One of the things professional singers worry about is how to build a loyal audience and make a sustainable income doing what they love. Recently, I’ve become friends with someone who knows ALL about how to do that!! Michael Walker is the host of the Modern Musician Podcast – an educational podcast for musicians looking to grow their audience online and make a sustainable income. Michael provides artists with the tools necessary to create a lasting career in the music industry and so much more. This week he invited me to be a guest on his Modern Musician Podcast to talk shop! We got down and dirty about all things singing and how professional singers can breakthrough the noise to get noticed, make an impact and build a successful career. Excited to be a guest on this week’s episode of The Modern Musician podcast! Listen to the episode HERE.
I just got off the phone with a brilliant singer whose career has been dying a slow death over the last few years (goes back before Covid). She has a wonderful instrument, tons of talent and so much passion. But her recordings don’t make an impact, she has no real fan momentum, her live shows don’t get her any traction…….and it’s killing her career. Thing is, she’s working her tail off: Practicing every day. Writing/recording/releasing new material all the time. Networking. Auditioning for opportunities. Posting on Instagram six times a day. Grinding out YouTube videos. Doing everything she can to get noticed……but she just can’t seem to rise above the noise. Like so many other talented singers, she’s stuck in the talented singer burnout spiral. With so many singers out there all fighting to be relevant, she’s twisting herself into pretzels just to get noticed. But in doing so, the game is over before it’s even started. The bottom line: it all comes back to the voice. If you’re not performing in a way that makes an impact…your story, your music, and YOU will never break through the noise to get the attention you deserve. BUT…what if there were another way?
This one’s for you if you get frustrated with breath support. Trust me, you’re not alone if you: Struggle to make it to the end of long phrases Have an airy sound Deal with tension or strain (yup….that’s a support issue) Feel like you never get enough air on your inhale Have trouble transitioning between registers (yup….also a support issue) I want to let you in on something. . . . .there are three simple changes you can make that will improve your support right away so that you’re not frustrated with breath support anymore. Here’s what I want you to know: Your ability to improve your breath support involves the synthesis of a few essential things. You’ve probably heard me say before that singing is not just an artistic endeavor, it’s an athletic endeavor. And not only that, singing is also a cerebral endeavor. It’s body AND mind. One thing matters more than anything else when it comes to how the mind & body communicate. . . . drum roll please. . . . Words! The words we choose to direct ourselves around our singing really affect how we embody our technique, for better or for worse. Changing
Do you know what the #1 thing is that sabotages good singing and kills singing careers? (drumroll please) Tension. I did a poll recently on what the proverbial “Holy Grail” is for singers, and the overwhelming answer chosen was: “To sing without strain and tension throughout the expanse of my range with a free, powerful, resonant and vulnerable sound.” That’s not a tall order or anything! (Can you feel me 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’d never strain going for high notes. You’d never tense up on the breath or at the end of a long phrase. You’d never feel anxious about what sound was going to come out – it’d be amazing! The thing is, there’s a really good reason you’re frustrated, and guess what? It’s not your fault. You just don’t know what you don’t know! Click below to check out this training I did for Backstage Magazine recently: THE SECRET TO SINGING FREELY (aka how to NEVER deal with tension and strain again). You NEED to know this! If you are a singer who has had a ton of training
Is your singing career stuck in first gear because you’re afraid of really putting yourself out there? 😬 Or did it used to be easy to put yourself out there, but now…..after so much time and energy constantly chasing this dream and constantly coming up short, are you so beat down that it’s becoming harder and harder to keep putting yourself out there? So many giant talents never reach their potential because of fear. In my studio and in my Intensive program, a lot of the singers started out that way. They’re knowledgeable and talented and want to build a world-class singing career……. But they’re stuck. Bottom line is, you can’t be successful if all these things are dragging you down, no matter how talented you are. If you want to understand how to master your fear and trust your voice so that you can stand in your greatness every time you sing and open all the doors to an impactful career, join Daron Larson and I for a fascinating discussion on artistry, singing, fear and trust. Daron is the host of a great NPR show (and podcast) called “The Art Of Attention” and he had me as a guest
I’m gonna be brutally honest for a second. Right now, there are thousands of singers trying to make it in this business. They’re twisting themselves into pretzels to be, sound and look like what they think the industry wants. They’re obsessively focused on mastering technique. They’re going on TV reality shows like The Voice, Idol and AGT just to get noticed. They’re even paying to perform instead of getting paid to perform (pay-to-play gigs and YAPs). And despite all of that, most of them aren’t even close to getting paid to sing regularly, much less touring around the world to widespread acclaim. If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know that the strategies I mentioned above – people pleasing the industry, technique tunnel vision, reality shows and “pay-to play” gigs – are absolutely worthless, in my opinion. If you want a world class singing career, you’ll never get there in a million years if you do those things. There’s a much shorter path. But is that the REAL reason talented, professional singers are struggling? No. The real reason is that most of these singers lack vulnerability. VULNERABILITY. When they perform, they present a façade of who they think they need to
Have you seen yourself and other singers asking: “But what if it doesn’t work out?” “What if I’m never able to make a living as a singer?” “What if I’m rejected by the industry?” “What if I’m never able to break in?” “What if try it and fail?” “What if I can’t do it after all the training and effort?” This one question stunts most singers’ growth severely. It prevents you from taking a chance, from doing something differently, from having a shot at success. And in the meantime, most singers asking this question are wasting the MOST important non-renewable resource in their life: TIME. While this question continues to run on the treadmill in their heads – getting nowhere fast, preventing them from success – hours turn into days, weeks, months and years – AND NOTHING CHANGES. 3 years in – they’re still putting themselves out there and coming up short. 5 years in – they’re wondering if it’s time to let their artistic dream go and commit to a “real” job. 10 years in – they’re feeling bitter that all this hard work went into their singing and didn’t count for anything. So, I want to flip this question for
Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday. I was in Florida (where I grew up) for the holiday visiting family and doing a whole lot of nothing which was BLISSFULLY perfect. Now I’m back in the swing of things, and it got me thinking about what words of motivation I have for you as you embark on this new year and new decade. And I was reminded of something my meditation wrote which I want to share with you. “trust your awareness. expand your vision. plant your intention and match your actions with it. cultivate discipline, dedication, and love for your artistic path.” I’ve learned that if you cultivate these things, you cannot go wrong. Lean into these things and your singing and artistry will bloom. Embody these things and your career will thrive. Let 2020 be the year you shift your relationship with your singing to bring you less frustration and more joy. If you need a proven strategy and expert guidance to help you, I would be honored to be your guide. Here’s to the start of an amazing year!
Ever wonder why singers feel burnt out? Let me know if any of this sounds familiar: “Start posting covers on YouTube”, they said… the fans will come rushing in. “Play out, book as many gigs as you can”, they said. Better yet, do FREE gigs for exposure. No, wait….PAY to play! If you’re an opera singer or musical theater singer: “Change your repertoire” or “Loose 10lbs” they said, ” Just move to NYC!” Give away your best stuff. Free downloads for an email address then cross your fingers those people come to a show. Post on social media 12 times per day.And I love this one… “Try to be authentic”. (I mean seriously . . .if you have to try, then is it really authentic?) All that and you’re no closer to being at the level you want in your career. All that to barely earn anything back. All that time, money and energy spent pursuing this passion and still coming up short. Ugh. If you’re like most singers, you think “I got into this so I could connect to people, move them and create some meaning in this world with my voice on a large scale….not to spend my
If you are a singer who is currently feeling stuck and unhappy with where your singing and your career is… And you’re ready to bust through the blocks, build a foundation and sing in a way that yields much bigger results… And not just any results, but the kind that you’re actually excited about… Then you won’t want to miss what I have to share with you today. Since 1999, I’ve sang with major opera companies around the country, made two pop records, sang opera on movie soundtracks, sang pop in national commercials for major brands and had my voice and my songs licensed by tv shows on every major network…. my voice is even in a singing Barbie doll! One could say that I’ve got that whole “singing” thing down. But what looks like a whole lot of success on the outside, was really just my own limiting beliefs run riot on the inside. See, what you don’t know is: I ran from genre to genre, from one city to another (NY to LA), from one goal to another, achieving a modest amount of success in one place before I’d reach a wall that I couldn’t figure out how to get past