It seems like a straightforward question: learn to sing, become a famous stage star, and be wealthy and successful! I read about a well-known professor at an Ivy League university who wanted to quit smoking, so he took vocal lessons, which catapulted him into a successful career on stage in his forties; a true story with unexpected repercussions. People take singing lessons for a variety of reasons, not only fame.

Students Singing Performance:

As I’ve observed, people engage in the process of singing for many reasons: to be more confident in life in general; to overcome some of their fears; to fulfill a life-long dream of taking music lessons; to have the opportunity to receive the personal focus and attention that private voice lessons provide; to discover a latent talent that you didn’t know was there; to be more assertive; to speak more clearly; to hear people’s comments about one’s beautiful voice; or perhaps As a vocal teacher, I’ve enjoyed watching students discover what happens internally when they confront their urge to participate in the process of performance and singing. Sometimes a light goes on, or old fears are aroused and must be dealt with. One of my voice students would end each lesson with the words, “This is so cool.” It can be inspiring for a teacher to see students take on these challenges and emerge with a new level of confidence and discovery.

It may also be inspiring to be a part of that process by engaging directly with the voice learner when their worries arise, and exploring innovative methods to overcome the anxiety and emerge from the other side freer and more confident. Why take voice lessons? If any of the aforementioned lead to fame and wealth, that is fantastic; yet, fame and riches may also develop internally rather than externally, outside of the limelight and more in the soul. Both can be important. Remember, you’re never too old to begin singing classes in your hometown. You’ll profit personally, and who knows, perhaps you’ll become wealthy and famous!

Singing Lessons

It appears that I’ve spent my entire life as a professional actress and singer. When I was studying theatre at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, many moons ago, there was no voice training for performers. We were frequently told “I can’t hear you” or “Project!” or “I can’t understand what you’re saying”. However, that was the end of our training. Unfortunately, we had to decide what to do with the criticisms. During my university years, however, I did take singing lessons from a wonderful teacher. I learned how to use my voice successfully as a singer, and I occasionally noticed that my speaking voice was benefiting from that singing training as well, but I wasn’t sure how.

It wasn’t until I attended graduate school at the Dallas Theater Center that something revolutionary happened to my voice and my perspective toward its use–both as a speaker and a singer. What I discovered was that the attention and resonance I had learnt as a singer were equally important for a good speaking voice. I learned that the distinction between singing and speaking is one of dynamic range–the highs and lows, the sustained notes above what would be considered’speaking’ is more excessive, but the training should be the same. The instrument being utilized is the same, the most intimate instrument we play, because it is created entirely from within. If we begin to think of our speaking and singing voices as one, we will be able to apply all of the rich, focused vibrations we learned to make when singing to our speaking voice.

Voice Based Singing with Tunes

Breath has no control over the tonal quality of the speaking/singing voice, which is produced by working as if we are not breathing at all. Of course, we need a steady supply of air to vibrate the vocal folds, but once that breath stream turns into a sound stream, resonance and wave reflection take over. The sound travels through the bones of the face and skull. So, when we learn to direct that sound stream onto the hard palate and upwards into the nasal bone, forehead, and cranium, we produce a wonderful unforced resonant quality, especially when we also create a larger open chamber in the mouth.

So, what’s stopping us from speaking as we sing? Try this experiment. Make your own little tune in your mid-range for the sentence “This is the way to feel the focus”. Focus your voice (by thinking it there!) on the hard palate while doing this carefully. Then recite the line while feeling the vibration on your hard palate and sailing up into your mind (ideally).

Don’t you like the location, the depth of tone? It is yours for the asking if you experience the feeling of singing while speaking! So, don’t be pleased with a singing voice that only goes one way and a speaking voice that is scratchy, imprisoned in the back of your throat, or of another terrible quality. Let us not forget to consider the speaking voice when determining quality. Train your entire voice by remembering to constantly include a ‘little song in your speech, and a little speech in your song’!

Best Music Reading:

You see, music notation is simply a graphical representation of music. Every day, you may pick up a newspaper or magazine and find graphs of statistics, financial forecasts, or any number of other things. Almost everyone can interpret graphs and charts in a newspaper or magazine. As a result, it is not difficult to read music notes written on staff lines, much like a graph. When the notes increase, so does the music. The music slows down as the notes decrease. It is really quite straightforward.
But music reading is a little more sophisticated than that! There are time signatures, key signatures, flats, sharps, accidentals, note values, and so on. These are additional intricacies that contribute to the complexity of music notation. I believe that when artists say they don’t read music, they are implying that they do not fully comprehend the complexity of more advanced musical notation. Or, more accurately, they are unfamiliar with the numerous subtleties of notation. This does not imply that they are musically illiterate; rather, it indicates that they are uncomfortable with some components of notation.

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