If you’ve already purchased any of our Vocalizing products, you may have noticed that lots of people are involved in putting them together. For Vocalizing 1 (I’m Not Crazy, I’m Vocalizing), Daryl Spadaccini and I sat with a tape recorder (we’re talking 1991 here folks BCD, i.e. before CD’s) and taped potential exercises and singing ideas. Since both of us had already been in the music education game for some time, the ideas came rather easily.
The next phase was getting them orchestrated and as luck would have it, Nick Moore had already begun using synths to compose big band sounds, orchestra’s, jazz combo’s you name it and I was lucky enough to know him. He and Daryl put together the backtracks and then I chose my favorites singers(one was my voice teacher, tenor, Charles Walton and another was my student, Peter Acosta) and we went into the studio, a basement of a house by the way, and recorded the whole lot in one long fun and gruelling day.
So far it’s been fun and then comes the hard part….duplication and packaging. We had no experience in this art form so we were flying by the seat of my pants and our learning curve went straight UP. The other day I heard an interview of Billy Joel. The interviewer asked him what the most difficult part of making a recording and he said the duplication and packaging process. I thought, wow, with all his resources he has the same problems as our small enterprise.
The next part had me completely stymied. How does one introduce and sell this new idea to the public? Remember, I talking 1991 and as far as we could discern, there was nothing else out on the market quite like this. Again, good fortune smiled upon us and another friend, Bob Nein, who just happened to be in marketing at the time, came to our rescue. He is responsible for the interview on NPR Morning Edition and about 24 other radio, TV and Newsprint interviews to follow. Nothing like having 15 minute of fame to drive the market. We weren’t quite ready for that much exposure at the time but it sure helped educate the public about what we were doing.
The response to I’m Not Crazy, I’m Vocalizing, was so positive that we knew we had to do more and so the next phase was to put together different styles of harmony so that people could easily learn to sing in harmony. Thus, Exercises In Harmony, was born. It is used most effectively by school room music teachers. The exercises are short and give beginners a chance to sing in many musical styles. I had to good fortune to visit many Middle and High Schools to work with their choirs. The African Round and Jazz Scat were always a big hit and would be requested the minute I walked in the door. Students also enjoy You And I, and the Earth Chant. Basically, the same team of people help put this one together, although we hired more singers to demo the harmony exercises.
The most recent release, I’m Vocalizing 2! was an especially happy event because the person who help compose, develop and orchestrate the singing exercises is Tim Strong, husband extraordinaire. Yes, I remarried in the meantime to a man who is a composer, pianist, theory and music composition teacher. Perhaps you can now realize why, I’m Vocalizing 2! is so special. It is more challenging to be sure but still really fun. I’ve found thatÂ my students love the new challenges and appreciate theÂ many opportunities the exercises provide to experiment with improvisation.
We’re not sure what comes next but ideas are percolating even as I type. Thanks for your interest. Karen