Vocal training can be seen through the same lens as training for a sport. Your vocal cord/voice is the ball, your body is the player, your mind is the court. My goal is to help the singer bring connection to their voice, body, and mind so that each are working in harmony. As a basketball player has to pay attention to where the ball is and what is happening on the court, vocalists have to be aware of how their voice, body, and mind are interacting so that the sound being produced is safe and healthy for the vocal cords. I will help build up vocal technique, and mindfulness during lessons so that this harmony can be achieved. I will also individually tailor each lesson to fit the learning of each student so they can begin to develop and strengthen musical and life skills.
I have come to discover that there are foundational blocks that needs to be built in every musician. Reading music is the first layer. Knowing rhythms and being able to sight-sing makes life for a vocalist easier. The second layer is musicality. The concepts and techniques in vocal music that fall under musicality would be language, diction, empathy, dynamics, breath movement, phrasing, and more. In my own life, if there was a concept that was not making sense, I got so frustrated and upset at myself. Now I am able to calmly identify different ways to approach concepts. I was only able to achieve that with mindfulness; being able to work through what I was feeling and why I feel it. As a teacher, if a student is having a hard time with anything, we will take the time to process the emotions together. I will also show tips and tricks that can be used in practice to get better at what was once causing frustration. Words of encouragement are very critical for the mind. I strongly believe in the “sandwich” method. This is where I take two concepts that the student is doing well in and slide one topic we need to work on in-between the positive, making a sandwich. For example, if I plan on working on a technique that the student struggles in, like breath movement, and they are very good at sight-singing, I will start the lesson off with warm ups they enjoy that focus on sight singing. I will continue the sight-singing warm ups while layering in aspects of breath movement and by the end of the warm-ups I have stopped talking about technique but we are now sight-singing with the breath released and flowing nicely.
Training takes time and dedication, whether it be for the voice or for sports. I cannot deny that it is hard work but I am there along to the way to give guidance to my students. Everyone does not produce the same sound but when the foundation is strong everything else has an easier time falling into place. I believe when we are able to have a strong foundation in reading music and musicality and are able to bring harmony to the voice, body, and mind our musical possibilities become endless.