Jessica Magro | Singer

Passionate Singer and Artist

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Introducing…By Singers to Singers

Hey there,

Thank you for visiting my website.

I have been contemplating about starting this website and blog for quite a long time now. I must say that fear took the upper hand for some time. But not anymore! I am very happy to have launched this website and blog which will serve as a platform to share my personal experiences, thoughts, tips and discuss with you all.

My passion in life is singing and music. Those who know me closely, know that I started singing way back in 2002 with the encouragement of my music teacher at the time and help and support of my parents. I have gained extensive experience from then on and I felt that it is now time that I share what I know, learn from your discussions and feedback so that we can grow in our careers, together. I am a singer but also an accountant (we need a stable income to finance our singing career, right?). But I am hoping that someday singing and music will become a more dominant feature in my life. This blog is also a steppingstone towards that goal.

I really hope that you join me in this journey, by adding your email address to my mailing list and contact me if you have any queries and feedback that you would like to share. In the meantime, feel free to follow my social media for more updates and stay on the lookout for the next blog post.

Until then,

Yours Truly,

Jessica

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By Singers to Singers…Air-Conditioning Season

Hey there,

Welcome back to my Blog! Hope you are enjoying summer!

When I was younger, I used to love summer. For me it meant the end of another scholastic year and end of exams. When I started working full time in an office environment, the a/c is set to ‘freeze’ all day, every day. This is when summer love faded away to summer hate! I started realizing that I fall sick more frequently in summer compared to winter. At first I couldn’t understand why, but then the reason dawned on me; because of the excessive use of air-conditioning.

As a singer I had to learn to adapt to such an environment and to try to prevent sickness as much as possible. To this end, I am going to share with you what I do to take care of myself and my voice during the ‘Air-conditioning Season’.

1) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Air-conditioning cools the air by drawing moisture from it. So, breathing air-conditioned air results in drying out the vocal chords. I am not a fan of water, however it is the main element to keep air-conditioning from effecting your vocal chords negatively. I keep a bottle of water on my desk at all times so that I remember to drink water during the day. When I am not at work, I schedule a reminder on my phone to remember to drink water. It is also healthy for you!

2) Switch off the air-conditioning during the day

I was that annoying person that used to switch off the air-conditioning in the office I used to work in. Some applauded me and others cursed me. For me, it was a relief to breath in ‘normal air’ for some minutes. There is nothing wrong in regulating the room temperature in small intervals during the day, and also it is a relief to your vocal chords.

3) Wear a light scarf

This method may seem too extreme especially in Malta’s summers. However, in a freezing office, a light scarf is actually a welcome piece of clothing. Also, a cotton or silk scarf is very thin and still acts as a protection for your throat.

4) Air-condition during the night

This is actually harmful not only to your voice but to your health in general. If you must sleep with the air-conditioning blasting during the night, at least keep a humidifier on in the room to put some moisture back in the air.

Do you have any other methods to help against the ‘air-conditioning season’? Feel free to leave them down in the comments below.

Until next time,

Yours Truly,

Jessica

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By Singers to Singers…Overcoming Fears

Hey there,

Welcome back to my blog. Hope you are having a great week so far.

For this blog post I wanted to address singers’ fears and how to overcome them. I have been singing for the past 14 years and I still get so nervous before setting foot on stage. So, I have developed my own routine, especially before a performance.

Fear 1 Solution 1

My worst fear is that of forgetting the lyrics whilst singing. This fear has haunted me from the very beginning and it has turned into a phobia, but there is always a solution for everything. When I have an upcoming performance, I choose my set list way before-hand, burn a CD with all the songs (Yes, I am still an “old fashioned” gal), and whilst driving, working or doing anything, I listen only to the songs in the set list to the point where I start dreaming about them. This way I know that the lyrics have become ingrained in my mind and come naturally whilst singing.

Fear 2 Solution 2

This is going to be a bit TMI but it’s a reality. I fear that I am going to burp whilst I am singing! It may sound funny but it is a common occurrence. Solution, do not eat or drink a lot right before going on stage. I solved this by going on detox mode the day of the performance, and drink only water and eat a light salad 6 to 7 hours before. Then, of course, I reward myself with a nice chicken burger and some fries.

Fear 3 Solution 3

The next fear has become a reality many times, and it frustrates me so much; getting sick the week of or the day of the performance. After all the hard work, practicing, rehearsals and preparation the last thing on your mind is getting sick, and this often happens because the stress weakens our immune system. So, I invest in a lot of citrus fruit and drink a glass of freshly squeezed oranges every day. This helps a lot in lowering the chance of getting the flu and also it’s good for you! To relieve a congested nose, I use ‘Eucalyptus Oil’. I put 10 drops on a tissue paper and inhale it as deeply as I can throughout the day. I also put some under my pillow so that I inhale it whilst sleeping. It has been a life saver!

Fear 4 Solution 4

The last fear I wanted to talk about is voice cracking whilst singing. This is usually a result of not warming up well before singing, which should be an absolute must for any singer. When I was younger I had this bad habit of not doing a proper warm up and my voice did crack sometimes. In reality, warming up the voice doesn’t need to be an endless list of exercises, but by humming from the bottom to the top of your range and stretching your voice is already a start.

I hope you found this post helpful. We have to keep in mind that we do not control everything and sometimes things do not go as we plan them, but we have to always think positive and be confident that everything will turn out great!

Do you have any other fears that I did not mention? Let me know in the comments together with your solutions.

Until next time,

Yours Truly,

Jessica

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By Singers to Singers…Natural Remedies

Hey there,

Welcome back to my blog! Hope you are having a great week so far.

Every now and then I feel a tickle in my throat. It is a big red flag for me and I imagine this is for every singer and daily voice user. I immediately start to search for natural effective remedies to prevent the tickle from becoming any worse. Also, I am not a fan of over the counter pills, so I try to choose natural remedies as much as possible.

My frustration is that I do not always find what I need online, or I search for quite some time before I find the answer. So, here is a list of 4 effective natural remedies so all of us can have easier access.

1) Honey & Lemon

This is my first ‘go-to’ remedy. The ingredients are simple and easily accessible. Just mix 2 tablespoons of honey and half a lemon together with warm water. Honey soothes the throat and the lemon in water is good to clean the vocal cords. Never use fresh boiling water since this kills off the benefits of honey.

2) Carob Syrup

This may not be as easily accessible so when you find it for sale be ready to stock up as many as possible! It is a natural antibiotic and is good for our overall health. I use it not only when I have a tickle in my throat but also before a major concert or performance to prep my voice for singing. It is very soothing and improves the quality of the voice.

3) Peppermint Tea

Peppermint Tea has been a recent discovery which has helped me a lot. This can be found at any local market. It helps to reduce a dry throat; phlegm production and it is also very soothing. It’s great benefit is that it does not contain caffeine so you can drink as much as you want.

4) Ginger

Ginger is a must to cure a sensitive throat. It has anti-bacterial compositions that helps to prevent an infection. I use fresh Ginger to make Ginger tea by just boiling it for about 10 minutes. Then I add honey to the tea to make the tea sweeter.

The most important step is to hydrate the vocal cords as much as possible in addition to the remedies mentioned above. Do you use any other natural remedies? Would love to know what they are by writing them in the comments below.

Until next time,

Yours Truly,

Jessica

Featured

By Singers to Singers…Vocal Warm-up Exercises

Hey there,

Welcome back to my blog!

As all singers know, warming up the voice is a crucial step in the daily routine of a singer, not just before a performance but also for daily voice usage. When I was younger I used to skip this step and oftentimes ended up straining my voice. Nowadays, I scour the internet to find the best warming up exercises that I actually like doing and that are effective. So, in this blog post, I am going to list great warming up exercises that I found work, according to their intensity.

1) High-intensity

During last year’s annual ‘Vocal Booth’ concert I decided to sing ‘Never Enough’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’. I was terrified to sing this song due to its numerous high notes. So, I set a personal challenge to go on stage and sing my heart out. But to do this, I needed the right warming up exercises. I searched for ‘Never Enough warm-up’ and this video came up which I have used ever since. The video includes 3 intensive vocal exercises that warm-up and stretch the voice in the best way possible.

2) Medium-intensity

My voice has a natural high range and usually it is hard for me to sing in a low larynx position. So, I found this 5-minute vocal warm-up that helps me to warm-up my lower range and prepares my voice to sing in a low larynx position.

3) Low-intensity

Nowadays everyone has a busy schedule. So, this 3-minute vocal warm-up video is perfect for warming up on the go or right before setting foot on stage. I find that it is also great for those daily voice users for example teachers. A good habit to adopt in your daily routine is to include these exercises in your playlist and warm up your voice whilst driving. This is great especially for those who frequently get stuck in traffic. It includes 3 exercises that are great to warm up the voice and also perfect for beginners.

Sometimes I dedicate a couple of hours for full-on exercise mode. So, combining these three warm-up exercises together is perfect for such days. Do you use a preferred warm-up structure? Would love to know what they are.

Until next time

Yours Truly

Jessica

By Singers to Singers…Singers’ Checklist

Hey There,

Welcome back to my blog and Happy New Year 2020.

I am sure that most of you are planning upcoming concerts, guest appearances and maybe an international festival opportunity. These are the perfect opportunities to hone our talent and accumulate more experiences. The time leading up to such events may create anxiety and nervousness and we might forget the essentials that support us before stepping on stage.

So, I decided to share my own checklist with you. It helps me tick the boxes and to feel secure that I have what I need with me.

1. Water – lukewarm

The most essential item for a singer; WATER.  You can never leave home for an event and not have water with you. This will help you keep your vocal cords hydrated. Keep in mind that very cold or hot water is not good for your voice before you are set to sing. Always keep water at room temperature or lukewarm so that it is soothing for your voice and also helps to keep your voice warmed up.

2. Thermos with Ginger, Honey, Lemon and Water Concoction.

This mixture is a must-have in every singers’ thermos. Also, it is a natural remedy to prevent and heal the voice after the flu. (I explain in better detail all the benefits of this remedy in my ‘Natural Remedies’ Blog post https://jessicamagro.com/2019/11/09/by-singers-to-singersnatural-remedies/).

3. Izlamus

Every singer and daily voice users have been using this as long as I can remember! These are natural sweets to soothe the vocal cords and can be easily found over the counter in all pharmacies. These are perfect to rest the voice and to prepare the vocal cords for singing.

4. Lyrics

One of my phobias is forgetting the lyrics whilst singing. I have learned to overcome this fear through time. (I explain in detail how I battled this fear in this blog post https://jessicamagro.com/2019/11/09/by-singers-to-singers-overcoming-fears/). However, I still feel the need to have the song’s lyrics with me at the event’s venue. I refer to them if I think I forgot something and I put my mind at rest.

5. Warming up exercises

As soon as you enter backstage (or green room), you hear a lot of scales, exercises, lip trills and all kinds of sounds. The most important step before singing that first note is warming up the vocal cords. This helps to keep your voice healthy and have that flexibility needed to sing. I keep such exercises saved on my phone so that they are handy for every event.

I really hope this checklist helps. Do you have any other essentials that you use? Let us know in the comments.

Until next time,

Yours Truly,

Jessica

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