s not my fault her two sons were enticed by my youth and beauty and that I was too “distracting”. After getting let go, I travelled the streets in search for a job. I have always been told I am beautiful. Ever since I came of age people have been after me for their own “personal pleasure”. As I was walking the streets one day, I came up with an idea. Since I have always been lusted for by others, I should use my body for money. Sure it’s not ideal but I have heard that you can make a lot of money from it. An old friend of mine once told me that a man by the name of Jean-Baptiste du Barry, would install women into households so that they could become mistresses and that he hangs around casinos to take a look at the entertainers there. I applied to work at Madame Quisnoy’s brothel-casino and I got hired! I started working at the brothel-casino and honestly, it felt a little degrading. All these women using their bodies because we don’t have any other choice. It was fun at times and the employees were really kind but it was physically and mentally draining, entertaining for a bunch of male strangers. Slowly, I started making more tips and the word got around that I was pretty good at my job. Every day I scanned the crowd to see if Jean-Baptiste du Barry would show up but I would never see him until yesterday. I was doing my usual morning shift when one of my coworkers told me that Du Barry was looking for me. This was a huge opportunity because Du Barry was known for treating the mistresses with a little more respect. He was also known for being a very high class procurer, meaning clients would pay more. I went into Madame Quisnoy’s office and there he was! We talked for a while and he told me he was interested in installing me into his household and making me a mistress. He told me to pack up my stuff and that we would leave the next day! This morning I met him back at the brothel-casino and I formally resigned from my job. I said my goodbyes to my coworkers and went off to Du Barry’s household. I just unpacked all of my belongings and I found my journal with all of my clothing. I have decided I want to document my journey for my personal pleasure and so I will keep updating this journal every so often. Next time, I hope to be well adjusted and living happily with jewels and gowns. Wouldn’t that be lovely!
MEMES. That is what were told to do one fine afternoon in the TALONS class. Mr. Jackson told us that we had to create memes that included things about the American Revolution and current events. I was actually super excited because our homework was literally to look at memes and then make a couple for ourselves. I decided to have a theme throughout all of my memes. I was really stumped at first but I was scrolling through meme accounts on Instagram when I saw one about pickup lines. After seeing that, I knew that I had to make some pickup lines. I started to go through the lyrics of Hamilton and looked for inspiration for my memes. I wanted to mostly focus on Hamilton pickup line memes because that is kind of the road less traveled but I also had a really good idea for a Trump joke as well. f Soon enough I had created 4 memes that I think are pretty funny. Enjoy!
First, I made this meme based upon the line “If you stand for nothing Burr, what do you fall for?” If you haven’t figured out the joke its a play on words as in he would be falling in love with said girl. I think it’s pretty funny because of the facial expression in the picture. The only problem is you have to know the line “If you stand for nothing…” or else you won’t get the joke. I think its a pretty well known line in the musical for fans and most people in our class would understand the joke. I also like using Burr as the subject of my meme because he is kind of cocky so it fits pretty well.
This one isn’t a play on words or anything but it really shows Burr’s arrogance in the song “The Schuyler Sisters”. I like this one because it’s a little more blatant than the last one because it’s a direct quote from the song but it completely captures what Burr is trying to do at that moment. I also like the fact that usually after a guy tries to use a pick up line on a girl, she turns him down which is exactly what Angelica does after Burr raps.
This one doesn’t have to do with the musical but more with the fact that Hamilton is on the $10 bill. I think that this one is pretty funny because you don’t really have to have that much prior knowledge or anything to understand the joke. All you have to know is that Hamilton is on the $10 bill which is something probably everybody in our class knows. I also like the MLG sunglasses that I put on him because in the last 2 memes, Burr’s face really made it funny but since Hamilton has kind of a dry expression in this one, it made him look a little more “Badass”. This was actually the first one I came up with and it was what sparked thoughts for the rest of my memes. Also, there is a little bonus because this one rhymes.
This is my final meme. This one is based on current events and I think that it’s pretty funny. Trump jokes are kind of overdone so I was reluctant to include this one but I really like the joke. This is based upon the whole controversy over Trump saying “if Ivanka wasn’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her”. This also plays on the fact that Trump has a giant ego and he probably thinks he is “hot”. I also used the hat from the meme Scumbag Steve because… well…. Trump is kind of a scumbag. It also adds to the whole “meme aesthetic”. I think out of all my memes this one is the funniest.
Overall, I this project thingy was really fun and I loved the creativity involved with it. I had a gr8 time researching memes and making them too. I kinda wish every class we could just look at memes and do nothing else but unfortunately, we actually have to other things. Jk I’m actually pretty excited for the rest of socials and I rlly hope you enjoyed my memes.
UnTil nExT tImE…
Over the past few weeks, I have made a bit of improvement on my In-Depth! I re-recorded Beauty and the Beast, recorded a new song, and recorded a song with Hira and Jordan. Although, it’s been pretty crazy, I have really put in a lot of effort over these few weeks. Again, I know I am late but my life is suuuuper crazy right now but I’m trying to get on top of things.
To start it off, I had to figure out how to get my recording of Beauty and the Beast off of Mixcraft and on to SoundCloud. Unfortunately, after asking many tech whizzes in the TALONS room, it wasn’t worth the hassle to use that recording. This meant I would have to re-record the song. I also decided that I would do it acapella because editing it to fit the back track and all that would take up too much of my time and it isn’t really the point. I’m supposed to be working on my singing and it should be focused on that and not the back track. I re-recorded the song I didn’t have any problems uploading it. I can now proudly say that Beauty and the Beast, as sung by me, is on SoundCloud!!!! Check it out at this link here:
After this, I met with Claire and we just worked on the new song because I have learned the basics of singing and now I just need to work on the specifics. I decided that I wanted to do the song, If I Could Fly by One Direction. I have always been a pretty big fan of One Direction and I really like this song. It also fits really well with my voice. I was super excited to start working on this song with Claire. I didn’t really need to learn the lyrics because I already had them memorized from listening to One Direction so oftenJ. I sang the song to Claire and she gave me some notes on my performance. My focus for this song was my breathing because sometimes I tend to have choppy breaths when I sing. After a couple of notes, I recorded the song 4 times and chose the best one. After going home from our session, it took me a while to finally upload it but once I did, I gave myself some notes on the song. The thing I noticed the most was that my singing sounded “boxy”. It’s kind of hard to explain but Claire said it’s kind of like you want to sing your words in arcs and not boxes or it will sound kind of abrupt. I think is something I can work on for next song. I was also a little shaky on pitch but that’s something I can work on as well.
Next, Jordan, Hira, and I all made a recording together! This one is super exciting because it’s like an In-Depth collaboration! We decided we wanted to do Count on Me by Bruno Mars. It’s a song all about friendship and it’s really cute! We went over to Jordan’s house and recorded it a couple of times. It was really fun to do because I got to listen to Hira’s wonderful voice and Jordan’s A+ ukulele skills. I haven’t put this on my SoundCloud yet because Hira and Jordan haven’t uploaded theirs yet and we all kind of want to post at the same time. Overall, I can’t wait until I can show this off because it was super fun.
As for the questions, I had a bit of a harder time doing this one because I only met with Claire once since the last time I blogged. Despite that, I think that I still managed to answer the questions well. Here are the questions and my answers:
- What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
Claire tries to do new things with me all the time. Usually it’s different vocal warmups that help with different parts of your singing but she also likes to keep me on my toes with exercises to do at home. Things like, sing a new song to yourself 3 times this week to practice your vocal techniques or something like that. I think that the variety in things we do is very beneficial for my voice.
- What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
Although I said that we do a lot of new things, Claire also reinforces what I have learned by re-doing the exercises instead of learning a new one. For example, during the vocal warm up, she might bring up something we did 5 weeks ago so I can remember what I have learned.
- What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
Personally, I think that I really shouldn’t be accelerating my project because it’s something that I am going to carry on with and I should take my time to learn everything properly and thoroughly. I guess you could say that having frequent meetings helps accelerate learning but I think that the learning itself shouldn’t be accelerated any more than it is already.
- When you get together what do you talk about?
What usually happens is we talk about my progress since the last time we met, then we warm up, and then I sing and she takes notes. Most of the talking is done before and after I sing. She makes sure to really let me focus on singing and I appreciate that. Occasionally, we do get a little off task and talk about theatre but we quickly get back on track after a little break. I think that it is very healthy to do that because concentrating for a long period of time on something can be hard for me sometimes.
- What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
I really appreciate how well Claire has gotten to know me and I really like how she and I are working together. When we meet, everything is done efficiently and comfortably. It doesn’t feel like work and I think that’s how In-Depth should feel. Not that we shouldn’t work hard, it’s just I really like being a little less high strung for a bit. The chemistry Claire and I have right now is really great and it makes me less nervous to sing.
- What are you learning about one another?
As I said in the question above, Claire has really gotten to learn my strengths and weaknesses. Not just in my singing, but as a learner as well. She understands that sometimes I need to take a few minutes to shake it out before we get down to business again and I really like that. On the other hand, I have learned that Claire is a very caring instructor that caters to your needs without pushing her own needs to the side. We still have a bit more to learn but we are becoming a pretty great partnership.
Overall, these past few weeks have been very crazy but I’m super glad to share this update with you. Until next time…
“Don’t worry NO ONE will ever shut me up,”
Before this blog post we were given the task to research an event happening in our world that is worth discussing. As a class, we have been discussing about this mainly on the TALONS forum where we can share our thoughts and feelings in an organised manner. When we were given the task I didn’t know where to start. I wanted to cover so many of the topics that were being talked about but unfortunately, I had very little time on my hands because soccer has been really crazy over the past month or two. I realized I had to choose which topic I wanted to do right then because I didn’t have time to partake and research more than one topic. I quickly started making an informed decision about what topic I wanted to do. I wanted to make sure it was something that wasn’t going to bore me and I also wanted there to be a good amount of information so I can develop thoughts on the topic.
At the time, Instagram had been exploding with #FreeKesha. I, being a frequent Instagram user, saw the hashtag on some accounts and I was intrigued. Coincidentally, the next day in class, we had a huge discussion on Kesha and her case against Dr. Luke. To sum it up, Kesha Serbert wants to end her contract with Sony because she claims that she was raped by Dr. Luke: her producer. She went to court with Sony and Dr. Luke in February so she could break from her contract with them and she was rejected by the supreme court. When I started learn about it, I saw that the majority of people sided with Kesha, therefore starting the hashtag “FreeKesha”. After reading many people’s Instagram posts and scanning the comment sections about the topic, I decided that I wanted to look into this a little further. After looking at other topics such as Trump and the C-site dam, I decided that this one appealed to me more because of what I want to learn in socials this year.
The main reason I wanted to this as my topic is because it really relates to my goal of being “woke” as Nazlie would say. What my goal this year is, is to be more involved with the world around me in issues that matter to the entire world and not just me. I want to learn more about equality and issues like that. Rape is a big problem in today’s society and with the Kesha case, I think it would help me understand how complicated these cases can get because I am already familiar with Kesha Serbert and Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) as artists.
Right off that bat, when I started to research, I had many questions popping up. Initially, I found out about this topic from Instagram and my first thought was “Why would Sony do this to Kesha? She just wants to stop working with the person who allegedly raped her. Can’t they just break the contract?” I went on to research why Sony couldn’t just rip up their contract and I found this link written but Polly Mosendez: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-23/why-sony-music-can-t-easily-cancel-kesha-s-contract. Mosendez states, “The law is pretty clear, but the public relations problem is complicated.” What she meant by that is the contract isn’t just with Sony and Kesha, it’s with Dr. Luke as well so Kesha getting released from the contract won’t be that easy as Dr. Luke has to be in agreement as well.
“So while much public animosity has been directed at Sony Music since New York State Supreme Court Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich rejected Sebert’s request, the agreements binding Sebert to the record label—and to Gottwald—may leave Sony’s hands tied.”
Although this article pretty much says that Sony isn’t the one to blame and that it’s Dr. Luke, it brings up another question. Why doesn’t Sony just fire Dr. Luke if he is a rapist? First of all, what I found is that he still hasn’t proven to be a rapist. Kesha filed a lawsuit against him for sexual assault but he denied all of the accusations. Dr. Luke then proceeded to file a lawsuit against Kesha for false accusations. Since he hasn’t been found guilty, Sony can’t really drop Dr. Luke because they don’t know if he really did rape her. As the law states, you are innocent until proven guilty so they can’t fire him because of an accusation. Also, it would affect Sony financially because Dr. Luke owns three other sub labels under Sony and that would get very messy if Sony were to get rid of those. Sony would also lose a talented producer because although Dr. Luke has the accusations against him, he has proven that he is good at what he does with the success he has. He has worked with artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Miley Cyrus, and Katy Perry and created hit songs with them, gaining a lot of money for Sony. This conflicts things a lot for Sony because there is also pressure to let him go. Also, Dr. Luke has his own contract with the company and if Sony wanted to end his contract, it would be very hard and complicated to do so. There were some rumors Sony was going to fire Dr. Luke from https://www.thewrap.com/sony-to-drop-dr-luke-amid-public-pressure-over-kesha-internal-headaches-exclusive/ where Matt Donnelly wrote that “Sony Music is expected to end its working relationship with controversial producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald a year ahead of his contract’s expiration…” After the article was published, a representative of Dr. Luke claimed that “This is not true. Luke has an excellent relationship with Sony. His representatives are in regular contact with executives at the highest levels at Sony and this has never come up,”
I also wanted to look into Dr. Luke’s side of the case because over the time I had been researching, I had also looked on Instagram which was very biased. Most people act before knowing all of the details and they will read one article and react on that. I didn’t really see anybody defending Dr. Luke and although I am not on his side in this case, I wanted to see his prospective. A good article explaining his view on the subject is an article from the Rolling Stone, written by Kory Grow: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/dr-luke-breaks-silence-i-didnt-rape-kesha-20160222. It shows Dr. Luke’s perspective by quoting his tweets and interviews. He has been denying all of the accusations.
“Of course any sane person is against rape and sexual assault, but everybody who is commenting is doing so without knowledge or facts… I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her.”
-Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald
I think this information really sheds light on the other side of this case. It brings up another good question which would be “Is Kesha lying? If so, why?” I thought about this and personally I don’t think she is lying because rape is very serious and I don’t
think she would spend all this money to go to court and stress if she were. Also there is a picture (on the right) that went viral of Kesha crying in court when she heard that she couldn’t be released from her contract. To me, this looks very sincere and I don’t think that she is just acting. If somehow she was lying though, why would she? I think that the biggest reason is maybe popularity and publicity. She may have just done this so she would get a few more fans and more people would listen to her next album but that seems extreme. Although, so far, she has had a lot more attention than she has had in the past few years. If this were to be her angle, it’s working. I don’t think this is true though because why would she risk this if somehow she was found to be lying. The media would hate her for lying about something so serious and she would be pretty much shunned for life by many of her supporters as of now. She may also be doing this just because she doesn’t want to work with Dr. Luke for reasons other than sexual assault but again, this seems too extreme.
Morally, there are also some questions I have had concerning the way our laws work. Why does our law system allow a contract to be put above the physical and mental safety of a human being? If Kesha is telling the truth about Dr. Luke sexually abusing her, then shouldn’t that be put ahead of a contract? I think that her safety should be ahead of a contract, but the problem is, Dr. Luke hasn’t been found guilty. There is no substantial proof that he did this to her so it’s pretty much Kesha’s word against Dr. Luke’s and the law states the he is innocent until proven guilty. Although it may contradict how I feel for Kesha, I think that this is the only fair say to settle this. The law about being innocent until proven guilty is can be irritating but without this law, many more people would be framed for crimes they may not have committed.
The next question I had is “How should the court deal with this?” as I said before I do believe Dr. Luke should be innocent until proven guilty but I do think that if it turns out Dr. Luke did actually rape Kesha, she should totally have the right to leave the contract because she needs to feel safe. Not only should she just leave the contract, but it should be simpler to do so she won’t have to go through so much stress. The case has probably triggered her in a lot of ways and stretching the timeline of rape cases probably does not help the victim. Unfortunately I do not know much about the law so this may not actually be possible because right now I am sort of speaking on feelings and not fact. I think that this would be a good Segway into learning more about the Canadian and American law system maybe J
Now for the biggest questions of them all: So what? Who cares? This Kesha case is very important because it deals with rape which is such a big issue in today’s society. Maybe seeing a famous person like Kesha will inspire other people to have the courage to speak up if they had been sexually assaulted as well. According to a study by the RAINN, 68% of people who are sexually assaulted do not report it to the police. It also raises awareness to sexual assault because since the media has covered this a lot and with the hashtag “FreeKesha”, many people (such as I) have been learning more about rape and the horrifying this associate with it. It really open our eyes to our society and it makes us want to strive to live in a safer and better place. As I said before, researching this has helped me in becoming “woke” to our society and it probably helped others as well. It also shows how our society is becoming a little more progressive. The fact that so many people have reached out to Kesha and all the support she has gotten demonstrates that we really have made a difference over time. We won’t ever become “perfect” in a sense, but I think that this shows we are closer to it. Although we have maybe ignored topics like this in the past, I feel as though we are slowly but surely correcting our wrongs.
Overall, this topic has really opened my eyes to many different things happening in our world and it has really made me think about how complex sexual assault cases can get. I think that it has really helped me in completing my goals for socials this year and it makes me feel good that I can talk to people about this topic based on fact and not feeling.
Links I used during this process:
MY FIRST SONG IS UP!!!!!!!!! (Not really but it’s done) Since my last blog post I have been working really hard on my first song. In my last post I said that it was going to be Toxic by Britney Spears as sung by Melanie Martinez. I said that I just needed the guitar track from Kody so I could record it. I got the guitar track and I recorded it MANY times. After every recording, I would delete it because I didn’t like it. I found that I would either sound pitchy or nasally. It got to the point where I didn’t think it was the right song for me to sing. Fortunately, I still had some time to pick another song.
I decided to pick Beauty and the Beast from the Disney film Beauty and the Beast. I picked this because it was a song that I already know the lyrics to and it is a song that works with my voice. It also works as a promo to see Beauty and the Beast at our school in May. Anyways, I googled an instrumental and I found one! I recorded me singing it a couple of times and I really liked how I sang. I am much happier with how this song went rather than how Toxic went. I might try to sing Toxic again later on but don’t count on it. I like the song but I don’t know if it works as well as I thought it did with my voice. Without further ado here is the link to my first song!!!
(Hahaha unfortunately there is a problem with uploading my song to sound cloud so for now here is the link to my sound cloud but Beauty and the Beast is not on it. I will update this later when I can figure out how to get it on there)
Although I think the song went well, I still did have some challenges. I found that on the higher notes, I was singing wide. I’m not sure if this is the correct term but what I’m trying to say was that my vowel sounds weren’t fully rounded sounds. To correct this, I need to work on dropping my jaw more and not making my air go to my cheeks as much. I also could work on my pitch a little more. I think I was a little pitchy in some parts of the song but I is an improvement.
As for my mentoring sessions, they have been going great. I have met with Claire once since my last post. During our session, we sang Beauty and the Beast. Since Claire is Mrs. Potts in the musical, who else better to teach me the song?! We got together after rehearsal on Saturday and we worked on how to breathe when singing. The first tip she gave me was to breathe from my diaphragm. When you breathe from your diaphragm, you will have more power and you can hold your breath longer. She also told me to relax my shoulders and have good posture so I can’t get the most amount of air as possible. For the most part though, I just sang the song a couple of times and Claire helped me with some rough spots. Overall, that session went very smoothly.
Here are the answers to the questions from Ms. Mulder:
- What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?
We both find it very difficult to stay concentrated on a task because sometimes we want to talk about other things or we will just be tired. I think this is because we have very busy lives and we are a bit hyper active when it comes to concentrating on a task.
- What is working well? Why?
I feel like we are getting a lot of progress done and I am learning a lot of information. Personally, I think that I am learning more this year than I did last year. Claire is doing a really great job of planning the lessons and giving me good information that I can use. She is very good at telling me what I need to do in order to be safe when I sing, but she gives me freedom to sing my own way.
- What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?
Sometimes Claire and I don’t communicate that well before our sessions. For example, I will tell her that I’ll text her when I am free next and then I get too busy and don’t. Since Claire is also very busy, she forgets too until we finally realise we need to get together quickly before the next blog post is due. I think that this is a problem because Claire and I both have busy lives and usually, meeting up isn’t on the top of our priority list. During our meetings, we have great communication, but in between meetings is where it needs work. To make things work better, we could set reminders on our phones before we end our session. This would remind us to set up a date for the next session. Another thing is we could use different forms of social media to remind each other because I know that both her and I like to use snapchat so I could contact her from there as well as text just in case she doesn’t check her texts.
Yes. I know I’m very late with this post but I still have a lot to tell you. Since my last blog post, I have met with Claire twice and I have worked on some great techniques and I started my first official song which you will hear next week! In my first meeting, Claire and I worked on some or the techniques I can use to work on my voice. After the meeting from my last blog post, Claire went home and worked on a list of things I can do to improve my singing. The first exercise was jaw drops. This one is very simple. What you do, is you relax your face and let your jaw drop. You can massage the outside of your jaw to help. You repeat that ten times a day to really relax your jaw. Before that meeting, we had discovered that I have a very tight jaw when I sing, so these exercises will loosen up my jaw and it will make it easier to belt notes. The second exercise was broomstick shoulder blades. This is an exercise you would use while singing. What you do is imagine there is a broomstick between your shoulder blades and push your shoulder blades together as if to grab on to the broomstick. This opens your airway and relaxes you. The next one is wall stand head tilt. Wall stand head tilt is also very simple. All you do is put your back on a wall when you sing and become conscious of your breathing. If you feel your shoulders move up the wall, you are doing it wrong. You should be breathing from your diaphragm. Then, you try to tilt you chin down when hitting the high notes and tilt up when you hit low notes. It keeps you from straining your voice which your damage your vocal chords. The last exercise is the shoulder shrug release. In this exercise, you shrug your shoulders while breathing in, and release while breathing out. It helps get rid of any tension before singing a song and relaxes you. This meeting was a little short because I had somewhere to go but Claire gave me these exercises and we sang Beauty and the Beast from the musical Beauty and the Beast since both knew the song already.
In the next meeting, we started my first song! We first decided on the song which took a very long time. I have been thinking about this for quite some time and I finally decided on a song. My first song is going to be Toxic by Britney Spears in the style of Melanie Martinez. Here is link to the song to the cover done by Melanie Martinez. Not only do I have my name in common with Melanie, but we both have kind of similar voices. Melanie’s voice is very unique and my voice isn’t really the same but our ranges are very similar and I really like the spin she put on this song. Claire was unaware of the song so I showed her the video on YouTube and she was totally up for working on this song with me. I sang the song for her once and she gave me some notes about dynamics and trouble areas. I did it again and she said that I did betterJ. Then she asked me if I was going to use an instrumental of if I am going to use my ukulele and at the time I didn’t really think of how I was going to record it so since I can only play one instrument, I looked online and sure enough, it’s too advanced for me. I also looked online for instrumentals but since I’m covering a cover of a song, it’s really hard to find a good one. Unfortunately I could only find one and I don’t really like it that much. This left me with finding a person who could accompany me. Fortunately, TALONS has a lot of talented musicians who would love to help me out! I asked Kody if he could play the guitar he said that he would do it! Unluckily he won’t have time to get it done until the end of this week. Until then, Claire and I will be working on the chorus of the song because that is where I seem to have the most problems.
The three questions from Ms. Mulder’s post I chose to answer was numbers 1, 2, and 5. I felt that these questions were relevant to what I want to say about my mentor.
- What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?
During my mentoring sessions, my communication is very efficient with Claire. I feel like the reason why is because we took the time to get to know each other and become comfortable with each other before we started to actually work on singing. When we have conversations I am not scared to clarify and ask questions as I usually do during one on one conversations. We also have good conversations to make sure that I understand what is being taught to me.
- What relationship challenges did you face?
I feel like Claire and I haven’t actually had any challenges so far in terms of relationships. We are very likeminded people and we click very well together. We have had challenges with our busy schedules but that isn’t a relationship challenge.
- Were you communicating effectively with one another? Explain
I feel like we do communicate effectively as I said in the question before. We always understand each other and when we don’t, we stop and take the time to explain to each other.
- Were you candid and open in your communication? Explain
We definitely are very open with each other. She takes her time explaining what I am doing wrong but she does it in a considerate way that doesn’t hurt my feelings. We both give each other effective and constructive criticism.
- Were you actually listening to each other? Explain
I don’t know if she is actually listening to me but from what I can see, she listens to me very well and is empathetic towards me. I return the favor but listening closely and taking notes on my phone to retain what I learn.
- What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?
1) I could record my sessions so I don’t miss anything in my notes and I can look back on it.
2) I could ask Claire to create structured lesson plans so we are efficient with our time
3) Before we start our meetings we can quickly go over what I have been working on since the last time we met so she knows my progress level better.
Overall, these past few weeks have been a blast and I can’t wait for the next post!