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need advice regarding learning Bel Canto

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Hello all.:)

I just joined. Although I am a person of 'mature' years I am a new voice student, never having had a lesson. I spoke a little about myself in the introduction part. I've always wanted to sing, and love classical singing, and opera. I am not looking to sing opera, just classical music in general. I want to learn Bel Canto technique as from what I have researched it creates beautiful sound and helps keep the voice healthy. I am not in an area where there are a lot of opportunities for instruction. So I am hoping the forum can give me some advice, direction, information, guidance.

I have read that there are many objectives to learn in Bel Canto: some are: low larynx, opening throat; the mask; where to direct the sound; breathing properly. I am wondering if someone could give me some idea as to what kind of things a voice teacher would start me with, given I am completely new to all of this, unsure of my sound;

generally unsure[ insecurities are us], etc. Would they start on learning warm up exercises, scales, that kind of thing. Would they begin to teach me how to properly use larynx, open throat, the things mentioned above? Or would they start right in with songs by someone named Vaccai for example? Do I need to sing in Italian to learn Bel Canto, esp. as I am not going to do opera. I don't know if I can do anything.

Any help with this is appreciated.


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Welcome to the forum Aimie. Well, what a voice teacher will do with you is highly dependent on where you are now. A lot of vocal training is un-learning bad habits. You may sing "breathy" in which case they will focus on closure. Or you may be a belter in which case they may try to lessen the mass you sing with. Normally classical teachers don't get into a lot of technical things (like the stuff we talk about on this forum). A lot of them teach using imagery - and this this is wide open so there are a ton of different approaches.

Normally a classical teacher will start with songs right away - they will give you exercises for sure but always coupled with songs. And not only just singing songs in a technical way, but singing songs and telling a story. Interpreting the lyrics and putting emotion into the performance. This is a big part of classical training.

Proper breathing and support is another big thing with classical singing. Reducing tension is another one.

You don't have to learn different languages, but if you want to explore opera and classical singing, singing them in Italian or other languages is beneficial.

If you really want to sing classical or opera you're going to need a teacher. If you don't have instructors nearby, Skype would be a good option.

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