My approach is very different to other people – I start with a simple vocal exercise first and then work on other aspects of the performance as it becomes more challenging.
How do you sing in a group?
I normally sing with a guitar and piano accompaniment, but I have also sung in a few solo groups.
What does your voice sound like at your best?
My voice is fairly neutral. You can find a range of voices that is very neutral and even-toned. My voice will often come across as ‘flat’ or ‘slight’ depending on the style of music that I am singing.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
This is always difficult to answer… but if you want to sing confidently for a long period of time it is important to find an approach that is more comfortable to you. There is no right or wrong way for a start-up voice artist to approach this – it is an adventure – and I always end up being influenced by other people I admire, such as Karen Kelly or Sarah Howells.
The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights on Tuesday announced a record penalty for former Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, finding the Republican to have violated Title IX, the federal law designed to ensure equality of opportunity in schools on equal terms for all students.
In a letter sent to Johnson, the Office said her failure to comply with a 2011 order to “end discrimination” in her department was “an ongoing violation of Title IX” and could result in a year of remedial education under the law. The penalty amounts to $5,000 per day of discrimination, according to the complaint.
Johnson had been an outspoken critic of Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who was running against the Michigan GOP for re-election, and of the 2013 state budget proposal to close the University of Michigan’s Bill Emerson School of Music. The law would have forced the university to divest from coal companies, an area of concern to the university. Many of the protesters against that proposal were members of the university band, and the group’s president had also criticized Granholm for her decision to reject the budget.
Johnson’s letter to Granholm, which accompanied the Office of Civil Rights’ findings and sanctions, was first obtained by the Detroit News. In addition to the penalties, the law requires the Education Department to “conduct a comprehensive review” of Johnson’s actions in the wake of her actions.
The University of Michigan,
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