#NMTVotW: Tell Me a Story

Musical theatre is unique in that it’s all about a story, and telling that story in a way that only music can provide. However, some musical theatre songs are more story-based than others, requiring a delicate act of talk-singing in order to become that storyteller in a way that really clicks with the audience.

A story-song really brings out a different part of you and your acting and singing that you don’t get with belting ballads or fun comedies. So here’s some advice:

  • Work on the transitions between the talk-singing (Sprechgesang/recititive, for those who want to be fancy) verses and the lyrical chorus. It needs to feel natural and balanced.
  • Even if you’re “talking,” you’re still talking in rhythm and on pitch, so make sure that you’re following the basics of music while talking so that you remain one with the accompaniment.
  • Work on your emotions at different points in the song. The great thing about story telling is that sometimes you’re happy and other times you’re sad, angry, annoyed, overjoyed, and every other feeling. Make sure each lyric is spoken or sung in the corresponding emotion.

A great song for this is I’ll Be Here, by Adam Gwon. The emotions when meeting someone, when losing someone, and when moving on are all so different that they really call for this story-telling aspect, especially with the beautiful transitions into the chorus, which has a different meaning every time we approach it. Our #NMTvotw Alex Beck sings it with all of these in mind:

Watch this video on YouTube.

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