How do you define singing?
I really don’t like to use the word singing. It really implies that we are changing our speaking voices in an effort to make our voice more “special” when we put it to music. What “singing” really is is sustained speech over a variety or pitches. We already use anywhere from 2-4 octaves in our voice when we speak. Singing is just sustaining that sound over a variety of pitches. It is very conversational.
Can anyone sing? Or do you have to have talent?
Again, another word I really don’t like…Talent. I rarely use it. When it comes to vocalizing, if you can speak, you can sing. FACT. But many of us believe that someone has to be born with a unique gift in order to make it as an artist in the business. And we tend to let our beliefs define that reality that we just don’t have the talent to pursue a creative journey of the voice. The real gift is the passion for the craft. The love of what you do. That is real talent. Someone who may not have the muscle coordination to sing in the way they would like to…..Yet, but has a tremendous amount of love for what they do, will progress, and succeed so much faster than someone with tons of ability. When someone assumes that they have all the ability in the world, and thinks that they don’t have to work to improve themselves, they stop growing. And stagnation is the death of art.
What do you cover in a voice lessons?
Our time together is relaxed and fun, but still very focused. Each lesson we break our time together down to vocal technique, and song performance. That way you are not just learning the technicalities, and foundation of voice, but you are also learning the components of acting, and performance styles. Each individual lesson is customized to fit your unique voice type, range, and style. The lessons are incredibly informational, and with one-on-one attention, instruction is focused on you, and your performance goals.
Our lessons are taught privately to ensure that each student get a customized singing experience that is specific to their vocal goals, and skill level. Lessons are all about giving yourself permission to freely experience your voice, rather than to “make” your voice sound the way that you would like it to. This carefree approach to singing gives you the unique opportunity to develop confidence within your own voice, and overall in your daily life.
How often are lessons? Should I book the same time each week?
Voice lessons are scheduled on a weekly basis. The same time/day will be scheduled for your lesson each week, and will not change from week to week. Prior payment is required to secure the lesson slot.
What if I have to cancel or miss my lesson?
There is no such thing as a cancelled or missed lesson! I understand that sometimes, events occur that keep us from attending our lesson. (Weather, family emergency, personal illness, etc.) Due to the nature of how the lessons are organized, you won’t miss out on what you would have learned during our time together! I will utilize our lesson time, and create a video for you focusing on the lesson plan created for your lesson that day. I will cover the specifics of each exercise in full for you to practice at home. I will also deconstruct the song we have been working on, highlighting the areas of focus for your at-home rehearsals. This is not a substitute for continued attendance. Keep all missed lessons to a minimum.
* 3 consecutive lessons missed will forfeit your lesson slot.
* The following holidays are observed and lessons will not be held on these weeks; Thanksgiving, Christmas, July 4th. Lessons that fall on these weeks will roll over into the following week, and will not be charged.
* We encourage you to invest this time in yourself. The lessons are focused on you and your dream. Make being at your lessons a priority. It encourages professionalism in the way you commit to your goals and in the way you work with others.
How do you classify a singer’s voice?
I don’t. Everyone has a unique voice, because everyone is different. I really don’t like to influence the singer’s view of their voice by placing it in a box. When we are in a lesson together, it is really pointless to judge the sound that comes out. Perfection does not exist. What I listen for in a singer, is a particular tone quality that is a part of their overall sound. And is specific to the singer. Also, don’t put in your mind that because you may “think” you have a particular type of voice that high notes, or low notes aren’t for you. Your voice is capable of so much more than you are aware of. And you need your entire range to truly be free as a vocalist. I will show you how easy it really can be to sing freely throughout your entire range. When it comes to a voice “type” such as Tenor, Bass, Alto, Soprano, we will focus on areas of the range, and resonance that flow better than others. But we will not use the type as a constriction of our potential. Your voice type may change drastically when you study voice.
What do you expect from people taking lessons with you?
Be prompt. Be prepared. And be Proud of the work that you do!
I cannot tell you how important being on time is for the development of yourself as an artist. Whether your specific goals go beyond the lesson room or not. Being on time is a trademark of a true professional. It reinforces and enriches the learning process. It establishes patterns that will carry forward into your professional future. In lessons, I will assign practices for you to do at home to help you learn the behaviors of the specific lesson, these behaviors are all designed to do one thing..Free your voice! Not doing them delays that progress, and shows me, as well as yourself the real interest you have in your voice. Love your craft, whatever it is. And be proud of that work that you do!
I’ve never taken voice lessons before, will it be intimidating?
Not at all! The lessons are very relaxed, and fun. With the focus being on letting go of your sound. We will be making a lot of really strange sounds. So, be prepared to be silly! The atmosphere is warm and casual, yet focused. All levels of singing ability and experience are welcome. Most students feel freer and more open after just one lesson.
If a student is very shy about singing, I will sing with them until they are comfortable. Vocal technique is largely about muscle memory and muscle isolation. During our voice class we learn to engage certain muscles and relax others at the same time.
What is the one quality you like to see the most in a singer?
Passion and a desire to learn! Even today’s top pros STILL take lessons. Being an artist is all about growth, and constantly becoming the best that you can! The learning process never ends. Because your desire to express yourself never ends. It is my absolutely knowing that the more you know about how your voice works; you can work with your body to express yourself freely. There is no end to what you are capable with your voice. The limits are only where you place them.
Do you teach beginners?
I teach all levels of skill, from beginner to professional. However, none of us are really beginners when we take the first step on this journey. Since we have been using our voice to communicate for years, we already know how to use our speaking voices. What we will learn in lessons is how to release the constraints on our potential, and completely free the voice so that you can express yourself without any strain, manipulation, or tension.
I sing professionally, do you teach advanced methods?
Professionals are welcome! In our lessons together, we will be focusing on artistic identity, interpretation, repertoire, stamina, and performance techniques. In addition to some of the most advanced vocal exercises that are available. Consider this, vocal boot camp!
What musical Genres do you teach?
I teach an array of musical genres. Such as Pop, Musical Theater, Classical, R&B, Country, Folk, Rock, Jazz, and Blues. (To name a few) I love music! And that goes double for musical genres. Think of a particular musical genre as capturing the particular personality of the culture that it represents. Like, country, for example. This genre speaks primarily of a particular type of attitude, and viewpoint of the people that listen to it, that is such a joy to teach!
Should I change my sound depending on the musical style I am singing?
Not at all! The main differences between genres are all about the attitude, and the delivery of the sound. You don’t want to use muscle manipulation when you are singing a variety of genres because you are going for a particular tone “ideal.” When you do that, you are interfering with the tone production, and that can be potentially harmful for your voice in the long run. We will work on ways that you can “color” your voice with a particular genre that influences the delivery, but not the production of the sound.
How much should I practice?
Personally, I love to practice. It is a wonderful opportunity to put the new behaviors from lessons into practice. 10 minutes a day of focused concentration is so much more effective than 2 hours of just singing. But you should practice more than you intend to perform. Performance, and practice are NOT the same thing. Performance is the culmination of your vocal conditioning to meet the artistic demands you place on your voice to communicate the ideas and emotional experiences to your listener. Regular vocal practice keeps your voice aligned for efficient coordination, so that any temporary diversion from good technique can be recognized easily and corrected quickly.
Should you sing differently in rehearsal than you do in performance?
Yes. Especially when learning something new. In rehearsals, all wise singers save their voices – not in the sense that you only have so much to give, but to keep your voice relaxed during a potentially stressful situation. Rehearsals by nature are very demanding on a voice. It’s stop-and-go as you learn notes, check pitches, work on blend, and everything else. This makes it very easy to fall back into old habits.
What’s a good dynamic level to practice?
Mezzo forte (medium loud) at the loudest. However, you must never forget why you practice exercises. You do so to set uo the correct balance between your air, and your vocal cords. Allowing you to sing at a speech level, and to then have your muscles live with that balance. As far as volume goes you should only sing as loudly as you are able to maintain your balance with a steady, normal air pressure. The intensity, or loudness, of that tone will come once the muscular coordination to produce pitches freely is established.
What is better, good vocal technique or good style?
Good technique will facilitate good style. Learning to develop the muscle coordination required to sustain a phrase, and support a pitch takes time to develop. But once you develop that technique, it will support effective style. Do not substitute the aspects of style interpretation for basic vocal technique. It’s a totally different thing.
How fast should I progress?
Like anything else in life, you will get out of this program what you put into it. Apply yourself to the mastery of your instrument. Take your time through this process. You are developing awareness in your body that will dramatically improve your voice. We are making these concepts and ideas habits within yourself, and habits do take time to develop. Move at a pace that is consistent. Consistency is so much better than perfection.