Historical Perspectives: Witherspoon’s Thirtieth Lesson

Lesson 30

In this lesson please practise exercise No. 34 with great care. This will develop breath endurance and control, real conservation or economy of breath without reduction of tone in volume or resonance. It was a favorite with G. B. Lamperti, a great teacher.

Also include in your daily practise exercise No. 26, the long arpeggio. 

Do not push towards the higher tones. Sometimes it is rather helpful to feel that one is “drinking back” the breath instead of pushing the breath outward.

You may use the various vowels in singing the long arpeggio, but generally it will be found that AH and E are best for female voices, and AH and OH for male voices.

Now practise exercise No. 10 again and see that the upper tone comes freely and easily with clear round tone. It is a very valuable exercise for perfecting the scale and for elevating the position of the lower voice. Return to the lower tone, keeping as much as possible of the resonance of the upper tone.

You may also practise exercise No. 44, being sure of a good clean attack on the upper note and keeping throat and larynx quiet. This is excellent for making the voice more even and for acquiring clean and easy attack of upper notes.

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Soprano, As When the Dove Laments Her Love…Handel

Alto, Verdi Prati (in English)…Handel

Tenor, Meet Me by Moonlight Alone…Wade

Bass, Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes…Old English


Witherspoon, Herbert. Thirty-Six Lessons in Singing for Teacher and Student. Meissner Institute of Music. Chicago. 1930.