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Learn How To “Sing On The Gesture Of Inhalation”

My voice teacher in grad school would always say that unlike instrumentalists, singers are not able to objectively look at our instrument. So the development of our imagination is crucial to how we “play” it.    If your goal is to play your instrument to it’s potential, then opening your imagination to conceive of your singing technique in new and different ways is essential.    Today I’ve got a new image for you that will stabilize your breath support.    If you are a singer who has ever struggled to get through a long phrase. . . . If you are a singer who has ever experienced tension and strain as pitch rises. . . . If you are a singer who has ever struggled with stamina. . . .   This one’s for you!! You just need some better tools to stabilize your breath support. I bring you this image courtesy of two of the great vocalists of the last century. Thomas Hampson, one of the great baritone voices of the last 50yrs, and Richard Miller, a vocal pedagogy pioneer, voice teacher (at my alma mater) and author of the seminal book on singing technique “The Structure Of Singing”.    Both Hampson and

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How To Let Go Of The Baggage Holding You Back From Singing Your Best

There is something I’ve been meaning to tell you. It’s something you may not tell yourself very often so I’m going to say it to you now. You are a wonderful singer. Truly. May I ask you a question? When you read my compliment just now, did any part of you flinch? Were you able to soak it in or did your inner critic chime in with doubt that the compliment was really meant for you, and go on to remind you of the ways it thinks your singing isn’t really that wonderful? I believe that at its core, singing is an exchange of energy. We use our bodies to create a sound – a form of energy unique to us – which we put out there to be absorbed by those who can hear it. That energy affects those listening and in doing so, their energy transforms in relation to it. For many of you, years spent internalizing the sentiments of your inner critic has created limiting beliefs. And when you have limiting beliefs about your voice and your talent, it negatively effects your ability to fully engage in the energetic exchange of sound in powerful ways. Most fundamentally, limiting beliefs

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Up-Level Your Singing Technique Using Sensory Awareness In Your Body

Having a present moment sensory awareness of your body while you sing is a MAJOR key ingredient to your ability to take your singing to that next level.   One thing I know for sure: you can not change what you are not aware of.    So an essential component of singing to your potential, and the thing that has the biggest effect on how successful you are in doing so, is your ability to be present to ALL the sensations of your singing in your body in the moment (both the efficient and the inefficient).   Rather then writing a lengthy blog, today I’m pulling back the curtain and taking you inside my studio to be a fly on the wall as I work with one of my students on this very thing – returning to the present moment sensory awareness of her body while singing.    In today’s video you will learn one of the exact step-by-step methods I use (that you can use too!) linking present moment sensory awareness to your vocal technique.   Spoiler alert! This video isn’t filled with sexy high notes, power belting or fast  passage work designed to impress you. Nope. This is the nitty-gritty work. It ain’t

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For Singers Who Have Ever Felt Stuck In Your Head. . . . . .

Happy almost Valentine’s Day! As I take in all the Hallmark sentiments floating around this time of year, I’m reminded that love is much deeper than romance. Love comes in many forms. Your relationship with your voice and with singing is the kind of love that can help you achieve things you never thought you could and take you places you never thought you’d go. . . . . if you only let it. I think we’ve all experienced moments when we just couldn’t get out of our head while singing. Some of us only experience it as a fleeting frustration, while others find it debilitating. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, I’m pretty sure that getting stuck in your head is a universal experience for most artists in some way, shape or form. And the reason why it’s so frustrating is because in that moment, your mind is standing in the way of the full expression of your love. And the feeling sucks!    This is why so much of my teaching and the content I bring you centers around the idea of mindfulness as it relates to singers and vocal technique. Without it, your expression – your LOVE

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What we all do that is the absolute definition of insane. . . .

  A little bit of business first: TOMORROW (Thurs 1/31) I will be LIVE ON FACEBOOK at 11am PST / 2pm EST / 7pm GMT for the very first time!  Click HERE to watch live or view the saved video later.  Episode 1 Topic: The #1 thing that will up-level your understanding of breath support for singing.    This is the MOST fundamental and FIRST thing I teach all of the singers who come to work with me privately, regardless if they’re an advanced singer or relatively new to technique. In my opinion, it’s the foundation that all other good singing technique is built on and I’ve got a whole new perspective on it for you LIVE TOMORROW.    If you’ve been coasting along with the same understanding of support for a while, wondering if there’s another layer of ease and consistency in your singing, I hope you will watch.   Now, enough business. Getting back to my subject for today. . . . . . My favorite mindfulness teacher posted something on his Instagram a few days ago that I really want to share with you.   I always say that when you change your thinking, you change your singing – and this post really made me

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Tools For Healthy Belting

Do you ever get confused and frustrated by all the conflicting information out there around the idea of healthy belting? Some voice teachers shun the fact that there is even such a thing as healthy belting and they steer singers away from belting entirely. Others teach a technique that doesn’t address the tensions that inefficient belting creates, and unknowingly lead their singers down a dangerous path towards possible vocal injury. I recently heard from a member of my virtual voice studio named Donna asking these very questions. She writes: There is so much information nowadays about singing technique and I am very passionate about it. The thing is, I read a lot of books about vocal technique and met a lot of teachers in order to improve my knowledge (and singing of course) and let’s just say the information gathered was sometimes so confusing and tension friendly. So thank you for sharing your wisdom with everyone! I have a question about those really high belting notes for females (d-d#-e-f): do you have some pieces of advice in order to help one access those notes in a powerful way (with that edge quality)? Is it enough to think about lower support

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Perfectionism: The Thief Of Good Singing

Sometimes the things that improve our singing the most have nothing to do with singing at all. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to the standards we set for ourselves and why I say that perfectionism is the thief of good singing. We all want to sound good but at what point does that tip into perfectionism, and how can you know? Here are a few questions to ask yourself: Do I set standards waaaaay higher and more demanding for myself then the standards I apply to my friends/colleagues/family? Do I ever find that I have all-or-nothing thinking where I feel “almost perfect” as a failure? Do I ever have difficulty taking pride in my accomplishments because I am so focused on tiny perceived mistakes or imperfections in my work that I have trouble acknowledging the larger achievement? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions then you, my friend, just might be a perfectionist. Welcome to the club! Illustrious members include Steve Jobs, Mozart, Flaubert so you are in very good company. The thing is, while perfectionism may work for some people, it is mostly disastrous for singers. When we feel we have to be perfect

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Business Advice For Singers

I want to share a little piece of business advice for singers I learned later in my career that I WISH I’d learned from the very start. It’s not the kind of business advice that has to do with managing your dollars and cents. Rather it’s a foundational concept to managing your mindset around the business of your career as a singer. It is this: I am not just a performing artist, I am a business. Tattoo this on your forehead so that you see it every time you look into the mirror, it’s that important! Say it out loud: I AM A BUSINESS I’ve noticed that the mindset most of us start out our singing career with is not a business mindset, it is a “starving artist” mindset. It is a mindset of lack. It is a mindset that doesn’t generally take risks or invest in growth, and those are two of the most important predictors of success in any field. My own experience as a young singer and my experience working with all of you has taught me this: When we are in the “starving artist” mindset, we have a really hard time taking risks and investing in

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How To Transition From Chest Voice To Head Voice Smoothly

Does switching back and forth from chest voice to head voice give you anxiety? Want to know how to transition from chest voice to head voice smoothly and reliably EVERY SINGLE TIME?  If your answer is “Yes!”read on . . . . First off, you are totally not alone. The ability to transition from chest voice to head voice smoothly is the source of SO much insecurity for so many singers. And second, I don’t blame you! The middle voice can be a tricky part of the voice to negotiate and downright scary without good tools. Today I have some insights that will help. Many singers and voice teachers call this part of the voice “the break” because that’s exactly how it sounds and feels to so many of you. . . . like a fissure in your mechanism preventing you from moving fluidly from one register to another. And boy can it feel scary. . . . . like trying to cross the Grand Canyon without a bridge! Personally, I hate the term “the break”. I don’t use it to describe this part of the voice and I encourage you to toss it out too. You see, the words

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My Best Advice For Singers

Every so often I am asked what my best advice for singers is, and I always find the answer hard to articulate  – as if one sentiment could possibly encapsulate all that I want to say! The question came up again recently and has been on my mind.  And then it came to me. . . . . The best advice for singers I can possibly give is SO macro. It’s not about the specifics of breath support or finding resonance. It’s not about learning the right repertoire or understanding your voice type. It has to do with perseverance and dedication. The art and craft of singing, whether you are doing it at the professional level or as a passionate recreational singer, is a process that is and will always be evolving within you. To be a great singer and a great artist is to embrace that process. Become a lifelong learner of your craft.  That, my lovelies, is my best advice for singers. So as summer comes to an end and we’re all back from our lazy summer days (hopefully a little rejuvenated from any travel or vacation time we took), it’s the PERFECT time to get rededicated and