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Be CONFIDENT

No matter what your dream is, don’t ignore it. If there is something in you telling you that this is what you want to do, you owe it to yourself to, at the very least, acknowledge it and think about how it might come to reality.
Sit down, write out your goal, and start outlining a rough road map of how you might get there. Do you need a business plan or investors? Will you need more classes, or will your experience provide enough of a foundation? Just having it on paper might help you begin framing the reality. Better yet, identify some people you know who have made it work for them, and seek their guidance and mentorship. The more you think and talk about your goal, the more you can begin to see how it could really work in reality.
Hope this stirs up the hunger to discover your passion and the courage to go for what makes your heart beat.
#wednesdaymotivation

How To Improve Vocal Stamina

How To Improve Vocal Stamina

When it comes to improving your vocal stamina, viewing your voice like any other muscle in your body is a great way to approach vocal training. For example, take working out at the gym. It pays to have a tailored ‘workout’ programme designed by a trainer to suit your needs. Having an effective practice plan that focuses on everything you want to strengthen will help your voice immensely.

You can tackle your vocal workout 3-5 x per week depending on what you are working towards.

I believe singers are athletes! In the same way you would build muscular stamina, you can improve vocal stamina using similar principles.

Five Ways To Improve Your Vocal Stamina

  1. Regular Focused Practice

Aim for 15-60 mins per practice session, 4-6 x per week. However, just like the gym, if you are starting out it, build your workouts and stamina slowly so as to not put too much strain on your vocal muscles. Starting out 3 x per week for 30 minutes is great. Build it as you improve or if you are working towards a show or specific gig. Incorporate learning and polishing new songs into your vocal practice.

  1. Vocal Rest

Make sure you schedule rest days in between intensive practices.

It could be a full day of vocal rest, like NO SPEAKING and this is hard to do but is a good reminder of what life will be like if you push yourself too hard vocally and end up on vocal rest for a long period of time. You can also do a modified vocal rest period of 15-20 minutes after any high voice use including talking for long periods.

  1. Singers Technique Toolkit

Singing with excellent technique in itself is the key to improving your vocal stamina. If you are singing efficiently, you should be able to sing 4-6 days per week without too much stress on your voice but you should be incorporating rest days as well. One thing singers tend to do that leads to fatigue is working the vocal folds too hard and using very high effort levels without adjusting based on the task at hand.

Some key tips for singing to instantly help with this:

Monitor your effort levels. Try to perform the same phrase with less effort. Assign an effort number on a scale of 1-10 and adjust based on how you are feeling on the day plus to develop your control at varying effort numbers. The high notes require less air pressure, the low notes require more air pressure. Pushing or reaching for high notes will exhaust your vocal folds.

Learning how to use your breath effectively, your filter/resonance as well as voice qualities to make singing easier are must-do’s for improving technique, stamina plus overall enjoyment in singing.

  1. Consistency

Consistency will really help shift the dial for your voice. Getting the practice in and sticking at it will improve your vocal stamina. The best way to get better at singing is more singing! Use your practice plan to focus your attention when you are increasing the frequency of your singing.

  1. Review

Once you have a solid practice plan and have maintained consistency with your practice routine, begin to make time to review your practices and performances to reflect on how you can improve all elements of your singing. Challenge yourself with new vocal exercises and songs outside of your chosen genre. Recording yourself singing and constructively ‘critiquing’ your performance or letting someone you trust critique you, is a great way to improve your singing. You could approach it like a “before and after” singing video.

Tackle a song you find tricky as part of start your regular practice schedule, go at it for a month, then record yourself singing the same song again to see the improvements!

What else can you do to improve vocal stamina?

Remember to also prioritize vocal health as a foundational element of improving your vocal stamina. A healthy voice is a happy voice that can have all vocal techniques overlaid onto it.

As always, we would love to hear from you if you have any comments or thoughts to add on improving vocal stamina.

Building Your Vocal Strength

WORKING ON YOUR VOCAL STRENGTH

One can hardly ignore the loud voice of a newborn baby: with no warm-ups, training or instruction, he uses his vocal folds correctly, controlling them so perfectly, as to produce ear-piercing sounds with significant vocal strength.

This shows that speaking and even (non-professional) singing are innate skills, which require no training. Professional help is only needed in case your vocal effect is unsatisfactory.

In other words, natural, free, and fluent singing or speech comes easy. But in order to achieve vocal strength you must, sometimes, contract your oral cavity and neck muscles-without a further straining of your cords, but while relaxing them.

Confusing as it may sound, it’s very easy to practice these techniques for improving vocal strength.

Supposing you had a strong voice, as a baby, you have the same vocal capacity today-unless your lifestyle is unhealthy. 

So, if you’re not heard loud and clear, or you have difficulties to generate a strong sound effortlessly or without damaging your voice, you should try the following exercises:

Warning: in case of ailments on your vocal cords, of vocal fatigue, avoid these exercises. Instead, perform short relaxation exercises such as the drinking straw exercise

  1. Diaphragm and abdominal muscles strengthening exercises:

    1. Breathe in through your nose, and then breathe out through your mouth while making an “s” sound as long as possible.

    2. After a few minutes’ exercise, start making a short “s” sound while intensively drawing your belly in.         

The purpose of his exercise is tightening your belly and diaphragm, strengthening the breath support and make the diaphragm and abdominal muscles contract with a better coordination. This allows you to support and strengthen your voice. We recommend performing this exercise a few seconds before any vocal effort.

  1. Make your voice a little nasal, imagining it as a howl. This should make it sharper and less airy. The reason that sometimes speakers with strong voices can shout without getting hoarse, is they usually increase their vocal strength by making their voice nasal.

  2. External oral and neck muscles strengthening exercises:

  • Except in the cases presented below, it doesn’t take opening your mouth wide to enhance your vocal strength. Instead, you should kind of “chew” and “bite” the words-that is, moving your lips intensely, thus pronouncing the vowels accurately and stressing them. Just let the sounds roll in the front of your mouth and “chew” them forcefully.

  • Another useful trick is “braking”, or resisting the words’ pronunciation. While in case of vocal overstraining, you should release your jaw and relax your tongue and lips, if your voice is intact and you want to enhance its strength, you should press and stress the words.

Practically speaking, just imagine your upper and lower teeth forcefully attached together while speaking or singing. This should increase your vocal volume and enhance local muscles effect. To increase the effect, you may show your teeth occasionally.

Another and commonly practices vocal strength exercise is trying to speak while holding a cork with your teeth. This exercise stresses actions such as, biting, small mouth opening, and teeth exposing. It also uses additional force of external neck muscles during consonant pronunciation and increases air resistance, thus pushing the vocal folds more tightly against each other, eventually producing a stronger voice.

  1. Exercises for singers:   

When shouting or singing high tones, as well as low tones, (tones above or below first octave), we recommend you should relax your lower jaw. Here, the extent of mouth opening is most important: in high and low tones, a wide mouth opening strains the muscles which allow the tightening of you vocal cords. This makes it easier for you to reach high and low tones. When singing the middle octave, you should not open your mouth widely. By contrast, when singing very high tones, you should release your upper jaw further, smile wide, and sense your voice vibrating with head resonance. This exercise should strengthen your voice box muscles and boost your confidence.

We strongly hope this article has been helpful. Do share!

WHERE ARE THEY, WHY THE SWITCH, WHAT CAN WE DO?

It has been quite a thing that has been happening in our midst especially in the church and it seems to not gain our attention.
What could it be?

WHERE ARE THEY, WHY THE SWITCH, WHAT CAN WE DO?
In a bid to answer this question, an interview was organized with one Mr S. (A talented growing Gospel Music Minister and an Instrumentalist) to get his opinion on the very issue that has been eating the church for many years now…

Mr S. says, “You see, to be candid with you and not to mince words, the very reason as to why ‘some of the talented voices’ who had their beginnings and training from the church cross the line along their career to join the worldly secular music is due to lack of “support, absence of platforms to promote their gifts and timely encouragement.”

He further continued by saying;

“Most of the popular Artists you hear today, with the likes of D’banj, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Terry G, etc… all began their music career from the church but due to one reason or the other, they seem to deviate and its effects can not only be heard in their songs but also seen in their lifestyle.

The major cause of this is “Lack of Management”. Mr S.

How then can this be solved?

“Let the church administration cater for their youths. Platforms should be created to promote the gifts of those who have discovered theirs, and constant programs/schemes and empowerment be set in place to help the others discover their God-given gifts and there should be proper monitoring of their progress along the line.

The Church is the one that nurtures them up, don’t push them out when they want more. Of course, it is normal for anyone with an ability, to want to use it in a way that he/she will become relevant. They would want fame, money and the likes. Instead of pushing them out by labeling them as “a backslider”, set up committees that will organize programs where these youths will be active. Moreover, constantly check up on them, promote their works, support them and they will not be tempted by whatsoever the secular record labels will offer them.”

Finally, It’s not a bad thing for the church to have different record labels. It is however good to see the industry grow into what it is now and we know it is still not yet there. The likes of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, Pastor Enoch Adeboye among others have been looking at ways to get it’s artiste to stay in Church and be useful for God as the creation of the church’s record labels has really opened the eyes of youths to the opportunities that lies in the church.

Here is a list of Christian Record Labels who are in the work of not only sourcing out Talents in the church but also promoting them:

  1. Spaghetti Records

  2. Azusa World Records

  3. ROX Nation

  4. Eezee Concepts

  5. LoveWorld Music And Arts

  6. One Hallelujah

  7. Rockanation

NEW RELEASE BY ADEWUNMI TOLULOPE

ANCIENT OF DAYS

God is referenced as the “Ancient of Days” three times in the book of Daniel.
Ancient of days expresses how God has revealed Himself to Mankind since creation. It unveil the various ways men describe God when they encounter Him.

Ancient of days is a song of praise to the one “True God”  who has been the rock and my support all through life’s challenges. I have been through ups and downs of life, but I have always come out stronger. I can’t but give all the praise to the ARUGBO OJO who saw me through it all…..

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DBES HUB RADIO (ONLINE)

 
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HELPFUL ADVICE FOR THE CHRISTIAN ARTISTS

Independent artists are often on a difficult journey, and it is especially difficult for Christian artists who swim against the cultural and secular current. It is therefore expedient to offer words of advice and encouragement to the teeming young and talented gospel artists.

  1. Recognize your Creator

Before you begin creating, you should know your Creator. In that, I mean that you must be in a relationship with Him. You must be communing with Him. You must have His mindset. When we create, we are modeling what He does, and we are creating in His image. So be sure to have a solid foundation before you begin.

  1. Study your Bible

The Bible is essential for the Christian life. It is especially critical for the life of the Christian artist. In God’s Word, you will find a never-ending well of encouragement, inspiration, and motivation as you create. Spend time in Psalms and Proverbs. Examine Biblical poetry, parables, and prose. Learn from the Author of art.

  1. Spend time in fellowship with other Christian artists

Join others who share the same faith in God and passion for art. Learn from one another, spur one another on, challenge one another, and grow together. Find an older Christian artist mentor. Join or make a creative group at your church. Use the Internet to connect with Christian artists. And especially, support one another by seeing and sharing your work.

  1. Find rhythms for creation and rest

A good theology of art highlights the need for rest. God gave us a pattern to follow in working and resting. Give yourself at least one day a week to step away from your work. Take the time to try something new, enjoy other endeavors, and recharge by resting. Pause. Gain perspective. Learn to step away from your work, reevaluate, and recommit. And don’t just settle for physical and creative rest. Make sure you get your spiritual rest by singing, praying, and meditating on Scripture.

  1. Learn how to discern good art from bad art

Art is not amoral. Be able to say when art is sinful. When we see art with Christian eyes, we must have the mind of Christ. Our heart can easily deceive us into liking art that is not Christ-honoring. Pornography is not art. Self-mutilation is not art. Take a stand for holiness and strive to be wise when examining what people make.

  1. Speak purposefully about art

Have the vocabulary to communicate what you see, think, and feel. God does not talk about his work in abstract, theoretical concepts and terms. He gives definitions to his deeds and calls out what he creates. And he lets us know how we are to see things from his view. Think in theological terms and point out when art is showcasing Biblical themes such as justice, exile, sacrifice, and redemption.

  1. Create for the kingdom

Go out of your way to create for the church. Design, style, curate, and create with strategic purposes for Christ. There is more at stake than self-expression. Join or start ministries at your church that can use your creative gifts. Connect with mission-minded people who need a designer. Be an artist who heralds the kingdom of heaven.

  1. Share your art in as many ways possible

Be smart and shrewd about how you share, but do not be shy when you are sharing art that echoes your beliefs. There is a time and place to be bold about what we believe. Share your work on Facebook. Use hash tags on your Instagram posts. If you are able, be an echo of grace and give away your work for free. Spread your work and grow your audience to ultimately give glory to God.

  1. Use art to build connections for evangelism

Your unique voice as a Christian is needed in the artistic community. Some artists will never step foot in a church. You can bring light to places of darkness. Exploit the places and positions God has given you. Join the school bands and even bands outside your denominations. Audition for the dance team. Submit your work to be showcased. See the mission field before you and give others the gift of hope.

  1. Enjoy art for God’s sake

Understand that your art is not your own. God gave you the ability to create. Have fun with the process, and do not get stuck in the details. You are not defined by your art. What you make and your level of success are like rubbish when compared to the sacrifice and joy of Christ. So whether you eat or drink or paint or perform, do it all to the glory of God.

What a Vision Can Do for You

What a Vision Can Do for You

Describing what you currently do seems inherently advantageous. People want to know what you do. But why should you have a vision? Every individual or organization should have a vision for two reasons:

  1. First, a vision inspires you and gives you energy. It guides and eventually gives all of your efforts a purpose. Coming to terms with your “why” connects you with your core values and roots you. Your vision unlocks your deepest motivations. Making the connection between your deepest heartfelt values and your everyday work will make you unstoppable.
  2. Second, it provides guidance in a world of choices. It enables you to focus on what to do (and not do) for those achievements five, ten years or further in the future. When you are clear about your vision and goals, it is easier to say yes wholeheartedly or say no with an acceptable reason and no fear of rejection.

How to Find and Develop Your Very Own Vision

When searching for your vision, it is best to do so offsite somewhere you are inspired and not distracted. Rather than your office, think of someplace more inspiring like a small secluded spot. A central question when building your vision will be, “What is my Why?” When you are thinking of this, what are the dreams that you have just started to work towards or that you should finally start? Simon Sinek addressed in his book ‘Start with Why’ that every individual or company needs to know their why to get the remainder (the what and how) right and sorted out. That means if you know the Why, you will easily figure out the What and the How later. Zoom out and concentrate on the biggest, long-term version of your picture.

Living as a Blessing to others – Eureka Bliss

Living as a Blessing to others

True Christians are blessing to others – in family, community, and church, to others! But are you someone’s blessings? Here are some wonderful ways that you will become a blessing to others:

  1. Set as living example of obedience to God’s will

Obedience to God’s laws directed in the Bible promotes blessings (Deu. 28). Abraham’s descendants are blessed for his enthusiastic obedience to God’s voice and commandments (read Gen. 12:1-3).

GENESIS 12:1-3 (ESV)

1Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

God blessed Abraham so that he in return can become a blessing to all people on the earth. By becoming a living example of obedience to God’s will His divine laws, statutes, should be manifested in our ways of thinking, speaking, and acting. As true Christ disciples, we should not react like unbeliever Gentiles or pagan skeptics. We are commanded even to love our enemy and not revile them (read 1 Peter 3:9)

1 PETER 3:9 (GNT)

9Do not pay back evil with evil or cursing with cursing; instead, pay back with a blessing, because a blessing is what God promised to give you when he called you.

See also 1 Thessalonians 5:15 where Apostle Paul writes not to pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Jesus Christ taught us to even love our enemy – a matter to live on as true Christ disciples.

  1. Pray for others

Prayer is our spiritual lifeblood; hence we must pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:17; Rom. 12:12; Luke 18:1). God inspired Apostle Paul who encouraged everyone to pray for all people (read 1 Timothy 2:1-4).

1 TIMOTHY 2:1-4 (ESV)

1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Truly, when we pray to others and God hears our prayers, we become someone’s blessing. The prayer of righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:15-16). God the Father and Jesus Christ will always answer our prayers if we have faith (Mat. 21:22). We have confidence that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us (1 John 5:14-15)

  1. Encourage and sympathize with others

Apostle Paul told Christians to bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2.). We must encourage everyone (1 Thess. 5:11). Strong believers must encourage the weak, and please them in all possible ways (read Rom.15:1-5)

ROMANS 15:1-5 (ESV)

1We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 4For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.

  1. Give/share the needy

Doing good and sharing with others are sacrifices pleasing to God (Heb. 13:16). Hence we should contribute to the needy and seek to show hospitality (Rom. 12:13). God loves and blesses a cheerful giver (read 2 Corinthians 9:6-8).

 

2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-8 (ESV)

6The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Let’s read also Proverbs 11:24-25 where the wise manifest that a generous person will be made rich since whoever gives to others will get richer. If you are a person who gives freely, you become more blessed.

PROVERBS 11:24-25 (ESV)

24“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. 25Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

  1. Volunteer for good works

God equipped everyone with various talents and skills to maintain quality lives on earth. God placed human being on earth to beautify the earth as its one responsibility. The world desperately need quality, humble and sustainable volunteers who have same interest concerned with each other. (read Phil. 2:1-4)

PHILIPPIANS 2:1-4 (GW)

1So then, as Christians, do you have any encouragement? Do you have any comfort from love? Do you have any spiritual relationships? Do you have any sympathy and compassion? 2Then fill me with joy by having the same attitude and the same love. Living in harmony and keeping one purpose in mind. 3Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead humbly think of others as being better than yourselves. 4Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.

FRIENDS, there are many amazing ways you can do for other people that they become blessed because of you. Becoming a BLESSING to others is our Christian responsibility.

Here are some wonderful ways you Become Someone’s Blessing!

You can be Someone’s Blessing by:

  • Set as living example of obedience to God’s will
  • Pray for others
  • Encourage and sympathize with others
  • Give/share the needy and
  • Volunteer for good works

Brethren, you can become someone’s blessing! Become someone’s blessings that they will become blessed! Become someone’s blessing that they will know that there is a gracious GOD who bountifully gives blessings to all.

Become a Blessing to others for the glory of God!

MORE THAN ENOUGH

If I were to tear you away from your skills, your job, your fame, your relationships, your very sense of identity. . .
What would be left of you?

You see, through all and in all, Jesus is more than enough for us.
With Him, everything else serves a purpose; they have meaning. Without Him, we’re a misery waiting to happen.

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