Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Glee and A Capella Phenomenon

Are you a GLEEK?  Can you not wait for the show to return?  Do you like singing with many other voices? Why is the a capella/live singing and dancing such a phenomenon?  It is of course fun to follow the drama of the high school life I admit, but how about the music?  Are you very interested in this style of singing?  Why not? What a great way to share music with the world.  Here are a few other reasons why:

1.  It looks like such fun!  Singing and dancing with friends!

2.  The music making is fabulous and fun!

3. Creating music with your own instrument, your voice is a GREAT feeling.

4. You can let the power of the MUSIC transport you away from any of the bad stuff in life.

5.  The camaraderie of friendships built while making music are very strong!

A cappella groups/ GLEE modeled groups are becoming quite a trend in high schools and colleges.  College a capella groups have existed for many years and for those who participate, quite memorable.  Performing for your own school, travelling to other schools to perform, finding new ways to make new sounds with your voice.  Harmonizing perfectly in tune with other people.  It is all good stuff and creates lasting friendships and memories.

There are a few precautions from the voice teacher side:

- It is not a simple process.   (The show makes it look like it is that easy, but those actors and actresses do practice and work hard to be able to do all of those songs).

- It DOES take time, work, and practice to get a great product.

- It takes dedication to practicing by yourself and with others.

-LISTEN to your body and what it is telling you.  Pay attention to it's signals.  Does it feel good to be the percussion part or does it hurt your voice?  Does it feel good to sing that low or should you be doing a higher part?

- MOST groups of this style do NOT have a band backing them up like in the television show.  Most of the time, it is the other musicians imitating instruments with their voices, hence the term a cappella (voices alone without instrumental accompaniment)

Is it a good thing to sing in such a group?  ABSOLUTELY!  Just have fun, create music, and listen to your body! So glad that many of our youth are continuing to foster this style of singing group.  If you love it in high school, find a place to do it in your college years too.  Happy Singing!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Benefits of Individual Support in Voice Lessons

Why are singing lessons so influential to our singing? Obviously we are working on technique to improve in a one on one situation, but it can be so much more.  By focusing on yourself, your instrument, we tap into so many other things that make your singing beautiful and unique.  

We study an instrument to fulfill a passion and to perfect a craft. We love music and want to share that love with others. A singing teacher gives you the tools to get there, achieve your goals, and instill the drive to get you there. Together a student and voice teacher find the path to where each student is meant to be as a singer, but the student must follow through on the task. The nuts and bolts of a solid technique are provided and much repertoire is studied. Working within a studio gives a student individual support and interaction with others who are focused on fine tuning their own singing voice. 

Through this type of work, you become very in tune with your whole body and soul.  You are working with your body as your instrument.  The unique connection between the muscle memory you learn and sound of what you can do with the instrument given to you is phenomenal.  Through this exploration of the connection of body and voice, you also connect to your mind.  You build your skills and confidence in them.  This changes you as an individual as you gain more poise and pride in yourself.  What a great way to not only improve your singing voice, but build the confidence to sing or do anything you set your mind to!  Singing lessons can be so much more than singing alone.

Up next, why is singing (and music) so important to the development of our tweens and teens?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

WHY and WHEN should I take singing lessons? Fall is a great time to start!

Think about it.  Why do you sing?  Why does your daughter, brother, sister, mom sing?  It is something they enjoy and often something they simply have a desire and love to do (and do better)? This is why we take singing lessons.

What better time to start a journey towards singing better than when school kicks off into full gear? Students are back in the swing of things and establish new goals for the year.  Auditions are coming up for the fall musical or they want to prepare ahead for those auditions in the winter.  Juniors and Seniors realize they want to major in MUSIC in college- time to start preparing and get serious about audition literature.
Adults, the lazy days of summer are done and you may find new time to yourself to foster a love of singing while the kids are in school or are new to the business world and craving some fresh education.  The network shows such as Smash, Nashville, The Voice, American Idol, and Glee are about to begin which give many the ‘bug’ to sing.  Why not try it out?

Why should you take voice lessons in a private voice studio?  Can’t everyone sing? 

Almost anyone can learn to sing, but most people don’t use their voices to their full potential. Voice lessons teach singers how to control their breath and find vocal resonance to create a fuller, healthier, and more beautiful sound. Lessons also teach general musical skills and build more confident singers.  
The average singing student needs weekly guidance to establish a solid technique. 

Should I take voice lessons with a teacher or can I really learn to sing from an online program or DVD? 

Every voice and every person is different and responds differently to technique. Learning to sing demands a personal touch and ears and eyes outside of oneself. With the guidance of a live teacher, you will get direct response to what is actually heard and seen by others, not just what you hear inside your head. A live teacher can also help you explore to find what repertoire and vocal range actually suits your voice best.   In a voice studio, you get one on one teaching in addition to camaraderie with other students through masterclasses and recitals.

What we hear while we’re singing just isn’t true, so we are always dependent on someone we trust to take the role of our ‘outside ears’. Renee Fleming 
In a private voice studio, the student not only gets access to a voice teacher and vocal coach, but to the camaraderie of belonging to a group of people who enjoy singing.  Most voice studios provide opportunities to perform musical repertoire one or two times a year.  Some also give the opportunity to work on the repertoire in front of and with others in the studio (please see more information on my studio at  With more opportunities to share music with others, a student has a higher drive to perfect the craft of singing, builds a higher confidence level in their singing and themselves, and the better music we create!  Start singing lessons somewhere today and  become the best singer you can be!