Archive for "Latest News"

Your Head Voice Is Your Friend

Latest News Apr 02, 2018 Comments Off on Your Head Voice Is Your Friend

I’ve been noticing that so many singers aren’t accessing their head voice anymore. Or if they do, only a little bit of it. The explanation and science behind it can get complex but in simplicity, you have two major sets of muscles which work in a certain manner to control your chest and head voice. And like your bodies, your voice has to be balanced, regardless of what style you sing. If you ignore one, the whole voice suffers.

Part of this is because today’s popular sound outside of classical music is very airy and disconnected. This in turn makes it hard to access your higher notes. And then a snowball effect starts to happen.

Sadly, the result of ignoring either part of your voice in the long run is setting you up for disaster. If you tend to avoid the head voice area, it’s most likely your voice starts to get heavy and issues start to pop up. I get a chance to see many singers who’ve been diagnosed with a multitude of problems. I would say that most are a result of singing with an unbalanced voice, wherein you start to overcompensate by using extrinsic muscles which shouldn’t be involved with your singing. Your cords get pushed together unevenly, partially closed or squished together too hard creating a situation to where they don’t meet properly and start to form nodules and other problems.

Guys, get up in that “falsetto” part of your range and play around up there. Do exercises which build and strengthen that area. It will only make your chest voice more manageable and allow you to eventually mix the two so that both sets of muscles are sharing the load so to speak.

Girls, when you are down low, have fun with that chest voice but don’t try to push it too high. It may be impressive to the listener, but only for a moment. Let your head voice help out as you move higher in your range. And yes, it will get stronger but you have to live in the weak spot before it has time to gain strength.

If you can’t produce any sound repetitively day after day for any length of time, then you are probably doing something wrong. If your high notes are disappearing or if your sound is consistently airy without you trying to sound that way, then there is an imbalance.

Singers, please take the time to manage your instrument and treat it with much care. The exercises are not just to “warm you voice up” even though that’s what we usually call them. Each exercise your teacher gives you is causing a specific action to occur with the numerous tiny functions happening in the space of a quarter. Each vowel, each shape, each consonant, the onset, how wide your mouth is, etc…….are causing your voice to function a certain way.
Think balance in your voice like you think balance in your body and in your life. Without it, everything starts to fall apart.

Technique-How Important Is It?

Latest News Oct 03, 2017 Comments Off on Technique-How Important Is It?

We’ve had quite a year with all of our singing artists and their vocal issues! Seems like every time you turn around, you hear about another singer having surgery or cancelling their tour. Has it always been this way? Or is it just because of social media we hear about everything? Or……are singers just not taking care of their instruments?

Technique
As you know, my focus has always been in favor of good vocal technique…..even if it meant giving up that unhealthy belt that you love for a more controlled strong mix that will save you in the long run. Things have changed in the instructional world, for instance; we used to find great voice teachers from referrals of other students who had great success with a teacher. Teachers were required to have training in many cases which made them reputable. Now with the internet, go to youtube, punch in voice lessons and you have vast array of instruction. A lot of good, and a lot of bad.

Did you know that one exercise done incorrectly for a period of time can send you into a tailspin? Or on the more positive side of this, the correct exercise and advice can be life changing and put you on the right track to vocal health. For years while I was developing my studio, I would be at my teacher’s home watching him teach and also seeing stars who are still around today and singing, taking their lessons. Week after week. Year after year. It’s like your physical health, it’s a never ending process. You are constantly keeping those muscles toned and blood pumping so to speak. Find a teacher in your area and stick with them. Take care of your instrument. It’s flesh and blood and will serve you well into old age if you keep using it correctly.

Teaching the Godfather How to Sing

Latest News Nov 14, 2016 Comments Off on Teaching the Godfather How to Sing

https://blog.iplayerhd.com/teaching-the-godfather-how-to-sing/

What Are Your Habits?

Latest News Feb 29, 2016 Comments Off on What Are Your Habits?

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

Latest News Jul 01, 2015 Comments Off on A New Era-Being Creative With Singing Opportunities

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.

2014-A Recap

Latest News Jan 01, 2015 Comments Off on 2014-A Recap

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!!!

Honor Your Talent Pt 3

Latest News Nov 01, 2014 Comments Off on Honor Your Talent Pt 3

EXPOSURE!

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.

Honor Your Talent Pt 2

Latest News Oct 01, 2014 Comments Off on Honor Your Talent Pt 2

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.

Honor Your Talent

Latest News Sep 01, 2014 Comments Off on Honor Your Talent

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.

Post Nasal Drip & Homeopathic Allergy Drops

Latest News Jul 31, 2014 Comments Off on Post Nasal Drip & Homeopathic Allergy Drops

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!!