Whatever your habits, these are the things that mold and make who you are as a singer. All the little things we do that we don’t pay attention to like……losing sleep over time, letting your posture start to fall forward, drinking too many cups of coffee…….or just turning on the t.v., when instead 5 minutes of looking over a piece of music would put you a few steps ahead.
I encourage you to just be aware of what steps you are taking daily to move forward in your music. Whether this is being a better sight reader or better singer, daily steps have to be taken to keep the ball rolling. Are you stepping forward or are you falling back?
Take notice of your habits. You may not even be aware that some of those habits are holding you back.
A New Era-Being Creative With Singing Opportunities
We tend to look back at what has been, often comparing our experience with what our previous generations have accomplished. The unfortunate part of this equation when it comes to music is that the music business is changing at lightning speed. The internet has completely pointed us in a new direction.
With these changes comes many new opportunities. The catch here is, how are these opportunities going to pay off for you in a career sense?
The new generation has to get out there and find out what the NEW way of doing everything is. You have to create the music world you live in and stop waiting on it to be what it was for the past generations.
Record deals are no longer the way in to becoming an artist. Selling cds is on its way out. Youtube and Facebook are two examples of how you’ll have to promote and market yourself. However, nothing beats the good ole fashioned way of getting out there and singing in clubs, churches and other events so you can connect with people on a personal and heart level.
The world is your oyster so to speak. Look ahead and be creative. Stop doing it the way it’s always been done. We’ve left the golden era of the music business but we are entering into what may be the most universal and cooperative way of sharing. Get on board. Don’t get left behind.
This has been a fantastic year! I’ve watched each of you grow and accomplish so much. As stated before, there is nothing like being able to do what I do and love it so much. I feel so tremendously blessed. I’m encouraged daily by each of your triumphs and more importantly by the smile I see on your faces when you get a little better, or simply get lost in a song if only for a few minutes. I recently was updating my bio and had to go back and figure out how long I’ve actually been doing this. In January, it will be 25 years with approximately 19,000 lessons and counting. I have to say I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I just read a book called, So Good They Can’t Ignore You. I loved every minute because it focused on the task at hand. There is no substitution for good ole fashioned discipline and hard work. And when you are at a very frustrated place feeling that you’ve tried everything, made every contact and are doing all of the right things, go back to the basics. Take the time to practice, continue your studies and concentrate on being so excellent at your craft that “they just can’t ignore you.” I had the opportunity of working with Diego Luna for his project “Book Of Life.” Originally they were going to cast another singer to sing his part but he was determined to learn and do the hard work to make it happen. It’s so obvious that people like this are where they are because of the discipline.
May your holiday be blessed and may each step you take move you a little closer to your dreams and goals. Keep up the the hard work and remember that we do this because we love it!
Here’s to an even better 2015!!!
This word is very deceptive these days! Exposure can come in all shapes and sizes so to speak. Both the good and the bad.
And what does it really mean? It means everyone will know you. At least that is what “they” want you to believe.
How many times has someone wanted to hire you, for free. That’s an oxymoron right? They say the payoff will be exposure. And they want you to say yes to anything for this exposure. Please think again before you say yes. Or at least make sure that when you are doing something for free, it’s because you REALLY want to. Your talent is your gift and for most of you, there have been many years and many hours of dedicated practice, developing your craft so you can make a living doing what you love.
We’ve come to an era where music is becoming widely available for free. “Great” we say, until it’s our turn to try to pay our mortgage from a career which depends on this music we have created and sung. And because the whole world has access to everything now, exposure only means you are jumping into a sea with billions of other fish.
To clarify, this doesn’t negate in any way your passion and desire to succeed and possibly even become famous if that is what you desire. It is however just a thought to maybe have you stop and reevaluate your decisions regarding what you will do for nothing with the promise of possible “exposure.” It’s the industry’s new way to entice new talent and get something for nothing.
GETTING POSITIVE RESULTS FROM SINGING LESSONS
SEPTEMBER 25, 2014
BY TOM BATHGATE
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We are repeatedly asked a variation of the same question –
• How many singing lessons will I need before I see the results I want in my voice?
• How many lessons do I need?
• If I want to reach my goal how many voice lessons will I need?
• What do I have to do in order to achieve results from my lessons?
The answer is: It depends. Do you just want to learn to carry a tune or do you want to become an outstanding singer? Obviously, the first will require a lot less time than the second.
You have to ask yourself:
• What are my goals for my voice?
• How committed am I to achieving those goals?
• What is my voice like now, and how much do I want it to grow?
• How long have I been singing?
• What bad habits do I have and am I willing to replace them?
Comparing your current level of development as a singer to the goals you have is the most important indicator for the time frame you should expect to meet your vocal goals. Also, consider that some people are faster learners and for others it takes time to acquire new skills.
However, the two most determining factors for the speed with which you reach your goals are the quality of the vocal instruction you receive and the regularity of your practice.
Singing technique has been refined over centuries and we are very fortunate to have a wealth of information regarding vocal instruction.The IVA technique gives you the tools to help your voice immediately, but the changes don’t last unless you’re committed to practicing.
We just had a guest come in to address singer issues for the singing community. Usually we have someone who speaks of current issues in the business and presents ideas for making a living, understanding current contracts, etc…….But this time, I felt a need to get back to the heart of why we sing.
Glenn Carlos, our recent guest, spoke sincerely about taking care of our instruments and understanding why we sing. He spoke of the lyrics and interpretation, vocal health and preservation and most importantly the power a song can have in changing someone’s life.
I encourage you to take some quite time and reevaluate why you sing. Begin to understand what your song is about before you ever open your mouth to share it, and most importantly, honor your talent. Singing is an incredibly powerful gift and can be used to lift up humanity if you so choose.
Remember the days of allergy shots? Not only a little painful but they gave you a comprehensive dose to take care
of any possible allergy that might harm you.
Now, there is an alternative and I’m sold!! The way it works is like this. The ENT gives you an allergy test to see exactly what you are allergic to. Then they make a cocktail of the specific allergens combined with a liquid which makes it as easy as a drop under the tongue once a day. It’s incredible because it helps you to build an immunity to these allergens and not have to deal with that nasty old post nasal drip anymore.
I’ve been on this regimen for about 4 months and have NO allergy issues anymore. It’s pretty incredible.
If you have this post nasal drip that won’t go away, you might try this method. It’s quite convenient but most importantly, it works!!
The other day I was at a conference and someone made reference to an opera singer.
One of the students made the classic “Fake Classical” sound by lowering the larynx and adding a lot of vibrato.
Those listening laughed but actually, it wasn’t too bad. Yet it wasn’t correctly made either.
I don’t think the student had any idea what was happening to their throat and body which changed the sound.
The true difference is made from the resonant chambers and not the cords themselves.
When a classical sound is made, there is a different shape in the chambers or resonant cavities around the cords.
There is more muscular support needed from the rib cage and there are other muscles in several areas which need to be developed in order to produce this beautiful sound we call classical. There is more space, more consistency with vowels and
vibrato is predominant over a straight tone.
With Pop music, there is usually less cord girth involved, chest voice is used higher in the range, there is more of a balance between straight tone and vibrato, and words are manipulated causing exaggerated consonant sounds and more varied vowel sounds. You will hear slides, scoops, sometimes squeezed sounds created by extrinsic muscles(which can be dangerous) and a variety of elements creating the vast number of styles we hear.
Usually we end up singing later in life what we were raised with. If you spend years singing classical, your body over time takes on the shapes and production qualities which naturally keep you in that genre. The same happens if you’ve spent most of your life singing pop or other styles. It is fun however, to take some time and experiment with these different styles and see how different the production of each can be.
Have you had that nasty post nasal drip that won’t go away? I just participated in a workshop with Dr. Reena Gupta at Pepperdine and one of the main focuses was vocal health. She explained that this has been our worst year for allergies, pollution and dust. Because of this, our bodies constantly try to produce mucous to clear out the gunk. Also, if you are not using a nasal rinse to regularly clear out the dirt and grime, then you set yourself up for irritation, swollen membranes in and around your cords and bacterial infections.
She recommends that everyone gargle at least once a day and rinse your nasal passages at least once a day. A simple saline solution as a nasal rinse will work. Alkolol is also a great alternative.
Gargling with hydrogen peroxide or Scope is also a great routine to incorporate daily.
As simple as this sounds, you will be amazed at the results. The issues with sore throats, sinus infections, swollen cords and coughs will begin to clear up and make your life much more enjoyable as a singer. And then there is water. You can’t get enough. Make sure to have this with you at all times.