… And SPANFEST 2015 Was Here

Ladies and Gentlemen, what a festival it was!

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Starting with performing art workshops, followed by interactive classes and performances, and then presenting events using various tools of the performing arts which included Dance, Music, Spoken Word, Visual art, Theatre and Comedy, SPANFEST 2015 revealed an understanding and awareness of a community’s historical diversity and cultural context.

The Festival kicked off with TEN days of intensive performing art workshops between November 7th – 16th, 2015 with international professors that will unveil the new voices in our Nigerian artists using the mediums of dance, music and drama.

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It was followed by five performance nights which showcased the diversity and richness of our culture and heritage. The grande finale was a family community experience. It started with the SPAN academy graduation ceremony which had both SPAN Academy of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and SPAN Academy of Dance graduating students showcasing what they have learnt from SPAN with spectacular performances. It closed with “Voice Of The Voiceless”; a final performing art production gathering 200 dancers, musicians, and actors on one stage.

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Intensive workshops, Exciting performance shows… SPANFEST 2015 remains the biggest Music, Dance and Drama Festival to ever hit this side of the planet.

We will be giving you more details on each event and how it all went down! Stay tuned!

Learn and Play!

Did you know that learning to play a musical instrument has many benefits including the ability to bring down stress? You may think that you are past learning but it’s never too late to pick the guitar, piano, violin, drums, etc and learn how to play it! These are reasons why everyone should learn to play a musical instrument.

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  • Relieves Stress :  Studies show that playing an instrument helps in lowering the heart rate and blood pressure, which in turn lowers the stress hormones, thus making us feel relaxed.
  • Improves Memory:   Music and memory go hand in hand. Learning to play a musical instrument makes you both parts of your brain and this in turn boosts memory power.

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  • Teaches Discipline, Responsibility & Perseverance:  Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort which results in your learning patience and perseverance.  To get a musical phrase or an entire song down with as few mistakes as possible takes great focus and repetition. Since it is such a challenge, this teaches you self-discipline and the importance of maintaining a steady practice schedule.
  • Fosters Self Expression and Creativity: Stuck in everyday routine lives, many of us lose touch with our creative side. Learning to play a musical instrument, especially when you reach advanced levels can foster lost creativity. Since music education plays on your mental, emotional and cognitive abilities, the brain is stimulated to think out of the ordinary, which results in improved confidence level and creativity.

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  • Fun: Playing a musical instrument can bring back the fun factor into your life. Music has the special quality to bring joy, peace and fulfillment that helps lift the spirit and make life enjoyable  for everyone involved.

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Spreading the immense joy that music brings to all who wish to learn, was what motivate The Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN)  to set up a music academy –SPAN Academy of Jazz and Contemporary music with the aim of helping aspiring people learn music and to learn also how to play different musical instruments.

 

 

Improve Your Singing Voice

Not satisfied with how you sound when you sing?

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Singers are always trying to discover new ways to increase volume to their voice, eliminate that ANNOYING nasal sound , or be more on key.

Whether you are a professional singer for a band or someone who simply loves singing along to the radio while driving, there’s always a good reason to learn how to improve your singing voice.  Let’s face it, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.  You will sound better, which in turn will make the music sound more enjoyable.  Plus, everyone listening to you will have a better experience.

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Perfecting these tips won’t guarantee you a spot on project fame or even Nigerian Idol, but it will definitely guide you in the right direction of becoming a better singer.  It may take a while for your mind and body to get accustomed to the changes you’ll be making, but with a lot of practice and hard work, you should hear a dramatic change in your voice.

  1. Posture – Are you one of those people who naturally have bad posture? If your answer is yes, this tip is especially for you.

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Your breath travels from your lungs directly through your mouth.  Any blockage of that passage can greatly affect your singing.  Make sure you are standing with your legs at shoulder width apart, chest lifted up to give your lungs plenty of room, and shoulders stretched back and relaxed.  You should notice a big difference in the amount of air flow you can produce when you are singing with the correct posture.

  1. Breathe correctly – Our vocals are mainly dependent on how well we are breathing. breathe while singingAnd in order to breath correctly, we need to train our muscles.  As babies, we breathe properly by using only our stomachs to move while inhaling and exhaling.  When we get older, other factors start to interfere with our natural breathing patterns.  Just like playing a musical instrument, we have to practice singing and breathing often to get better.
  2. Drink lots of water girl-drinking-water– Everyone knows that drinking water is important for your health, but did you know it can affect your singing ability as well? Singing is correlated with your mucous membranes, and they function the best when your body is well hydrated.  Without enough water, your voice might sound nasal and it may be difficult to hit certain notes.  Drink at least eight glasses of water daily.
  3. Relax relaxA tense singer usually has weak tone and resonance in their voice. Your throat and muscles tighten up, which means less air is able to pass through to your mouth.  If you tend to get nervous singing in front of people, try your best not to think about everyone watching you.  Practice singing in front of a mirror or in front of your friends to help you overcome your nerves.
  4. Warm-up 670px-Warm-up-Your-VoiceSimilarly to stretching before playing a sport, you need to warm-up your voice before you start singing. The best way to warm up is to gradually increase the intensity of your volume and range.  Afterwards, sing one of your songs that you consider less challenging, giving yourself more preparation to stretch and get in your zone before you start singing more demanding material.
  5. Record yourselfrecord-yourselfIf you don’t like listening to yourself sing, start getting used to it. Every singer needs to listen and critique themselves, whether they want to or not.  Record your performances or just while practicing to determine where you need improvement.  It will also be a good way to track your progress and see how far you have come.
  6. Don’t strainstrain – Your body should never be in any pain while singing. If it does, then you’re either singing out of your range or doing something wrong.  Any pain from singing too loudly is usually because you aren’t supporting your voice well enough with your breath, meaning your vocal cords are doing all the work.  If you feel pain when trying to hit very high or low notes, you should probably sing something more in your range.  No matter how good your breath control is, you may still not be able to hit certain notes.
  7. Tongue position – The tongue plays a bigger role than you probably expect when it FotorCreated positioncomes to vocal tone. Bring your tongue forward and make sure the tip of it is touching the bottom of your teeth.  This allows more airspace and should help you produce a more vibrant, resonating sound to your singing.  By pulling your tongue down towards your throat, you will create a deep, darker classical voice.
  8. Larynx position – While singing, the larynx constantly moves up and down. When having a conversation with someone, the larynx tends to be relaxed and is stable.  The goal is to experiment and be conscious of where you want it be positioned.  Ideally you want your larynx stable when you are first starting out, but a more experienced singer will be able to control it the way he or she wants to.  Lowering the larynx will produce a darker tone while raising it will brighten the sound noticeably.
  9. Sing often – It’s important that you constantly work your vocal chords to help produce a stronger voice. Sing in the shower,duetin the car, or whenever you have a chance to.  Just like your muscles, your vocal chords grow stronger as you use them more often.  Just make sure you are still practicing proper technique and form so you don’t form a bad habit.
  10. Study other professionals – There’s nothing wrong from learning from the best. Mimic their performances and imitate their voices if you want to.  Watch their posture, breathing, and movement and take notes.  The odds are they probably did the same when they were still learning how to improve their singing voice.

Take A Course!

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While all the tips listed above can help improve your singing voice, the best course of action is hire a coach or take a class.

This is where we come in.

SPAN

The Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria – Academy of Jazz and Contemporary Music

Is the right fit for you

Visit us today and start the first day of the rest of your life

13 Davis Street, Marina, Lagos

World class music education in the heart of Lagos!

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World class Jazz, Contemporary and Ethnic music education in the very heart of Lagos!

SPAN Academy of Jazz and Contemporary Music is now in the heart of Lagos with easy access from any location in Lagos.

No 13 Davies Street off Broad Street Lagos Island.

We are still enrolling students for the One Year Professional Performance Certificate Course 2014/2015

For more information please visit us at 13 Davies Street, off Broad Street, Lagos Island or call 017767726, 09091900700.

If You are Serious about Music, FRANCE Calls for you this Summer!!!

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Bright Gain,Director of our Academy of Jazz and Contemporary Music in France some months ago

Are you interested in quality music education and international certification? We’ve got great news for you!

SPAN Jazz Summer School in collaboration with The Dordogne Jazz Summer School** – Our affiliate Jazz school in France – is offering 10 students an opportunity to study with the The Dordogne Jazz Summer School for the 2015 academic year.

Enrolment is on-going; Interested candidates please visit us next week on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 or Friday, September 26, 2014 and ask to see Bright Gain, Director, SPAN Academy of Jazz and Contemporary Music. Time: 12noon at SPAN Office, No 1 Abuja street, off 1st Avenue, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Please note that the summer school will run for one month – Two weeks in Lagos and two weeks in France – and fees cover Tuition, accommodation, feeding, flight ticket and visa. Visa is totally guaranteed!!!

**The Dordogne Jazz Summer School is based at Chateau de Monteton, a real mediaeval castle, in south west France; and led by pianist and composer Andrea Vicari.

This July, All The Way from Chicago, Give It Up for ‘THE HENHOUSE PROWLERS’

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We’re excited… and if you love great music, you’ll be excited too!

We’re proud to announce the ‘JAZZ AND BLUEGRASS WORKSHOP’ featuring ‘THE HENHOUSE PROWLERS’ all the way from Chicago, U.S.A! Holding Next week.

DATE:      Wednesday, 9TH July, 2014
TIME:       9:00am PROMPT
VENUE:   1 Abuja Str, off 1st Avenue, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos
ADMISSION:       FREE!!!
Join Us! Don’t miss this amazing opportunity!! Brought to you by
The UNITED STATES EMBASSY LAGOS
in collaboration with
SPAN ACADEMY OF JAZZ AND CONTEMPORARY MUSIC