methods start with “breathing.” Is that also what you work on
The voice is a
subtle instrument that doesn't need huge amounts of air to work
properly. We generally don't start with breathing unless the student is
having a problem in that regard. We begin by helping you find a balance
in your voice, and show you how to keep the vocal cords adducting
properly so that you are using your air more efficiently. It’s more
about the subtle coordination of how you manage your air, than about
having huge amounts of air. Eventually, you will learn to lean in with
more air behind a balanced instrument.
Can I learn to sing if I think I'm "tone deaf"?
actually very rare. If a person has trouble singing on the right notes,
there may be a variety of reasons for this. Sometimes they just haven't
learned how to use all the different parts of their voice (from low to
high) so the notes don't go up when they need to go up. We can work
with you to pinpoint what your problems are, and to help you improve.
All students notice improvement from studying our technique.
How long will it take for me to learn to sing?
This question can
not be answered without hearing your voice. Every person who comes in
has different issues, and some may have old, ingrained habits that need
to be altered to be able to sing the desired songs. For some, this can
take months, while others can pick the technique up fairly quickly.
Each student will be assessed when they come in; and by listening to
your voice, we can give you a better answer to this question. Some
songs are going to be easier, some more difficult for any singer.
What's the right age to begin vocal training? How old is "too old"?
find that most children do best starting training no earlier than 7 or
8 years old. They should be able to read words.
With younger students, we mostly try to keep singing fun,
learning songs and getting students to sing back and forth over their
bridges in a comfortable way. As to the the exact best age to start,
all children develop slightly differently. Children who concentrate
well and have a strong desire to sing will move ahead more quickly.
Piano lessons, or lessons in another instrument, can be helpful. As to
when one is "too old": if you can talk, you can sing! Bob Hope's wife,
Dolores, recorded an album of jazz standards when she was 92, singing
with a lovely tone. Many older women who could never effectively use
their chest voices and mix, are amazed at the strength, beauty, and
expressiveness of the sound they can produce
with good training. Our oldest student to date was an
83 year old beginner.
What is different about your technique?
key to good singing is understanding "Mix". As you sing
higher into your range, you quickly encounter areas where your voice
may "jam up", or it "breaks" and sounds weak. We call this area a
bridge or passaggio. When you learn how to approach these areas in the
right way, you can negotiate through them with finesse, increasing
range into the higher areas.
Do I need to read music and/or play an instrument to be able to sing?
Producing a usable vocal sound, and reading or playing music are
separate skills. There are plenty of good (and well employed) pop
singers who don't read music, or read at an elementary level. Reading
ability is useful, however, for every singer, and necessary, to some
degree, for classical and musical theatre. But, if your time is
limited, and you really want to sing, better to start with that and not
get hung up on things you think you "ought" to do. Playing an
instrument, especially piano or guitar, is very useful for developing
one's ear, choosing keys for songs, learning melodies and harmonies,
etc., but is not necessary in learning to sing.
I hear people talk about "falsetto"? Is that different from "head voice"?
gives you the feeling of resonance up in your head, which you also have
in head voice. The main difference is that strong head voice does not
sound airy and can connect smoothly through the bridges, while
falsetto is a disconnection from chest voice, and will sound like
a separate voice.
Can anybody learn to sing, using this technique?
We believe that
anyone who can talk can learn to sing. While everyone may not be
destined for stardom, every student who comes in experiences great
improvements in his or her voice.
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