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  1. This article has been republished from my blog, www.findingmysingingvoice.com. A lot of people come to my blog looking for information on how to sing. So far, my posts have focused more on my journey as a singer or on tips for people who are already singers or students of singing. Look for that focus to change somewhat in the coming months. Learning to Sing series I've written before that one of my goals is to eventually teach singing. I've taught voice lessons before (though not recently), so it seems like a natural topic to writing about here. After all, this is a site about finding the singing voice - not having it, not showing it off, not becoming famous for it. It's a site about the process of improving as a singer. So why not start at the very beginning? Why you need a voice teacher I'll give specific singing tips in later posts. For now, you should know that the best way to learn to sing is with a teacher. Yes, you can pick up some knowledge online, watch American Idol, listen to recordings, and sing along to your favorite songs. But here are a few reasons why you should consider finding a teacher if you're serious about singing. * A voice teacher can hear things you can't. It's tempting to think that nobody knows your voice as well as you do, but it's actually not true. Your vocal cords are located in your throat, and the sounds they make resonate in your throat, mouth, head, and chest. Your body is a musical instrument, and your ears are attached to it. That means they can't possibly hear your voice like others do. They're too close! Singers have to learn the sensations of good singing and rely on the expert ears of a teacher. * A voice teacher can see you sing. No, a teacher can't see your vocal cords, but he or she can see a lot of your vocal instrument: your face, jaw, tongue, neck, ribcage, and abdomen. Good posture is essential for singing. A teacher can also spot signs of physical tension that can affect your sound. Another common problem teachers catch are distracting movements or tics like rocking back and forth while singing, clenching your hands, or standing on your toes for high notes. * A voice teacher can guide your learning process. You could read a thousand books on singing and never improve as a singer, but a teacher can guide you in a way that knowledge can't. A teacher, a book, or a DVD can all tell you how to breathe, but only a teacher can tell you if you're doing it right or not. Also, a teacher will tailor lessons to your specific needs. Is your breathing fine, but your neck is tense? Do you have a huge vocal range, but places where the voice breaks? A wise teacher will determine what you need to work on and in what order and will match his or her teaching to your learning style. * A voice teacher can help you work towards your goals. Do you want to join a choir, audition for a musical, become a pop star, or sing opera? Or maybe you just like singing and want to improve your voice. Whatever your goals are, a teacher can help you move in the right direction. He or she can also give you feedback on whether your goals are realistic. If they aren't, your teacher can help you set new goals that are within your reach. * A voice teacher can open up a whole new world! A lot of people start singing lessons without knowing quite what to expect. Singing seems simple enough, but it connects so many other areas. The best singers and teachers draw on knowledge from so many fields besides music: anatomy, bodywork (like yoga), health, psychology, speech and language, history, poetry, acting, theater, etc. You might get into singing for one reason, only to discover a new passion. Have a question about singing? Send me an email. Look for more posts in the Learning to Sing series on topics such as: * What to look for in a voice teacher * How to find a voice teacher * Deciding when to start * What to expect at your first voice lesson * How to stand while singing * How to warm up the voice View full articles
  2. This article has been republished from my blog, www.findingmysingingvoice.com. This is part two in my Learning to Sing series. Finding the right voice teacher is the most important choice an aspiring singer can make.Your teacher will guide you through the process of exploring, developing, and training your voice. The right teacher will help you grow in a nurturing yet challenging environment. The wrong teacher can harm your self-esteem, dash your hopes (or inflate them with false promises) and even damage your vocal cords! Some fields have formal training or evaluation processes to determine whether a person is qualified to practice that profession. Singing does not. That means anyone can call herself a voice teacher as long as someone is willing to pay her for lessons. It's up to you the student to decide whether a teacher has what it takes to teach you. So what should you look for in a voice teacher? * Training This is usually the first thing people look at when evaluating a voice teacher. You'll want to know that your teacher has received thorough training in areas such as music theory, music history, vocal literature (songs, opera, musicals, etc.), languages (if you want to sing classical/opera), and vocal technique. Look for a B.A. or B.M. in music or vocal performance. Many teachers will have master's degrees in voice or music education and may also have certification in some form of bodywork (usually yoga, Alexander Technique, the Feldenkrais method, or Fitzmaurice Voicework). While training is essential, keep in mind that degrees from top schools don't automatically make someone a great teacher. The best singers and teachers learn from a combination of formal education, private study, personal experience, professional development, and trial and error. * Performing experience Many teachers are also active performers. Others have given up performing to focus on teaching. Both types can be excellent teachers. Singers stop performing for a number of reasons: finances, health, family, lifestyle, etc. Often a singer will discover that his or her personality is better suited to the teaching studio than to the stage. Ideally, a teacher will have at least some performing experience. As with degrees, however, keep in mind that performing credentials alone don't guarantee great teaching. An opera singer with international performing credits may be better at communicating with a large audience than describing vocal concepts to a beginning singer. * Teaching success The number one question you'll want to ask about a potential teacher is whether that person's students are successful. Do the teacher's students win competitions, get accepted into good music schools, have performing careers, or become respected teachers? Whatever your immediate goals are as a singer, make sure your teacher has helped other singers achieve similar success. * Singing style Before you commit to a teacher, find out if he or she teaches the singing style you want to learn. If you want to sing pop, don't study with someone who only teaches opera singers. If your dream is to sing on Broadway, find someone whose students are successful in musical theater. Some teachers successfully teach a wide variety of singing styles. (I know of a voice teacher in NYC who has famous students in pop, musical theater, and opera.) Others prefer to specialize in one style. Be sure to ask about a teacher's experience with the style you love best. Or, if you're not sure what style you prefer, find a teacher who's comfortable with multiple styles. * Specialties Many teachers end up specializing in one or more areas, while others prefer to teach a variety of students and voice types. For example, some teachers prefer beginning students and others only teach professionals. Voice teachers with training in speech or voice pathology may work exclusively with singers who have a history of vocal trouble. Some teachers may even choose to only teach students of their gender or voice type. Singers also have similar preferences. Some sopranos, for example, only want to study with other sopranos. * Personality Maybe personality isn't essential for everyone. (I suppose if you're open minded, you can learn from anyone.) But I find it much easier to trust, connect with, and learn from someone I like, admire, and want to please. I've had several teachers who I never really connected with personally, and I didn't make great progress with them. Several times, I've declined to study with successful teachers I didn't connect with. As you search for a voice teacher, here are some thoughts on several types of teachers to avoid: * Anyone who makes unrealistic promises Become a star in 6 weeks! Sing like a pro in one month! Guaranteed to increase your vocal range! An honest teacher will tell you that learning to sing takes time. And no one can make promises about your voice without hearing you first. If it sounds too good to be true, it is! * Anyone who only teaches online. Online lessons are fine in some circumstances, but I wouldn't recommend them for a beginner or for the beginning of a new singer/teacher relationship. Some might call me old-fashioned, but it's essential that your teacher see you sing and hear your voice without distortion. Plus, you'll get to know each other better and establish a stronger rapport by meeting in person. * Anyone who's all about the money. Watch out for teachers who are overly keen on selling you their products (singing books, CDs, DVDs, pricey seminars, etc.). Everyone needs to make a living, but a committed teacher will put your interests ahead of merchandise sales. A few years ago, a friend suggested that I consider studying with a well-known opera singer. This singer had sung major roles all over the world, he took students at my level, he found performance opportunities for many of his students, and several of his prots were embarking on successful careers. His students spoke highly of him, and encouraged me to join his studio. I spoke to him on the phone, met him in person, and went to a master class he taught. I decided that he would have a lot to offer me. There was only one problem: I just didn't like him. As much as I respected his experience as a singer and his commitment to teaching, there were other things about him that turned me off: his loud humor, his disorganized manner, his rambling anecdotes, and his rather forceful personality. I felt that my quieter demeanor would be overwhelmed by this man's larger-than-life persona. I decided to keep looking for a teacher, and I eventually found just the right person. In your search for a teacher, remember to listen to your instincts. Never let anyone (or their impressive credentials) pressure you into studying with someone who doesn't feel right for you. If you begin studies with a teacher and decide the relationship isn't working, don't be shy about ending it. It's your money, your time, and your voice! View full articles
  3. This article has been republished from my blog, www.findingmysingingvoice.com. This is part two in my Learning to Sing series. Finding the right voice teacher is the most important choice an aspiring singer can make.Your teacher will guide you through the process of exploring, developing, and training your voice. The right teacher will help you grow in a nurturing yet challenging environment. The wrong teacher can harm your self-esteem, dash your hopes (or inflate them with false promises) and even damage your vocal cords! Some fields have formal training or evaluation processes to determine whether a person is qualified to practice that profession. Singing does not. That means anyone can call herself a voice teacher as long as someone is willing to pay her for lessons. It's up to you the student to decide whether a teacher has what it takes to teach you. So what should you look for in a voice teacher? * Training This is usually the first thing people look at when evaluating a voice teacher. You'll want to know that your teacher has received thorough training in areas such as music theory, music history, vocal literature (songs, opera, musicals, etc.), languages (if you want to sing classical/opera), and vocal technique. Look for a B.A. or B.M. in music or vocal performance. Many teachers will have master's degrees in voice or music education and may also have certification in some form of bodywork (usually yoga, Alexander Technique, the Feldenkrais method, or Fitzmaurice Voicework). While training is essential, keep in mind that degrees from top schools don't automatically make someone a great teacher. The best singers and teachers learn from a combination of formal education, private study, personal experience, professional development, and trial and error. * Performing experience Many teachers are also active performers. Others have given up performing to focus on teaching. Both types can be excellent teachers. Singers stop performing for a number of reasons: finances, health, family, lifestyle, etc. Often a singer will discover that his or her personality is better suited to the teaching studio than to the stage. Ideally, a teacher will have at least some performing experience. As with degrees, however, keep in mind that performing credentials alone don't guarantee great teaching. An opera singer with international performing credits may be better at communicating with a large audience than describing vocal concepts to a beginning singer. * Teaching success The number one question you'll want to ask about a potential teacher is whether that person's students are successful. Do the teacher's students win competitions, get accepted into good music schools, have performing careers, or become respected teachers? Whatever your immediate goals are as a singer, make sure your teacher has helped other singers achieve similar success. * Singing style Before you commit to a teacher, find out if he or she teaches the singing style you want to learn. If you want to sing pop, don't study with someone who only teaches opera singers. If your dream is to sing on Broadway, find someone whose students are successful in musical theater. Some teachers successfully teach a wide variety of singing styles. (I know of a voice teacher in NYC who has famous students in pop, musical theater, and opera.) Others prefer to specialize in one style. Be sure to ask about a teacher's experience with the style you love best. Or, if you're not sure what style you prefer, find a teacher who's comfortable with multiple styles. * Specialties Many teachers end up specializing in one or more areas, while others prefer to teach a variety of students and voice types. For example, some teachers prefer beginning students and others only teach professionals. Voice teachers with training in speech or voice pathology may work exclusively with singers who have a history of vocal trouble. Some teachers may even choose to only teach students of their gender or voice type. Singers also have similar preferences. Some sopranos, for example, only want to study with other sopranos. * Personality Maybe personality isn't essential for everyone. (I suppose if you're open minded, you can learn from anyone.) But I find it much easier to trust, connect with, and learn from someone I like, admire, and want to please. I've had several teachers who I never really connected with personally, and I didn't make great progress with them. Several times, I've declined to study with successful teachers I didn't connect with. As you search for a voice teacher, here are some thoughts on several types of teachers to avoid: * Anyone who makes unrealistic promises Become a star in 6 weeks! Sing like a pro in one month! Guaranteed to increase your vocal range! An honest teacher will tell you that learning to sing takes time. And no one can make promises about your voice without hearing you first. If it sounds too good to be true, it is! * Anyone who only teaches online. Online lessons are fine in some circumstances, but I wouldn't recommend them for a beginner or for the beginning of a new singer/teacher relationship. Some might call me old-fashioned, but it's essential that your teacher see you sing and hear your voice without distortion. Plus, you'll get to know each other better and establish a stronger rapport by meeting in person. * Anyone who's all about the money. Watch out for teachers who are overly keen on selling you their products (singing books, CDs, DVDs, pricey seminars, etc.). Everyone needs to make a living, but a committed teacher will put your interests ahead of merchandise sales. A few years ago, a friend suggested that I consider studying with a well-known opera singer. This singer had sung major roles all over the world, he took students at my level, he found performance opportunities for many of his students, and several of his prots were embarking on successful careers. His students spoke highly of him, and encouraged me to join his studio. I spoke to him on the phone, met him in person, and went to a master class he taught. I decided that he would have a lot to offer me. There was only one problem: I just didn't like him. As much as I respected his experience as a singer and his commitment to teaching, there were other things about him that turned me off: his loud humor, his disorganized manner, his rambling anecdotes, and his rather forceful personality. I felt that my quieter demeanor would be overwhelmed by this man's larger-than-life persona. I decided to keep looking for a teacher, and I eventually found just the right person. In your search for a teacher, remember to listen to your instincts. Never let anyone (or their impressive credentials) pressure you into studying with someone who doesn't feel right for you. If you begin studies with a teacher and decide the relationship isn't working, don't be shy about ending it. It's your money, your time, and your voice!
  4. This article has been republished from my blog, www.findingmysingingvoice.com. A lot of people come to my blog looking for information on how to sing. So far, my posts have focused more on my journey as a singer or on tips for people who are already singers or students of singing. Look for that focus to change somewhat in the coming months. Learning to Sing series I've written before that one of my goals is to eventually teach singing. I've taught voice lessons before (though not recently), so it seems like a natural topic to writing about here. After all, this is a site about finding the singing voice - not having it, not showing it off, not becoming famous for it. It's a site about the process of improving as a singer. So why not start at the very beginning? Why you need a voice teacher I'll give specific singing tips in later posts. For now, you should know that the best way to learn to sing is with a teacher. Yes, you can pick up some knowledge online, watch American Idol, listen to recordings, and sing along to your favorite songs. But here are a few reasons why you should consider finding a teacher if you're serious about singing. * A voice teacher can hear things you can't. It's tempting to think that nobody knows your voice as well as you do, but it's actually not true. Your vocal cords are located in your throat, and the sounds they make resonate in your throat, mouth, head, and chest. Your body is a musical instrument, and your ears are attached to it. That means they can't possibly hear your voice like others do. They're too close! Singers have to learn the sensations of good singing and rely on the expert ears of a teacher. * A voice teacher can see you sing. No, a teacher can't see your vocal cords, but he or she can see a lot of your vocal instrument: your face, jaw, tongue, neck, ribcage, and abdomen. Good posture is essential for singing. A teacher can also spot signs of physical tension that can affect your sound. Another common problem teachers catch are distracting movements or tics like rocking back and forth while singing, clenching your hands, or standing on your toes for high notes. * A voice teacher can guide your learning process. You could read a thousand books on singing and never improve as a singer, but a teacher can guide you in a way that knowledge can't. A teacher, a book, or a DVD can all tell you how to breathe, but only a teacher can tell you if you're doing it right or not. Also, a teacher will tailor lessons to your specific needs. Is your breathing fine, but your neck is tense? Do you have a huge vocal range, but places where the voice breaks? A wise teacher will determine what you need to work on and in what order and will match his or her teaching to your learning style. * A voice teacher can help you work towards your goals. Do you want to join a choir, audition for a musical, become a pop star, or sing opera? Or maybe you just like singing and want to improve your voice. Whatever your goals are, a teacher can help you move in the right direction. He or she can also give you feedback on whether your goals are realistic. If they aren't, your teacher can help you set new goals that are within your reach. * A voice teacher can open up a whole new world! A lot of people start singing lessons without knowing quite what to expect. Singing seems simple enough, but it connects so many other areas. The best singers and teachers draw on knowledge from so many fields besides music: anatomy, bodywork (like yoga), health, psychology, speech and language, history, poetry, acting, theater, etc. You might get into singing for one reason, only to discover a new passion. Have a question about singing? Send me an email. Look for more posts in the Learning to Sing series on topics such as: * What to look for in a voice teacher * How to find a voice teacher * Deciding when to start * What to expect at your first voice lesson * How to stand while singing * How to warm up the voice
  5. CHAPTER 4 - REHEARSALS: WHO, WHERE, WHEN, WHAT? SO, YOU WANT TO BE A SINGER? by Diva Joan Cartwright Practice, practice, practice! is the rule for professionals. However, scheduling rehearsals can be frustrating. Once you've found the musicians you enjoy being around, work up a rehearsal schedule for once a week or every other week, until you've gotten a tight show of about ten to twenty songs. Rehearsal can be held at someone's home, at a community center or school, at a church or any place where you will not disturb others or be interrupted. It is common to rehearse in the daytime because most musicians work at night, but many have day gigs, too. So, figure a time when everyone is free. Sometimes, you can rehearse with the pianist or guitarist, alone, just to get the tunes down. But it's better if everyone in the band is present. Getting a feel for one another is very important. Some musicians require payment for rehearsal, especially if it's for a recording session. But if it's for a gig and you're new to them, rehearsal is a must in order for you to hire them or if they are hiring you. It's just the professional thing to do, so don’t be intimidated by musicians who try to con you into paying them to rehearse. If the music sounds bad, YOU, the singer are usually the one that critics point the finger at, so demand rehearsal so your show will be great! First, rehearse the songs you are familiar with. Then, work on the new material. Don't wait until rehearsal time to learn the lyrics. Know them beforehand. Ask if anyone has original songs that they want you to sing or tunes that they want you to write lyrics for. Do your own songs as much as possible. Make sure you do up tempo songs. You don't want to bore your musicians or the audience with too many ballads. Sambas and Bossa Novas are lots of fun. My experience is that everyone loves the Blues. So, learn three or four that you can interchange from gig to gig. Some common ones are "Stormy Monday", "Route 66", "Sweet Home Chicago", "Bye Bye Blackbird", Mustang Sally�, Let The Good Times Roll, "Dr. Feelgood" and "In The Midnight Hour". There are hundreds of blues and you don't need sheet music. You simply need to know the lyrics, tempo and key. Most blues are sung in the key of Bb, C, F or G. It all depends on your vocal range. Source: SO, YOU WANT TO BE A SINGER? by Joan Cartwright available at http://stores.lulu.com/divajc. See Chapters 1-3 on my BLOG. View full articles
  6. CHAPTER 4 - REHEARSALS: WHO, WHERE, WHEN, WHAT? SO, YOU WANT TO BE A SINGER? by Diva Joan Cartwright Practice, practice, practice! is the rule for professionals. However, scheduling rehearsals can be frustrating. Once you've found the musicians you enjoy being around, work up a rehearsal schedule for once a week or every other week, until you've gotten a tight show of about ten to twenty songs. Rehearsal can be held at someone's home, at a community center or school, at a church or any place where you will not disturb others or be interrupted. It is common to rehearse in the daytime because most musicians work at night, but many have day gigs, too. So, figure a time when everyone is free. Sometimes, you can rehearse with the pianist or guitarist, alone, just to get the tunes down. But it's better if everyone in the band is present. Getting a feel for one another is very important. Some musicians require payment for rehearsal, especially if it's for a recording session. But if it's for a gig and you're new to them, rehearsal is a must in order for you to hire them or if they are hiring you. It's just the professional thing to do, so don’t be intimidated by musicians who try to con you into paying them to rehearse. If the music sounds bad, YOU, the singer are usually the one that critics point the finger at, so demand rehearsal so your show will be great! First, rehearse the songs you are familiar with. Then, work on the new material. Don't wait until rehearsal time to learn the lyrics. Know them beforehand. Ask if anyone has original songs that they want you to sing or tunes that they want you to write lyrics for. Do your own songs as much as possible. Make sure you do up tempo songs. You don't want to bore your musicians or the audience with too many ballads. Sambas and Bossa Novas are lots of fun. My experience is that everyone loves the Blues. So, learn three or four that you can interchange from gig to gig. Some common ones are "Stormy Monday", "Route 66", "Sweet Home Chicago", "Bye Bye Blackbird", Mustang Sally�, Let The Good Times Roll, "Dr. Feelgood" and "In The Midnight Hour". There are hundreds of blues and you don't need sheet music. You simply need to know the lyrics, tempo and key. Most blues are sung in the key of Bb, C, F or G. It all depends on your vocal range. Source: SO, YOU WANT TO BE A SINGER? by Joan Cartwright available at http://stores.lulu.com/divajc. See Chapters 1-3 on my BLOG.
  7. In some ways it is harder to learn to sing backup that being a solo singer. When you are singing solo, you do not have to worry about blending in or following someone else, they have to follow you! Not so when you are the second singer or "backup" as it is known. When this is the case, you have to be aware of the main singers phrasing, nuances and even possible mistakes. Listening Listening is the most important skill a backup singer has to learn. It is far more important to blend in and not over shadow the main vocal than it is to showcase your own voice. This is not the time for standing out, you are there to enhance, color and accentuate the main vocal, not to over power it. You will not be asked back if it is felt you are only interested in your self. The best backup singer is one who goes virtually un-noticed. Sometimes people may not even remember that there was a backup singer, this is ok, and you did your job! Blending In In order to blend in with the main vocal there are many things you must keep in mind. First, position yourself where you can see the face and lips of the main vocalist. This is so very important. You cannot know when they are going to start a phrase or end one if you cannot see them. Also you will definitely not be able to react when they make a mistake. Sometimes you will need to sing a different verse for example because they started on the wrong one. If you are just looking at the music or going by what you have memorized you will be singing over the main vocal with a different verse and guess who will be blamed? Sometimes they will indicate by a nod of the head or a hand gesture that they want to repeat a section or go back to "the top" and you will not know this if you have your head buried in the music in front of you. Learn to watch them all the time. Phrasing This goes along with watching the main vocalist but also deserves special mention. You must ideally start the phrase with the main vocal and end the phrase with the main vocal. This is very difficult to do but there are some little tips to doing a good job even if you are not familiar with this particular vocalist or their phrasing habits. (And everyone has theirs) First as mentioned before, watch them very carefully to see when they actually start the phrase. Begin your line only when you are sure they have started and start yours quietly. This allows room to grow and to blend in imperceptibly. This seems like a very easy thing to do, but most people forget and try to jump in where it seems best and they end up sounding awful because they came in at the wrong time. If you start quietly and come up to the level of the main vocal you will have much more success in this regard. The same thing applies in reverse in the closing part of the phrase, the end if you will. Start preparing your ending before they get there. Anticipate the end coming up and watch them. You will know by observing when the end is coming up. Make sure you watch their lips and face to see when they might end. Do not get caught singing after they have ended! This can be very, very embarrassing. Also a note about beginning and ending consonants. Sometimes when two or more people are singing a phrase there can be multiple popping "p's" or sibilant sounds as each singer attempts to sing at the same time. A neat trick to avoid this is to drop the first consonant entirely when you are the backup singer. If the line is something like "peter piper picked a peck of", you as a backup vocalist might sing "eter-iper-icked-a-eck-of". This enables the main singer to have the definite first consonant of the phrase without you running over them or being out-of-sync with them. So when you are called to be a backup singer, remember you are there to blend in, not stand out. Enjoy! Learn to Sing ,Play Music, Enjoy Music for life! http://www.SimpleMusicSecrets.comBackup
  8. In some ways it is harder to learn to sing backup that being a solo singer. When you are singing solo, you do not have to worry about blending in or following someone else, they have to follow you! Not so when you are the second singer or "backup" as it is known. When this is the case, you have to be aware of the main singers phrasing, nuances and even possible mistakes. Listening Listening is the most important skill a backup singer has to learn. It is far more important to blend in and not over shadow the main vocal than it is to showcase your own voice. This is not the time for standing out, you are there to enhance, color and accentuate the main vocal, not to over power it. You will not be asked back if it is felt you are only interested in your self. The best backup singer is one who goes virtually un-noticed. Sometimes people may not even remember that there was a backup singer, this is ok, and you did your job! Blending In In order to blend in with the main vocal there are many things you must keep in mind. First, position yourself where you can see the face and lips of the main vocalist. This is so very important. You cannot know when they are going to start a phrase or end one if you cannot see them. Also you will definitely not be able to react when they make a mistake. Sometimes you will need to sing a different verse for example because they started on the wrong one. If you are just looking at the music or going by what you have memorized you will be singing over the main vocal with a different verse and guess who will be blamed? Sometimes they will indicate by a nod of the head or a hand gesture that they want to repeat a section or go back to "the top" and you will not know this if you have your head buried in the music in front of you. Learn to watch them all the time. Phrasing This goes along with watching the main vocalist but also deserves special mention. You must ideally start the phrase with the main vocal and end the phrase with the main vocal. This is very difficult to do but there are some little tips to doing a good job even if you are not familiar with this particular vocalist or their phrasing habits. (And everyone has theirs) First as mentioned before, watch them very carefully to see when they actually start the phrase. Begin your line only when you are sure they have started and start yours quietly. This allows room to grow and to blend in imperceptibly. This seems like a very easy thing to do, but most people forget and try to jump in where it seems best and they end up sounding awful because they came in at the wrong time. If you start quietly and come up to the level of the main vocal you will have much more success in this regard. The same thing applies in reverse in the closing part of the phrase, the end if you will. Start preparing your ending before they get there. Anticipate the end coming up and watch them. You will know by observing when the end is coming up. Make sure you watch their lips and face to see when they might end. Do not get caught singing after they have ended! This can be very, very embarrassing. Also a note about beginning and ending consonants. Sometimes when two or more people are singing a phrase there can be multiple popping "p's" or sibilant sounds as each singer attempts to sing at the same time. A neat trick to avoid this is to drop the first consonant entirely when you are the backup singer. If the line is something like "peter piper picked a peck of", you as a backup vocalist might sing "eter-iper-icked-a-eck-of". This enables the main singer to have the definite first consonant of the phrase without you running over them or being out-of-sync with them. So when you are called to be a backup singer, remember you are there to blend in, not stand out. Enjoy! Learn to Sing ,Play Music, Enjoy Music for life! http://www.SimpleMusicSecrets.comBackup View full articles
  9. Steve: Hi, Dena! I understand that your new book on singing has just been published. Would you tell us a little bit about it? Dena: This is a book that has been 15 years in the making. From the time I started teaching (over 20 years ago,) I knew there was a problem with the prevailing concepts of diaphragmatic support. Singers were injuring themselves from too much pressure and misperceiving instructions. Steve: Do yo mean that the usual "singing teacher's lingo" was not helpful in leading the student in what they should do? Dena: Yes, exactly. They also were not getting what they'd hoped to get from taking lessons i.e., freedom when singing/performing. So after many years of study, I finally uncovered that the problem boiled down to correct intake of air (the inhale) and created exercises to correct it. Steve: You've published two other books on singing. How does this latest one fit in with them? Dena: Well, I never set out to do a three-part series but that was the end result of all my work. Vocal Technique: Finding Your Real Voice is a beginners book and focuses on the vocal mechanism. I did two things deliberately for the beginner: 1) I skipped the discussion of how to use the diaphragm for support, and instead created exercises to builid up the muscles and cartilages which control/support the vocal folds, and, 2) I separated the chest voice from the head voice because in my experience if there are problems in either register, those problems will show up when trying to bridge and combine them for that one-register sound. This book is the first step in how to gain support. Steve: Ok, I am with you so far. How was your approach received by your readers? Dena: Very well, I think. My European readers were especially open with their positive feed-back, and I still receive comments to day on that book's usefulness. Steve: Ok! What was your second book like? Dena: The second one, Advanced Vocal Technique: Middle Voice, Placement & Styles (co-authored by Tita Hutchison,) focuses on a step-by-step process of how to bridge the voice for the one register sound, vowel formation, and correct placement for any given style. Steve: So, that would make it the 'next steps' after clarifying the Chest and Head voices, and some discussion of the different vocal productions. Dena: Yes, that's right. There are 13 exercises in this book with every feeling and sensation one should (and shouldn’t) have, literally spelled out for the singer. Again, we purposely stayed away from too much focus on the diaphragm. This book is the second step with regard to support. Steve: All right. How does this third book extend the approach of the other two? Dena: In this third and last book of the series, “Vocal Strength and Power”, the focus is solely on how to employ correct use of the diaphragmatic region for its support of the entire mechanism. Steve: How is your approach different from other's you've heard? Simply stated, I've uncovered a problem inherent with other approaches to 'support' instruction, and created exercises to correct the problem. Steve: Ok, I'll bite. What is the problem? Dena: The problem is the correct intake of air before singing. Steve: Who can benefit from your approach and exercises? Dena: Anyone should be able to add these exercises (if they should so choose) to already working methods of techniques when they notice they are struggling for not just the freedom, but also their inherent great sound. Steve: Dena, what else does the book contain? Dena: In addition to the CD of exercises, this book also includes a glossary of dictionary-defined words, the most commonly used words for instruction. As I was looking up the words to pull this section together, I was quite surprised at the meanings associated with some of these words, as I'm sure others will be too. I found that most misperception comes down to the true meaning of a word. Steve: Moving on to a different aspect of this work, how did you go about getting published? Dena: Let me answer that by describing how I got my first one published. Once I knew the subject I wanted to cover, I started writing. I got a name at Hal Leonard to contact, and pitched my idea by e-mail. Steve: What was the response? Dena: He got back to me within a few days and asked that I I send a table of contents and the first chapter so they could review it. I was very nervous about all of this because it was my first book so nervous that I purposely wouldn't check my e-mail. I decided to go camping for a few days and when I returned, checked my phone messages never expecting to get an answer by phone. Oh My God, they were SO excited about this book wanted it as soon as possible, sent me a contract, and advance money. Steve: That must have been a very pleasant surprise! After the initial contact, how long did the process take? Dena: The first book took a year to write and another to get it printed and published. It surely was one of the most exciting things that ever happened to me. I established an excellent relationship with the vice president and several editors by keeping them updated as to how far along I was every three months or so, and always remembering to tell them how appreciative I was to them for this opportunity. They then told me they wished all authors were this responsible about communication. Steve: I take it from this comment that not all authors are so communicative. Do you have any advice in this regard for any writers out there that would like to have a book published? Dena: Yes, I do. My best advice: if you get a name to contact at a publishing company and can secure the deal... keep your publisher updated as you write the book. Right along with that... never forget about the opportunity they have provided for you. Steve: Dena, this is great information. For those interested, where and when will the book be available? The book is already available to pre-order on Amazon.com (my link on www.denamurray.com will take you straight to the book,) It has already been shipped to Barnes and Noble, Borders, most music stores, and other bookstores. It will be available for purchase in the stores around Thanksgiving. Steve: Thanks, Dena, for taking the time to provide this information.
  10. Steve: Hi, Dena! I understand that your new book on singing has just been published. Would you tell us a little bit about it? Dena: This is a book that has been 15 years in the making. From the time I started teaching (over 20 years ago,) I knew there was a problem with the prevailing concepts of diaphragmatic support. Singers were injuring themselves from too much pressure and misperceiving instructions. Steve: Do yo mean that the usual "singing teacher's lingo" was not helpful in leading the student in what they should do? Dena: Yes, exactly. They also were not getting what they'd hoped to get from taking lessons i.e., freedom when singing/performing. So after many years of study, I finally uncovered that the problem boiled down to correct intake of air (the inhale) and created exercises to correct it. Steve: You've published two other books on singing. How does this latest one fit in with them? Dena: Well, I never set out to do a three-part series but that was the end result of all my work. Vocal Technique: Finding Your Real Voice is a beginners book and focuses on the vocal mechanism. I did two things deliberately for the beginner: 1) I skipped the discussion of how to use the diaphragm for support, and instead created exercises to builid up the muscles and cartilages which control/support the vocal folds, and, 2) I separated the chest voice from the head voice because in my experience if there are problems in either register, those problems will show up when trying to bridge and combine them for that one-register sound. This book is the first step in how to gain support. Steve: Ok, I am with you so far. How was your approach received by your readers? Dena: Very well, I think. My European readers were especially open with their positive feed-back, and I still receive comments to day on that book's usefulness. Steve: Ok! What was your second book like? Dena: The second one, Advanced Vocal Technique: Middle Voice, Placement & Styles (co-authored by Tita Hutchison,) focuses on a step-by-step process of how to bridge the voice for the one register sound, vowel formation, and correct placement for any given style. Steve: So, that would make it the 'next steps' after clarifying the Chest and Head voices, and some discussion of the different vocal productions. Dena: Yes, that's right. There are 13 exercises in this book with every feeling and sensation one should (and shouldn’t) have, literally spelled out for the singer. Again, we purposely stayed away from too much focus on the diaphragm. This book is the second step with regard to support. Steve: All right. How does this third book extend the approach of the other two? Dena: In this third and last book of the series, “Vocal Strength and Power”, the focus is solely on how to employ correct use of the diaphragmatic region for its support of the entire mechanism. Steve: How is your approach different from other's you've heard? Simply stated, I've uncovered a problem inherent with other approaches to 'support' instruction, and created exercises to correct the problem. Steve: Ok, I'll bite. What is the problem? Dena: The problem is the correct intake of air before singing. Steve: Who can benefit from your approach and exercises? Dena: Anyone should be able to add these exercises (if they should so choose) to already working methods of techniques when they notice they are struggling for not just the freedom, but also their inherent great sound. Steve: Dena, what else does the book contain? Dena: In addition to the CD of exercises, this book also includes a glossary of dictionary-defined words, the most commonly used words for instruction. As I was looking up the words to pull this section together, I was quite surprised at the meanings associated with some of these words, as I'm sure others will be too. I found that most misperception comes down to the true meaning of a word. Steve: Moving on to a different aspect of this work, how did you go about getting published? Dena: Let me answer that by describing how I got my first one published. Once I knew the subject I wanted to cover, I started writing. I got a name at Hal Leonard to contact, and pitched my idea by e-mail. Steve: What was the response? Dena: He got back to me within a few days and asked that I I send a table of contents and the first chapter so they could review it. I was very nervous about all of this because it was my first book so nervous that I purposely wouldn't check my e-mail. I decided to go camping for a few days and when I returned, checked my phone messages never expecting to get an answer by phone. Oh My God, they were SO excited about this book wanted it as soon as possible, sent me a contract, and advance money. Steve: That must have been a very pleasant surprise! After the initial contact, how long did the process take? Dena: The first book took a year to write and another to get it printed and published. It surely was one of the most exciting things that ever happened to me. I established an excellent relationship with the vice president and several editors by keeping them updated as to how far along I was every three months or so, and always remembering to tell them how appreciative I was to them for this opportunity. They then told me they wished all authors were this responsible about communication. Steve: I take it from this comment that not all authors are so communicative. Do you have any advice in this regard for any writers out there that would like to have a book published? Dena: Yes, I do. My best advice: if you get a name to contact at a publishing company and can secure the deal... keep your publisher updated as you write the book. Right along with that... never forget about the opportunity they have provided for you. Steve: Dena, this is great information. For those interested, where and when will the book be available? The book is already available to pre-order on Amazon.com (my link on www.denamurray.com will take you straight to the book,) It has already been shipped to Barnes and Noble, Borders, most music stores, and other bookstores. It will be available for purchase in the stores around Thanksgiving. Steve: Thanks, Dena, for taking the time to provide this information. View full articles
  11. So, You Want To Be A Singer? by Diva Joan Cartwright CHAPTER 5 - SET LISTS AND LEAD SHEETS Once you've rehearsed, make four or five set lists of the tunes you will perform on gigs. Keep the program interesting by alternating between ballads, blues, sambas and up-tempo (swing or rhythm & blues) songs. Lead sheets may be two kinds: 1) complete with melody, chords and lyrics; or 2) just the chord changes for the piano, bass and horns. The tempo may change according to how you would like to sing the song. For instance, you may decide to sing a swing song in a samba tempo to make it a little different. You will write this at the top of the chart in the left hand corner or just call the tempo samba before counting it off. Put your lead sheets in a book in alphabetical order. Have copies of each song for the pianist, bassist and any horns you may be working with. Most singers do not understand that trumpets and saxophones play in different keys than pianos and basses, but they are usually responsible for transposing their music to their specific key. If you have a gig scheduled, put the sheet music in the order of performance before you go on stage, so you are not sorting through the music during the show. This is where the set list comes in handy. The piano player will know just what song to set up for you, as the performance progresses. Always ask the piano player to give you an introduction to each song so you avoid singing in the wrong key. A set list can be three, four, five or six songs. They can have a theme [see AstroJazz] or they can be about a certain subject like the season (Spring, Autumn) or holiday (Valentine's Day, Christmas). Be sure to put the key of each song on the list, so there's no confusion about what key you are singing in. Remember, rehearsal is the time to determine the right keys for you to sing in. After working with a pianist for some time, she or he can generally tell you which key is best for you. When you make the list, try not to do two songs in the same key. You can make your list as follows: Song #1 Ab Up tempo swing Song #2 G Slow Blues Song #3 C Samba Song #4 F Ballad Song #5 Bb Bounce VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: When working in a foreign country like Italy or Spain, you may call a song in Ab, but the musicians think you mean Eb because they pronounce E as A. This can be disastrous for the singer, because Ab is five whole steps below Eb or four whole steps above Ab. Musicians use sign language for keys. Usually, they use the signs for keys with flats, so there is NO discrepancy. They may also use the signs for E and A, so as not to confuse the musicians who speak French, Italian or Spanish. [see p. 12] The sign for the key of F would be one pointer finger downward, meaning one flat ( The sign for the key of Bb is two fingers down The sign for the key of Eb is three fingers down and Ab is four fingers down The key of G would be one finger up, meaning one sharp. But you can say G without any misunderstanding. E would be four fingers up for four sharps A would be three fingers up for three sharps When I was working a lot with many different musicians, I kept a list of 25 songs I sing in the original key the song was written in. This is a good list to keep as you begin to rehearse with musicians. They really appreciate it when singers sing in the original key because they don't have to spend time transposing the song on paper, in their head and on the instrument. Transposition is a good skill to develop. It pays to know how to transpose songs from one key to the next. This can be part of your music theory lessons. It takes practice, but it's easy, once you get the hang of it. For example, to take a song from Bb to C is just transposing all the chords up one whole step. From Bb to F is up a fifth. From F to Bb is up a fourth. From Eb to C and Bb to G is down a minor third. Knowing how to transpose will make your life with musicians much easier and they will respect you for having this skill. It's up to you to make the show interesting and keep it flowing. Without the set list, you may get confused and waste valuable time, thereby losing your audience's attention. You can put them to sleep, if you sing two ballads in a row. Likewise, you may get them overly agitated if you sing too many swing tunes one right after the other. Pace yourself so you and the band don't get tired before the set is over. Remember, the musicians probably played one, two or even three numbers before you came onstage. Don't go over the set time. Take your breaks. Usual set time is 45 minutes onstage and 15 minutes off. Links: Purchase the book in its entirety: So, You Want To Be A Singer? by Joan Cartwright More books by Joan Cartwright Official website of Joan Cartwright Joan's online radio show: MUSICWOMAN Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc.
  12. So, You Want To Be A Singer? by Diva Joan Cartwright CHAPTER 5 - SET LISTS AND LEAD SHEETS Once you've rehearsed, make four or five set lists of the tunes you will perform on gigs. Keep the program interesting by alternating between ballads, blues, sambas and up-tempo (swing or rhythm & blues) songs. Lead sheets may be two kinds: 1) complete with melody, chords and lyrics; or 2) just the chord changes for the piano, bass and horns. The tempo may change according to how you would like to sing the song. For instance, you may decide to sing a swing song in a samba tempo to make it a little different. You will write this at the top of the chart in the left hand corner or just call the tempo samba before counting it off. Put your lead sheets in a book in alphabetical order. Have copies of each song for the pianist, bassist and any horns you may be working with. Most singers do not understand that trumpets and saxophones play in different keys than pianos and basses, but they are usually responsible for transposing their music to their specific key. If you have a gig scheduled, put the sheet music in the order of performance before you go on stage, so you are not sorting through the music during the show. This is where the set list comes in handy. The piano player will know just what song to set up for you, as the performance progresses. Always ask the piano player to give you an introduction to each song so you avoid singing in the wrong key. A set list can be three, four, five or six songs. They can have a theme [see AstroJazz] or they can be about a certain subject like the season (Spring, Autumn) or holiday (Valentine's Day, Christmas). Be sure to put the key of each song on the list, so there's no confusion about what key you are singing in. Remember, rehearsal is the time to determine the right keys for you to sing in. After working with a pianist for some time, she or he can generally tell you which key is best for you. When you make the list, try not to do two songs in the same key. You can make your list as follows: Song #1 Ab Up tempo swing Song #2 G Slow Blues Song #3 C Samba Song #4 F Ballad Song #5 Bb Bounce VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: When working in a foreign country like Italy or Spain, you may call a song in Ab, but the musicians think you mean Eb because they pronounce E as A. This can be disastrous for the singer, because Ab is five whole steps below Eb or four whole steps above Ab. Musicians use sign language for keys. Usually, they use the signs for keys with flats, so there is NO discrepancy. They may also use the signs for E and A, so as not to confuse the musicians who speak French, Italian or Spanish. [see p. 12] The sign for the key of F would be one pointer finger downward, meaning one flat ( The sign for the key of Bb is two fingers down The sign for the key of Eb is three fingers down and Ab is four fingers down The key of G would be one finger up, meaning one sharp. But you can say G without any misunderstanding. E would be four fingers up for four sharps A would be three fingers up for three sharps When I was working a lot with many different musicians, I kept a list of 25 songs I sing in the original key the song was written in. This is a good list to keep as you begin to rehearse with musicians. They really appreciate it when singers sing in the original key because they don't have to spend time transposing the song on paper, in their head and on the instrument. Transposition is a good skill to develop. It pays to know how to transpose songs from one key to the next. This can be part of your music theory lessons. It takes practice, but it's easy, once you get the hang of it. For example, to take a song from Bb to C is just transposing all the chords up one whole step. From Bb to F is up a fifth. From F to Bb is up a fourth. From Eb to C and Bb to G is down a minor third. Knowing how to transpose will make your life with musicians much easier and they will respect you for having this skill. It's up to you to make the show interesting and keep it flowing. Without the set list, you may get confused and waste valuable time, thereby losing your audience's attention. You can put them to sleep, if you sing two ballads in a row. Likewise, you may get them overly agitated if you sing too many swing tunes one right after the other. Pace yourself so you and the band don't get tired before the set is over. Remember, the musicians probably played one, two or even three numbers before you came onstage. Don't go over the set time. Take your breaks. Usual set time is 45 minutes onstage and 15 minutes off. Links: Purchase the book in its entirety: So, You Want To Be A Singer? by Joan Cartwright More books by Joan Cartwright Official website of Joan Cartwright Joan's online radio show: MUSICWOMAN Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. View full articles
  13. The American music scene seems to be experiencing a phenomenon of painfully loud and meaningless over-singing which could be due in part to hit talent shows like American Idol, according to Renee Grant-Williams, one of the nation's leading voice experts and coach to some of the music industry's biggest stars. Grant-Williams points to this week's painful duet by two former Idol contestants as an example, "By shamelessly over-singing, Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas managed to destroy what might otherwise have been a perfectly decent song. Their performance was over-loud, over-ornamented, mutually over-competitive and ultimately banal." "The lyrics to Make a Wave written by Scott Krippayne and Jeffrey D. Peabody are very positive and send a very powerful message," says Grant Williams. "However, these two singers obscured the words so badly by over-singing, that I had to look up the lyrics to see what they were actually saying. The very essence of a song is to touch the listener by conveying a message of some kind. That's difficult to do when no one can get a grip on the melody or understand what's being said." Grant-Williams feels these non-verbal squiggles should be there for one reason only to emphasize the powerful emotion of the song. "When a singer ornaments, it should be because, at that moment, the singer's emotions are running so high that words will not suffice; the singer is only capable of a visceral response too powerful to put into mere words," she says. Grant-Williams also says singers she encounters are increasingly belting out songs to the point where words don't matter. We seem to be caught up in an epidemic of loud, says Grant-Williams. "Singing should be more subtle than just slinging a lot of voice around. If you sing with a thundering voice, you sacrifice the honesty, intimacy, and integrity of music. Yet, this style is presented to millions of TV viewers as desirable. "You just don't hear the level of ear-splitting over-singing in Australia and other places like you do here in America," says Grant-Williams, who recently returned from a sold-out teaching-tour of Australia. Observations she made during tours in Europe and South America confirm that this phenomenon is especially prevalent in the United States. "I'm convinced it's due in part to the tremendous influence in the U. S. of talent shows where over-singing is rewarded. I still think America has the best singers on the planet, says Grant-Williams. They just need to bring down the volume and focus on the words and the emotions. I'm determined to do what I can to curb these phenomenon before they get out of hand. Grant-Williams has as few simple suggestions to help singers get back to the basics of good singing: 1. A song is a one-way conversation, a singer must be very intimate with the words.2. Singing should be like speaking with the audience, there's no need to yell. 2. Use consonants and silence to indicate the most important words of the song. 3. Use inflection sparingly as you would use spices, too much will ruin the song. Grant-Williams coaches aspiring performers as well as celebrities including Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Miley Cyrus, Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Christina Aguilera, Linda Ronstadt, Randy Travis, and Huey Lewis. She has been quoted by Cosmopolitan, the Associated Press, Business Week, UPI, Southern Living, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She has appeared on many broadcast outlets including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Bravo, USA, MTV, GAC, BBC, PBS, and NPR. Grant-Williams is a former instructor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as well as the former director of the Division of Vocal Music at the University of California, Berkeley. For more information or to schedule an interview with Renee Grant-Williams, call 615-244-3280 or visit www.myvoicecoach.com/media.html
  14. The American music scene seems to be experiencing a phenomenon of painfully loud and meaningless over-singing which could be due in part to hit talent shows like American Idol, according to Renee Grant-Williams, one of the nation's leading voice experts and coach to some of the music industry's biggest stars. Grant-Williams points to this week's painful duet by two former Idol contestants as an example, "By shamelessly over-singing, Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas managed to destroy what might otherwise have been a perfectly decent song. Their performance was over-loud, over-ornamented, mutually over-competitive and ultimately banal." "The lyrics to Make a Wave written by Scott Krippayne and Jeffrey D. Peabody are very positive and send a very powerful message," says Grant Williams. "However, these two singers obscured the words so badly by over-singing, that I had to look up the lyrics to see what they were actually saying. The very essence of a song is to touch the listener by conveying a message of some kind. That's difficult to do when no one can get a grip on the melody or understand what's being said." Grant-Williams feels these non-verbal squiggles should be there for one reason only to emphasize the powerful emotion of the song. "When a singer ornaments, it should be because, at that moment, the singer's emotions are running so high that words will not suffice; the singer is only capable of a visceral response too powerful to put into mere words," she says. Grant-Williams also says singers she encounters are increasingly belting out songs to the point where words don't matter. We seem to be caught up in an epidemic of loud, says Grant-Williams. "Singing should be more subtle than just slinging a lot of voice around. If you sing with a thundering voice, you sacrifice the honesty, intimacy, and integrity of music. Yet, this style is presented to millions of TV viewers as desirable. "You just don't hear the level of ear-splitting over-singing in Australia and other places like you do here in America," says Grant-Williams, who recently returned from a sold-out teaching-tour of Australia. Observations she made during tours in Europe and South America confirm that this phenomenon is especially prevalent in the United States. "I'm convinced it's due in part to the tremendous influence in the U. S. of talent shows where over-singing is rewarded. I still think America has the best singers on the planet, says Grant-Williams. They just need to bring down the volume and focus on the words and the emotions. I'm determined to do what I can to curb these phenomenon before they get out of hand. Grant-Williams has as few simple suggestions to help singers get back to the basics of good singing: 1. A song is a one-way conversation, a singer must be very intimate with the words.2. Singing should be like speaking with the audience, there's no need to yell. 2. Use consonants and silence to indicate the most important words of the song. 3. Use inflection sparingly as you would use spices, too much will ruin the song. Grant-Williams coaches aspiring performers as well as celebrities including Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Miley Cyrus, Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Christina Aguilera, Linda Ronstadt, Randy Travis, and Huey Lewis. She has been quoted by Cosmopolitan, the Associated Press, Business Week, UPI, Southern Living, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She has appeared on many broadcast outlets including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Bravo, USA, MTV, GAC, BBC, PBS, and NPR. Grant-Williams is a former instructor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as well as the former director of the Division of Vocal Music at the University of California, Berkeley. For more information or to schedule an interview with Renee Grant-Williams, call 615-244-3280 or visit www.myvoicecoach.com/media.html View full articles
  15. Urggg, that dreaded cold. If you are like me most humans these days, there are times when you feel like you're a flu magnet. But, there are precautions that you can take to battle, prevent, and flush a cold right out of your system. The following excerpt is from my book, Raise Your Voice Second Edition, to aid you in your fight against infection: Nothing is worse than having to deal with a cold. Many singers refrain from singing (and speaking in some cases) with a cold, due to the fear of damaging their voices. Singing with a cold is quite possible, although uncomfortable. If you use proper vocal technique, your voice will be fine. A cold is an infection in the sinuses, the throat, or the lungs, or it could be a combination of all three. An infection of the upper throat is referred to as pharyngitis. Your throat will be sore but you will still be able to speak or sing. Pharyngitis may be very painful, but as long as there is no infection in the vocal cords, you'll still be able to make it through a performance, although it won't feel that fun. Keep the sound out of the throat and focused into the resonant cavities of the head. The only time you should avoid speaking or singing is if you have laryngitis, which is an infection of the vocal cords. Your throat will feel swollen and sore. It could be so painful that you might not be able to speak. Swallowing will be difficult. The vocal cords are swollen due to the infection and enlarged blood vessels. In this state, the cords will not vibrate correctly. Do not speak or sing with laryngitis. You could damage your vocal cords. This includes whispering and gargling. Whispering is a quiet shout and gargling forces air past the irritated cords. The best remedy for laryngitis is plenty of water and absolute silence. Try a warm mist umidifier at night to moisten The air. Give your voice time to heal. Visit your doctor to see if antibiotics could help. If you are developing a cold, this is a signal that your body is full of toxins and needs to cleanse itself of toxin overload. Once you notice cold symptoms developing, there are several things you can do to help the cleansing process along and shorten the duration of the cold: When you notice the first signs of a cold's supply of vitamin C and Calcium are rapidly depleted. Bothsore throat, congestion, coughing, etc., you must take immediate action. If you are under physical or mental stress, your body are important nutrients in fighting infection. At first sign of a cold, I've been told that if immediately increase your vitamin C and Calcium/Magnesium intake, it will help to speed up the cold-elimination process. Both can be purchased at any drug store. Magnesium helps to increase the body's absorption of Calcium, so it is wiser to take a combination of the two. Zinc lozenges are beneficial during a cold. Zinc is proven to fight infection and to relieve a sore throat. An herbal combination of Goldenseal and Echinacea is excellent for fighting infection in the body. A few drops of Colloidal Silver under the tongue will be absorbed into the blood stream. Colloidal Silver is like a natural antibiotic and fights all forms of infection. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. If you feel you might have pneumonia, see your doctor. To break up chest congestion, tap repeatedly on your chest to loosen phlegm in your lungs. This will enable you to cough up and expel the mucus. Cup your hands and tap on your chest as if it were a drum. If you have someone tap on your back, the results will be better. Breathing steam or using a vaporizer helps to keep your lungs hydrated and will also loosen mucus. Choose wisely any over-the-counter drugs you might take to fight a cold. Many only mask the symptoms, slowing down the healing process. There are several herbs listed in the next chapter that relieve pain, loosen congestion, and aid the healing process. A throat gargle is beneficial for a sore throat. These methods are discussed in the next few chapters. Now you have the means to fight off a cold. Jaime Vendera Author of "Raise Your Voice", "Mindset: programming Your Mind for Success" and "Online Teaching Secrets Revealed" jaimevendera.com theultimatevocalworkout.com
  16. Urggg, that dreaded cold. If you are like me most humans these days, there are times when you feel like you're a flu magnet. But, there are precautions that you can take to battle, prevent, and flush a cold right out of your system. The following excerpt is from my book, Raise Your Voice Second Edition, to aid you in your fight against infection: Nothing is worse than having to deal with a cold. Many singers refrain from singing (and speaking in some cases) with a cold, due to the fear of damaging their voices. Singing with a cold is quite possible, although uncomfortable. If you use proper vocal technique, your voice will be fine. A cold is an infection in the sinuses, the throat, or the lungs, or it could be a combination of all three. An infection of the upper throat is referred to as pharyngitis. Your throat will be sore but you will still be able to speak or sing. Pharyngitis may be very painful, but as long as there is no infection in the vocal cords, you'll still be able to make it through a performance, although it won't feel that fun. Keep the sound out of the throat and focused into the resonant cavities of the head. The only time you should avoid speaking or singing is if you have laryngitis, which is an infection of the vocal cords. Your throat will feel swollen and sore. It could be so painful that you might not be able to speak. Swallowing will be difficult. The vocal cords are swollen due to the infection and enlarged blood vessels. In this state, the cords will not vibrate correctly. Do not speak or sing with laryngitis. You could damage your vocal cords. This includes whispering and gargling. Whispering is a quiet shout and gargling forces air past the irritated cords. The best remedy for laryngitis is plenty of water and absolute silence. Try a warm mist umidifier at night to moisten The air. Give your voice time to heal. Visit your doctor to see if antibiotics could help. If you are developing a cold, this is a signal that your body is full of toxins and needs to cleanse itself of toxin overload. Once you notice cold symptoms developing, there are several things you can do to help the cleansing process along and shorten the duration of the cold: When you notice the first signs of a cold's supply of vitamin C and Calcium are rapidly depleted. Bothsore throat, congestion, coughing, etc., you must take immediate action. If you are under physical or mental stress, your body are important nutrients in fighting infection. At first sign of a cold, I've been told that if immediately increase your vitamin C and Calcium/Magnesium intake, it will help to speed up the cold-elimination process. Both can be purchased at any drug store. Magnesium helps to increase the body's absorption of Calcium, so it is wiser to take a combination of the two. Zinc lozenges are beneficial during a cold. Zinc is proven to fight infection and to relieve a sore throat. An herbal combination of Goldenseal and Echinacea is excellent for fighting infection in the body. A few drops of Colloidal Silver under the tongue will be absorbed into the blood stream. Colloidal Silver is like a natural antibiotic and fights all forms of infection. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. If you feel you might have pneumonia, see your doctor. To break up chest congestion, tap repeatedly on your chest to loosen phlegm in your lungs. This will enable you to cough up and expel the mucus. Cup your hands and tap on your chest as if it were a drum. If you have someone tap on your back, the results will be better. Breathing steam or using a vaporizer helps to keep your lungs hydrated and will also loosen mucus. Choose wisely any over-the-counter drugs you might take to fight a cold. Many only mask the symptoms, slowing down the healing process. There are several herbs listed in the next chapter that relieve pain, loosen congestion, and aid the healing process. A throat gargle is beneficial for a sore throat. These methods are discussed in the next few chapters. Now you have the means to fight off a cold. Jaime Vendera Author of "Raise Your Voice", "Mindset: programming Your Mind for Success" and "Online Teaching Secrets Revealed" jaimevendera.com theultimatevocalworkout.com View full articles
  17. CHAPTER 10 - GIVE-AWAYS AND SALES TIPS SO, YOU WANT TO BE A SINGER? by Diva Joan Cartwright After producing a demo in a studio, you must be concerned with duplication and packaging. You can do it yourself, which is a lot of labor that you must consider when setting the price of your CD. Unless you have invested in a CD burner ($600-700) you must burn CDs on your computer, one by one, or take your master to a reproduction company to get copies. The more tapes, labels, covers and jewel cases you order, the less they cost per piece. The general amount to begin with is 500 or 1,000. Compact disks cost from 80 cents to $2.00 each 500-1,000 Labels, covers and cases cost $500 Artwork costs between $250 to $1,500, depending on paper, photographs, graphics, colors, size of leaflet, etc. You need at least one hundred (100) demo CDs to send out with press packages to radio stations, booking agents, promoters and club owners. Your family and friends can be your best promoters. Fans will buy your product at gigs, only if you display them and remember to offer them to the audience. Always display your product during gigs. A professional DVD of your live performance is a necessity, today. Sales Tips: CDs sell from $10 to $20, depending on how much music is on them. Have friends and family buy 5 to 10 CDs as gifts for their friends Place your music on consignment at small record and book stores for a commission of $3-5 on each sale The library system will buy your music for each branch (10-30 copies) Lesser known distribution houses will buy 10 to 100 copies of your product at a reduced price Expose and sell your CDs and digital tracks on the Internet at sites like CDBaby.com, MP3.com, netradio.com, Cdnow.com, Amazon, Ebay and many more. Surf the net to find the appropriate venues for your product. Get a PayPal account. This is the best way to manage your own sales. You pay a little for the service, but it's worth it! SO, YOU WANT TO BE A SINGER? A manual for up-and-coming Divas, musicians and composers. Purchase the book at http://stores.lulu.com/divajc
  18. CHAPTER 10 - GIVE-AWAYS AND SALES TIPS SO, YOU WANT TO BE A SINGER? by Diva Joan Cartwright After producing a demo in a studio, you must be concerned with duplication and packaging. You can do it yourself, which is a lot of labor that you must consider when setting the price of your CD. Unless you have invested in a CD burner ($600-700) you must burn CDs on your computer, one by one, or take your master to a reproduction company to get copies. The more tapes, labels, covers and jewel cases you order, the less they cost per piece. The general amount to begin with is 500 or 1,000. Compact disks cost from 80 cents to $2.00 each 500-1,000 Labels, covers and cases cost $500 Artwork costs between $250 to $1,500, depending on paper, photographs, graphics, colors, size of leaflet, etc. You need at least one hundred (100) demo CDs to send out with press packages to radio stations, booking agents, promoters and club owners. Your family and friends can be your best promoters. Fans will buy your product at gigs, only if you display them and remember to offer them to the audience. Always display your product during gigs. A professional DVD of your live performance is a necessity, today. Sales Tips: CDs sell from $10 to $20, depending on how much music is on them. Have friends and family buy 5 to 10 CDs as gifts for their friends Place your music on consignment at small record and book stores for a commission of $3-5 on each sale The library system will buy your music for each branch (10-30 copies) Lesser known distribution houses will buy 10 to 100 copies of your product at a reduced price Expose and sell your CDs and digital tracks on the Internet at sites like CDBaby.com, MP3.com, netradio.com, Cdnow.com, Amazon, Ebay and many more. Surf the net to find the appropriate venues for your product. Get a PayPal account. This is the best way to manage your own sales. You pay a little for the service, but it's worth it! SO, YOU WANT TO BE A SINGER? A manual for up-and-coming Divas, musicians and composers. Purchase the book at http://stores.lulu.com/divajc View full articles
  19. Scat-Singing Scat Singing, is merely improvising without words. We aim to approach it the same way as an instrumentalist. Scat Syllables are only to serve the punctuation of the line and I feel strongly that the melody and rhythm used over given chord changes dictate the syllables, not the other way around. The scat syllables flavour the rhythmic inflection synonymous with Jazz. As any good instrumentalist develops his/her language and vocabulary, singers must do the same. This comes from continual listening and transcribing. There isn't a shortcut. Harmonic and rhythmic elements must be studied, for example outlining the relevant scales and arpeggios, patterns and extensions of the chords using a variety of rhythms. Aural training plays a big part in this and because singers rely so much on their ears when it comes to improvising, developing a sense of pitch memory is essential. The more one develops the ear to hear certain sounds the more creative and interesting the improvisation will be. Some people have a natural tendency to hear the harmony and understand rhythmic concepts, but collating and assimilating the vast amount of information, displaying it in performance, on the spot, anticipation of chords, implying multiple chord changes, using altered extensions, interaction and reaction and being emotionally honest in the performance takes a lifetime to hone. Feel, articulation and flow are important factors to consider. All instrumentalists work on this constantly. Having observed vocal improvisers, I"ve noticed difficulties regarding these aspects when using scat syllables. The eighth note feel (continuous line) in particular, is the hardest to develop. Attaining smooth and relaxed swung eighth notes (for bop lines) demands consistent attention and practice Like woodwind and brass instruments we use our tongues to articulate sounds. We'll take for instance- ba (off beat) with the lips and doo (on beat) with the tongue. The off beat (ba) is often articulated too hard and the doo (on beat) is too short, this coupled with over- expressed and affected syllables presents problems with the flow and feel of the line and doesn't swing. I feel that scat singing should be conversational, an extension of the speaking voice, not laboured and over- exaggerated to the point where it is no longer musical. Finally, I'd like to add that in recent years, many have become aware of the marked increase of highly talented jazz vocal improvisers who continue to raise the level of this growing art form. These vocalists regard themselves as musicians and consider it a priority to develop their improvisational skills. It's also a reflection of dedicated Jazz vocal educators with improvising skills, on a mission to encourage the search for educational opportunities in this field.
  20. Scat-Singing Scat Singing, is merely improvising without words. We aim to approach it the same way as an instrumentalist. Scat Syllables are only to serve the punctuation of the line and I feel strongly that the melody and rhythm used over given chord changes dictate the syllables, not the other way around. The scat syllables flavour the rhythmic inflection synonymous with Jazz. As any good instrumentalist develops his/her language and vocabulary, singers must do the same. This comes from continual listening and transcribing. There isn't a shortcut. Harmonic and rhythmic elements must be studied, for example outlining the relevant scales and arpeggios, patterns and extensions of the chords using a variety of rhythms. Aural training plays a big part in this and because singers rely so much on their ears when it comes to improvising, developing a sense of pitch memory is essential. The more one develops the ear to hear certain sounds the more creative and interesting the improvisation will be. Some people have a natural tendency to hear the harmony and understand rhythmic concepts, but collating and assimilating the vast amount of information, displaying it in performance, on the spot, anticipation of chords, implying multiple chord changes, using altered extensions, interaction and reaction and being emotionally honest in the performance takes a lifetime to hone. Feel, articulation and flow are important factors to consider. All instrumentalists work on this constantly. Having observed vocal improvisers, I"ve noticed difficulties regarding these aspects when using scat syllables. The eighth note feel (continuous line) in particular, is the hardest to develop. Attaining smooth and relaxed swung eighth notes (for bop lines) demands consistent attention and practice Like woodwind and brass instruments we use our tongues to articulate sounds. We'll take for instance- ba (off beat) with the lips and doo (on beat) with the tongue. The off beat (ba) is often articulated too hard and the doo (on beat) is too short, this coupled with over- expressed and affected syllables presents problems with the flow and feel of the line and doesn't swing. I feel that scat singing should be conversational, an extension of the speaking voice, not laboured and over- exaggerated to the point where it is no longer musical. Finally, I'd like to add that in recent years, many have become aware of the marked increase of highly talented jazz vocal improvisers who continue to raise the level of this growing art form. These vocalists regard themselves as musicians and consider it a priority to develop their improvisational skills. It's also a reflection of dedicated Jazz vocal educators with improvising skills, on a mission to encourage the search for educational opportunities in this field. View full articles
  21. As a professional voice coach with solid voice training, I often check out the other voice coaches that are spouting how they can open your voice almost overnight. This should be your first red flag. Anyone, who understands the singing voice as an instrument, understands the mechanics of development and it does not happen overnight. Most of the body parts that contribute to the vocal instrument are muscles, including the vocal cords. Do you go to the gym and lift 100 lbs. more than you did the day before with some innovative technique or does it take a few weeks to stretch and build the muscle to accomplish this goal? The same can be said about the voice. Immediate results is their way of hooking you and reeling you in to their net. There are some key factors you MUST ask yourself when selecting a voice coach: Are they simply singers who have had no reputable training themselves passing on to you their bad habits and unsupported claims of how to improve your voice? Do they talk a lot about free singing or do they comment on more specific vocal techniques like nasal singing, controlling vibrato, phrasing, breathing correctly, ear training, and enunciation skills? Do they use the same training to develop the classical voice versus the pop singer or theatre voice? In other words, do they teach it all? Do they promise immediate results increasing your vocal range? Do they speak about their techniques in detail or are they vague and ambiguous? Do they have any formal training or experience with voice therapy or speech pathology? This is the screening process you must strictly adhere to when selecting a vocal coach. Your vocal cords are a sensitive and delicate instrument that must be used with care in an effort to avoid vocal strain, vocal ailments, and even long-term damage. I have witnessed individuals promote themselves as voice coaches and teachers who are completely inept. Choose wisely.
  22. As a professional voice coach with solid voice training, I often check out the other voice coaches that are spouting how they can open your voice almost overnight. This should be your first red flag. Anyone, who understands the singing voice as an instrument, understands the mechanics of development and it does not happen overnight. Most of the body parts that contribute to the vocal instrument are muscles, including the vocal cords. Do you go to the gym and lift 100 lbs. more than you did the day before with some innovative technique or does it take a few weeks to stretch and build the muscle to accomplish this goal? The same can be said about the voice. Immediate results is their way of hooking you and reeling you in to their net. There are some key factors you MUST ask yourself when selecting a voice coach: Are they simply singers who have had no reputable training themselves passing on to you their bad habits and unsupported claims of how to improve your voice? Do they talk a lot about free singing or do they comment on more specific vocal techniques like nasal singing, controlling vibrato, phrasing, breathing correctly, ear training, and enunciation skills? Do they use the same training to develop the classical voice versus the pop singer or theatre voice? In other words, do they teach it all? Do they promise immediate results increasing your vocal range? Do they speak about their techniques in detail or are they vague and ambiguous? Do they have any formal training or experience with voice therapy or speech pathology? This is the screening process you must strictly adhere to when selecting a vocal coach. Your vocal cords are a sensitive and delicate instrument that must be used with care in an effort to avoid vocal strain, vocal ailments, and even long-term damage. I have witnessed individuals promote themselves as voice coaches and teachers who are completely inept. Choose wisely. View full articles
  23. The modern singer is a vocal athlete. Dancers and elite sports professionals know the importance of preparing the body correctly for performance. Vocalists need to be the same way! Just like the skeletal muscles should be systematically stretched before demanding usage, so should the muscles of the larynx that are involved in phonation. The principle of veisel dilation is the same- blood needs to nourish the muscles with oxygen to increase flexibility and decrease the chance of injury. DON'T SKIMP ON YOUR VOCAL WARMUP!!!! A singer should NEVER go into a lengthy rehearsal, recording session, or performance without a thorough warmup. It should last somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes to make sure that all the musculature is properly coordinated, with the head and chest registers easily connected and the full range engaged. Physical stretches are also helpful as are stretches for the tongue. I begin the vocal warmup with glissandi, or slides, either on a hum, 'oo', lip trill, or tongue trill. Either starting lightly in head voice and descending or sliding up easily from chest voice work well. The first scales will be on sounds that serve to stretch out the voice- lip trills, tongue trill, and the 'ng' sound. I use the octave and a half pattern and then into the mixed octave scale. These exercise sounds allow for a very effective warmup over a wide range without undue pressure and unwanted muscular interference. And they can be revisited throughout the day to keep the voice fresh. Now we move on to the dumb or crying sounds. These exercise syllables will help you balance good cord closure with efficient air flow- not too much, not too little. Use syllables such as 'mum', 'goog', 'bub', or 'wun' with a slightly exaggerated goofy sound. This will keep the swallowing muscles from pulling the larynx up and constricting the throat. Then change the sound from the dumber approach to more of a whimper or cry, bringing the larynx to a more natural, neutral position. This is not supposed to be a pretty sound. Its job is to deactivate those overactive swallowing muscles that interfere with easy tone production. Then, the ugly but invaluable pharyngeal sounds are employed. They were referred to as 'the witch's voice' in times past and that's exactly how you should sound!! No sounding pretty here!! With a bratty, witchy tone, we will use the syllables 'nay' and 'naa'. These sounds will allow again greater air flow and a produce a tone that is deceptively powerful but actually quite easy to make- no strain needed. The exercise allows a very easy, effiecient connection of the chest and head registers, creating the much needed middle voice or 'the mix' that is so important for most modern vocal styles. Remember, the goal is not prettiness. The ugliness in the exercises is helping to build a solid technique, so enjoy the chance to sound like a looney as you build a killer voice!! Once you have gotten through this portion of the warmup, you may move onto exercises that work on agility, sustains, and dynamics, but only after the voice feels loose and the cord closure is well coordinated with the breath. This is a map of the basics of the daily warmup. It will vary according to many factors, such as energy level, time of day, amount of sleep, the size of the voice, and many others. But this is a general approach that we will use as the core of regimen. It is very imporant to find a knowledgeable voice teacher to help you develop the proper routine for your voice and its unique demands. Remember, you are a vocal athlete and you must train with that idea in mind.
  24. The modern singer is a vocal athlete. Dancers and elite sports professionals know the importance of preparing the body correctly for performance. Vocalists need to be the same way! Just like the skeletal muscles should be systematically stretched before demanding usage, so should the muscles of the larynx that are involved in phonation. The principle of veisel dilation is the same- blood needs to nourish the muscles with oxygen to increase flexibility and decrease the chance of injury. DON'T SKIMP ON YOUR VOCAL WARMUP!!!! A singer should NEVER go into a lengthy rehearsal, recording session, or performance without a thorough warmup. It should last somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes to make sure that all the musculature is properly coordinated, with the head and chest registers easily connected and the full range engaged. Physical stretches are also helpful as are stretches for the tongue. I begin the vocal warmup with glissandi, or slides, either on a hum, 'oo', lip trill, or tongue trill. Either starting lightly in head voice and descending or sliding up easily from chest voice work well. The first scales will be on sounds that serve to stretch out the voice- lip trills, tongue trill, and the 'ng' sound. I use the octave and a half pattern and then into the mixed octave scale. These exercise sounds allow for a very effective warmup over a wide range without undue pressure and unwanted muscular interference. And they can be revisited throughout the day to keep the voice fresh. Now we move on to the dumb or crying sounds. These exercise syllables will help you balance good cord closure with efficient air flow- not too much, not too little. Use syllables such as 'mum', 'goog', 'bub', or 'wun' with a slightly exaggerated goofy sound. This will keep the swallowing muscles from pulling the larynx up and constricting the throat. Then change the sound from the dumber approach to more of a whimper or cry, bringing the larynx to a more natural, neutral position. This is not supposed to be a pretty sound. Its job is to deactivate those overactive swallowing muscles that interfere with easy tone production. Then, the ugly but invaluable pharyngeal sounds are employed. They were referred to as 'the witch's voice' in times past and that's exactly how you should sound!! No sounding pretty here!! With a bratty, witchy tone, we will use the syllables 'nay' and 'naa'. These sounds will allow again greater air flow and a produce a tone that is deceptively powerful but actually quite easy to make- no strain needed. The exercise allows a very easy, effiecient connection of the chest and head registers, creating the much needed middle voice or 'the mix' that is so important for most modern vocal styles. Remember, the goal is not prettiness. The ugliness in the exercises is helping to build a solid technique, so enjoy the chance to sound like a looney as you build a killer voice!! Once you have gotten through this portion of the warmup, you may move onto exercises that work on agility, sustains, and dynamics, but only after the voice feels loose and the cord closure is well coordinated with the breath. This is a map of the basics of the daily warmup. It will vary according to many factors, such as energy level, time of day, amount of sleep, the size of the voice, and many others. But this is a general approach that we will use as the core of regimen. It is very imporant to find a knowledgeable voice teacher to help you develop the proper routine for your voice and its unique demands. Remember, you are a vocal athlete and you must train with that idea in mind. View full articles
  25. Singing is one of the most important means of communication that we are blessed to experience. It is the means by which we express our innermost thoughts and feelings in a language shared by the whole world. We sing songs as worship...as symbols of patriotism...as words to inspire change...to amuse...to romance....to uplift. Often, it is forgotten how integral singing is to our existence. When at play, children seem to almost instinctively sing as part of their games. These same young voices are instruments capable of producing a wide array of tones and timbres. In order to access this wide range of sounds, though, the sounds produced at play are not enough. Proper training in healthy vocal production is needed. Recently, I have been asked quite a bit about the appropriate age to begin voice lessons for children. Parents realize that their kids have either an overwhelming enthusiasm for singing or some substantial native talent that they want to properly nurture. They just wonder if formal lessons are safe for the youngster to undertake and worth the financial investment. First of all, I stress that the most important issue with kids is their attention span and not the perceived talent level. I've had some clearly gifted 7 year olds come in but they did not have the focus and maturity that is needed. Once that is explained, I relay that I believe lessons can successfully begin at age 8. I have trained a couple of 7 year olds, though, because they had the requisite focus, attention span, and teachability in addition to natural musical instincts. As long as the training is based in healthy technical habits and applied correctly to songs, there are no inherent dangers. Many people wonder what young singers can actually learn in private voice lessons. Some have believed that their physically immature instruments cannot acquire any real technical skills until their voices fully develop at puberty. But I am one of many who work with kids on a regular basis who believe that these voices can develop quite a lot of facility if guided correctly. We must remember that singing is an intricate psychomotor skill, not so different from the learning of piano, dance, or athletic moves. It's all about the systematic training of correct muscle memory which builds healthy technique that will strengthen and protect the voice. And if the goal of vocal study is establishment of good vocal habits that will carry over into adulthood, vocal technique has to be of primary importance! Of course, this must be balanced with singing good songs, but it will be difficult to expand repertoire if the instrument is limited in the sounds it can produce. The very same technical issues that need to be taught to adult singers need to be taught to kids. The building of tone production practices is essential. Child singers need to develop the ability to produce tones without undue tension and restriction. They must be taught proper breathing techniques and good body posture and alignment. Range extension is still important for kids, even though it must be applied relative to their still-growing voices. Many of the exercises that I use with my adult clients are used in the sessions with my youngsters, though sometimes with modifications. I also make sure that I introduce them to correct terminology concerning how the voice is put together and how it works. They learn about head and chest voice, the larynx, vocal folds, diaphragm, and resonance. They need to start learning a singer's vocabulary from the start of their study. We are seeing some fine examples of superstar singers who have become elite vocal athletes because of some fantastic vocal training starting at a young age- Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, Adam Lambert among others. It is a worthwhile investment to begin lessons with a child who has the love for singing coupled with a sense of focus and discipline. The teacher must have a great knowledge of vocal pedagogy and a personality that can provide a safe, nurturing environment for the young singer to embark on this great journey of singing study.