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Vocal teacher for all styles for over 50 years, David Kyle, The “Maestro” became a local Seattle icon and was considered by the industry to be one of the best vocal instructors for contemporary singers in the world. Unique to the “Maestro’s” approach was his method for expanding vocal range into multiple “registers”, or what we would refer to today at TVS as, "Bridging & Connecting". Maestro was also keen on eliminating psychological barriers that hinder singers’ freedom of expression, by use of creative visualization techniques and development of healthy auditory imagery for singing.

One day, Nate Burch, one of my students from Seattle, came to the lesson with an old coffee stained piece of paper that had a hand written, transcribed lecture from Maestro Kyle on it. An excerpt from that lecture is shared below as well as popular quotes that Maestro Kyle used to use with all his students.


Maestro David Kyle & Robert Lunte - The Vocalist Studio

Maestro David Kyle & Robert Lunte - The Vocalist Studio



  Those sounds which seem to ring the most are usually the best. Those which seem the roundest are usually the best. Those which seem to resonate are usually the best. Those which seem to echo are usually the best. So listen out into the theater and see if they are echoing, and if they are round, and they are resonant. Connect your notes and don’t be afraid. There are two kinds of stars. There are “stars” and there are “superstars.” The star no matter how he tries he just can’t seem to become a superstar. He’s great, great, great, great, but along comes a Caruso, or a Lanza, or a Gigli, and he can’t quite get over the hurdle. It’s because of one simple thing. The star sings, and when he’s singing he listens to himself; and while he’s listening he shapes it; and he opinionates it; and he shapes it around. If it isn’t round enough he rounds it more. And that sounds logical doesn’t it? It’s wrong! The superstar pictures the sound and knows what he wants to hear before he makes it! Singing is more the concept than anything. If we’ve got the right idea, then the muscles as they train more and more they become like a reflex and the reflexes respond to the image. Even if you’re trained beautifully and your image is a fear that you haven’t got high notes and it’ll never get there the reflexes won’t respond no matter how well trained you are. The epitome of it is you can say singing is absolutely mental. In the process of getting to realize that you have to take a lot of physical steps before you begin to see it, but it is true! The singer has to be in the consciousness and the mood. How does one establish a consciousness and a mood? You tend to become as you act. So if you pretend and try to get your feelings to act as you think they would act if you were doing it, then you’re getting in the consciousness. But if our consciousness is only on body and physical things then our mind is...

The rest of the lecture offers another 5 pages of incredible insights about how the mind controls the singing voice. Read the entire lecture in The Four Pillars of Singing.

Maestro David Kyle - The Vocalist Studio

Maestro David Kyle - The Vocalist Studio


Maestro David Kyle Quotes


“Good singers sing and listen, Great singers listen, then sing”

“Good speech is half sung, but good singing is not half spoken.”

“Wear the world like a loose garment. Don’t let it tighten in on you.”

“Suppose you were learning to drive a car. Would it be better to learn on a road with no obstructions?”

“Every negation is a blessing in disguise.”

“The art of the art is the art that conceals the art.”

“He who would know aught of art must first learn and then take his ease.”

“When you open up you should be able to see light from both ends.”

“Feel like you are singing with your whole body.”

“Your reflexes respond to your image.”

“The reflexes respond to the imagination.”

“Listen away from yourself.”

“Sing on the balls of your feet, like the American Indian.”

“Burn Bridges and don’t look back.”

“Listen away from yourself, right out into the auditorium.”

“Singing is both a science and an art. All art is all imagination and you cannot fix that.”

“You have to believe you will receive before you receive and then you will get it.”

“Visualize you are already what you want to be. Act as if you are that, and you will become it.”

“If you always notice what you are while trying to get there, you’ll never get there.”

“Start as if the sound begins before the breath.”

“The end is in the beginning, and the beginning is in the end.”

“It’s not a game I’m playing! If you think that you’re short changing yourself.”

“People don’t get tired of their work; they get tired of the resistance to their work.”

“Forever diet the voice. Diet the voice; diet the mind; diet the spirit; diet everything but your income!”

“Feel like your whole self is all a part of the sound, like the full violin is just vibrating.”

“Imagine the sound you want, picture the sound you want.”

“Open up the entire body and see the light through both ends!”

“Breath, pause, release the jaw, visualize the sound you want, and sing to the back of (Carnegie Hall).”

“We don’t let attitudes control us, we control them!”

“Only babies are victims of moods!”

“Let the sound flow right over the roof of the mouth into the masque.”

“Bowels up, vowels forward.”

“Some day you’re going to stand up and say, ‘This is me’ and go!”

“We tend to become as we act.”

“Attitude is everything in everything.”

“Every time you find your thinking going to the strain or the resistance, immediately create mentally the sound that you want, hear what you want.”

“And remember you have a beautiful voice. At your worst you sound better than many of them at their best!”

“Just don’t sound like everyone else!”

“And tell it your singing marvelous, you’re singing wonderfully!”

“Sing Away from yourself, to something.”

“Listen, then sing!”

“Way to go Baby!”

Maestro David Kyle passed on

Saturday, November 27th of 2004



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Unsung heroes of Rock, Pop, Contemporary............... You name it. The Vocal Coach.

Do you really think that your favorite singers JUST had a naturally good voice and did not work for it?  More likely than not they were just like you. Spending hours in a locked bedroom or garage, shed or in their car singing and making funny noises trying to find that sound or sing that same phrase that has been kicking their butt for years. You can almost bet your bottom dollar that they were also singing in Churches, Fairs, Birthday Parties and bars when they started to realize they were not that bad and could hold a tune. And when the money was finally available and the opportunity or need arose....The search for a Vocal Coach.

A few unsung heroes...Elizabeth Sabine...You may recognize a few names that you thought were Natural Singers..


Judy Davis...Singer to the stars...


Of course you may have heard of Seth Riggs...Vocal Coach of Michael Jackson among others. Other vocal coaches are Jo Estill, Catherine Sadoline....

You can find a few Videos of Seth coaching and a Program of his. Unfortunately there are very few if any of Maestro David Kyle, Elizabeth Sabine and Judy Davis. Our loss to be sure. But thanks to the newer breed of coaches that have the guts, forethought and passion to bring us videos, books and audio files of their own and tried and true methods of the past we can reap the benefits that others spent thousands of hours and dollars to achieve.

So THANK YOU, Robert Lunte, Ken Tamplin, Kevin Richards, James Lugo,  Jaime Vendera, and some of the newer coaches...Daniel Formica, Keven Ashe, Draven Grey.................And also to those here who do not let on that they are coaches. I have to stop somewhere so if I missed you just know that your efforts to help others are appreciated.........................................................

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On 5/23/2018 at 4:00 PM, Learning Guitar said:

I've been taking some local vocal and singing lessons in San Jose for a few months now and I've always wanted to sing like Chris Cornell. I feel like I'm getting closer and closer!

Give me a call... or send an email... we'll discuss how I can help you down that path. 

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