今天有機會來跟 Tina 吳瑋庭 ( 〈與祢同行〉、〈自由地歌唱〉、〈主祢的疼〉 等歌曲原唱 ) 聊聊，用聲音服事神和帶領會眾敬拜神的經驗與學習，Tina也給了一些實用的聲音練習方法，讓想在唱歌更進步的弟兄姊妹們，在家就可以簡單練習！
用聲音去敬拜神 vs. 演唱，兩者有什麼區別？
Tina：對我來說，唱歌的人需要作「暖聲」(vocal warm-ups) 跟「發聲訓練」(vocal exercises) 兩種不同的練習。「暖聲」會幫助一個人的聲音醒過來，適合在睡醒之後、一天開始講話之前作。進行「暖聲」時，我會閉上嘴巴輕輕地哼出聲，或是用嘴唇發出「嘟」的聲音(lip trills)，像吹泡泡一樣，感覺嘴唇上下震動，不需要特定旋律，只要記得「哼」或「嘟」的時候音域要涵蓋低、中與高的音。
唱歌時要練習用面部的聲音(mask voice)，那要怎麼作呢？可以選擇一個子音，加上不同的母音來練習，例如：[mi me ma mo mu]，唱的同時，把手放靠近鼻子兩側，會感覺到裡面在微微震動，那就是用面部的聲音在唱了。作這個暖聲時儘量將共鳴位置集中在面罩部位，感覺你的聲音從臉的一處發出來，這樣就可以找到聲音的「甜蜜點」，意思就是當你在唱時，不需要從喉嚨出力，就可以唱得清晰、集中。
Today we have the honor to chat with Tina Wu (SOP’s lead singer) about serving God with our voice and leading people in worship. She also provides some helpful and practical tips and ways we can use to train our voice. Let’s get started!
What’s the difference between performance and worship leading?
Tina: For me, I consider myself a professional singer. When I think about performance, I’m singing to impress people, to show off my vocal skills or even using my own ears to judge voice. But I have a lot more freedom when I am worshiping because I’m either singing to god directly or singing about god to people, and that automatically takes away a lot of fear that comes with performance. Because I know that God loves to hear me worship, I have more freedom and less fear attached.
What are the things vocalists should be aware of?
Tina：You have to make sure that how you are singing, and even how you are holding yourself is not actually drawing attention to yourself but redirecting people’s focus and attention upwards towards God.
As far as singing, a lot of showing off of vocal techniques can be distracting. I’m not against doing it and obviously I enjoy doing it as well, but if you have a purpose, if it’s building up the worship lifting up praise, then there’s a difference. For stage presence, as long as your body movements are more inviting and not intimidating, like doing hand movements that invite people to sing with you, you will lead people to worship God as opposed to doing movements that aren’t necessary there for people to follow you but for to just watch you do it.
Do you ever get nervous when you’re on stage to lead worship? How do you overcome it?
Yea, of course! This goes back to the first question. As soon as I remind myself that I’m not singing for my own sake or to impress other people, but just I’m singing to god and about God. Because of love for the people, too, and if you put your love for the congregation above your own physical fear, then that helps. And from a technical standpoint, I just remember to really breathe deep. Take good deep breaths. Because the first thing that happens when you are afraid is that your lungs actually take more shallow breaths. And when you don’t have enough breath, you support your sound. It’s more likely 1) you’ll run our of air before you finish a phrase 2) your sound will come out shaky. So it’s good to supply lots of deep breath to support your singing.
What are the everyday warm ups and exercises you do?
For me, warming up is different from exercising. For warm-ups, you can practice gently humming or doing lip trills, just to get your voice started. Or you can try singing gently using different resonances and find the sweet spot in your voice.
Sweet spot means you don’t have to push, but if you point your sound and focus it in that direction it comes out clear, the sound itself will carry without you pushing it out Example: when you go hmm……even just practicing Mask voice with different vowels [mee meh mah mo moo] You can Practice feeling that pointing your sound on a specific part of your face and then shaping that vowel so that it has that same focus throughout, I won’t have to push with my throat for the sound to carry through the air and project. Any kind of loudness/fullness doesn’t come from anything in your throat.
How I do Humming: as long as you can go through a range of all low mid and high notes and it doesn’t have to be in perfect scale, depends on how much time I have. You can just choose one vowel to really focus on. For warm-up, you can also taking 2 minutes to really focus your mind on how your air travels down. How your diaphragm pulls the air down into the lungs and how it supports as it comes back up.
When I sing, I think about focusing my voice and placing it somewhere in the head, and then also thinking about the air and breath support, completely bypassing anything to do with the voice. So a lot of time when I warm up is like reminding myself of how the voice works. I also remind myself that, like placing my instrument in the right place, I have to sing with a right posture even before I start, ’cause I lot of people just dive in and sing. But if you put more thought into it beforehand, it will help you to sing more healthily.
For vocal exercises, same warm-ups but you can put a pattern to it, like a scale. Or it can be a different pattern, (243546421 or 1351531) and go through different vowels. Everyone has good and bad vowels. “Mee” is easier for me, but “mah” sounds more spread, so I need to focus on mah, adjusting the “ah” so it sounds just as focused as “ee”. Practice will help your muscles memorize it.
What’s unique about worshiping with our voice as opposed to worshiping with another instrument？
Voice is actually the most unique instrument, because god created it inside you, and it’s the instrument we always have, more convenient than a guitar. You can sing melody, rhythm, and combine with other singers to make beautiful harmony. It can also add lyrics, life and meaning. It has that creative aspect.
As for the value of your voice, you need to know that once you lose your voice it’s gone, you can’t buy another. You already have your instrument. You have to do your best to maintain it. About hating your voice, from standards of the world, of course you’ll compare your voice with others’. You have to remember that you are perfectly and wonderfully made. God loves the sound of your voice the most the way it is, because he created it. Even when the person next to you doesn’t think you sound good, it’s irrelevant. You can always use the instrument you have to better your skills, to become a more flexible singer. But in order to become a more flexible and have more freedom to sing, it does take practice. If you have that mentality of
Either I have it or don’t,” you will not improve. Don’t overlook the unique instrument – your voice – that you have already, God created it for worship!