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The One Voice of Marcus Rivera

 

MARCUS RIVERA

 

Singer, dancer, actor and Vocal Coach Marcus Rivera has been in the professional productions of The King and I, Miss Saigon, Sweeny Todd, Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado just to name a few. He has taught Vocals for Australian College for Theatre and TV, The Australian Institute of Music.

I am thrilled to have him as a guest on the blog and podcast.  He is so versatile and talented yet so humble and sooooo funny! Marcus shares how he got started in the music industry, breathing techniques that have helped him with his singing, how to connect with the audience when performing and how he keeps himself motivated.We chat about his latest project as a host for the upcoming Lea Salonga Sydney concert on the 31st of July, 2015. My students will also be part of the production which we are so excited about!

If you would like to connect with Marcus and follow his exciting new ventures and up coming shows please visit him on www.marcusrivera.com.

You can watch the full video interview here.

You can listen via soundcloud here :

I would love to know what breathing technique do you use or a singing tip that has helped you. Comment below and share it with us.  If you enjoyed this post please feel free to share and like this post!

Until next time!

Musically yours Tina

P.S.What to learn how get started on your first album? Check out my new online course to help you create and launch your very first album http://tinabangel.com/dvanityproject  I would love to hear from you!

THE LITTLE VOICES OF LYCA AND DARREN

15 ways to help overcome performance anxiety

Last night I was at a party and someone mentioned they watched the Darren Espanto and Lyca Gairanod Sydney concert. They were the winners of the Voice Philippines.  She was amazed on how wonderful Darren and Lyca took to the stage and interacted with the audience. I agreed with her 100%. What you see is a product of hours of rehearsing, touring and full time work. There is no doubt that if a child has the opportunity to live, breathe and work in a performing environment they will soar and stand out on stage- especially when they had the vocal ability, stage presence and DRIVE in the first place. That is their job… they are to sing the same songs, the same patter every night at every show as well as every media appearance.

Lyca, only 10 years old, captured the audience with her wonderful personality, it was amusing to see her personality shine through whist telling jokes and leaving the audience wanting more. Darren had a Voice that was so powerful and agile. A very humble and charming 14-year-old boy who originally came from Canada.

One Voice Kids had an amazing time supporting Darren Espanto and Lyca Gairanod. We were privileged and honoured that Cheers entertainment invited the kids to be part of the show.

I always tell the kids I teach to expect the unexpected. Always be prepared for microphones to not work or blocking needing to be changed due to uncontrollable circumstances.

One Voice consisted of Jade Lee ,Charlize Santos,Jared Lesaca, Jill Gutierrez, Lorenz Garcia, Olivia Bosworth, Jessica Jerusalem, Elouise Kalixte Pelaez, Imarosa Kei Tungul,   Kaitryel Pelaez, Khristienne Ison , Joy Laquian, Angelo Marasigan. They shared the support act with 7 wonderful local talents that night. Mikee Anne de Leon, Dani de Leon, Chelsea Castillo, Jasmine Montemayor Henry, Danikka and Daniela Vassallo and Chantelle Santos.

So the unexpected did happen where microphones didn’t work and luckily one performer was professional enough to keep going. She belted out the song and the audience cheered for her because they supported her courageous act to keep singing.

An accumulation of these events can make any performer (budding or seasoned) anxious.

Anxiety can come in a few forms:

  • Sweaty Palms
  • Dry mouth
  • Tears
  • Shallow fast breathing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Inability to move on the stage

Here are 15 ways to overcome these anxiety attacks before a show.

1.  Make sure you have perfectly practiced before the show. Go over the songs and know your lyrics inside out before you hit the stage

2.  Get a Vocal Coach to help you with problem areas and to make sure the song in the right key for you. Do not rely on just your lessons to practice; you must do the hard work at home too.

3.  Do the movements that you have gone over with your coach, trust that you will be fine. Your coach makes you practice the moves so that when stage fright occurs you do the moves that you have been working on in class without having to think about them, it should come second nature. When you feel comfortable on stage that is when you can allow yourself to adlib. But when in doubt always go back to what you have been practicing or working on with your coach. Also practice how you will introduce your songs or interact with the audience.

4.  Use the iPad, recording device or your phone to record your rehearsal performance, moves and facial expression. Watch it back (even if it’s painful) notice what is working and fix what is not.

5.  Visualize the moves, the way you would love to sound like, your look (costume, hair) in your head every night before the concert. Visualize even the audience members- picture your friends and family in the audience happily supporting you.

6.  Make sure you find out what the stage looks like before hand and do your research. Does it have stairs, does it have backstage curtains, where will you enter and exit, will you have a cordless microphone or chorded microphone, will someone be handing the microphone to you. Will you be handing the microphone to someone after your song?

7.  Do not wear clothes that make you feel uncomfortable – make sure your shoes and clothes are comfortable to move in and that make you feel like a star.

8.  Use essential oils. Marv Johnson, the essential oil educator has four recommendations to ease anxiety and to calm the nerves before a performance.  Marv’s podcast is one of my favourite podcasts I listen to. You can see why here: The essential oil podcast.

  • First is Frankincense: It is very calming to the nervous system. Put a couple of drops in your hands, rub together gently, cup and inhale. Three to five deep breaths have a quick and instant effect. Then gently massage on the back of the neck.
  • Second is Lavender: Studies have shown that the inhalation of lavender oil can communicate signals to the olfactory system and stimulate the brain to exert neurotransmitters (e.g. serotonin and dopamine) thereby further regulating mood.
  • The third is Wild Orange essential oil. Wild orange creates both a sense of calm and alertness. Put a couple of drops in your hands, rub together gently, cup and inhale. Three to five deep breaths have a quick and instant effect. Then gently massage on the back of the neck.
  • Marv personally likes peppermint oil because it is a stimulant and typically when he feels fear and he gets subdued. The peppermint oil stimulates the oxygen flow to the brain providing a sense of sharpness and confidence.

 

essential oils

9.  Exhaling out and inhaling deeply will help.

10.  If you feel that you have lack of energy a few star jumps to wake you up.

11.  Drink plenty of water, at least 20 minutes before a performance to keep you hydrated.

12.  If you have a dry mouth slightly and gently bite on your tongue to release saliva.

13.  Do your vocal warm ups– general rule is to do a long warm up for a short set and a short warm up for a long set.

14.  Talk to a friend or family member if that calms you down. Give them a hug or high five and SMILE…. remember that its just fun!

15.  Also something that I always do before a show or when my students have a concert is Pray. Giving gratitude to God or to the universe makes a big difference. The best part is when we all hold hands and one of the students leads the prayers. It really makes me feel alive and grateful to know that we are making a difference in a child’s life one song at a time.

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Hope this helps! If you want more Vocal tips and learn how you can sing on stage with the stars please sign up to our newsletter.

Musically yours Tina

P.S Don’t forget One Voice will be support acts to Ms Lea Salonga on the 31st of July, Sydney Town Hall. Tickets are now on sale. For more information email me at tina [at] tinabangel [dot] com

P.S.S I have a few private lessons slots available for term 2. Please contact me if you would like me to mentor you, I would love to meet you and work with you or your child.

 

 

10 ways to make your performances more expressive with Tiana Canterbury

If there was a modern-day super woman Tiana Canterbury would be it!  So grounded and down to earth, I first met Tiana at her brother’s wedding, who was marrying one of my best friends in high school. Wow! That feels like a lifetime ago.  During One Voice’s second end of year concert we were lucky to have Tiana’s husband, Mike Champion as one of our guest performers.  It’s so wonderful to see how far they have come. They are such an incredible couple.  I am honoured to have Tiana as a guest today sharing her invaluable tips for performing and movement.  This Hip Hop choreographer for Australia’s so you think you can dance, leads a very busy life inspiring everyone she comes into contact with.

Tell us about what you do and your new studio.

I am a choreographer, dancer, video clip director, personal trainer, I manage my own dance studio, an Afro and Drumming show and a kids Military Style boot camp obstacle course for birthday parties, schools and private events.

I just recently opened my own dance studio called, ‘Your Hip Hop Class’ and I am extremely blessed that it is doing so well so far. It’s a dance studio with all classes based around Hip Hop dance. We have Hip Hop classes from beginners to advance, Couples hip hop classes, Fitness hip hop classes, Performance group classes and many more. Y.H.H.C. has also had many International choreographers and artist teach a class or make an appearance at the studio. This is definitely a studio you can learn, dance with and see the best of the best in the industry.

What was it like growing up?  When did you know you wanted to be a dancer?

Growing up was great!! I grew up in South Africa till the age of 10 years old and then we migrated to Australia in 1989. Being the only girl and the youngest of 3, my 2 older brothers would always have the newest music and dance moves they had seen from watching video clips and I would copy them from a very young age of 3 years old.

When I got to the age of 7/8 years old I would teach the kids in the street routines and formations and then put shows on for parties and local shows.

This was the age I knew that I wanted to be a dancer and would practice in my room and copy every Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson video clip. I then moved to Oz and once again taught other friends I knew routines in the area and performed at school events and performed with one of my brothers as bigger shows around Australia.

When I was growing up dancing, we never had Youtube or classes for Hip Hop… So you had to remember quickly what moves were done in the video clip you seen and practice it just using your memory until you seen it again to run it with the song. haha

Dance was also all about the groove and fun. Good times.

How do you juggle teaching, workouts and running your household? 

I make sure that I am prepared the night before on how the next day will flow and I have a schedule for each day that I try to stay on top on the hour. I am also very lucky to have a partner who is in the entertainment industry and is very understanding and hands on with sharing the loads.

I do make it a priority to make sure I have family time and me time amongst all the hustle and bustle.

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Tell us what your day looks like in the Canterbury/Champion household.

We wake up at 6am with the kids and get them all ready for school. At 9am we go train outside or gym or if baby is not at school… I do a Baby Mama Workout with her at the park.   Around midday I do admin work baby is sleeping and then baby time once she is up.  When kids get home from school we do homework and dinner, then back to the studio to teach at night. I get home around 10pm and then will tidy the house up for the next day. And then back to preparing for the next.

Dancers are always animated when it come to facial expressions which I love!!! Especially when you watch so you think you can dance.  For someone who struggles with expressing themselves in body movement and facial expressions when performing,  what advice would you give them? 

My advice would be to always map out your performance/show by knowing :

– what your dance is about or what feeling the beat is giving you

– the character or emotions you would need to express within your piece or song

– what energy and execution you need to express through your movement/choreography/routine.

– how to use your space/stage, levels/highs/lows and light and shade with the dance piece like slow moves or fast moves that compliment the song or beat.

Once you have this in front of you written or in your head…you need to then get into a studio or in front of any mirror and rehearse this over and over again and DO NOT be afraid to look at yourself and critic each facial expressions and movement. When running through your piece, get into a habit of perfecting and work on it until you are comfortable, confident and happy with what you have produced. At the end of the day, from body movement to facial expressions… it is all muscle memory and needs to be worked on and trained every chance you can for it to sit well in the body and you are confident with it!

Once you are confident, it will definitely shine through your performance.

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List 10 things they can do to help their performance become more expressive.

1. Find a connection with the song or character

2. Get in front of the mirror and exercise the facial muscles by expressing different facial expressions

3. Get comfortable looking at yourself in the mirror and perfect the feeling and connection with the facial expression

4. Connection feeling with your body movement and exaggerating your execution for muscle memory

5. Research different feelings and expressions and relate it to something you have experienced so you can learn our to tap into the connection quicker

6. Enjoy what you do as it will show in your movement

7. Be confident

8. Choose characters, music or choreography that suits you and you understand.

9. If you don’t not know the character given to you… research and see how you can connect with it in your own way

10. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE…

Who are your mentors?

– I love researching cultural dance… and I learn so much from their history and feeling of their dances.

– All choreographers… I love creative people and seeing them hear music and draw pictures with their choreography.

– Any film directors and seeing them capture their vision on film.

What advice would you give young performers, singers and dancers who want to get to a professional level?

Get yourself into all classes… Practice, practice and practice… Be open-minded and appreciate all arts, teachings, music, dance styles, vocals and musicians and if you can appreciate it you could learn so much from everyone and perfect your own art. And last but not least, Live your own dream and create your own path and always enjoy every minute of it and have FUN!!

What’s your next big project?

My next big project is, I’m working on my new fitness program and getting it out to all the gyms around NSW and then Australia and bringing out a fitness DVD for HIIT HOP fitness and my Baby Mama Workout program.

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You can connect with Tiana on her Your HIP HOP class facebook page  or visit her site http://www.yourhiphopclass.com/.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I have.  Getting to know Tiana and her big dreams hopefully inspire you to go for yours.

P.S if your dream is to one day create your album read on…

It took me 2 decades to finally get the courage to create my first album. I have created a free cheat sheet on how you can start creating your first album too. Imagine hearing your songs on the radio! It can be done no matter what age. You can download it here- 5 essential steps to start creating your first album. Click here  to download or email me at tina [at] tinabangel [dot] com.

5 steps

The One Voice of Daniel Skeed – 5 Mistakes people can make when songwriting

I first met Dan when he worked for a company called Backing Tracks Au. His dad, Alan Skeed, fortunately gave me some of my very first paying singing gigs after winning a few talent quests in the Sydney circuit.

It’s such an honour to connect with Dan after all these years and he sure has come a long way.  Now a full time writer and producer at Oxygen Music he shares his journey in the music industry.

I love the heart and passion he has for his family, music and life.

Most of all I love the way he is grateful for what he has in his life… truly living and owning his greatness!

Enjoy this blog post as Dan shares his life as a working musician and the top 5 Mistakes that Songwriters can make.DAN 1

Tell us about what you do. Your band, your role with Oxygen Music and what inspires you keep growing in terms of music?

I was born & raised in Sydney. Started playing music at age 9. I have studied in depth, guitar, drums & dabbled in horns & keys. My voice I began to explore about 5 years ago & found it to be one of my favourite instruments to use of all.

I have played in stacks of bands over the past 15 years. I began playing in clubs at age 13 with my father’s bands & associates all around Sydney & from there developed my true love for ‘live music’.

I found a homely existence with my best friends somewhat 10 years ago when we formed the band Urban Stone. We are still gigging a couple of times a week & do it for both the love & the coin (music can pay the bills & more if you cherish & harness the craft with all your might & know the right people who believe in you & are willing to support & promote you).

My parents, Alan & Trish Skeed, had always been the driving force behind my career & helped me open every door to date. Such support is priceless. I’m forever thankful.

Up until 2 years ago, music was my passion. I gave every lasting ‘spare’ minute I had to my craft & my friends who shared the same muse. However, I always had a corporate/sales career in the balance & wore a collar by day which was very consuming in itself. Until finally, an opportunity presented itself at Oxygen Music Group. My band Urban Stone recorded an EP at Oxygen & developed friendships in the midst with some of my best friends & colleagues today. Post recording our EP, I was poached from my daily grind by David Simon (Managing Director at Oxygen) & offered the exciting role of Writer/Producer. Since then, we have achieved some amazing things together.

My full time job, finally at age 30, is a musician wearing a coat of many colours. Life is good.

You come from a musical family and your dad has given many budding singers a foot in the door, including myself, which I am forever grateful for.  Tell us, what it was like growing up in your household, when did you start singing and playing the guitar.

My Dad was a gun muzo himself. He came through an era of about 3-4 decades where musicians were hot property, live music was thriving in Sydney & he was at the top of the tree on a local scale. He was doing up to 6-7 gigs a week & much like myself, couldn’t ever really sit still. He had many other jobs throughout his career as a musician. A great example & role model for myself (as was my mother who was a very successful business woman across numerous industries & a loving mother & wife who always took great interest in our passions).

I grew up in a household where food was always on the table, love was evergreen, ethics, morals & discipline was always in the balance, & music was always the great escape & a common passion. My sister Kim kinda taught me to Rock! She is a very talented singer & was in a pretty hot band whilst I came through my adolescence. Sister Green they were called. I was really into grunge & the Seattle vibe at that point in time so to me she was god (& forever will be). Kim & I are very close & you know I still listen to Sister Green records today.

Mum & Dad eventually ended up running a business of their own when they bought a successful entertainment agency off Ian Clifton & Dad hung up the microphone & put his every effort into exploring, nurturing & exposing some of the most talented singers, musicians & entertainers who are household names & Australian Icons today.

Obviously, being constantly surrounded by this environment, the music ‘business’ rubbed off on me as well as the passion & talent for the craft itself that was unmistakably within our 4 walls. I started singing on my father’s & grandfather’s laps at age 3 & sang as a kid in numerous lights, but I wasn’t really that great I don’t think haha.

However, I really only started to discover & develop my own voice singing along side my rockin’ powerhouse sister in crime Tina Garufi (lead singer of Urban Stone). A bar raised that high by my side, was only ever going to improve me. Her infectious ability & euphoric talent made me wanna sing a little & I’m glad I did. Tina is vocal dynamite, & my biggest vocal influence by far. Tina also after establishing a strong presence in the music scene herself already, came through my Dad’s stables which caused our paths to cross, so I’ve him to thank for that also.

DAN 4

When did you know you wanted to create a business from music and how did it come about for you?

When I saw just how possible it was. It’s pretty simple. Work hard at your craft, establish yourself in the right company of people & always surround yourself with people that you admire & deem to be ‘better than you’… You can only grow from there.

The music business is a tough one. The toughest of them all if you ask me.

Turning your craft into a successful career or venture is hard on your own. Never close an open door where it could potentially see you progress. Never say I can’t.

When I was offered the role at Oxygen Music Group, it was a little overwhelming. I’d produced electronic music for about 4 years out of school for a backing tracks company & studied & practiced the organic side of music for somewhat 20 years. I had a lot under my belt & a lot of support & contacts etc. However, walking away from the corporate world & jumping in the deep end & taking control of people’s creations & turning them into gold comes with great expectations & obligation.

Luckily, I had a team of very successful & competent engineers & producers around me. People like Rick Will, who has more feathers in his cap than anyone I have ever met in this game. He has produced some of my favourite artists’ records. Diesel, Chisel, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails, Incubus, the list goes on. Greg Stace on a technical level is one of our nations greatest. He has won awards from his craft & made a living out of music since he can remember.

These key influences had a lot of faith in me also. So I decided to take the leap & bite off what could have been more than I could ever chew. I haven’t looked back since. I always say that this life we lead has it’s stresses, deadlines, budgets & constraints from time to time. But in contrast, we have the best jobs in the world.

You recently completed a songwriting project.  Can you tell us about who you worked with and what was the outcome.

I just completed a workshop/camp called 50 songs in 5 days.

It was created, managed & poached by the major labels & administered by Studio 301 & Oxygen Music Group.

It’s possibly the greatest creative stint of my life. I was in presence of the country’s greatest writers, producers & artists. My task was to collaborate with the above mentioned & as head producer for my daily assigned team create one song per day. Write it, track it, mix it & submit it to the majors. I got to work with some amazing artists. Some of which I’ve already worked with one way or another (Anya Nissen, Reigan Derry, Morgan Evans, Chance Waters, Elen Levon).

I got to hang with Tina Arena. I got to witness some of the greatest production I have ever heard in it’s early stages by hanging with some of the other producers in the camp. It was a blast.

The outcome is basically that the tracks we created, go into the catalogues of the major artists & labels. Meaning that if the songs are on the mark, within the brief & loved by the powers that be, your songs will be heard. They will be placed, they will be released & on the airways. Most of all, the contacts I made, the memories we made, the songs we birthed were awesome.

What is your process when you co-write with someone? 

I have no real particular equation or rule book. I like to adapt to the writer. Sometimes it starts with a beat. Sometimes it starts with a reference artist & a brief from the artist’s management or label. Sometimes it starts with an acoustic guitar or piano. I do like the old school approach. As they say in the song city that is Nashville, “3 chords & the truth” & you can’t go wrong… Unfortunately there is a little more involved nowadays lol. But fortunately for me perhaps, because if the world of music in all it’s glory has become something, it’s interesting.

What are the 5 mistakes people make with songwriting/co-writing?

Ok so I guess there are a few do’s & don’ts lol…

1.   Copycats (lacking any sort of authentic, original creativity).

2.   Not actually collaborating, contributing or respecting & inviting ideas in a co-write situation. Co-writing definitely requires an open mind, an opinion & no ego. The right combination of these qualities will see a good session through & something special at the back end.

3.   Lyrical content that is too hard to digest or break down for the listener. You want the listener to connect with your song. Not baffle them lol.

4.  Writing melodies & vocal parts that they simply can not sing. Writing vocals for an artist, within their ‘quality’ vocal range, & age/genre appropriate lyrical content is a must I believe.

 & finally,

5.  Over producing something that sounds, feels & sells to the listener in a more organic/raw state. Whilst I respect that we live in an era where technology has taken our craft to new heights, some things are best left untouched in my mind. Even where given a retro review, I love how music reflects memories, decades & times of past present & future.

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What would you tell your 18-year-old self?

Believe in yourself. Never stop learning. Always surround yourself with the best. “Dress where you wanna be” (Quote: Mum) lol.

Who are your mentors and why?

My folks. They always know best lol, it’s true. They have a knack for pointing me in the right direction. I admire the people they are & forever grow to be.

My best friends & band. They are the best bunch of cats & seriously amaze me time & time again with the way they play, party & keep my feet solid to the earth beneath me.

David Simon. Dave’s the reason I do what I love full time. He’s also a great guy with passion unparalleled. He’s the one guy in the game that does more hours than me lol.

My early private music teachers (Gino Pengue, Russell Nelson, Peter Drummond, Jess Zappia) etc. They taught me everything needed to know to further explore the wonderful world of music.

There are more. I could go on for hours.

What’s in the pipeline for you?

I’m not sure, & I think that’s a wonderful thing.

I know that I aim to be among the best at what I do. I want to further study music, production & at some point experience first hand, the world around me that I only see on television, post cards & the internet.

I want to share music with my friends & family till the day I die.

DAN 6

There you have it folks!  Inspiring answers from the heart!

If you want to know more about Daniel’s work you can visit him at  www.oxygenmusicgroup.com

Connect with his band Urban Stone on Facebook.

Now do you have any questions that you are burning to ask about Songwriting?

What are your challenges?  Please write them below to we can help you or point you in the right direction.

If you enjoyed this post please like, comment and share it with some that is an inspiring songwriter.

P.S.  I will be Launching a New Online Course in March where I will help mentor you into making your very own EP/Single or Album.  Want to know more? Click here!

THE VANITY PROJECT logo copyIf you would like to get started with your Album creation download the “5 steps to start creating your Album PDF” – it’s free!

5 steps

What a Vocal teacher learnt while singing with Charice

My journey as a Vocal coach and singer is thankfully fruitful.  I feel like a tree with many branches, each branch has many buds that bloom into beautiful flowers, some die and fall to the ground and others take time to blossom.

The branches represent the many hats I need to wear.

Teaching one on one, learning my craft as a singer, taking care of administrative work, marketing, promoting and so on.

The flowers represent the fruits of my labour.

The smiles on the kids faces, the happiness I see on the parents faces when they watch their child perform. The A-ha moments when students finally get what I am saying. When Rob tells me he is proud of me or when Christian tells me “That was nice singing Mum!”

I spend many hours developing the kids voices but also I do find myself chatting to them about life lessons.

So this is what I learnt over the pass weeks leading to the Charice live concert in Sydney until the moment One Voice students and I would share the stage with Charice.

1. People are willing to help make dreams happen.

Imagine all the sponsors, families, kids, producers putting their whole heart into this event.  Promoting it, rehearsing for it and working to make it happen.  It goes beyond just ONE PERSON!  People all around the world help make this event happen – from Charice’s team to the wonderful Cruz family in the Philippines who made the One Voice shirts in such short notice.  (Thank you to our shirt sponsors, Diaz Foundation, Australian Filipina/Help after Haiyan, Oz Pinoy Home loans – their help went toward the recording of the Be heard song)

ONE VOICE AND CHARICE

2. A community was created because we believe that we can make a difference in a small way or another.

Thank you to all the people who interviewed us for the newspapers and radio.  Those experiences really made a difference in the kids confidence.

Troy Laureta, Martin Serra, Daniel March, Dominic Cabrera, Tina Bangel and One Voice kids

Troy Laureta, Martin Serra, Daniel March, Dominic Cabrera, Tina Bangel and One Voice kids – I believe this was the silly face photo…I didn’t get the memo.

3. Don’t take things personally.  

I am always the first to take things personally! I hate the feeling until I remind myself that people have a job to do and each of us have the intention (hopefully) to do good in the world.  When people snap or treat us in a negative way it maybe because things weren’t communicated properly. It’s a learning experience so we can create bigger and better things in the future.

Charice with One Voice kids

Charice with One Voice kids

4.  Have the best team behind you.

Surround yourself with people who will lift your game up and genuinely want to you to succeed but who remind you to stay humble. Charice always brings a sound guy from Canada to make sure her Vocals even more amazing she also brings her musical director Troy Laureta to all her major shows. Piece of mind is the key so you can be the best you can on stage.

Tina Bangel with Troy Laureta, Martin Serra, Dominic Cabrera and Daniel March

Tina Bangel with Troy Laureta, Martin Serra, Dominic Cabrera and Daniel March

5. There is no such thing as the ‘little person.”

Each person is important, from the guy who lovingly poured the beer for audience members so they can enjoy the concert to the lady at the front desk selling the tickets. We all have a job that is just as important as the next person’s job.

Jasper and Mylene just part of Cheers entertainment. Thank you for believing in us!

Jasper and Mylene just part of Cheers entertainment. Thank you for believing in us!

6. Expect the unexpected.

Deal with it and move on or maybe write a blog post about it! If things don’t go the way you want it to, learn to be assertive so it doesn’t happen again next time. I’m so thankful for Miss Pam Picarts help with the kids backstage. She was able to help us so much while there were things that were technically unavoidable. We needed to make changes super quick and I am so proud of the kid’s professionalism.  Thanks to all the mid-year and end of year concerts that help us prepare for times like this!

Finale Pryramid

Finale Pyramid

7. Ask for help!

I wanted something special for this event.  I didn’t want to sing just another song. I wanted to create a song that will inspire the kids and also the audience.  The song I co-wrote was Be Heard.  It’s an inspirational song and the message is to not feel afraid to sing out or be yourself.

 

I had contacted Louie Ocampo after working with him on a few projects such as being a backing vocalist for Martin Nievera, Zsa-Zsa Padilla and Sharon Cuneta.  He was so generous with his time to help mentor me with songwriting.

Charice singing the Earth song with One Voice Kids and Tina Bangel

Charice singing the Earth song with One Voice Kids and Tina Bangel

8. You meet amazing people working towards a project or making dreams come true.  

I was lucky to have worked with Lionel Cole who is the cousin of Natalie Cole.  He has also co-written songs with Mariah Carey and toured with her.  The experience with him went beyond song arrangement for Be heard.  He dug deep into my soul to help me bring out the message of “being heard.” I’m looking forward to working with him on a few songs that I co-wrote with Van Sereno in the next few weeks.

one Voice sing the Earth song with One Voice students

One Voice students singing  the earth song with Charice

9.  We are all learning in this world.

We meet people so that they teach us about ourselves.  I find myself searching for reassurance or compliments to make myself feel better.  But deep down it all boils down to how you feel about your efforts. If you have tried your very best then that is all anyone could ask for.  Be gentle and kind to yourself.

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10.  It’s all about the kids!

When things didn’t go the way I had expected there was one thing that made everything ok. That was seeing the kids with Charice backstage after the show. Charice got lost in the kids huge hugs it didn’t help that she was soooo tiny!

Charice singing you are not alone with front acts- Allyssa, Mikee-Anne, Chelsea, Leilani, Bernadette, Jinky and Dani.

Charice singing you are not alone with front acts- Allyssa, Mikee-Anne, Chelsea, Leilani, Bernadette, Jinky and Dani.

I hope each hug made Charice feel loved and appreciated.

I hope each smile made her feel that she made a difference in their lives.

I hope each selfie moment she had with every child is etched in cyber memory so that we can remember how she has made each of us feel proud to be Filipino.

Most of all I hope that she knows how much we appreciated being on the stage with her so that we can continue to sing and make people happy!

Rehearsal

Rehearsal

Because One Voice can change the world! Your Voice and mine!

Tina Bangel backstage with Charice after her Sydney concert 2014

Tina Bangel backstage with Charice after her Sydney concert 2014 Photo Credit: Bernadette Corpuz

If you were inspired or watched the show last night, I would love to hear from you. Comment below or share this post.

Musically your Tina xo

 

 

 

 

 

When is the best time to start private music lessons for my child?

When is the best time to start formal music lessons for my child?

Parents ask me this question all the time.  My answer is always the same.

It depends on the child.

It’s fantastic that your child loves music. Give them every opportunity to keep the love of music alive and burning. Take them to live children’s shows, listen to music in the car, listen to the birds sing and the sounds of nature, make homemade instruments using pots and pans as drums or water bottles with rice as shakers, take them to structured music classes.

My concern is when you start a child in private lessons too early, let’s say at the age of 3 or 4, may lose the joy of just playing and exploring and by the time they hit 7yrs or 8yrs old they have no interest because they have loss the joy of being curious about the instrument or the voice. They may find practice and performing a chore.

If it’s not fun, each practice session, especially the one at home, may feel like a performance. The pressure of always having to perform can be too overwhelming. When you have pressure it leads to tension, which then restricts the voice or sound from coming out the best it can, it then leads to poor practice and limited improvement. Unfortunately, it then becomes a cycle. I have seen and heard parents tell me stories such as this.

There are exceptions; I had a student (whom I taught Vocals to in high school) who started drumming at 11 months old. His dad used to tie him to the chair so he wouldn’t fall off. This student became a child prodigy in drumming and was awarded multiple awards and scholarships by the age of 8. He now works as a jazz musician and is being mentored by James Morrison.

Here are a few tips to help prepare your child for private lessons:

1.  Make sure you take him to a structured music class that prepares them for private tuition. Does the class foster Active listening skills? This skill is a learnt behaviour and is different “overhearing” the teacher or music.

  1. Do parents stay in the class or wait in the waiting room during the structured music class? Having a class like this would be a great start to help your child with separation anxiety.
  1. Does your child like to explore the instrument e.g. plays the drum inside and out? Does he tap on the resonator bar on the plastic and the metal part? Does he try to disassemble the instrument and try to put it back together, does he shake the tambourine and then rolls it so see and hear the difference in sound. This is wonderful!! It’s a process that must be embraced.

I encourage you to find a teacher that is willing to let that control go- the control of “Playing the instrument the proper way”(of course it must be explored in a safe and appropriate manner) and there should be allocated time to play the instrument the proper way after exploration.

Your child’s curiosity must be celebrated. The more he explores the more he understands the instrument and how to play it. Take for example if someone handed us an ice-cream for the first time we would instinctly smell it, touch it, break the cone, taste it with the tip of our tongue- we would explore it to figure out what it is, what its made of, where it came from and what it does.

  1. Does your child need to move? Is your child a child that learns through movement? Does the class incorporate movement together with music concepts in a fun, relate-able and engaging way?
  1. Does your child flourish with a small group or a big group? Sometime having group lessons are a fantastic idea. Some shy kids have the opportunity to observe and then try it out in the safety of others. It can also build confidence without the pressure of performing. Your child can learn from other children. Or your child may display leadership skills. Being in a group helps foster ensemble play which develops social skills. Being able to play with others and taking turns is an important skill needed as a musician. Once again this is a learnt behavior.

6. Is your child physically ready (have they developed their fine motor-skills, are their fingers long enough to reach the keys on a piano) can your child read yet? Are just some more questions to consider?

If you are not sure, why rush? Music is a life long gift, which can be enjoyed at so many levels and at any age.

Every parent believes his or her child is special. And they are! Every child is special. Only you can foster and nurture that creativity, joy and spirited awakening that only music can give.

My advice is to be persitant in a caring and loving way. Don’t just do a structured music class for a few weeks and stop or move to another class or school – give your child consistency and let them settle into a class, it may take 8 weeks for them to settle and get to know their surroundings and group dynamics. Be aware of your child’s needs.

Let it be for your child’s heart and don’t make the mistake that your child needs to perform for you.

Music is a beautiful gift for not only your child, but also for your family- it can bond a family together.

Which ever you decide let it remain a beautiful gift in the eyes and ears of your child and give your child something to sing about!

If you found this blog useful or know someone who needs this advice please like, comment and share this post.

 

 

 

Free 30 Day Kindermusik Challenge

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Our next term start the first week of Feb 2015 and many of you have sent kind messages on how much their child is missing Kindermusik.

I’ve decided to create a free 30 day Kindermusik Challenge that will send you 30 actionable videos/emails everyday for 30 days in the month of January.

The simple actions and activities will help your child thrive as well as encourage special bonding time with you and the family.

With each activity I will explain the benefits and how it’s helping your child develop. I’ve seen the benefits it in my classes- I’ve been running them for 9 years now. These activities, if done daily and consistently can help a child communicate better, sleep better, learn better and develop physically. It starts these early years – not when Kindy starts. Each activity is researched based.

Imagine a world where every child has this opportunity and growth. Where each music and movement activity can give them the head start they deserve. It starts with each parent and caregiver.

Sign up here and share this link with your friends, mothers group, new mum and anyone that just wants a good start for their baby!
https://tinabangel.leadpages.net/free-30-day-kindermusik-challenge-/

Keep in touch and tell me who you shared it with. I’ll send you the group FB link so you can connect with other families and show/tell your progress.

Give your child something to sing about!

Tina xo

How not to feel Jealous of people’s singing success

At 7, I wanted to be like Lea Salonga. I was ecstatic when my auntie bought me Lea ‘s first album – I listened to that album everyday. I would say to my mum look we have the same dimple and hairstyle, I copied her voice. I was just a little darker and I had a bigger forehead and lopsided ponytails.
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At 9, I wanted to be like my Uncle Rod Dingle who was on a show called New faces. I would watch him sing at functions in awe.

Tina with One Voice Students singing Be heard

Tina with One Voice Students singing Be heard

Rod Dingle with former One Voice student and Miss Philippines-Australia Melanie Balagtas

Rod Dingle with former One Voice student and Miss Philippines-Australia Melanie Balagtas

At 10, I wanted to be Tina Arena on young talent time. I was so happy that she had the same first name as mine. I was so happy when people would call me Tina Arena on the school playground.

Tina and One Voice Singing Be heard

Tina and One Voice Singing Be heard

At 12, I saw a group of filipino singers singing at a friends house. I wanted to be like the lady in the group- she had beautiful long hair, face and presence. I didn’t know who she was but I thought she was just beautiful.

Tina Bangel singing with One Voice Students (current and pass)

Tina Bangel singing with One Voice Students (current and pass)

At 13, I wanted to be like Danni Minogue on Young talent time with the crimped hair, white skin, big smile.

At 19, I wanted to be like Lea Salonga on Broadway. I auditioned for musicals like Miss Saigon and was fortunate enough to be in the Miss Saigon school. They gave us free singing and dance lessons for a whole year. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it into the Sydney show.
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At 21, I wanted to be like my first singing teacher who was singing on the midday show and sung on the showboat. She encouraged me to audition on the Showboat. Looking back, it wasn’t my time; I wasn’t ready mentally and physically for it.
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At 22, I wanted to be part of the next girl group and auditioned for a producer. I had no idea how to harmonize, we did a few recordings and things didn’t work out.
Tina with friends Pam Picart, Clarissa Bock, Steff Martonhelyi

Tina with friends Pam Picart, Clarissa Bock, Steff Martonhelyi

Tina with friends Pam Picart, Clarissa Bock, Steff Martonhelyi

Beautiful firends Pam Picart, Clarissa Bock, Steff Martonhelyi

Beautiful firends Pam Picart, Clarissa Bock, Steff Martonhelyi

At 22, I wanted to be like the singers at Wonderland, I was envious of their makeup, amazing voices and harmonies as well as costumes. I was especially jealous watching them sing while I was waiting tables serving nuggets and chips by the lakeside.
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Talented Ballroom dancers Brian Lorenz and Wendy He

Talented Ballroom dancers Brian Lorenz and Wendy He

At 24, I wanted to be like the girl on High 5 – Kathleen De Leon- who was ironically my vocal teacher for a short period of time. She had wrote me a Christmas card saying “Remember me when you are famous!” haa haa… Hope she remembers me now that she is famous.
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At 25, I wanted to be like Lillian Delos Reyes (the lady I admired when I was 12) capturing the audience’s attention with her stage presence. I was frustrated because I had compared myself to her; I wanted to be confident enough to talk to the audience exactly like her.

At 27, I wanted to write songs. I wrote my first song when Rob and I got married.
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At 28, I wanted to be like Celine Dion. Big voice beautiful stage presence, beautiful soul. I started do gigs with some of the beautiful wonderland girls whom I used to envy. I was a lead Vocalist for an all girl band-did the hard gigs, lugged heavy speakers, dealt with drunk punters.
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At 29, I wanted to be part of a group that was established so I could learn how to harmonize so I auditioned for a group called Mid Nyt Sun. At last, I really felt part of a team we sung at pubs, clubs, weddings, corporate gigs. We won awards such as Australian Club Entertainment award. I also worked with Van who I hadn’t seen since high school days!

Van Sereno

Van Sereno

Van Sereno

Van Sereno

Van Sereno

Van Sereno

At 31, I wanted to plan for a baby and learn how to incorporate music into my life with a bub so I opened up my Kindermusik school and kept building on my One Voice School. I was offered the job of being the resident Wednesday night singer for Captain Cook cruises.

One Voice School of Singing

One Voice School of Singing

At 32, I had Christian and still kept singing while pregnant. I had to learn how to surrender…a lot.

Tina Bangel singing with One Voice Students (current and pass)

Tina Bangel singing with One Voice Students (current and pass)

At 35, I wanted to step up a level as a mentor and professional singer.

Lionel Cole

Lionel Cole

Lionel Cole

Lionel Cole

36, 37, 38, 39 I just plodded along……kept doing the work…

Lionel Cole and Tina Bangel Singing Evergreen

Lionel Cole and Tina Bangel Singing Evergreen

Lionel Cole, Tina Bangel,   Brian Lorenz and Wendy He dancing to Dorothy Ruby Shoes

Lionel Cole, Tina Bangel,
Brian Lorenz and Wendy He dancing to Dorothy Ruby Shoes

Lionel Cole, Brian Lorenz, Wendy He performing to Dorothy Ruby Shoes

Lionel Cole, Brian Lorenz, Wendy He performing to Dorothy Ruby Shoes

Tina Bangel and Lionel Cole

At 40, I wanted to be MEjust me

It was too hard trying being someone else, sounding like someone else and looking like someone else.

Tina Bangel

Tina Bangel

Tina Bangel

Tina Bangel

So I released my very first EP

Tina Bangel Be heard EP

Tina Bangel Be heard EP

I did it my way and surrounded myself with people who matter, who didn’t bring me down, who lifted me higher, who didn’t tell me that I was too old!!!

I embraced my big forehead, my beauty spots, and my wrinkles.

I sung the songs my way- not they way that was expected or copied and that was hard to let go of.

Lionel Cole and Tina Bangel

Lionel Cole and Tina Bangel

Tina Bangel and Lionel Cole

Tina Bangel and Lionel Cole

I have Lionel Cole and Van Sereno to thank for that. Lionel’s wise words…”Just Sing” …haa haa so obvious but true!
Tina Bangel and Lionel Cole

So I still want to be the best singer, mentor, friend, wife and mum that I can be. Just being me!

So to avoid frustration and jealousy, swim in your own lane.

I know these feelings are natural and can be a little healthy but not to the point where you end up feeling stuck and put yourself down.

  • Don’t compare yourself with someone who is younger than you.
  • Don’t compare yourself to someone who is older than you or someone who has more experience.
  • Not everyone is going to like you. So don’t try to win them over focus on the people who do genuinely care.
  • Stay in your own lane, keep your head down and work towards your personal best.
  • Don’t try to be like someone else, embrace your down falls, embrace your successes.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something! Find a way to achieve it and WORK YOUR BUTT OFF!!

Celebrate YOU! Because YOU are Special!

What I want you to do now is to write a list of things that you love about you.  What makes you unique? What do people compliment you on? What are you really good at? Are you great at talking to people, do you get along well with friends, do you easily pick up tunes, are you creative.  I’m sure if you think really hard you can find one thing that you are happy about.

Now tell me have you ever felt jealous of others and how did you overcome it? Comment below – your answers may help someone else.

Are you feeling frustrated now? Tell us in the comments below what you are going to do right now to stay in your own lane?

If you enjoyed this post please like, comment and share.

A special thank you to Craig Peihopa for these amazing shots and for the artwork and design for my EP.
You can contact Craig at Timeline Photography at the following links:
http://www.timelinephoto1.com phone: 0418 29 7715

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Thank you to all the friends and family who supported the Double Album Launch of myself and Van Sereno. Thank you to My amazing One Voice students and their families for being part of it.

Thank you to our band Casper Tromp, George Nikolopoulos, Dauno Martinez and Buddy!

Thank you to Marija for my makeup and hair.  Also to Alphie Sadsad who did my hair and make up for my EP cover.

Thank you to our Sponsors Born2perform, Seacret, Arnel Bautista, Dawning Soul, Timeline Photopgraphy, One Voice, Kindermusik, Planet Tel, Megaworld, Western Union, Life Skills Centre for Kids.

 

13 Australian-Filipino singers who paved the way on Aussie TV

Let’s face it! There are so many talented Filipinos in the world.…

Here are 13 Aussie – Filipinos who have paved the way on Australian TV singing competitions (New faces, Star search, X factor, The Voice, The Voice kids)  over the decades.

Lillian Delos Reyes – 1982 1st place winner of Channel 10’s “You’re a Star”

Rod Dingle, Roanne Monte, Phinemm Nelson – New faces contestants

 Kathleen De Leon – 3rd place in New faces and original member of Hi 5

Now comes all the footages thanks to social media……

Chelsea Castillo – 2009 top 5 in Australia’s got Talent

Abigail Adriano – 2014 The Voice kids

 Jerson Trinidad – New faces and 1st place for Star Search and recently the battles on the Voice 2013

 Anthony Dellamarta (who is my cousin, by the way) – 2013 The Voice battles

Fely Irvine -2014 The Voice – she was also on Hi-5.

Jhoanna Aguila – 2014 The Voice

In this is the clip Will.I.am says “You were sent here and I’m supposed to work with you for the Filipino people…….”  Will.i.am…..planted a seed!!!

Trill – 2014 X factor

Now 15 year old Marlissa Punzalan 2014 winner of X factor!

Congratulations Marlisa! We are so proud of you!

Marlisa's new Single

Marlisa’s new Single

X-factor strategically ran with the Filipino theme this year – showcasing a huge amount of talented Filipinos from the very beginning and eventually casting the talented young singer Marlisa!

Wow…what a journey they put us on! They knew all along how Filos get behind each other….just like what Will.i.am said would happen!

No matter what show or how far you made it ……You all make the Aussie-Filipino community proud! 

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Singing Higher and Higher

 

I was lucky enough to work with Bernadette, Mikee, Chelsea and Marlisa organise a tune for the Sharon Cuneta Concert in 2012

I was lucky enough to help Bernadette, Mikee,Chelsea and Marlisa with a tune for the Sharon Cuneta Concert in 2012 Photo Credit: Timeline Photography

It’s amazing how far these reality show have come. What would we do without our social media and mobile phones!

WHO WILL BE NEXT???

Have I missed any names? Let me know….