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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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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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Demystifying Breath Support

Lately I’ve been noticing just how much confusion and frustration singers have around breath support and breathing for singing.     Singers can get SO down on themselves when they don’t feel their breath is beneath them. Do you relate?   You’re tired of the fear of not making it to the end of the phrase. You wonder why your high notes feel strained. You’re frustrated when you don’t consistently sing the way you want to. You start blaming yourself that it’s all your fault you don’t really have what it takes. You start wondering if you are talented enough to be on this path.     The Inner Critic runs riot when, in reality. . . . . it’s not your fault!   It ALL comes down to breath support.  And you just haven’t been given the right tools to unlock the foundation of your support yet.    In my 20 years of helping singers and being a professional singer myself, I’ve discovered this:   The key to unlocking the foundation of good singing starts with getting under the hood to understand a few simple concepts about the physiology of breath support and sound. It’s a step that SO often gets skipped.   But that stops today!!   Now

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Why You Have Tension & Strain When You Sing (and other reasons high notes are hard)

The Holy Grail for singers is the ability to sing without strain and tension throughout the entire expanse of your range while finding a free, powerful, resonant and vulnerable sound. Simple right???? I’m rolling my eyes right now – you probably are too. I feel you. I mean, if singing like that were simple, you’d be doing it by now. You would never strain going for high notes, you would never tense up at the end of a long phrase, you’d never feel anxious about what sound was going to come out – it would be amazing! The thing is, there’s a really good reason you’re frustrated, and guess what? It’s not your fault. Odds are, nobody ever told you about The Negative Feedback Loop Of Tension! I was reminded of The Negative Feedback Loop Of Tension recently when I got this message from a member of my virtual voice studio named Frankie. He writes:  “Just found your Chanel and I am hooked so far. I do need help with one thing. I have so much strain and tension and it will not go. I have watched hundreds of videos, honestly if not near thousands. When I push more and

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How To Find Your Most True And Organic Sound

I often hear from singers who say “I am having trouble finding my own sound”. Have you ever felt that way? For commercial singers (recording artists and musical theater singers) it can feel like you don’t quite know what lane your voice fits into, or what kind of singing or genre is the most organic for your voice. If you’re an opera singer, it can feel like being unsure of what fach you are in or what repertoire you should be singing at this stage of your artistic development. It’s an interesting concept, the idea of finding your own sound. It’s an exploration that involves discovering and accepting the true nature of our singing voice, which is no small feat. When we are younger, most of us grow up emulating the sounds our favorite singers make. When I was a kid (and I’m about to date myself here) I wanted to sound like Whitney Houston. I don’t have to tell you. . . . there’s no way a 10yr old white girl from Florida is gonna sound like Whitney Houston. But damn if I tried! Oh, I manipulated my voice, I pushed, I darkened it and in my head it sounded

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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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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