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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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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

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How To Sing Without Tension & Why “Why” Matters

Have you ever noticed that so many of the tools and ideas I give you to help you sing without tension have a component of mindfulness in them?  I realized recently that I don’t always explain why I do that, or why mindfulness plays such a big part in reducing tension and the way that I teach. So today I really want to circle back to the “why” of it all and also give you an exercise for how to sing without tension in your own practice. So why is mindfulness so important to help you sing without tension so you can sound better and feel better singing? As singers, our body is our instrument. You’ve heard me say that about a million times, right? And just like a trombone player or a cello player makes sure that their instrument is in good working order, we too need to make sure our instrument (our body) is set up to work our technique as efficiently as possible. For singers, the main thing that compromises our instrument and our technique is tension. I know so many of you deal first hand with the discomforts of tension in your singing and would do

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The Secret To Great Singing – An Interview

Do you ever notice how easy it is to get caught up in the minutia of your singing technique? We spend so much time and energy perfecting and polishing every little thing, seeking out technique tips and testing out performance hacks in hopes of finding the secret to great singing. But in doing so, we can so easily loose sight of what the purpose of it all is. Above all else, we are artists. We are creators seeking to share our experience of the world with others through our voice. “To be an artist is to witness the world. Open your ears, open your eyes. Notice the gifts around you.” That’s a wonderful quote from bestselling author, Dani Shapiro on maximizing the creative process. When we become so consumed with the physical practice of our technique, it can be like walking through a landscape with blinders on. We only see the 10% of the landscape we are focused on, and we miss everything else around us that could be informing our journey. When we take in the world and witness it with an open heart, we reconnect with the creative artists that we are. In doing so, we are much more

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How To Get Unstuck & Stop Struggling

Is your inner voice really harsh? Does it LOVE to criticize you? Does it constantly tell you how much your are lacking, remind you of all the ways it thinks you are bad or wrong, berate you for doing too little or too much. . . . .is it ever satisfied??? A few weeks ago I wrote to you about a question I am often asked: What keeps talented singers stuck and struggling? Today I have another actionable tool for you as we continue that conversation. This tool will help you get out of your head and move past the struggle by changing the way you relate to your inner voice. You see, when you hear that critical voice, it’s not you. It is not the voice of your true self. It’s the voice of your ego, otherwise known as your “inner-critic”. The voice of the true self so often gets drowned out by the ego/inner-critic that at times the inner-critic is the only voice we hear. But it’s not the only voice that’s there. Learning how to detach from your inner-critic and connect to the voice of your true self can be game changing for improving your singing and getting you “un-stuck”. I know, you’re thinking “Oh

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StarWars & Singing: How To Sing Without Tension

One of the things many singers struggle with is how to sing without tension. If you know me, then you can guess my response for how to sing without tension has something to do with the mind/body effect on your singing technique. There’s a quote in Star Wars that I love. When Yoda is instructing Luke Skywalker, he says: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Singers, this is your mantra!!! It applies to you in the same way it applies to Luke when he’s stuck in the swamp. When we try, we tend to force, manipulate, over-think and overdo which all causes physical tension. We tense because we don’t inherently trust ourselves to make the sound we want without any excess “trying”. Luke tries to force a solution in the swamp and nothing is working. But when he heeds Yoda’s words, stops trying so hard and trusts his training and abilities, he is able to channel the Force to get the ship out of the swamp. When we are in “try” mode, like Luke, we don’t believe we can get what we want unless we try really hard. And just like Luke, all that trying gets in the

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One Mistake That Keeps Talented Singers Stuck And Struggling

There’s one question I am asked all the time: What’s the secret to great singing? Now, I totally get it. Who doesn’t want in on the secret to greatness? The thing is, there’s no useful, practical answer to this question. While these kinds of broad inspirational secrets are easy to soak in, they are hard to execute. They’re designed to address an insecurity with instant encouragement, without providing any real strategies or substance. As such, they are rarely actionable. Since I’m all about taking action and digging down to guide you in the real work that will facilitate lasting change in your voice so you sing with your full potential, naturally such a question pushes my buttons. There’s a better question though – One I wish more singers would ask me. Here it is… What specific mistakes keep talented singers stuck and struggling? Now THAT’s a question ripe for an in-depth, tactical and actionable answer. Like most things worth learning, the answer can’t be summed up in a sound bite. Perhaps this is the beginning of a book I should write! But for now, we can start the conversation by discussing something talented singers can do to move the needle in

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The Mind/Body Effect On Singing Technique – Before & After

Let’s be honest. . . . if there were a pill that could magically improve your singing, I’m pretty sure all of us would take it. Who wouldn’t want to skip the periods of self doubt and angst we go through as we struggle to improve our singing? But what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be such a struggle. The more time I spend working with the mind/body effect on singing technique, the more I am convinced of this: The “magical pill” to unlocking the consistency and growth we all want in our singing is in understanding how to use Present Moment Awareness to step out of the old story of what’s wrong and into what’s possible for your voice. Watch this “Before and After” video to see how Present Moment Awareness works in action with my student Carly. The difference in her sound, in how she is able to use her technique and in the way she feels when singing this way is truly wonderful.     There’s a quote that I love: “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present”. We singers are SO very good

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The New Years Resolution That Will Have A Significant Effect On Your Singing Technique

Have you ever felt like you intellectually understand the singing technique your teacher gives you, but your body has other ideas when it comes to implementing it correctly or consistently? Do you sometimes worry that maybe this is as good as you’re ever going to sing? If so, you’re not alone. Nearly every singer I know has been through this at one time or another. You’ve become so good at second-guessing, self-doubt and control that you can’t see the forest through the trees. But the solution lies in your ability to internalize two key truths: Singing is a metaphor for life. And as such, the journey is the thing! We never arrive. Our lives are an ever-changing and constantly evolving odyssey and so too is our singing. It is incumbent on us to figure out how to enjoy the journey because if we don’t, then we’re missing the whole point. Changing your thinking = changing your singing. How and what we think about our singing has a direct effect on what our body does to produce the sound, so get under the hood and begin to understand your mindset. We all  have a conditioned set of beliefs (some from our upbringing,

Arden Kaywin, Voice Teacher Los Angeles, Vocal Coach Los Angeles, Voice Lessons Los Angeles, Improve Singing

Eliminate The Fear | A Tool To Build Confidence In Your Singing Technique

Halloween this past week got me thinking about the relationship between fear and singing technique. Ghosts and zombies have nothing on the kind of fear that the opening of Gilda’s aria from Rigoletto used to elicit in me. Seriously. . . . there was a time I would rather walk through Haunted Harbor alone at 2am then to have to sing that passage one more time because it exposed every single insecurity I had about my voice and every weakness in my singing technique at the time. So what do you do when you come to a place in a song that exposes the weakest part of your singing technique?  What’s your reaction when you have to sing in the part of your voice that you are really insecure about? Most of us do one of two things: we play defense and pull back to lessen the impact of what we perceive as bad, or we play offense and plough through, trying too hard in an attempt to force a better outcome.  Both are totally normal reactions to avoid the discomfort of feeling “less then” in the moment.  But here’s the thing, these totally normal reactions to our fear and