6 KILLERS OF VOCAL PROGRESS
I often hear the same self-limiting thoughts from
different voice students.
Don't get discouraged, I had the same thoughts when I started!
(Click/Tap each thought below to see my responses).
1: Many teachers claim to be "the best" out there, how do I know I can trust them?
Trust is gained through confidence in your teacher's skill level. It's important to do your research to see how qualified they are. I've studied from a wide range of people, from local university grads to voice teachers of celebrities. Unequivocally, the best teachers I've found use a direct, cause-and-effect teaching style based in science and anatomy. You've heard some of the clichés: Sing from your diaphragm; Sing with support; Place the sound forward; Project your voice. Problem is...what the heck do these mean? The world of vocal training is plagued with vocal "wisdom" passed down by teachers who fail to understand the mechanical and scientific reasons as to why these "tips" work. Often times, the consequence for this lack of understanding is that well-meaning tips and techniques end up hurting instead of helping your voice (I've been the frustrated recipient of this consequence many times).
2: It sounds too difficult to learn how to sing.
"Too difficult" can mean one of two things: "too confusing" or "too much time/dedication needed." The voice can be explained in extreme technical detail or in simple fundamental concepts. For most students, simple explanations are enough, so being "too confusing" is not usually the concern. That leaves the "too much time/dedication needed" concern. The amount of time/dedication needed to achieve your goal depends on where you want to be, what your current skill level is, and how much time you want to spend practicing. Are you preparing for a performance in front of 10,000 people? Or are you a casual learner who just wants to explore their voice? Have you been singing since age 4 or are you completely new to this?
Whatever your goals are, I can tell you this: None of my students regret taking lessons. At worst, they walk away with a better understanding of how their voice works. At best, they carry with them a sense of vocal confidence and freedom for the rest of their lives.
3: I just don't have "it". Singing is a natural talent–you either have it or you don't.
Well, that's like saying to someone at the gym: "Hey, I see you were born genetically predisposed to be overweight. You might as well quit trying to lose weight, because well... what's the point?" That's a pretty depressing way to live life! Also, let's not forget the notable cases in history where people honed their crafts despite their "natural abilities" and became famous (See: Thomas Edison, Helen Keller, Beethoven, Stephen Hawking, or Richard Branson). Strategic hard work and talent will always beat talent alone (See: any successful billionaire, scientist, or artist).
4: I don't really need professional lessons if I'm just trying to learn casually, right?
You can only get so far with self-instruction. Remember, the voice is different from other musical instruments. It is a primarily invisible, complex system of breathing, vocal fold compression, and resonance. There are multiple variables to consider and a lot of mistakes to avoid. If you want to see real progress and avoid vocal problems, you need a skilled instructor--someone with a discerning ear, keen understanding of vocal exercise design, and deep knowledge of vocal anatomy.
5: Lessons will ruin my unique sound/style.
Some voice teachers fail to let vocal technique serve their students' stylistic goals. The most common example is the teacher who insists that singing in a classical method is the only way to protect the voice. I like to separate the ideas of technique and style. My goal is to arm my student with the full range of coordinations their voice is capable of, while focusing on the coordinations of their preferred style(s).
6: It seems expensive to get professional lessons.
I completely understand. I paid anywhere between $200/hr to $300/hr for countless lessons over the years, from multiple different high profile vocal instructors.
Years of frustration and over $20,000 later, I have filtered out what doesn't work, leaving you with the most concise and effective vocal training techniques. While I'm not the cheapest instructor out there, you can rest assured that you will get what you pay for with me.