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  1. Hi Guys I'm a musician and a programmer from Hungary. I developed this free website-app, where you can warm up / exercise your voice. https://vocalroutine.com Give me your opinion, and share it if you like it! :)) Greetings: Andrew Polyák
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Singing-Athlete-Brain-based-Training-Voice/dp/1734636904/ref=zg_bs_1771_13?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=C3VFBJJE4J4TVB1P03WY singing book
  3. Mikey Said No . Mikey Said No.mp4 (Click Bottom Right Corner menu to Download this Video to Share) My Music Staff Integrates Skype & Zoom Download the PDFs Below Print_MMS Online Teaching Checklist.pdf Click_MMS Online Teaching Checklist.pdf If you do not want to use Skype or Zoom, this is the best service available for offering virtual lessons. Go to PLAY WITH A PRO... CLICK HERE >>> . .
  4. Ms. Diana Yampolsky is one of the world's foremost specialists on the topic of the human voice and is the creator of Vocal Science(TM), a unique and truly revolutionary accelerated vocal development technique. It is a holistic and scientific approach to voice mechanics that enables all singers and speakers to reach their full potential in an extremely short period of time. Based in Ontario, Canada, Diana works with a worldwide spectrum of clientele as a Vocal Coach/Consultant, In-Studio Vocal Production Expert and Non-Surgical Voice Repair Specialist.If you feel that you, or a loved one, may be suffering from such voice disorders like Spasmodic Dysphonia, contact us: info@vocalscience.com | 416-857-8741
  5. 0 downloads

    Joanna Cazden, MFA, MS-CCC, is a speech pathologist specializing in voice rehabilitation and a respected advocate for holistic, multi-disciplinary voice care. Joanna offers private services in voice rehabilitation and training, workshops and master classes for voice students, and seminars for speech pathologists and vocal arts teachers. Joanna also sees voice patients by medical referral at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's outpatient Voice program. Helping to found this program in 2001, she has treated well-known pop singers, actors, broadcasters, and musical-theater artists. She was a clinical instructor for ten years at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and has presented scholarly papers at major voice conferences in the USA UK, and Mexico. In 2004 she was named a Fellow of the California Speech and Hearing Association, an award that honors excellence in clinical service, teaching, and community service. Joanna released six solo albums between 1973 and 1997; her first album, The Greatest Illusion (1973), has been re-released internationally. In 2000 she joined Pete Seeger and other folk luminaries on "Folksongs of the Catskills," an ensemble CD later featured at the Library of Congress. She organized the first panel on Health Issues for folk performers, at the 1992 Folk Alliance Conference, and has won numersous singing and songwriting awards. Joanna studied voice with Ellalou Dimmock, Natalie Lemonick, and Jan Pederson. She holds a BA in Drama from the University of Washington, an MFA in Acting from CalArts, and an MS in Communication Disorders and Sciences from CSUN. In 2006 she was certified by Catherine Fitzmaurice as an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. In addition to her expertise in voice, Joanna is an advanced practitioner of the Reiki and Theta healing systems, and a longtime student of yoga, meditation, and bodywork. These tools are integrated into her voice and speech services according to the individual's interest and needs. Joanna Cazden www.VoiceofYourLife.com
    Free
  6. 0 downloads

    With a teaching career that spans nearly four decades, Jeannie Deva is an international celebrity voice and performance coach, published author, clinician, recording studio vocal producer, trainer of voice teachers and originator of The Deva Method® - Complete Voice Training for Stage and Studio.As a graduate from Berklee College of Music in 1975 with a degree in Composition and Arranging, Jeannie assisted in establishing the college's voice department and later became President of Berklee's Alumni Association for ten-years. Voice teachers around the world base their teaching on Ms Deva's method from her published books and CDs. She is featured on the acclaimed video The Vocalist's Guide to Fitness, Health and Musicianship by Internationally respected music educator Julie Lyonn Lieberman and distributed by Hal Leonard. Jeannie Deva www.JeannieDeva.com
    Free
  7. 6 downloads

    Robert Lunte is the owner founder of the The Vocalist Studio International www.TheVocalistStudio.com, an Internationally recognized voice training school for extreme singing vocal techniques and advanced vocal instruction. Robert is also the author and producer of the critically acclaimed vocal instruction training system, “The Four Pillars of Singing”. TVS techniques are shared around the world by voice teachers as part of the TVS International Certified Instructor Program, which is one of the fastest growing vocal organizations of highly trained voice coaches in the world today. Robert is also the founder of The Modern Vocalist World www.TheModernVocalistWorld.com, the #1 online resource for vocal education and networking on the internet. This download include four separate interviews of Robert Lunte. www.TheFourPillarsofSinging.com
    Free
  8. No offense David, but if you are going to attack my industry and belittle the numerous GOOD vocal training programs that are out there and, more importantly, spoil the benefits of training with vocal programs for viewers, we'll have to call you out. David, the point that you have to work your song into the parts in songs, and to do that slowly is a good point. But to tell people to not invest in a vocal training program is misleading, hypocritical and doesn't enhance your message at all. What added value to add to your video by telling people to NOT train their voices with a training program. Could this possibly be because, ... you don't have a vocal program to offer? Because rest assured, if you did, you would not be saying this. Having spoke to you on the phone personally and gotten to know a little bit about what your motivations are, you wouldn't do that. Making videos on YouTube, makes you a video voice tip guy, not a voice coach David. Which, I suppose is ok, but you need to firm up your details David. If you had 20 to 30 real students a week, you would understand more about what vocal workouts and training are doing and more importantly, how to use it to help students get stronger. All the "work on the notes and parts in the song" point your making, doesn't mean shit... if you can't sing in pitch, can't get a good onset, know nothing about vowels and resonance, have no endurance, and on and on. Apart from the fact that vocal workouts and scales have been used for over 400 years in the art of singing. Now for the record, I think we should also let people know that .... you actually bought my vocal program, and you purchased Vendera's program and I suspect others. You have benefitted greatly from our content and ideas, and now you steer your viewers away from the same tools you used yourself? Seriously? You are a talented guy, you make content that doesn't dish your colleagues and advise you viewers to get less educated about singing can't you? May I suggest that you redo this video and simply make your message, "Slow down and work on parts in your songs, and be sure to not only do vocal training". BTW: Here are all my client reviews from the TVS training program, www.TheFourPillarsofSinging.com... These are real people folks, that have benefitted greatly from my program. http://www.thefourpillarsofsinging.com/reviews/
  9. VOCAL TRAINING INDUSTRY WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW! Click The Top Left Menu To View Videos In The Video Playlist
  10. THE FOUR PILLARS OF SINGING THE INTEGRATED TRAINING ROUTINES Video Workout Demonstrations That Teach Singers How to Practice! Robert Lunte, founder of The Four Pillars of Singing offers an impromptu screen capture presentation of the Integrated Training Routines found in the TVS training program, The Four Pillars of Singing. The Four Pillars of Singing offers very clear instructions and guidance on how to train and practice vocal technique to make your singing stronger and more coordinated. Like no other vocal training program on the market today, TFPOS leaves no questions unanswered and removes all the mystery about singing great and what you have to do achieve great singing skills. If "free secret tips" on YouTube are not getting you any lasting results, that is because you HAVE to train! No tips or information, regardless of how good it might be, will do anything for you, if you do not take the time and energy to practice. If you are prepared to train and get serious about vocal training, The Four Pillars of Singing is a program you should take a serious look at.
  11. Don't let any other video or coach try to tell you that less information, less explanation, less features and less value in a vocal training program is a benefit to you.
  12. CVI vs TVS: Review of “The Four Pillars of Singing″ BY FELIX, ON APRIL 21ST, 2015 So I finally decided to buy “The Four Pillars of Singing″ by Robert Lunte (TVS, The Vocalist Studio). Some of his tutorials and lectures on YouTube caught my attention and after a few days of consideration (+200$ is a lot of money) I decided to give it a try. When I started my singing studies I had decided to look at as many different approaches as possible and learn as much as I can and Robert Luntes perspective is certainly interesting and he definitely knows what he is talking about. I will compare his training system to CVT (Complete Vocal Institute) because it seems to be aimed at the same target audience. “The Four Pillars of Singing” is a comprehensive vocal training system that includes a book, over 350 videos, audio training content, detailed training routines, guide files and a robust learning management system that allows you to take a comprehensive course to study and master the TVS Method. It offers workouts starting in the key of C and G (to make it easier for women to use), training work flows and training routines for over 64 workouts, guide files that help you learn how to perform the workouts quickly and a very useful interface that organizes this massive amount of content. A user interface like this, is not available in any other program.. Robert advertises it as being the system with "the most content in the history of mankind". That is not only marketing but certainly a fact. But what does it mean? There is a lot of data in here, that’s for sure. The content of the book is similar to what CVT teaches. Especially the TVS method for organizing the vowels of singing into what they call, "Acoustic Modes". But unlike the CVT vocal modes, the TVS Acoustic Modes have stripped out a lot of additional levels of complexity, focusing only on where the singing vowels resonate in the voice and their respective sound colors. It is a very effective and intuitive way to learn about the acoustics of singing. In addition to ideas from TVS such as training work flows (teaching students to train with "step by step" instructions), specialized onsets and vowel modification formulas, "Pillars" also offers "physical modes" which are essentially very similar to the EVTS voice qualities or Estill modes. If your looking for CVI and Estill concepts as well as the unique TVS techniques, you can only find it in The Four Pillars of Singing. The focus is on all styles of singing. The 616 page book includes descriptions and illustrations of all the important components for singing; physiology, acoustics and mental imagery. The product is very comprehensive and a lot of work has clearly been put into it. With CVT, you only get a book and some sound samples and that leaves the less skilled voice student lacking for guidance and instruction on how to train and practice. One of the strongest aspects of The Four Pillars of Singing very well may be, that it seems to not miss the important point that students of singing technique programs have to have the content and guidance that no only teaches them the method and techniques, but also teaches them how to apply the techniques with training and practice routines. The sound samples with CVT are helpful, but the value is far below what you get with The Four Pillars of Singing. Then there is Robert. He sure is an interesting voice coach, he sounds very credible and his way of teaching is captivating. In a real-life coaching situation, that might be great and it certainly is important if you want to reach your full potential as a singer quickly. What is better, CVT or TVS? Should I buy Complete Vocal Technique or The Four Pillars of Singing?... or BOTH? It is important to point out that both systems are actually compatible together, but if you had to make a choice, given that "Pillars" already includes the main CVT premise, vocal modes oriented around singing vowels, then The Four Pillars of Singing is the way to go, given that they cover that topic with the "TVS Acoustic Modes". If you are a person who needs or learns faster with video tutorials and audio files to listen to in the care and practice with, then "Pillars" might be the better choice for you. Learn more about "The Four Pillars of Singing". Read reviews on Amazon.com. CLICK HERE FOR AMAZON.COM REVIEWS >>>
  13. INTRODUCING THE TC HELICON VOICE LIVE TOUCH 2 They call it a "Vocal-Designer". Interesting, I thought to myself while unpacking the TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 from its box. As the name implies TC-Helicon has released a new version of its innovative 'Touch' series which builds upon the original Voice Live Touch. I'll be upfront and say that I never had the opportunity to try out the original Voice Live Touch so this review will strictly be based on my experience with the new unit: the TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2. Gone are the colorful touch pads and diminutive LED screen. Instead, the Touch 2 is more serious wrapped in subdued grey with a much more usable LCD screen. Being this is a very menu driven device I imagine this is a welcome change to the original Touch users. TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2: Build This product can be purchased at The Vocal Gear Store. As with all TC-Helicon gear, the build quality of the TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 makes it feel like every bit of its $500 street value. There are no manual knobs and buttons on the Touch 2. Instead, every control aside from a mic gain knob is a touch pad. It's an interesting design concept that is going to work for some but may be troublesome for others. The layout is generally straightforward and once you get a hold of the basics of how to drive into settings, the TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 is fairly intuitive. I wish TC Helicon had given thought to backlighting their pads as I can see having issues in a dark club environment finding the right pad to hit, especially if you prefer as I do to not stand mount it. As a workaround, I highly recommend using their 3 button foot control available for purchase separately. TC Helicon touts the VL2 as giving singers "unprecedented creative control of their live sound with state-of-the-art vocal effects and performance looping in an intuitive touch layout." This I agree with. The TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 packs an enormous catalog of preset effects to get you started sorted by genre such as Rock, Pop, Alternative etc. that mock the vocal effects used on a large v ariety of hit socks. If that isn't enough they are continually updating the catalog that is downloadable directly to the VLT2's using VoiceLive support. The TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 In Practice The TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 is pretty much ready to go out of the box. Built in is TC's fabulous adaptive tone which automagically applies adaptive EQ, compression and de-ess to your voice. It almost always sounds great and it certainly does on the Touch 2. Every effect is just about infinitely customizable on the Touch 2 including all the usual suspects of HardTune, tap delay, reverb, harmony, doubling, choir, and transducer. However, I generally found myself starting with one of the built-in presets and then customizing it to fit my sound. One of the more interesting features added on the Touch 2 is an effects "slider" that allows you to a choc tweak with your sound as you go. TC has come a long ways with their harmony algorithms by syncing them up with instrument input to ensure they are always on point and realistic sounding. The Touch 2 adds to the flexility of this by incorporating 8 total voices (more than you'd likely every need) and what they call "RoomSense". If one doesn't have an instrument to plug into the VoiceLive, the two onboard microphones take it the chord structures based off what its hearing in the room to decide how to apply the harmonies. I would argue there's no replacement for real harmonies, but this comes so damn close that admittedly even I have started using them. Another key feature to point out is the 6 track TC VLOOP performance looper. This is where things can really get creative with the ability to record your vocals on the fly for up to 30 seconds. The Touch 2 is so intelligent that it will even quantize those for you for perfect loops. One you have your loops you than then add Reverse, Filter, Slow Speed, Squeeze and Squeeze Auto to really make things interesting. Overall I felt that the looper was well done and simple enough that it could be used in a live situation. CONCLUSIONS about The TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 The TC Helicon VoiceLive Touch 2 is without question an extremely powerful tool. At the end of the day, it does however, cater itself slightly more towards the studio and solo artist than it does to more of a rocker like myself. I felt the menu-driven design and touch interface left me spending more time in trial and error before finding a sound than I would have spent flipping a knob or hitting a switch on the Voice Tone series pedals. In my opinion, though, TC has found a niche within a niche market with the VLT2. If this looks like it might be your kinda thing I recommend you check it out.
  14. So what does a student need? They need to be able to do all of the physical tasks that constitute the singing activity required by their goals. This requires training, even if no trainer is available. In addition, their goals will require them to develop the musicianship and experience to handle styles, inflection, and ornamentation appropriate for the music they want to do. This requires learning, even if no teacher is available. In school and at home, we were told many times to "Think about what you are doing!" That approach is almost completely counter-productive for musicians and high wire walkers. Imagine the effect of yelling "Think about what you're doing!" to a person walking a wire across the Grand Canyon. The free-flow execution of skills is managed by a part of the brain that is totally different from the part of the brain where knowledge and understanding are applied to currently executing skills. Once a performer starts thinking about what they are doing, the analytical part of the brain begins to interfere with the free-flow part of the brain. If you as a teacher explain everything, you are implying that singing skills can be managed by the intellect, which is actually impossible beyond a beginner level. I'm not saying that teaching about the subject of singing technique has no value. A voice teacher needs to really know and understand the subject. However, I am suggesting that you carefully consider how much and when to teach a student "about" singing technique. My friend, Robert Lunte, says that singers need to train as "vocal athletes," and I totally agree. The great athletes don't become great by approaching their skills analytically. Their trainers focus on the physical and mental demands of specific skills, and they train the muscles to do the job. The great trainers also train the athlete's mind to concentrate in ways that don't interfere with the fluency of their physical skills. Princeton says that "training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies." I like that definition, but I would boil it down a bit and say that personal voice training is leading someone through exercises and experiences that develop the skills to achieve specific goals and acquire the knowledge required to execute those skills in the required styles. For more information about The Performing Mind, go to http://www.pfco.com. Michael Kysar The Performing Mind http://www.pfco.com
  15. Which Is The Best Vocal "Method"to Study? A unique look at the approaches, challenges and insights of being a singing teacher. Advice from Vocal Coach Kathy Thompson © 2009 Request permission to use in whole or in part by email: admin@purevoicepower.ca We study singing to get better at it just as we would study any skill. We are studying this art form in order to improve our ability. One of the foundations of voice work lies in building confidence. But more than that, we should study singing in order to acquire healthy technique when we vocalize. Notice that I said healthy rather than good. I try to avoid words such as good or bad, because they imply judgment. When you sing with correct and healthy technique, you are in fact maintaining your voice for longevity and stamina, as well as optimum performance. Good technique involves understanding your instrument to some degree, and employing recommended, safe habits when it comes to warming up or working out with your voice. Beyond that, continued study and vocal maintenance (regular practice routine) is recommended. Regardless of my teaching methods, there are constants and truths such as: Progress does not - and will not - happen instantly, overnight. As with developing any physical skill, developing one's voice takes time without force. If you practice regularly, you will see results. Everyone progresses at a different rate. In order to create something artistic, it helps to know the rules. That's the same with anything you want to excel at in life! We shouldn't assume that just because you know how to use your voice to talk and have sung songs, that you know all there is to know about how to do it better. Think of it this way: Just because you know how to run doesn't mean that you can automatically run a marathon. Just because you can use a sewing machine doesn't mean you can sew high fashion clothing. Just because you can talk with your voice doesn't mean you can sing expertly. Just because you can sing without studying doesn't mean you have the ability to sing like a seasoned professional with heavy usage demands on one's voice. I think we can agree that someone just learning to paint can paint any old picture without knowing what they're doing or studying it. Maybe they will get lucky and it will look fine. But it's usually short-lived. Pretty soon that passionate novice painter will want to know how it all works. So they study. Great painters know all about painting and understand how the great masters created such classic, unique and timeless art. I think it's the same with singing. What is a method? My dictionary defines METHOD as: A manner of procedure, esp. a systematic or clearly defined way of accomplishing an end; system or order in thought or action; the plan of procedure characteristic of discipline; logical or scientific arrangement. A method is the way in which we do something. Most everything we do has a method of some kind. You might have your own method of stacking the dishwasher or your own method of folding your towels. Use of a method simply implies that there is a systematic or specific way of doing something. If a singing teacher advertises that they are certified in a particular method of teaching singing, it's possible that they will be only able to deploy only that one method when teaching voice. They may not be allowed to utilize any aids, exercises or approaches that they as a singing teacher created themselves. I prefer not to work like that. To just use one method created by someone else would be stifling to me, no matter how popular that method is, or which masterful teacher developed it. I am the sum of my parts. All of my experiences as a singing student, actor, voice over artist and vocalist made me the performer I am today, and also the teacher I am today. I have studied voice with many singing teachers myself, taken workshops, and I was a voice major in college. I have experienced various styles of teaching voice as a singing student myself. I have developed my own approaches on how to connect with students as individuals over the years and I customize lessons to the way in which a student will learn best. (BTW- I myself, will continue to learn, read, research, develop, take workshops and classes for the rest of my life. We are never above learning anything new.) Which Teaching Methods does Kathy use? I believe that there are so many different approaches to teaching voice because there is no standard. That is a lengthy discussion which is best had elsewhere. When I teach voice, I use mostly my own “method”. That means I use partial things from a variety of other methods, or systems of teaching voice, along with exercises, games and handouts that I created. I draw from information from all forms of media, and my own personal experience as a singer. I would work differently with someone who is very soft-spoken and shy than I would with someone who is a high-energy extrovert. There are different kinds of learners and I take that into account. I never plagiarize anything from other singing teachers. I might take a seed of an idea I learned and tweak it, just as you would a classic food recipe. If I learn something related to singing from a science book, I will incorporate that. If I use a scale from another method such as the Seth Riggs SLS method, Frank Sinatra method, the Alan Greene workbook, or the Bel Canto method, I am sure to tell the student where that exercise came from and that they can pull on those resources. (The source is always quoted on their printed handout). I frequently tell my students about other singing courses! If a student is doing something incorrect during singing, I can imitate it in my own voice, identify where the error is occurring during the process, and then show the student how to approach singing that one thing with more correct technique or more economical way. Kathy's Approach I insist on visiting the basics at first and spend time accordingly on the usual things such as correct breathing, posture, vowel formation, etc. It's ongoing. I devote a part of every lesson to performance. I want you to be an original. I want to help you discover the leader within you. Every moment that we are singing a song, we are making decisions about how to sing it. The lyrics will mean something. The beat will mean something. How you phrase, deliver words, the volume or power you apply will shape the song. The vocal nuance or the boldness you choose will come into play. I think there is an actor in each of us and we can adopt characters for our songs. How you connect with your audience whether live on stage, or from a recording booth - will matter in the end. The main goal of lessons is not to CHANGE the inherent way your voice sounds. My goal is to take the unique sound of your voice and add to it; enhance it. We work towards uncovering and empowering the artist within you. We develop the voice you have and build upon that with a spirit of joy. You will discover new sounds. You can't force your voice to grow or do things it can't possibly do until you have trained to do it. (And yes, there is a difference between belting and yelling!) To me, singing is both science and art at the same time. I never try to change someone's natural sound. We only enhance it, help it flourish, take a holistic vocal evolutionary path and keep adding new musical layers. At the end of every lesson, I hope that these 4 questions will be answered yes: 1. Did your voice get some good exercise / workout? 2. Did you learn something interesting and new? 3. Do you understand the assignment for next time; are there any questions? 4. Do you feel motivated to sing and practice? I research. I test. In truth, science is still learning about human behaviour and how the brain works, which is paramount to the mind-body connection not only when it comes to singing or playing an instrument, but is related to learning and executing ANY physical skill. Science is still learning about the voice. What Makes a Great Singing Teacher? Let us pose this question to anyone who teaches a skill. For example: In order to be a fantastic football coach, does that person have to be a fantastic football player themselves first? In order to be a fantastic auto mechanic teacher, does that person have to be a fantastic auto mechanic themselves first? In order to be a fantastic singing teacher, does that person have to be a fantastic singer themselves? It's my opinion that the answer to that is yes. Ideally, at some time in their career the teacher, trainer or coach would have excelled at performing that skill themselves, which they are now teaching. If they themselves know what it's like to hit a home run on stage or in the studio, they can bring that experience to you through their coaching. Don't be too quick to judge the style of your singing teacher. If you are a raspy rock singer and you need to learn how to sing more healthy easy sounds during practice, you might not want to study with a person who only knows how to rock hard with their voice. You probably need warmer, richer, healthier exercises to sing; not more of the same. You need a little something in the way of therapeutic singing. Look to a variety of styles to study: R&B, folk/roots, classical, SLS, theatre, pop, etc. Internet Misinformation About Singing Methods There is so much misinformation on the internet, it's hard to believe what's true and what's not! Just because something is in writing doesn't mean that it is entirely accurate and absolute. There are literally hundreds of people out there calling themselves singing teachers, vocal coaches, starting schools and calling themselves experts. Should a singing teacher have academic credentials only? A degree? Stage experience only? What credentials does someone need to be a valid singing teacher? Suppose someone has performed on Broadway stages for years but has never been in a hit musical, is not famous, and they decide to teach singing. Does that mean they won't be a good singing teacher? Maybe maybe not. Don't be fooled by fame. Fame can be a result of luck and good networking skills. It's rare that anyone becomes famous by accident, including singing teachers. They have usually sought their station. That's not good, bad, right, or wrong just fact. A few times, a parent has asked me if I have taught anyone famous. Would that make a difference to the quality of my teaching? Not necessarily. Keep an open mind is all I'm saying and try not to think in absolutes. There are singing methods out there with certified coaches who are fanatical with the notion that they have the ONLY and the BEST method of teaching singing on the planet. Some attach to celebrity endorsement. Well there can be many, many amazing and valid approaches to working with people on their voices. I think that some popular methods are far too technical and the student gets hung up on the mechanics of singing. Some methods recommend things like warming up with very high quiet tones, or never talk about vocal mechanics, and assorted approaches. Here’s something that made my eyes pop wide open. I saw video of a celebrity voice coach working with a famous rap superstar that I found to be very disturbing. He had his female rap star actually moving her jaw sideways, quickly sweeping it back and forth, fast and hard, as a part of the vocal warm-up! You can almost guarantee TMJ medical issues from that. In fact, it could possibly warrant litigation. This NY singing coach was charging an astronomical hourly fee into three figures (but included back massage). I like to base things in fact. I have kept a log of internet untruths about singing. Here is just one of many, and more benign than most: There is a website I saw which has the word musician and university in the name of the site. Under singing, it says, Singing is easy. Anyone can do it. But what most singers do not know is that your voice is just like an instrument. I don't think that's true. No, singing is not easy for everyone. Some people are very challenged with vocally interpreting and recreating sound as they hear it (* research the word amusia), and require different amounts of, and approaches to- ear training for accurate pitch placement. Some people are in poor physical condition and have a hard time understanding breathing, believe it or not. Some people were raised in a culture where silence was encouraged and they are ashamed to use their voice in a singing fashion. And so forth. The human voice is the only musical instrument located within the body. It is prejudiced with emotion. A piano is not. A violin has no emotion. A guitar has no emotion. It's the players of these instruments who can bring emotional interpretation to sound production. But our voice is within our body; the player and the instrument are one. Furthermore, I can see all other instruments as I play them. But you cannot see your voice as you play it. You feel it. You operate this instrument of voice as your brain sends neuromuscular impulses to your voice and various other muscles and systems in the body. For fascinating information on this, I encourage you to investigate The Alexander Technique for Singers. (FYI, it's a little technical.) I don't mean to scare or intimidate anyone. Connect with the person you want to work with. See if they make sense to you. Use your instincts and common sense when it comes to information at large. If something sounds astonishing or weird, perhaps try searching university and academic websites which are usually loaded with true and verified information. When we sing, let there be unconditional joy. Kathy Thompson, Vocal Coach, Toronto
  16. (This text has been sourced from the eBook "Just another day at the office...How to get better results in auditions and other high pressure performing situations"). Introduction Throughout the course of your performing life, opportunities to audition for jobs or perform in solo recitals don't usually come along too often. If you're an active job-seeker, you may have the chance to attend four or five auditions per year. As a student, you might perform one or two sixty-minute solo recitals per year. And as a full-time professional orchestral musician or choral singer, solo performances may be very few and far between indeed. Auditions and other solo performances are under the spotlight events, and are often experienced by many performers with high levels of performance arousal. Performance arousal? What's that? You've no doubt heard of or even experienced feelings of anxiety before and at times during performances. This anxiety, or performance anxiety as it is commonly referred to, is the negative form of performance arousal. Performance anxiety can affect you negatively in performing situations. Excitement on the other hand, or the feeling of looking forward to a performance, is the positive form of performance arousal, and can have a positive effect on your ability to perform. But this is only true if the level of excitement you experience is appropriate for your particular performing situation. In other words if the level of excitement you experience is inappropriate (i.e. too much or too little) for your performing situation, then this excitement will have a negative effect on your ability to perform. So in short, the term performance arousal describes the excitement or anxiety you may feel before and at times during performances. Performance arousal can be particularly strong in under the spotlight events, or other performing situations that you perceive as high-pressure. Ok. So how much positive performance arousal (excitement) do I need to get the best results? As a classical musician or singer performing in a recital or audition situation, high levels of excitement may make you feel like you are out of control. Likewise, performance anxiety can also make you feel out of control, and in addition may be accompanied by unpleasant physical sensations such as muscular tension, hyperventilation, sweaty palms, nausea, and so on. So, in traditional recital or audition situations, a moderately low level of positive performance arousal (excitement) will in most cases allow you to achieve your best possible results. That sounds like it should work in theory. But how do I actually make it happen? In this eBook you'll be shown the simple yet powerful technique of Intense Positive Visualisation . This technique has been specifically designed to help you obtain an ideal state of mind for your performing situations, regardless of your field of performance. Using Intense Positive Visualisation, you can achieve better results in auditions, and see how other high-pressure performance situations may be perceived as easy, comfortable, and dare I say, even a joy to experience! Familiarity To begin with, let's take a situation quite apart from a musical one. Let's imagine for a minute that you are an office worker beginning your first day at a new job. As with a recital or audition, this is a situation that can put you in the stressful position of not knowing exactly what will happen throughout the course of the experience. You might have a certain amount of information, but there are still many variables and details that are either unfamiliar, or completely unknown. You are also quite naturally aware that the outcome of the actual event is significant, especially given the importance placed on first impressions. What are some of the physical and mental responses that you might experience before and/or during your ever-important first day at the office? Perhaps you might have sweaty palms, shallow breathing, a churning stomach, or possibly mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. However, after experiencing your new environment for a few days, you begin to perceive being at the office as no big deal. When this happens, the heightened excitement or anxiety (performance arousal) you experienced on your first day starts to disappear. Now, compare the number of times you've heard of the phrase I'm starting my new job today. Wish me luck! with the phrase It's my 30th day at the office today. Wish me luck! and not to mention It's my 2,623rd day at the office today. Wish me luck! It starts to sound ridiculous, doesn't it? So therefore, and this really is the crux of the matter, what is the difference between the ever so slightly ridiculous sounding 2,623rd day at the office and the 1st day at the office? The answer is familiarity! And it is a special sort of familiarity that helps us feel at ease, calm, confident and in control. This sort of familiarity can be referred to as positive conditioning. Riding the Roller Coaster To explain positive conditioning in plain English, picture this. You are at a theme park and are very nervous or anxious about riding that big, scary roller coaster for the first time. Even thinking about taking the plunge starts you off on a serious emotional roller coaster! Should I? Shouldn't I? I don't really want to after all. But I do want to try it, and all my friends are doing it. I can do it. I can't do it. It might be fun!? But what happens if we crash? Maybe I should have just stayed in bed this morning! Eventually you decide to board the roller coaster, and experience the ride. Riding the roller coaster turns out to be a positive experience you survived and even enjoyed it in some weird way! This makes your brain suddenly say Hey! That wasn't so bad after all! The next time you think about riding the roller coaster, you are perhaps only a little nervous or anxious. You make the decision to ride the roller coaster again, and again it turns out to be a positive experience you even had your eyes open this time! Your brain now says to you Hey! That was actually kinda fun! I wanna do it again! And so the next time you think about riding the roller coaster, you are looking forward to it, because you know it will be a fun, enjoyable experience! This is basically how positive conditioning works. However, what if your experiences are negative? For example, what happens if the first time you ride the roller coaster you get stuck at the top of the ride and are forced to dangle upside-down for 6 hours because of a technical problem? If this happens, your brain is probably going to say to you the next time you think about riding a roller coaster, Oi! Remember that last roller coaster experience?? It was horrible! I don't ever want to go through that again get me outta here! This is negative conditioning in action. The Routine Part 1 So, how do we ensure your brain tells you that auditions, recitals, and other high-pressure performing situations are easy and fun? How do you achieve positive conditioning when you only get one shot at something??? We'll answer these questions very soon! But for now, it's back to the office! After 30 days at the office, you know the routine... Wake up with the alarm clock, hit the snooze button, and sleep for an extra 10 minutes Get out of bed when the alarm rings for the second time Eat breakfast Have a shower and get dressed Brush teeth Shoes on Leave the house after locking the door Walk to the bus stop. Aim to arrive there in time to get on the number 85 bus that you know always leaves 2 or 3 minutes earlier than it's supposed to Board the bus Get off the bus at the appropriate stop Walk up to the building and in through the main entrance The Routine Part 2 A Greet the receptionist Sign in Walk up the stairs, bidding a fellow colleague a good day on the way Greet the other office workers as you pass them on your way to your desk Arrive at your desk, sit down, and start the day's work Lunch break for 45 minutes Work through to the late afternoon When it's time to leave, walk back down the stairs, out of the office, and out of the building All of these small but necessary actions are completed each day as part of your routine. Thinking back to your first day at the office, you didn't have this routine your first day was completely unfamiliar! This is the reason why you may have been feeling anxious or even over-excited (high performance arousal level), and the reason why you asked your partner, flatmate, friends, or family to wish you luck. Now, if it feels like we have wandered from the path of an under the spotlight performance situation, read the bullet points in The Routine Part 1 again, and then skip directly toThe Routine Part 2 B below. The Routine Part 2 B Walk around to the stage door of the venue Greet the receptionist at the desk Sign in Walk up the stairs and along the corridor to warm-up room marked ‘Soloist 1’ Take out your instrument, and begin your warm-up routine After some time, your accompanist enters the warm-up room With 15 minutes until your audition is scheduled to start, you rehearse entries and certain problem passages The stage manager knocks on the door, and asks if you are both ready You follow the stage manager to the wings in the off-stage area You walk confidently on stage, with your accompanist following closely behind You acknowledge the audition jury You begin the audition calmly, and confidently The performance begins, and continues in the most musical way you can possibly imagine You finish the last audition piece, acknowledge the jury, and finally walk off stage So, if you're a performer, and get the chance to be at the office for 30 days (performing in recitals or auditions every day for 30 days) you can get to know the routine, and become quite comfortable and familiar with it. But wait a second! You might be thinking: Ok, but the office worker has the opportunity to learn the routine and get familiar with it as they are in reality at the office every weekday. I'm not doing a recital or audition everyday. I only get one shot at this! What?!? You're right! You're not performing in a recital or audition everyday but you should be! What?!? Auditions and recitals don't come along everyday! In reality, no they don't! But in your mind, you can perform auditions and recitals as often as you wish! What do you mean?!? How does this work?!? By using specially designed visualisation techniques, you can use your mind to rehearse any one-shot performance as many times as you wish! Therefore, you can become familiar with your one-shot performing situation, well before it even happens! So, if you practise visualisation techniques, when you walk into your performing situation in reality, you're just like the office worker going to work on their 30th or even 2,623rd day at the office! In other words, you can feel, calm, confident, and in control in any performance situation! The Proof But wait just another second! Surely there is a vast difference between experiencing an event in reality and experiencing the same event in your imagination? After all, the office worker actually is at the office every day, and if I use visualisation, I'm only going to imagine myself being at the office. Can this really be the same thing? The short answer to this question is YES! According to many studies on visualisation in the field of sports psychology, the subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between actually experiencing an event, and simply imagining an event in vivid detail! Look at this example: One study on visualisation in sports psychology involved the members of three basketball teams of approximately equal skill level, practising shooting 3-pointers, for a period of 30 days. One of the teams practised neither physically on the court, nor in their minds during the duration of the study. Their improvement at the end of the study was not surprisingly 0%. Another team practised physically that is, on the basketball court for a period of one hour each day. After 30 days, their improvement was measured at 24%. The third team did not practise physically at all but was told to mentally visualise the game for one hour each day. At the end of the thirty day period, their improvement was a remarkable 23%. What was the reason for this? The sports scientists concluded that the subconscious mind cannot differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. Therefore, since the subconscious mind has a large influence on how you perform, positively conditioning your subconscious mind using Intense Positive Visualisation can have a huge effect on your success as a performer! Find out how to practise Intense Positive Visualisation in the next chapter! Intense Positive Visualisation Visualisation techniques can help you positively condition yourself to achieve an ideal state of mind, helping you to gain optimal results in your performing situations. In short, when visualising, you train your mind by entering a relaxed state and imagining the exact results you would like to achieve. By regularly practising visualisation techniques, you can condition yourself for success! In the book Performing in The Zone, three different types of visualisation techniques are explained: Snap Shot Intense Positive Visualisation The 5 Sense Visualisation Method Here in Just Another Day at the Office you're going to see exactly how the simple yet powerful technique of Intense Positive Visualisation can help you in your performing situations! Read on! Different points of view Intense Positive Visualisation can be carried out in the 1st person or 3rd person perspective. Using the 1st person perspective, you put yourself in the centre of the visualisation. For example, if you are a concert pianist, you would imagine yourself performing on stage from your own eyes, seeing your hands and the piano keyboard in front of you, taking in the experience as if you were actually carrying it out in reality. In the 3rd person perspective, you would see yourself from a distance, possibly from a seat in the audience, the back of the room, or even a position up in the ceiling somewhere above, behind, or beside you. Some performers find a 1st person visualisation to be more powerful and real, whereas others may find a 3rd person visualisation to be most effective. Experiment using both viewpoints, and discover which one works best for you. Intense Positive Visualisation explained To practise Intense Positive Visualisation, you will need to be undisturbed for a period of anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, depending on the length of the performance you are about to visualise. Intense Positive Visualisation is best carried out lying down on your back with your hands resting gently on your solar-plexus. You may choose to lie flat on the floor or on a yoga mattress. Lying down on a bed can be an acceptable alternative, and is at times preferable if practising this exercise just before sleeping. It's important to keep the body at a comfortable temperature throughout the duration of the visualisation, and therefore covering yourself with a blanket might be necessary. To begin Intense Positive Visualisation, gently close your eyes, and lightly touch your tongue to the front part of the roof of your mouth, just behind the teeth. This is a Qi Gong technique which forms an energy bridge to allow freer flow of energy in the human energy system. Try to keep the root of your tongue relaxed at all times. If you have trouble with this, simply let your tongue sit in its natural position and come back to this Qi Gong energy bridge technique at a later stage. Whilst in a horizontal position, allow the floor to take your weight. Feel your limbs becoming heavier the more relaxed they feel. Trust the floor it will hold you. Give in to the support from underneath. Trust, relax, and let go. Breathe gently through your nose. Allow your body to breathe as it needs to. The next section is designed to help you understand how Intense Positive Visualisation works. It is an example of one possible visualisation, taken from the perspective of a musician giving a recital, requiring a performance arousal level of +1 before the performance, +2 for the majority of the recital, and +3 for the climax of the concert. After reading the following example and understanding the process of Intense Positive Visualisation, you can then create your own personal visualisation to meet your specific needs. When creating your visualisation, remember to visualise events exactly as you want them to be Start of Intense Positive Visualisation example: You begin by imagining yourself at home, taking your performance clothes out of the wardrobe. You check to see that everything is in order with your clothes and your performance shoes. You put your performance clothes and shoes in a suit bag, pick up your instrument case, check to see if you have your keys and wallet, and leave the house, locking the door behind you. You walk down the stairs and out on to the street in a relaxed pace. Arriving at the metro (underground train/tube) station, you use your ticket to pass the barrier, and board your train. It's going to be a great show. Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. Getting off at the right stop, you stroll towards the recital hall, taking in the scenery on the way. Perhaps a seagull is calling in the distance? How do the trees look? Are there other people out walking? You take out your Cue Card and slowly read over your key words. Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. You arrive at the venue and greet the receptionist on the way in. After signing in, you head to your warm up room where your accompanist is already waiting for you. You ask your accompanist for 15 minutes by yourself so that you can prepare yourself and warm up. You unpack your instrument, and begin your warm up routine. It feels fantastic to start warming up. You know your accompanist is going help you put on a great show. You know that the venue has a warm acoustic. Your performance clothes are ironed and your shoes polished. You are ready. You are about to share part of yourself with some people who want to hear you they want to be touched by you. It's going to be a warm, giving, rewarding experience for both them and you. It's going to be great! Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. After 15 minutes your accompanist walks in to the room. Before you begin to rehearse, you check your Cue Card again, and go through your Pre-Performance Ritual, C3 calm, controlled, confident the C3 and +1 on your Cue Card gives you a familiar, friendly reminder. You rehearse the beginning of the first piece with your accompanist. It's easy and free. The acoustic in the practise room is dry, but you know that out there in the hall the space will take care of you the warm reverb will beautify every nuance and add to the experience for everyone. Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. When it is time, you are called to the wings of the stage. You take one final look at your Cue Card and go through the C3 exercise again. You can hear the chatter of the audience, and see the stage in front of you. You walk calmly, securely, and with purpose on to the stage where you are greeted by applause. They like you and you haven't even done anything yet! This is going to be a fun performance! Your performance arousal level is at +1. You feel relaxed, positive, and calm. Whilst your accompanist adjusts the piano stool, you look out into the audience and make visual contact with the people you are about to touch with your performance. Your body language exudes confidence and assuredness. You greet the audience, introducing yourself and your accompanist, and begin to talk about the evening's programme. Your voice is stable, powerful, and reflects the perfect +1 state of performance arousal that you are currently in. Your voice resonates effortlessly to the back of the hall. You are in The Zone. After your brief introductory talk, you look to your accompanist who is ready to work with you. This is going great! You begin your performance, and your performance arousal gently rises to a +2. (At this point in the visualisation I strongly suggest that you visualise your entire performance that is, see and hear yourself giving the most musical, fantastic, controlled, inspired, moving performance you can possibly imagine. Use either 1st or 3rd person perspective. In your visualisation you are doing everything right it feels fantastic and sounds amazing. You are at an ideal level of performance arousal for this performing situation, and totally in The Zone.) Just before the climax of the final piece, you turn the page, and see the familiar figure of +3 that you wrote earlier at the top of your music. You step it up a notch, and raise your performance arousal level to +3. The music takes on a new life and energy and this is felt by you, your accompanist, and the audience. Finishing the concert at a +3 level your audience erupts in cheers and applause. You did it! It was great!! You were in The Zone!!! You acknowledge the audience, and walk off stage. End of Intense Positive Visualisation example. When you feel ready, slowly begin to move your body again. How did it feel to give that amazing performance? You were great! Everything just clicked. You were totally and completely in The Zone throughout the entire process. Intense Positive Visualisation can be practised every day before a performance. By doing so, you can condition yourself to perform in The Zone. Intense Positive Visualisation is highly recommended to all performers about to give important performances, auditions or recitals. The earlier you begin Intense Positive Visualisation the better, but at least one week prior to the performance event should be the minimum. In your own visualisations, remember to assess how much positive performance arousal you need at various moments: +1, +2, +3, +4, or +5. Do you need to be at the same activation level for the entire event, or does your performance arousal level need to modulate at various times? Remember that imagining yourself calm and relaxed probably isn't going to give you the best results if you are preparing for an intensely physical, fast-paced performance situation. Likewise, visualising getting yourself psyched up and exploding out of the gates isn’t going to help you if you are preparing for a more delicate +1 situation, such as a slow movement of a concerto. Visualising performing with an ideal level of performance arousal is important! By using Intense Positive Visualisation, you are using positive conditioning to become familiar with as many elements of your performance day as possible, and become used to experiencing these always in a positive light. Notice also that Intense Positive Visualisation goes into as much detail as possible, both before and during your performance. This is to help take away as many surprises and unknown factors on the day of your performance as possible. It may help the accuracy and intensity of your visualisation to do some reconnaissance by actually visiting the performance venue prior to your performance event. This is easily possible for students giving final recitals for example, or sportspeople playing at a local venue. Try to also incorporate some variations in your visualisations. Perhaps the audience isn’t ready and takes an extra 5 minutes to get seated? Perhaps your accompanist arrives later than expected due to traffic problems? Maybe the stage curtains are blue and not red? Perhaps the warm up room is bigger or smaller? Regardless of what happens, you are prepared, and you stay in your ideal level of positive performance arousal. You are completely stable, and in The Zone, always. By using Intense Positive Visualisation every day over a period of one week, you have in effect carried out your performance successfully 7 times. Practise this visualisation 3 times per day for a week and you’ve completed 21 successful, positive, great, fantastic, easy, ideal performances, and have been in The Zone every single time! Remember that your subconscious doesn’t differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. Therefore by using Intense Positive Visualisation diligently, you are conditioning yourself for success by becoming familiar with performing in The Zone! By using the technique of Intense Positive Visualisation, you can experience your next audition, recital or ‘high-pressure’ performance as just another day at the office! Conclusion Intense Positive Visualisation is just one of over 20 effective techniques fully explained in the book Performing in The Zone. These techniques can help you to become secure, confident, comfortable, in control, and successful in your performing situations. With the book Performing in The Zone, you get more than just techniques. You get: To find out what really goes on inside your mind and body in performing situations To learn about The Zone, what it is, and how you can get there A complete explanation of performance arousal, and how it can affect you positively or negatively in performing situations Over 20 techniques specifically designed to help you get better results in any field of performance The 12 Week Performance Success Programme to help you incorporate the techniques from Performing in The Zone into your performing life An introduction to additional sources of advice and information to further aid you in your journey to The Zone! By reading Performing in The Zone, you can: Perform at an optimal level Achieve better results when under the spotlight Become a master of yourself and your performance environment Realise your true performing potential Become a better performer by learning to perform in The Zone! In addition, at http://www.thezonebook.com you can subscribe to: The very latest techniques for controlling performance anxiety and over-excitement A personal email support service One-on-one coaching services – in person, via chat, or via video conferencing (limited number of places available) What should I do now? 1) Visit www.thezonebook.com 2) Sign up for a 20% Pre-Release Discount on "Performing in The Zone!" 3) Read Performing in The Zone, apply the information in the book, and enjoy the results! 4) Keep visiting www.thezonebook.com (as well as the blog, at http://www.thezonebook.com/blog) regularly for news updates, the latest techniques for getting better results in performing situations, and special offers!
  17. 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!
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. First , I believe that everyone has the right to choose a suitable teacher for him/her that charges according to his/hers economic possibility. There is no use to start and taking one or two lesson and then stop because we can't afford it anymore. Therefor I will advise you to look for someone that his charges suit your pocket. This way you won't have to stop and change voice teacher in the middle of your voice learning process. I would suggest you also to try and find someone who can prove his professional abilities as a singer and as a teacher by videos or audio files. I won't just trust his/her word for it. I would also get an idea of what are the results I might obtain from studying with him/her. I would look for someone who has years of background and teaching experience, and not a fresh one. Usually an experienced teacher can offers you more. No always, as a rule, but often. I would try to find a teacher that gives you a nice and comfort feeling while study with. Singing can be sometimes like open your heart to a "stranger" and tell about "all your problems. Your teacher should be a person you can communicate with and feel free to be able to give feedback during the process. You should feel relaxed during the lessons for the process to be effective. Don't obligate yourself for a long period for lessons before you know the teacher and you have decided that this is what you want/need. You shouldn't feel any strange feelings on your throat at the end of a voice lesson. If you do feel uncomfortable (and you don't have a cold) afterwards that means you may need to change your teacher. After a while with a good teacher you should feel you can sing much easier, singing higher notes with less effort (than before) and have a clear sound. If none of it happens that means that may indicate on the fact that this method might be not working for you. Above all: Listen to your body/voice and what it tells you. If you feel that the teacher IS helping you that is great. If not you can stop your lessons , and look for another one. Don't forget , now you have much more knowledge than before to know if things are good for you.
  22. If you have any questions about these products, please feel free to contact me on The Modern Vocalist or send me an email at robert@thevocaliststudio.com and we can talk your specific application. THE VOCALIST GIG BAG TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY FOR SINGERS: FROM ROBERT LUNTE & THE VOCALIST STUDIO: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TVS VOCALIST'S GIG BAG VIDEO OR WATCH BELOW! Microphones: - RODE M1 - RODE M2 http://www.rode.com/ - Electro-Voice 767a http://www.electrovoice.com - HEIL PR-35 http://www.heilsound.com - Telefunken M-80 http://www.telefunken-elektroakustik.com - Sennheiser 935 http://www.sennheiserusa.com - TC-Helicon MP-75 http://www.tc-helicon.com - AKG D7 http://www.akg.com Processing: TC-Helicon VoiceTone Pedals http://www.tc-helicon.com/voicetone-create-xt.asp - Create (EFX) - Doubler (simulates studio doubling) - Correct (compression) - Singles Pedals Wireless Microphone Solution - Samson Airline 77 http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=2018 Check That Mic Sanitary Wipes for Microphones http://www.checkthatmic.com VocoPro (HERO – RV) For Practicing and Writing: http://www.vocopro.com/products/product_info.php?ID=649 Extreme Isolation Headphones – X-29s: http://www.extremeheadphones.com/ex-29.html Vishudda Singer's Tea: http://aromatherapyinhaler.net/product/vishudda-singers-tea-kit-2/ Olympus Hand held Digital Recorder (The WS Series): http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_voicerecorders.asp Etymotic Ear Protection for Singers http://www.etymotic.com Hercules Mic Stand: http://www.herculesstands.com/mics/micstands.html PocketTone Pitch Pipe: www.PocketTones.com *Add this code to save $1. Special TVS Deal! (TMV08pt) Lyric Writing Software: www.masterwriter.com *Add this code to save $20. Special TVS Deal! (3059) Pen & Paper: Binder with all your bed tracks & lyrics:
  23. One of my artists who is on The Voice this season shot me an email last week asking about what is the right food to eat prior to performance. I wanted to share this with you, too! Early on I was interested in the impact of food on our bodies and consequently on our voices. The voice being an instrument housed in our body what we feed it makes or breaks how our voice performs. Here's my Singers' Top Nine Vocal Super-Foods: Fresh REAL food is superior. Veggies & fruits have more energy because they are living foods singers need energy and oxygen in their blood (which real foods give us). Leafy greens in particular are energy givers: watercress, kale, arugula, spinach (raw not cooked), romaine, mixed greens, broccoli rabe, escarole, etc. Foods with high water content are hydrating. Hydration from plants is an additional source that adds nutrition, too (8-10 oz. of water, too!). Celery is great for nerves (try a celery or carrot juice the day of or sprinkle some on your salad.) Bok choy is actually a real super-food. And watermelon and melon of any kind is super hydrating for your voice. (I throw some pieces in my water for extra hydration.) Salads are the best. Dr. Joel Fuhrman (my nutritionist) says make salads your main dish. I squeeze a little lime or lemon & olive oil or use just a little balsamic. Top with avocado great for lubrication. Speaking of olive oil, some people swear by it for a little extra lubrication (but use sparingly.) Fresh squeezed juices! SHAZAAM! (Except no orange which causes reflux.) My favs are carrots, celery (remember, great for nerves), apple, beet, parsley with a smidge of ginger, all those leafy greens (watercress, kale, arugula, spinach raw not cooked, bok choy.) Strawberries are great for the larynx (notice how it's shaped like the thyroid cartilage love that). Google it you'll find some awesome articles about it. Broth soups hydrate miso, veggie base (but no tomato or cream base causes reflux.) Turkey-chicken-salmon: good sources of protein. Stay away from ketchup (too much sugar) and sugar in general depletes energy. They say carbs the night before a performance give energy sweet potatoes are better than rice or pasta, which turns into sugar. What foods do YOU find helpful for your voice (actual foods not remedies)? Post here! Happy Healthy Singing!! ©2012 Cari Cole, Vocal Mag, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  24. I just picked up the new album by my good friend and colleague Paul Tauterouff, entitled Audio Chocolate. Paul is a perennial pro instrumental guitarist who is branching out into new territory with this latest project by inviting several guest musicians; namely guitarists like Nick Layton, the incomparable violinist Pete Hartley and several pro vocalist, to be part of the project this time and it produced great results. I was fortunate to be one of those guest vocalists and I wanted to tell you about my experience. A few months before he finished the music for the project, Paul asked me to write lyrics and record guest vocals for 2 of the tracks on his album; Voices (track 2) and Rebel (track 5). Of course at the time, neither of the tracks had titles, only basic guitar riffs and melodies. For both songs Paul gave me an idea of what he was thinking each song could be about but beyond that, he let me be as creative as I wanted to be from there. Rebel was the first song I wrote. Paul said, I want this to be a tongue in cheek tribute to the south and southern rock. The only thing I keep hearing over and over in my head is the phrase, I'm a rebel son! So from there, I ran with a barrage of clich southern phrases and southern cultural activities, to come up with a silly homage to the south. It was actually a lot of fun to write. It brought me back to my college days as a bright-eyed Colorado boy heading to a prestigious southern University in the state of North Carolina. I had never been anywhere but Colorado at that point in my life and boy was I in for a major culture shock! Turns out I would recall some of my Tar Heel experiences to help me create the song Rebel. Verses like, we like honky tonkin and shootin just for fun! Sittin on the front porch, sippin shine, watchin fireflies on the Mason Dixon line, were just a few of the lines I came up with. Pretty silly really, but that was the idea and Paul loved it, so I ran with it. Next came Voices. A much harder edged song but one that Paul wanted to tell a story with too. I think this song is talking about a girl whose a bit strange. She dances to her own drum and she really doesn't care who knows it, Paul said. This song was a bit tougher to write from a personal perspective, since I'm not a woman but I've been in situations where I've felt like I was the outcast and didn't give a darn what people thought of me, so that's where I began to write from. Secondly, I've got a very good female friend who is the perfect model of eccentricity, with no pause about who she is, so I used her as my template for the girl in Voices. (She was totally stoked when I told her the song was about her by the way.) Some of the lyrics that made up the skeleton of the song were lines like, Misunderstood, diamond in the rough, the world for her can't move fast enough. I basically tried to paint a mental picture of this girl for the listener. So I had my lyrics all finished and now it was time to record the vocals for each track. The best part about this project was the ease and convenience that came from recording the songs in my own home studio. See Paul lives in New York and I live in Colorado, so recording together in a studio was not an option. But it was also not an obstacle. in this day and age of high quality recording software and recording technologies working with other pros in other areas of the country or the world, is not a problem. Everything I needed to record a professional studio quality sound is right in my home. And it didn't cost me tens-of- thousands of dollars to do it either. I used Ableton Live 8, a popular recording software ($300) A Mac Book Pro laptop ($1200), an M-Audio interface ($50), a shure sm58 beta microphone ($100) and a pair of stereo headphones ($30). All of which I can use again and again for future recording projects, so if you look at it that way, I really used my investments to record these 2 songs for Paul. The only expense I really had, was my time and some electricity. Pretty cool! Especially when you consider what it would cost me to record my vocals at a local professional recording studio. You're talking at least $150 to $300/hour and they're not going to take the time and effort to make the quality of the recording near as good as you would yourself because they simply don't give you the time. Unless you're willing to pay for it that is. Each song took me a day to do. Recording the main vocals, then the harmonies. From there, choosing certain vocal effects that the recording software offers and getting all the volume levels right is usually the next step but for Paul's project, I didn't even have to do that. He preferred that I leave all the vocals and harmonies dry so he could manipulate them on his end when he got to the mixing end of things with each song. Once the tracks are complete and ready for shipment, I just imported the files as WAV courier service for sending large files to anyone anywhere vial email.files, and emailed them to Paul via YouSendIt.com, a free All-in-all a very simple and fun process that I learned a great deal from. And each time I do session work with/for colleagues I learn something new about long distance recording collaborations and recording in general for that matter. Lessons that make each new recording session I'm involved with that much better because of my past experiences. recording engineer to make great recordings! If I can do it, anybody can!You don't have to be a professional Bottom line, Paul Tauterouff's Audio Chocolate turned out to be a successful, ambitious journey of sounds and textures that will please many musical tastes. And I'm so proud to be a part of it! You can purchase the hard copy version or download your digital copy of the album at PAULTAUTEROUFF.COM. Don't forget to let me know what you think! **Do you have any thoughts or comments on this article? I'd love to hear what you think about recording, music or anything that comes to mind. Please leave your comments or questions below and I'll get back to you asap! ** Johnny Ryan is a professional singer, songwriter, recording artist and session musician from Denver, CO. To contact Johnny, email him at: johnnyryanmusic@hotmail.com or visit his website at:JOHNNYRYANMUSIC.COM
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