Singing the national anthem at the recently held Takbo.ph Runfest Fun Run last Sunday was no easy task, especially, if one has to sing it a cappella. I tell you why. (Photo courtesy of Takbo.ph)
I only learned about it just two days before the event.
The first thing that I did was get in touch with previous musical maestros for tips.
You see, aside from the usual things that a performer had to contend with, like nervousness, butterflies in the stomach, thoughts on forgetting the lyrics, missing a note, not hitting the right pitch, and the list goes on and on, one had to consider also the proper way of singing the anthem as prescribed by the National Historical Institute.
However, with practice, these dilemmas are either minimized or totally eliminated.
Anyway, two out of three of the maestros were not available. I took the last resort, Youtube.
On Saturday, even while doing the usual house chores, I sang the anthem from time to time. I eventually stopped when I heard my voice started to sound croaky.
The dreaded day finally came. While I was on my way to the venue, I hummed and did the “kika, kika” “azo” “mona” vocalization. I did this while inside the taxi. It was a good thing that the driver allowed me to and even shared his advice on how to sing properly. O, yeah!
With few minutes to go before the moment, I saw Craig of Team Logan walking back and forth near the stage. I asked him what was bothering him. He told me that he gets nervous every time he speaks before a crowd.
Oh, la la! I felt relieved to discover that I was not alone in this.
So when Craig learned that I was nervous, too, he suddenly put his arm on my shoulder and prayed for me. I didn’t know how to explain it but somehow it helped appease my nervousness and somehow I felt alright afterwards.
As far as singing is concerned, how one can be so lucky?
Well, I consider myself as such.
Two years ago, I had a short stint performing with a choral group and working with one of the country’s best musical directors and composers. From him, I learned new stuff such as how to properly project when performing, the dynamics of voice and choral singing, and the HOW TOs of reading musical notes.
The climax of this experience was when our group performed with other well known choirs in the metro during the Madz* World Music Festival held at Philamlife Theater and when we did a concert.
In running, warm up exercises and stretching are equally important prior to a race.
Same goes with singing. Vocalization is like doing warm up exercises. Without this, the voice will just not come out. Singing early in the morning and hitting a high note would be difficult.
In running, one needs to train to be more strong. In singing, one needs to train by practicing regularly.
In my experience, while I was still a member of the choir, I had to practice five times a week. And prior to a big concert, I had to learn more than sixteen songs and memorize choreography at the same time.
This simply means that even if running and singing are two different disciplines, there is at least some commonalities. One of which is that regular practice or training helps.
There are times when one doesn’t have any good training at all prior to a race. But somehow ends running it the best way he can. Same goes with singing. Sometimes one is asked to sing and belt it out the best way he can.
So, is singing like running after all?
*Madz a nickname given to Philippine Madrigal Singers