May 18, 2017

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Dealing With Vocal Nervousness During a Performance

When it comes to singing in front of the crowd, many of us experience stage fright, which usually gets the best of us. We fright getting on stage and facing the audience as if they are all ferocious lions. The body and mind goes into a state of which psychologists call the fight-or-flight response.

However, does fear really have to overtake us? Are there strategies to help us enjoy doing public performances? Luckily, there is! Enrol yourself to professional singing lessons, and follow these tips to manage pre-performance jitters and ensure your song will sound flawlessly as practiced.

1. Prepare Your Vocals

First of all, prepare your voice. Join singing lessons in Singapore to help you train and prepare vocally. Through singing classes, you’ll be able to build a strong vocal foundation to meet the vocal demands of your performance. Strengthen your vocal chords in a healthy way through repetition of techniques and exercises assigned to you by your vocal lesson teacher in Singapore.

2. Change Your Mindset

Your mind setting has to do with eliminating the anxious thoughts you have, whether it is about your life, what people think of you or how you will sound during a performance. What’s in your head will either cause you to panic or get it together, and that all begins before you even get up on stage. Instead of thinking of performing and doing good to impress the crowd, remember what it was like to sing when you were a child. Did you care what people thought of you? Most probably, you didn’t. Get that same mindset. Remember that you got vocal lesson for this, so you know you’re covered. Care less about what people think and get rid of the negative thoughts that could be driving the anxiety in you.

3. Practice In Front of an Audience

It helps a lot to practice in front of an audience, whether it’s your family, friends or even strangers. Start off by having your best friend as your audience, and gradually increase your crowd over time. You can even start singing in a karaoke room, and move to a karaoke hall for a larger crowd. During singing lessons at you should take the opportunity to sing in front of your classmates or do your best during recitals. These exercises will help build up your confidence and makes performing in front of the people feels like a regular habit, so that it becomes less frightening on the big day.

4. Perform Bigger Than Planned
Most performers in Singapore who feel anxious on stage lose dynamism physically and mentally. If you have the tendency to freeze because of nervousness, prepare to perform more dynamically than intended. If you practice with “bigger” actions, you can afford to lose a bit on the actual performance. Sing louder than usual, sway your body more and exaggerate every movement you make during your practice.

5. Psych Yourself Up

Instead of focusing on what could go wrong, boost your positive energy. Like a football team praying together and pumping themselves up before getting into the field, do the same thing before going on stage. Your vocal training instructor has surely taught you some ways to calm the nerves before a performance. Tell yourself something like “I’m ready for this!” or “I got this!” or any pep talk to encourage positivism.

6. Do a Mental Run-Through

Picture your entire performance, from getting on stage to finishing your performance and hearing people’s applause. Imagine everyone watching and listening to you, how you move around the stage and how you respond to the praises. Visualize that things are going exactly as you want. You can also prepare for a performance by getting into meditative state. Sit upright, close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply for a couple of minutes before getting on stage.

7. Make Fun of the Audience In Your Mind

Perhaps, you’ve heard from your singing lessons instructor to think funny thoughts to help reduce stage-fright. One way to do this is to make fun of the crowd in your head to make it less daunting to sing n front of them. Imagine their heads as watermelons, and think of how hilarious it would be to have a crowd of watermelons watching you sing. You can even imagine them naked. That would make them feel more nervous than you, and that would surely take away a huge amount of jitter from you.

8. Breathe Deeply

During your singing classes, you are taught to breathe deeply or a better sounding voice. In terms of calming down the nerves, breathing deeply encourages you to relax and focus. Practice the breathing exercises that you learned from your vocal trainer in Singapore to keep you relaxed and strengthen your breath support to make you sing better. Being able to sing properly and beautifully will reduce your anxiety even further.

9. Treat the Crowd As Your Friends

We are at our most relaxed state when we are with our closest friends. The same theory applies during performances. You can perform comfortably when you see the judges and the crowd as your friends. When performing treat them as your friends—interact and make eye-to-eye contact with them. You’ll find that it takes off a lot of pressure and makes it easier to leave an impression on them.

10. Perform Anxiety Exercises

One great technique we seldom hear from singing lessons is rehearsing with elevated heart rate. Pump up your heart rate by jogging in place or doing jumping jacks and then practice singing your piece. You may feel like you’re out of breath, but doing this will make you get used to the sensation of singing with your heart pounding. After rehearsing in such way, you’re accustomed to the feeling of nervousness.

When you get the chance to perform in front of the public, do your best to present yourself beautifully and remember to enjoy the process. Get a professional vocal training and trust your new learning. Take it all in and let go. Before you know it, your performance is over and you might even wish to do more.

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May 15, 2017

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Solo Travelling Myths We Should All Ignore

When someone says he wants to travel the world by himself, he’s often stereotypically met with double takes and disapproving glances. And while these sceptical people only have your best interest in mind, there are numerous misconceptions about solo travelling that put some people off. Which is why it’s now time to trash the following myths and book a one way ticket to the other side of the world with just your backpack and camera on hand.

Myth 1: Travelling on your own is dangerous

Travelling new places on your own sure is scary, but that shouldn’t keep you from exploring the incredible and glorious things that the world has to offer. To ensure your safety throughout your solo trip, do some research and use your common sense. It’d also help to be always on the look-out of your surroundings – not just to avoid unwanted situations, but to also fully take in and appreciate what you’re seeing.

Myth 2: Going on a solo travel is expensive

Most of us often assume that travelling is only limited individuals who are born into rich families, and while it does cost a certain amount of money, it doesn’t really have to cost a bomb. Accommodations, excursions and local living can be cheap if you just know how to plan ahead and look for the cheapest shopping places. Plus, there’s nobody saying that you can’t get a part-time job while you’re out travelling.

Myth 3: Solo travelling limits the things you can do

While you may think that being a solo backpacker restricts the things that you can do, that’s actually rarely the case. Not only are their options to join travel tours or use apps like Backpackr to keep in touch with your fellow solo travellers or, you also have the freedom to do things on your own. All you need is to be confident with your ability.

Myth 4: Travelling alone will make you feel lonesome

When travelling on your own, understand that you have a full control over your loneliness level. Both the locals and your fellow travellers would surely love to exchange stories. You can simply chit-chat with the person sitting next to you during a bus ride or talk with your waiter over breakfast. Sure, there’ll definitely be times when you’ll feel lonely, but do know that that feeling is only temporary.

While it may seem a little lonesome, going on a solo trip could actually be a fun and enriching experience. So shut down these myths now and start making your backpacking dreams come true.

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May 10, 2017

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Managing High Blood Pressure


High blood pressure isn’t just common among the elderly and overweight. In Singapore, 24% of people aged between 30 and 69 years have hypertension according to a survey in 2004.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

There is no known cause for high blood pressure or hypertension. But there is a combination of factors that can increase the likelihood of developing the condition. The risk also increases with age or if the person has other medical conditions. Obese, smokers, heavy drinkers and people with sedentary lifestyles are more likely to have hypertension.

Blood pressure has two factors. It is the pressure created from the heart when it pumps blood and the force on the arteries in between the heart beats. Normal blood pressure, regardless of sex and ethnicity, should be below 120/80 mm Hg. The unit mm Hg, or millimeters of mercury, refers to the unit of barometric or air pressure. A reading with high blood pressure begins at 140/90 mm Hg.

Sometimes the person doesn’t know that he/she is hypertensive. For those who experience symptoms of hypertension, these include headache, nausea, fatigue, difficulty breathing, chest pain and palpitations.

How to Do a Reading

When reading your body’s blood pressure, the measurement taken is the pressure of the blood on the walls of the arteries, the vessels that carry blood away from the heart to different parts of the body.

Reading blood pressure is easy and fast. It can be done manually or electronically. The reading results in two numbers usually written with one on top of the other. The number on top is called the systolic blood pressure, while the one at the bottom is called diastolic. Systolic is the pressure caused by the heartbeat. Diastolic is the pressure in between the heart beats.

Maintaining Your Blood Pressure

If you experience any of the symptoms, you need to consult a doctor right away. The doctor will perform several checks such as blood and urine tests to determine your fasting lipids, glucose level and electrolytes; electrocardiogram or ECG reading; and chest X-ray. Next, you will be prescribed medicine to keep your blood pressure manageable. It could be beta-blockers, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin II receptor blockers or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors.

Your doctor will advise you to lose or maintain your weight. Your body mass index should not be more than 25 kg/m2. Your diet should consist of less fat, salt and sugar. He/she will give you instructions about your target levels for blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and fasting blood glucose. LDL cholesterol refers to the bad cholesterol, which if uncontrolled, can block blood vessels. You might have to limit your intake of alcohol and consider quitting smoking. Follow instructions on when and how much medication you should take. Never self-medicate or take other medications, including herbal supplements, without consulting a doctor. If not treated, hypertension can lead to heart diseases, stroke, and kidney failure.

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Apr 2, 2017

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Basic Art Supplies for Beginners


You decided to try your hand at painting and drawing but you don’t know what art supplies to get. With so many choices in art supplies shops all over Singapore, you might get confused.

Here are some of the basic art supplies you need to have.

Drawing Paper. You can buy sketchpads for basic drawings. There is no need yet to buy other types of drawing paper. Keeping a stock of watercolor paper and charcoal paper will also come in handy in the future. Some art stores sell acid-free paper which will allow you to keep your drawings longer because they won’t fade or yellow.


Drawing Pencils. Art stores usually sell pencils by piece or as a pack. Pick the least expensive quality graphite pencils. Buy charcoal pencils because they’re easier to use than sticks and creates less mess. Color pencils will take you a step further if you have mastered sketching and want to try putting colors in your drawing.


Eraser and Sharpener. The most recommended eraser is the kneaded eraser. It’s ideal for sketching because it can be used between narrow spaces in your drawings. You don’t need to rub it on the paper too and it can be reused even when dirty. Sharpeners are either manual or electric. If you don’t want to use a sharpener, you might want to opt for mechanical pencils, but they’re usually slightly expensive and not ideal for shading.

Pen and Ink. If you enjoy sketching, you might want to level up your training with pen and ink drawings. There are different types of cheap pens such as ball point, drafting, graphic, reed and fountain pens. Any of these can be used for drawing. The numbers indicate the thickness of the line. Pens also come in different ink colors and will work as well as color pencils.


Pastel. Before you try your hand at painting, it’s important to learn how to blend colors first. Pastels will help you learn the basics. The three types of pastels are oil, chalk and soft pastels. Chalk pastels work like ordinary chalk but is smoother. Soft pastels are chalk in pencil form so they are less messy and ideal for detailed drawings. Oil pastels look like crayons and are a great medium to study blending before you begin with watercolors.


Watercolor. Acrylic paintings can distort when not done properly while oil painting can be messy and expensive. Watercolor is perhaps the easiest to learn among the three common paints. You don’t need to get all the colors . Just make sure you have the following: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and brown.


Brushes and Palette. You will only need three basic shapes for watercolor brushes such as flat, round and filbert paint brushes. Pick the ones that fit snugly in your hand, not the smallest or the largest. Medium sized brushes are ideal for beginners. The palette is used to mix and dilute the colors. Some watercolors have a free palette included in a pack.

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Mar 30, 2017

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Adopting a Rescue Dog


Caring for a dog is one of the most rewarding activities. It’s not an easy task however. You have to make sure they are happy, healthy and well-behaved. You should be ready to give energy, money, space and time for your dog. Not being aware of such responsibilities is probably the reason why there are still stray dogs in Singapore. If you’re thinking of getting a dog, perhaps you might want to consider adopting a rescue dog instead of buying a puppy from pet shops.

Here are some things you need to know when adopting a rescue dog.


Visit Dogs at the Rescue Centers

You can look up dogs available for adoption at but it’s important to get to know the dog before you decide. Action For Singapore Dogs (ASD) has an adoption and rescue center. Volunteer groups such as Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD) and Causes for Animals Singapore (CAS) also exist. Finding the dog that will fit in your family will take a visit to one of these rescue centers. Dogs also have unique temperaments and idiosyncrasies like humans. Adoption procedures require a bonding session to determine if the dog and its new family have chemistry.


The Conditions for Adopting a Rescue

There is a screening process for every person who wishes to apply for adoption. You will need to fill out a form to provide the details of your experience with dogs, to assess your means to take care of the pet, and other personal information. Then you are given time to get to know the dog of your choice. Make sure that you have thought this through with your family after you have visited the dog. Rescue centers also provide help in training if your dog has not yet adjusted to its new home. Learn about the HBD Regulation as well. Apartment owners are allowed only one dog from certain breeds or sizes. According to Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Singapore, there 62 HBD approved dog breeds.


Giving a Rescue Dog Another Chance

Stray dogs are culled due to rapid urbanization. Some are abandoned by irresponsible owners who found out that taking care of dogs is not like keeping stuffed toys while some have endured abuse and neglect. Most of these dogs are eager for a new loving home. Unfortunately, rescue centers and volunteers often tell stories that there are always more dogs to be rescued than can be re-homed. Sheltering dogs need a lot of resources. Adopting one can help save a life.


Rescue Dogs are Usually Healthier

Rescue and rehabilitation centers take good care of the rescue dogs. They are given food and medical attention, especially updated vaccinations. This is better than getting a puppy at the pet shop not knowing if it got all the required shots. Rescue dogs also undergo sterilisation. Male dogs are neutered while females are spayed. It lowers the risks of reproductive complications and unwanted behavior like aggression and territorial marking. Some dogs also undergo behavior training. Being around with rescue volunteers and survivor dogs like themselves also make them more socialized dogs who will know how to behave around humans and dogs.

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Mar 11, 2017

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Actions to Take for Severe Bleeding


If you witnessed severe bleeding in your house or workplace, it is important that you know what to do. You have to act immediately because every second counts. Unfortunately, not all Singaporeans know what to do at the sight of gushing blood.  You have to learn it because you do not know when it will come in handy.

The good news is that here in Singapore there are basic trainings on first aid from certified organizations. There, you will learn how to dislodge a foreign object from the windpipe (when choking) to addressing severe bleeding. But in the case of severe bleeding, here are few refreshers:

  • Remove obstruction: In severe bleeding cases, the first thing that you have to do is to remove any obvious obstructions (like debris, dirt or clothing). If there is an object lodged deeply on the victim’s body, do not attempt to remove it – you might cause more harm than good. Your primary goal here is to stop the bleeding not get embedded objects. If there are protective gloves around, wear it.


  • Discontinue the bleeding: If you are not alone, have someone look for a sterile bandage. If it is not available, at least locate a clean cloth and then put it on the wound. Pressure is crucial when you bind the wound so do it tightly. After wrapping the wound with clean cloth, secure it using adhesive tape. If tape is not available, you will have to wait until the bleeding stops. Do not leave it – use your hands. The critical part is you should raise the wounded part just above the heart level.

  • Let the person lie down: The wounded person should be in lying position. This is done to prevent the loss of the victim’s body heat. It is strongly recommended that you raise the legs of the victim.


  • Do not remove the cloth or bandage: If it is severe, most likely the blood will seep through the cloth or bandage. When you notice this, do not attempt to remove the layer. You just have to add another cloth layer on top of it. Maintain the pressing or pressure. If you have tourniquets around and you are trained how to do it, it can help a lot.


  • Restrain the injured part after the bleeding stopped: It is important that you restrain the injured part after you notice the bleeding has stopped. This is to ensure than the affected area will not suffer more strain. After that, you can bring the victim to the emergency room.

When you see severe bleeding, it is important to be calm and think immediately.

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Mar 6, 2017

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4 Tips on How to Use Money More Wisely While Traveling


Whenever you travel outside Singapore, you wish nothing but a smooth one. You can have a smooth one if you prepared well. One of the things that stresses travellers is money. Not that they don’t have money but sometimes it can be complicated. You do not want to show up on perhaps the greatest adventure of your life unprepared to pay.

Before commencing your trip, it is recommended that you ensure you have the right mix of credit cards and cash. This is to ensure that you have a safe, smooth and uneventful travel. Here are a few things that you can do to handle your money while you are out exploring every corner of the world:

1.Bring enough. The rule of thumb is to always bring enough to cover all expenses like food and transportation for at least 24 hours after your touchdown. This should give you enough time to find the nearest ATM. If you have credit cards, pay your hotels using it.

You have to remember that not all Asian, African and European countries are tied to the global credit and ATM network. If this is the case, your cards will be useless. When you bring more cash, always think about its safety. The hotel will make it safe but if you want to feel the safest, conceal it somewhere unexpected.

2.Exchange first. To be sure, you have to consider currency exchanges. If you choose to do it in the airport, be reminded that they charge commission when swapping to another currency. If you do not want that, you can ask your bank to exchange it. But if that is not an option, you can bring money but make sure to declare any amount more than $10,000.

3.Maximize ATM card

If you are traveling in major cities, withdrawing local currency through your ATM is possible as long as you inform your bank. Through banking networks, you are now allowed to extract local currency directly from it. You have to be cautious though. Check for the affiliated bank and always go for that not just a stand-alone ATM.

4.Inform your bank

Just in case you run out of cash, your credit card can be of great help. With this, it is crucial that you inform your bank that you are traveling abroad. If you do not inform them, you will either pay more for the penalty or get frustrated for declined transactions.

If credit card and cash are no longer available, you need an infusion of cold cash. Ask your family or friends to send you money. The good news is that Moneygram and Western Union have offices even in far-flung areas so you will be safe.

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