What is YOUR
formula for success?
In My Opinion...
Frequently Asked Q's:
CAN ANYONE LEARN TO SING?
If I had a dime for every time I've been asked this question! My answer is, yes. However, it's all relative. Let's rephrase the question...
CAN ANYONE LEARN TO SING CORRECTLY?
Again, my answer is, YES! The basic elements of voice are simple. Combine proper breath support, ,palate(s) management and placement of voice (feeling the voice vibrate in correct place) and you have the makings for improvement.
Note, this is a labor intensive proposition! I liken it to working out at the gym. If you are serious about seeing and feeling a difference, you need to work out at least three times a week. The voice is the same. If you are ready to do the work methodically, frequently and consistently, there is nothing a creative and musically inclined brain can not do.
IS "BELT-SINGING" BAD FOR THE VOICE?
YES! Let me be clear. If someone is in the habit of singing "loudly" or "yelling" out a tune., WITHOUT PROPER SUPPORT, it is refered to as "yelling." And that is, in fact, the difference between yelling and singing.
I see many young and "gifted" singers sharing their strong voices without support primarily because they are unaware of the damage they are doing to their vocal muscles. Imagine running a 10-mile marathon without first committing to a necessary and systematic practice regiment. Granted, individuals share similar muscular design, but must consider varying elasticity. Learn to support properly and practice good vocal hygiene so that you are able to enjoy the gift of singing for a very, very long time.
Read more about vocal hygiene,
by C. Blake Simpson, M.D.:
Otolarongologist @ UT Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas
The Elements of Voice Instruction
FORMULA FOR VOCAL SUCCESS
Methodical Practice x Frequent Practice x Creative Practice = EXCELLENCE
Productive VOICE LESSONS, by my definition, is a methodical study of the PHYSICS of singing, in an educational, safe and fun setting.
Some voice instructors, particularly in the "legitimate" voice world (Yep! That's what they call it.), focus primarily on classical repertoire. Having sung from the standard Schirmer's Library of Musical Classics, "24 ITALIAN SONGS AND ARIAS," I get it! However, not everyone cares to learn a foreign language in order to learn HOW TO SING.
This brings me to the real question. Exactly what should a student look for when in search of a voice instructor? Unfortunately, as in most industries, some instructors are better than others. The worst voice instructor will do nothing but play the piano while the student sings, giving little to no instruction. The best voice instructor will give the student the technical tools necessary to manipulate and exercise the entire vocal instrument (the entire body) while ultimately applying these tools to the selection(s). The latter represents a teacher who is knowledgable and motivated to instill in his or her student the importance of technique - physics.
The sought-after voice instructor will cover technical aspects of singing properly - voice exercises, disciplines of song selections, vocal applications and performance elements. And, yes, it should be FUN!
LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT VOICE INSTRUCTOR.... FOR YOU?
1. What is your ultimate goal? ("Learn from the BEST!")
Know what you want to accomplish and be willing to do what your instructor tells you to do. If you are willing to pay for the service, why wouldn't you do what is expected? And on that note, be sure to learn from the BEST. Why? Well.... how would you feel if after putting in the hard work, you don't see the desired results?
2. Do you plan on becoming a "professional" singer?
If so, HAVE A PLAN! What does the term "professional" mean to you? I see an equal number of students who wish to sing for fun.... as those who wish to become professional. If reaching "celebrity" status is your passion, LEARN ABOUT THE BUSINESS FIRST! Consider the price you are willing to pay if you DON'T "make it." Consider the price you are willing to pay if you DO "make it."
3. Do you desire money, fame, or both?
Motivation is a wonderful thing! A job well done is typically well recognized. The world of "show biz" offers no absolutes. Follow your passions and the reward(s) shall come...
4. Are you willing to put in the practice time?
Not to sound redundant... (but I will) It's muscular! As with any physically demanding activity, if building muscle is your goal, you gotta do the time! Please note, in addition to building muscle, a good instructor will also focus on muscle isolation. Done properly, a vocalist can manipulate their instrument with ease.
5. What style/genre of music best suits your voice type?
While students may ask me for song selections, I find it productive to have students choose songs that resognate with THEM. Bottom line? Singers should choose songs that elicit emotion(s). Ultimately, a professional vocalist must consider the marketing aspects of their genre of choice. If you are tracking a career in show-biz, consider the elements of "branding" and social media. We live in a time where the masses are looking for the next big thing. Talent is the foundation for getting noticed, having a "business" strategy allows your talents to thrive.