performer’s edge wiTh Tom JAckSon the voice box wiTh rAcheL FerGuSon Last month I told you about a singer/songwriter who wanted to know where he should be onstage when he delivers his songs. It’s important that you remember to keep the integrity of the songs when you develop them for your live show. Do you play a song with a lot of energy? Logic tells me that your energetic song should not look like a ballad! Conceptually, you’re creating a “movie” for your audience to see. So if you are a director and you have an action scene, that would not look the same as a touching, romantic scene, would it? It would be bombs blowing up, or cars going fast, or people running or whatever. But a touching scene would probably be done in a quiet, moonlit, intimate place. So if you bring a song that’s an “action moment” in an intimate place, it won’t make any sense to the audience. What they see won’t match what they hear. Now, the audience doesn’t know you’re supposed to do something different. But, if you do, if you bring the appropriate movement to match the message of the song, the response to that song will be drastic. So you’ve got your five tools onstage, your placement and your angles—it all comes back to the fundamentals. You are the quarterback of your show. And if the only thing you do as the quarterback is to drop back three steps and then throw the ball every time, it’ll get old. Your songs don’t sound the same, so they shouldn’t look the same! You need to learn the presentation part of your show: how to change pressure on the audience, and use the fundamentals to change your onstage position. If you knew that another place onstage was stronger to deliver a message from, or that standing or walking or using a headset, holding the mic, etc., would communicate your song more clearly, my guess is that you would do it. if you just knew WHat to do. Sitting on a stool for a 50 minute show is pretty much reserved for someone like Bob Dylan. He’s married to his audience. Even James Taylor, a brilliant songwriter, stands up and sits down during his concerts. Repeat: Your songs don’t sound the same, so they shouldn’t look the same! Tom Jackson, #1 Live Music Producer in the industry, helps artists develop their show into “unique memorable moments!” A Live Music Producer does onstage with the live show, what a record producer does in the studio. Tom’s Live Music Methods make your live show engaging, exceeding audience’s expectations and creating fans for life. Many successful artists have learned from Tom: Taylor Swift, Jars of Clay, Jordin Sparks, Casting Crowns, Francesca Battistelli, Gloriana, and other acts you admire! For more info, go to www. Last month, we explored some basics of vocal health. Before leaving that topic completely, I’d like to bring your attention to April 16, 2011. It’s a very important date! Anyone know what we celebrate??? World Voice Day! World Voice Day is the result of an initiative started by a group of Speech Language Pathologists (SLP’s), physicians and singing teachers in Brazil. World Voice Day is widely observed in the clinical community, but is not as well known in the artistic/performance community. But, that changes now! So this year, on April 16, make an extra special effort to do something nice for your voice (maybe one of last month’s tips?). Sing an extra song, and tell a friend about this year’s World Voice Day theme, “We Share a Voice.” Enough of that… The vocalist in me has dominated this column for the last several months, and now the music therapist is ready to burst out! I’ve been seeing music therapy all over the media lately and I wonder if you’ve noticed it, too. Since the tragic shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, music therapy has been discussed as part of her rehabilitation process. Music therapists are working with the Congresswoman and other victims of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) as part of their interdisciplinary therapeutic teams. They are using music to address goals in the areas of speech, communication and even motor skills! For more information about music therapy, and finding a music therapist in your area, I encourage you to visit the American Music Therapy Association website, I hope that you are having a wonderful spring, and finding ways to honor the music within yourself in this season of renewal and hope. Happy Easter and many blessings. Rachel Ferguson, MM, MT-BC, NICU-MT, is a Board Certified Music Therapist and the Founder of Whole Note Music Therapy. She is also a vocalist and teaches voice lessons. She lives in San Diego, Calif. For more information, visit you might want to sit Down For this haPPy worlD voice Day! m u s ic ia n s c o r n er 52 CCM