Missouri Music Teachers Association

From the President

The State MMTA and MTNA auditions are set for November 1-4, 2018 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia.  Note: we are trying to avoid scheduling rehearsals on the Wednesday to avoid the Halloween festivities.  MMTA District Auditions are to be set by each district chair, but must be completed no later than the weekend of September
22-23, 2018.

One very important change is that MTNA competitions will no longer have on-site Division competitions.  These have proven to be too costly to the national organization. Personally, I am glad that our state winners will no longer need to fight blizzard conditions to compete in January.  Instead, state winners will be required to videotape their programs for divisional adjudication.  Look for more information on these changes on the www.mtna.org website.

--Peter Miyamoto
Attention Local Associations: Apply for a matching grant!
Each year the MMTA Executive Committee appropriates funds for local association grants.   Applications are reviewed and voted on at the Spring Executive Committee meeting to be awarded for the next academic year. Guidelines and Application are on the MMTA website. 
Applications are sent to Sharon Parker, Vice President for Local Associations by e-mail no later than  February 1, 2019  or by US Mail postmarked by  February 1, 2019  for grants for the  2019-20 school year.   The MMTA Executive Committee will review the applications according to the guidelines set forth in the matching grants information letter.
Sharon Parker
Cell: (816)616-7027
Attention Collegiate Chapters: Travel Grants and Awards are Available
The MMTA Executive Committee wants to make sure that all Missouri Collegiate Chapters know that each year the Missouri Music Teachers Association appropriates funds for travel grants and chapter awards for assistance with chapter sponsored events.  Applications and Guidelines will be provided by July 1, 2018 on the MMTA website.  The MMTA Executive Committee will review and approvecollegiate chapter applications according to the guidelines set forth.
Observations of A Voice Professor: Teaching Singers Who Play Woodwind and Brass Instruments
Dr. Susan Quigley-Duggan, Professor of Voice and Opera, Central Methodist University
 As a vocal specialist in a small college I have often grappled with issues that arise with developing singers who study and play wind and brass instruments .Although the techniques of voice and wind instrumentshave many aspects of technique in common, there appear to be some areas of technique that one must keep a watchful eye on to direct the singing student away from some areas of tension that might or might not be required to play their instrument and may not necessarily enhance their vocal production.
Playing an instrument and singing do have much in common. Those techniques to developing good singing and instrumental playing are related to maintaining a balanced alignment while concentrating on deeperbreathing to expand the lungs to establish the tone. For singing the head is balanced on the spine, the shoulders are back and relaxed and the weight of the muscles of the upper body are supported by the spinal column, especially the lumbar spine. The tailbone is down and aligned with the spine and the hip joints and the flexible knees and feet are in alignment and physical balance established.
In breathing for singing, air is drawn in deeply and quietly to the lungs as diaphragm muscle descends. The singer must keep muscles of larynx and neck relaxed on inhalation or they will create tension in the tone.The singer feels a suspended expansion around the middle and with the appropriate firming action of the abdominal and rib muscles. The gradual ascent of the diaphragm is controlled by these muscles and thespinning air is moved steadily to the vocal folds to create a vibratory tone. In singing, the vocal cords vibrate the column of air to produce pitch and timbre. The instrument is in the human body. An auditory concept of pitch is a mental image and the vocal folds know instantly what position to assume to produce the pitch. This message is being sent there directly by the brain.
The playing of wind and brass instruments also require a similar deep lung expansion with the thoughtful association of proper alignment. Many instrumentalists also play seated and they are instructed to balance on the sit bones and breathe without raising shoulders. They also keep the spine aligned while playing and are instructed to keeping tension out of shoulders, throat and neck and allow air to expand around the middle. For example, when playing the tuba the head is even with the spine and the player leans slightly forward for high notes and slightly back for low notes.
The differences in technique between singing and playing are more often to do with the areas and positions of the mouth, lips, tongue and jaw and the overall embouchure of each instrument. Another area of difference is in the amount of muscular support and breath pressure used for singing and the relative flexibility or constriction of laryngeal muscles in pitch production. These areas have an influence on the freedom of tone required for singing. Singers produce pitch at the vocal folds and resonance chambers are felt primarily above at the mouth cavity, the nasal cavity and the laryngeal cavity. Any tension in the jaws, lips, neck or tongue or laryngeal area causes obstruction or constriction in the tone quality and interferes with a natural vibrato. The air for singing is lively and moves up steadily from the lungs and is drawn into vibration through the fast puffs of air moving rapidly through the glottis of the vocal folds to produce pitch. Below the airflow is coordinated with elastic firm support against the lungs creating pressure against the lungs and support around the ribs. The steadily supported air vibrates the vocal folds and is thoughtfully and continuously energized and directed to the maintain the lift of the soft palate while exploring the areas of resonance before exiting as vibratory sound through the mouth.
In brass playing the lips act as the vocal folds which vibrate the column of air to produce the sound. The instrument, of course, is a coiled piece of metal. In the case of a clarinet or saxophone the reed is the vibrator and the column of air produces the sound that vibrates through the pipe of the flute. 
In playing a wind or brass instruments and singing, there is the need to create breath pressure and then manage the breath pressure. For a wind player that pressure is created inter abdominally. It is however not managed within the musician, but rather at the point of vibration, which is attached to the instrument or a mouthpiece. A reed can handle a lot of pressure generated by highly tightened abdominal muscles, but vocal folds cannot. In tuba playing there is more relaxation and the full amount of air in and full amount of air out is utilized with no back pressure.
When one sings, the focus and source of vibration is within your vocal folds. The vocal folds are two thin delicate muscle bands with moist jelly -like ligaments and membranes that are a little more than a half an inch in size. The vocal folds are not intended to handle the same amount of breath pressure that a reed or a brass instrument requires. Pushing up forced air from the abdominals more than is necessary to create a constant flow of air will likely cause harm in singing and hyper function in breath pressure to the vocal folds and result in excess weight in the tone and an unsteady vibrato. 
A singer who plays a brass instrument or a wind must be made aware and be careful not to overuse the laryngeal muscles to produce pitch. Extremes of pitch on some wind and brass instruments has been proven to be regulated by the glottis the space between the vocal folds and intensive playing in higher ranges can put strain on the laryngeal muscles that house the vocal folds. The singer should understand that the amount of breath pressure utilized for singing is much less and become informed. that constricting muscles in the neck, tongue and larynx in vocal production is constricting the supple action of the vocal folds and interferes with creating a freely produced tone. This in many ways bears true for instrumental playing as well because extreme tension in muscles creates a tense tone.
One must remember using support does not mean to use the strength one has in the upper body to over -tighten muscles to support nor does too much pressure and muscular effort produce freedom in singing. It's all about balancing the required level of breath support and breath energy for the voice throughout the range and the volume and resonance needed to project.
In instrumental playing embouchure is the use of the lips, facial muscles, cheeks, jaw, tongue, and teeth in playing a  wind instrument . This includes shaping the lips to the  mouthpiece  of a  woodwind instrument  or the  mouthpiece  of a  brass instrument . Proper embouchure allows instrumentalists to play their instrument at its full range with a full, clear tone and without strain or damage to their muscles. The entire face for wind and brass instruments is important to their embouchure. For example, in clarinet playing the chin must be firm and flat. The corners of the mouth are firm and point in, the lips are firm, the muscles around the mouth are firm. Embouchures is held very firmly for clarinet players and can cause fatigue in the "smile" muscles. 
For trumpet and French horn, the instruments are held into a specific lip and mouth position and the muscles of the jaw, lips and mouth must be held firmly. In the mouth piece for a tuba the aperture is so wide that there is little pressure at the mouthpiece and the tuba is played with no resistance. The tongue remains relaxed and flat. The tongue is raised in the clarinet in an “ee” shape in the mouth when playingand helps focus the tone. In playing the clarinet the tongue "releases" the air the same way the bow does for a violinist. A useful way of thinking of the tongue is to think of closing off the end of a water hose that is turned on all the way, before releasing the water. In singing, the lips and tongue are formed as loosely and flexible as possible gently arching the tip of the tongue or quickly raising the back for consonants for diction as well as a gentle lip rounding for vowels and consonants with the desire to produce freedom in the tone. The jaw is not held firmly in singing but must relax down and back to allow the larynx and vocal folds to respond flexibly in coordination with the breath energy as it moves throughout the range.
It is advised that a student learn singing and instrumental technique in such a way that they are separate and clear as to the differences in pitch production, breath pressure, embouchure, and in the use of the muscles for phonation and support. Learning a wind or brass instrument may not specifically help you support your breath flow more efficiently and it may encourage to force too much air through your vocal folds. It is best to learn proper breath support from a voice teacher who is clearly aware of the differences and can teach the proper control of the muscles as well as identify the different usage of certain musculature and breath pressure requirements required for different instruments.
Instrumentalists, however who do study singing as a secondary instrument can receive benefits from studying singing that contribute to their instrumental playing. Much of the benefit comes from using the breath from the lungs as if singing to shape a phrase, or to create and contour or a smooth vocal legatowhile imagining there is text and emotion to deliver within an instrumental phrase like creating theinstrumental sound as an extension of singing. Singers are also encouraged and trained to use the body to support each note that is sung and to maintain balanced alignment while supporting. This technique is valid for those who play wind and brass instruments because then the tones are supported from a large foundation, namely the diaphragm and its associated parts,
There is much to observe as students straddle the technical aspects of playing and singing and the voice teacher should learn as much as one can about the different technical demands made by wind and brass instruments to better guide the singer to awareness and vocal freedom.
However instrumental majors who study singing as a secondary instrument also receive benefits from studying singing that contribute to their instrumental playing. Much of the benefit comes from using the breath from the lungs for singing to shape a phrase, to create and contour a vocal legato imagining there is text and emotion to deliver within an instrumental phrase.
Special thanks to Erica and Angelo Manzo and Dori Waggoner for their input   on instrumental techniques.
NOTES Article – for May 2018 ​​
Dr. Laura J. Wiebe
Central Methodist University
This year at Central Methodist University, the music and nursing departments piloted a 1-1 iPad program. The pilots have been successful and received high favorability ratings from students, and our institution recently approved an expansion of the pilot entitled Digital U. Digital U is a comprehensive integration of teaching and learning with technology, in which all full-time, undergraduate students at the Fayette campus receive an iPad and an Apple Pencil. The goal of Digital U is
In this early stage of embracing iPads in our music department at CMU, I have been tasked with researching other institutions’ practices related to iPads and music. Below is a sampling of information on higher education music programs currently on a 1-1 iPad program, as well as recommended websites and blogs. I hope this information will be useful to studio teachers, K-12 teachers, and college professors.
•  Olivet Nazarene University  (Bourbonnais, IL)
o iLearn@Olivet initiative “brings students and professors the best in technology in order to both transform and enhance the teaching and learning experience.” This  promotional video  shows iLearn@Olivet in the School of Music.
o First undergraduate music program nationally to implement a 1-1 iPad program.
o Article on the initiative: “ Olivet Nazarene University at forefront of music education technology with new iPad initiative .” ( Daily Southtown , 9 Sept 2013)
o The ensembles at this institution have fully adopted iPads, using them instead of paper music in rehearsal and performance.
YouTube Interview with Dr. Don Reddick , Chair of Music at Olivet Nazarene (2013) with Hugh Sung, co-founder of AirTurn Pedals
•  The Conservatory of Music, Lynn University  (Boca Raton, FL)
o First institution to integrate iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and Smart Keyboard.
o Expanded iPad initiative from on-campus programs to “iPad-powered” online bachelor’s and master’s programs. “Fully online students will pay as little as $35,400 for a degree—only a little more than a year’s tuition at Lynn for education in person. Lynn will ship the students an iPad mini, which they will use to access the digital course content; file assignments; and interact with classmates.” (“ An iPad in Every Home ”,  Inside Higher Ed , 30 Oct 2014)
•  Hiram College  (Hiram, Ohio)
o Tech and Trek program
o Goal is to teach “mindful technology”
o Article:  “‘Tech and Trek’”  ( Inside Higher Ed ,   22 Feb 2017)
•  Oberlin College and Conservatory  (Oberlin, OH) – Trial Program
o A string quartet piloted the trial program. 
o Article: “ The Great Screen Test ” (University website, 26 Jan 2018). Offers insights on how and why iPads impact ensemble performance dynamics in a positive way.
o “Because the iPads were smaller [than music stands], we were able to get a lot closer, and I felt like in the end, the physical music wasn’t a barrier to me interacting with the others” (see aforementioned article).
I also recommend these additional resources on music programs and musicians using iPads:
•  College Music Society Instructional Technology Initiative Award  recipient Nicole Molumby (Boise State University)
•  AirTurn Pedal
YouTube interview with Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim “describes how he overcame his initial reservations to make the transition from paper sheet music to digital music on his iPad and AirTurn BT-105 to turn pages hands free.”
o He notes that the backlighting is a huge advantage to using the iPad in performance.
o The AirTurn Blog has many articles and videos relevant to using iPads in music performance.
And finally, here are some iPad/music-related blogs and websites I recommend:
An excellent blog by leading K-12 iPad/music practitioner Dr. Christoper Russell. He maintains a list of music apps for iOS on this blog, and also has an useful iBook available ( iPads in Music Education , Second Edition, $9.99 in the iTunes Store).
A “resource center” for music and technology. Described as “guidance and solutions for achieving your technology goals: personal, professional, or music & music education.”
A blog by Paul Shimmons, a 5-12 band teacher in Michigan. He says that the blog is “a journal of how well the iPad from Apple can fit into, enhance, and replace my current tech.”
Australian music technology trainer and consultant Katie Wardrobe gives music technology workshops for music educators, and this site is both her company’s home base and has a great blog.
“Home of Music Education Experts and Technology Gurus Dr. Joseph M. Pisano and Amy M. Burns.” Includes many articles and resources for K-12 teaching.
A non-profit organization devoted to “helping music teachers integrate technology since 1995.”