Thank you for a great year!

If you have been following my singing blog, you will know I have trained in a few different methods of singing over the past years. Each one has been slightly different, yet the same, if that makes any sense.

In my early years, I trained in Bel Canto with various teachers and later went on to Speech Level Singing and Estill Voice Technique.

As a singer in my teens, 20’s and 30’s, I always felt I had two very different voices. My “choir” voice and my “rock band” voice. I struggled with understanding what was going on and how to get the sound I wanted without hurting my throat.

A revelation came when I studied Speech Level Singing (Seth Riggs). I learned how to use my entire range efficiently without flipping, pulling, or straining. Those of you who have studied SLS will understand what these terms mean. I learned how to “mix”. That is, I learned how to bridge in my middle voice by allowing transition to my head register without strain. I later went on to teach SLS and continue to use a lot of these concepts with my students.

My issue with SLS started when I came to a stalemate about my middle voice while singing a song for a Level 5 SLS teacher. I was singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow in the key of C major. The first two notes are middle C to high C. This is a big leap over the female first passagio. My teacher was listening for a certain amount of cord closure and head resonance on the high C. I was able to produce the coordination and sound he wanted, but I personally didn’t want to sing my song the way he wanted me to sing it.

After studying Estill Voice Technique, it became clear to me that SLS is a safe and effective way to balance the voice, and to stay in “shape”. The exercises are fabulous, and I do them every day. However , with SLS I would never learn about safe belting or even a better understanding of your voice.

It is important for each and every singer to understand their own voice. When you know what you are good at, and what you are not so good at, then you can take the steps necessary to achieve the voice you always wanted.

In 2014 I will continue to share with you exercises and explanations that will continue to help you understand your voice and the art of singing. I welcome your questions and concerns, and hope you find my posts engaging.

Let’s face it….we all have one thing in common…we all want to sing the best we can!

And so my journey continues…..

So, why do I write a blog? I write a blog to help singers everywhere learn as much as possible about their own voice. As most of you know, I have studied SLS for the last few years, and prior to that had many years of training with Bel Canto technique. I have recently attended an Estill Voice Technique Workshop and have had a fabulous time exploring my voice and understanding the many coordinations I was able to do! I look forward to sharing with you loads of useful tips that can be added to your “toolbox”.

What do SLS and EVT have in common? A few things, but the lingo is certainly different.  How do they differ? Well, the easiest way for me to describe the difference is that SLS is one of the many, many “recipes” that Estill can teach a student to do. Another difference is in the way the “recipe” is taught.

I will dive into more of these differences with some upcoming posts so stay tuned!




Speech-Level Singing … Taking the High Road

During one of my last posts I talked about Brett Manning and Seth Riggs and this wonderful singing method called Speech-Level Singing.

Today I want to talk further about how this technique is going to change the lives of many singers in the future.

This world is constantly moving forward in ideas, creations and inventions. This is happening at an incredible rate now with our current technology and ability to communicate to everyone all over the world. The educational system cannot keep up. Gone are the days that schools can teach you the “latest” information on a given topic, and that is certainly the case with singing technique.

Singers of the future may actually find it detrimental to their voice to study vocal technique in university. Think about it. Why do we go on and study voice at university? Is it for the prestige so we can put those initials after our name? Is it so we can get a higher paying job? Is it so we can become a vocal teacher? There are many good reasons to go to university and study voice. You will certainly achieve a wealth of information about the history of singing and music in general.

Unfortunately you may not learn about Seth Riggs and Speech-Level Singing (SLS) at university. You will learn about the Bel Canto technique which is what SLS is derived from, and other classical forms of voice, but not SLS. It will take years for SLS to reach universities. In the meantime, singers will continue to graduate from universities and teach voice the way they were taught by their professors. This has been going on for centuries.

Here’s the thing. Most singers, not all, but most singers no longer want to just sing classical music. For a singer to get a job in music theatre or on broadway, a classically-trained voice is not always what the producer is looking for. This is why I say it could be detrimental to go to university for voice. I don’t think singers, in general, realize the implications upon entering university at the age of 19 or 20.