Frequently Asked Questions:

Most voice methods start with “breathing.”  Is that also what you work on first?

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"?

Tone-deafness is 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"?

We 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?

The 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?

No. 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"?

Falsetto 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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