? University

What I’m about to say has been said before, but it needs to be said again, and again, and again. BEWARE of your educational choices when pursuing your singing/music career.

Do not assume that what you learn at university is your ticket to staying up-to-date on the latest information and scientific research about the voice (or getting you a singing job). In fact, many universities will reject and delay updating curriculum that is vitally necessary to singing your best in the 21st Century. Let’s just say many jobs and many egos are at stake.

Do your homework, and learn up-to-date singing techniques from as many reliable sources as you can find.

HINT, HINT: Take private singing lessons from a coach you trust, and go to a college that specializes in your desired speciality……musical theatre? music business, recording engineering, production? song writing?   Go to a university if you want to TEACH ……. but, by the way, there are no teaching jobs……

Singers, you have a choice!

Times have changed, and they are going to continue to change for singers. This is a great thing! Singers now have a choice!

Gone are the days when there was one, and only one, way to train the voice. There was traditional voice training, and there was traditional voice training! You could go to university and develop a beautifully resonant head voice that soared through arias. Or, you could go to a private teacher, who either learned the same way, or taught what worked for them.

Traditional voice training was developed for traditional European music (where a singer had to be heard at the back of the concert hall with no microphone), but this type of projection was not what rock’n rollers and contemporary singers needed to help them sing better. Most traditional voice teachers considered these modern types of singing (which was predominantly a thick fold/chest voice coordination) wrong and damaging to the voice.

We now know this isn’t the case. Certainly there are limits to what the voice can do (in any coordination), but making unique and different sounds other than traditional classical, choir-like sounds is not always damaging to the vocal cords.

Seth Riggs was a pioneer in developing a vocal technique that strengthened the bridges in the voice and encouraged transitioning through the registers. No more vocal breaks. Hallelujah! This technique balanced the singer’s voice so they could sing whatever genre of music they wished.

Some teachers are now helping singers who want to make even more extreme sounds. Resonance and bridging is fundamental in these music genres to ensure the singer maintains a healthy larynx.

Singers, what do you think? Have you found freedom and balance in your voice, while at the same time you’re able to make sounds you are happy with?

Where to learn contemporary singing techniques?

We all want our kids to get a superb education and university is, of course, the only way to get a “degree” in voice.

This post is simply to make singers aware of the changes happening very fast in the music business. If singing is your passion, and you want to work with your voice for your life, then university for voice may or may not be a good idea.

A lot of singers dream of working on Broadway.  Are you aware that auditions now on Broadway require not only a legit voice, but a voice that sing rock and pop. Are you able to sing in both styles?

Today’s singer needs to be versatile. Today’s singer on Broadway needs to be able to sing many styles. Sopranos need to know how to access their chest voice and be able to sing in a speech-like quality. Some teachers do not teach this.

Singers, beware. Know what you want. Then go find it.

What “kind” of voice teacher do you have?

Singers beware…..or should I say parents beware for your child. Check out this scenerio.

You daughter is 13 years old, has a beautiful voice and loves to sing.

You have started to take her to singing lessons every week to the lady across town. She is the teacher everyone takes their children to. She has been teaching for over 30 years. The students all have beautiful voices. Some of these students have gone on to pursue singing as a career, and a few have majored in voice at university.

The students are auditioning in jazz bands and orchestras, theatre productions and radio. Some are looking for record deals and travelling in a band. Unfortunately, some of these singers are not getting “the job”, largely because of ONE REASON.

Are you ready for the reason? Are you sure you’re ready? It’s very simple.

These students, with their beautiful voices, are unable to sing powerfully in their lower register. That’s right. That’s all it is. Power in the chest register.

Their technique is so developed in the head register (with an open throat and lowered larynx), that they have trouble allowing this to change in order to sing pop, rock, contemporary, and Broadway……yes….I said Broadway. To these singers, this feels “wrong”.

So, in closing, parents beware. There are different ways to train the voice. Do you know how yours is being trained?



Where to study voice? Go to university? Study privately?

I’ve posted about this before, but it is so important that singers understand what they are doing with their voice. Your voice is your instrument of choice, and you need to learn and understand how to use it the way you want to use it. That may not make sense…read on.

You are told you have a beautiful voice…you must go on and study, study, study, go to university, you have such a bright future…..You love to sing……sounds like the best thing to do in the world. You are going to work your entire like doing what you love…..singing.

Careful now….let’s be really clear about what is going on here. 

You go to university and the professors tell you you have a lovely voice, but you must do this, and do that. They tell you if you can sing classically you can sing anything. They change your voice. You love singing classical music so you enjoy 4 years of singing, learning arias and practising diligently. Four years later you graduate with a beautiful classically trained voice and now you need to work.

You search for music theatre work and find out your voice is only suitable for certain plays. Most productions do not want your style of singing. You try to change your voice to suit what is needed for the shows but you sound phoney, different, and not yourself.

This is very common. Work is limited and hard to find.  Graduates, in turn, start teaching to young, naive students the very same classical technique that they were taught for years.

Classical vocal training is the most common teaching available because it is embedded in our history!   But…..here’s the big but, wait for it…….it’s out of date!!  There is very little work for classically trained singers. Times have changed. Musical theatre has changed. In order to stay current, singers must realize this shift is happening. The beautiful soprano head-voice is no longer the voice of choice. Instead, listeners are enjoying the beautiful, strong and powerful sound of chest voice high in the mix.

For the most part, this cannot be accomplished with classical training. Some singers can sing anything, but most singers need to learn and understand what they want their voice to sound like.

For more information visit this website and find a Speech-Level Singing teacher near you. You will not be disappointed. www.speechlevelsinging.com.

I welcome all comments and questions. Speech-Level Singing is an up-to-date method based on the classical Bel Canto technique. It has been created by Seth Riggs to allow singers to stay current with information, and to help build a strong, beautiful voice that can sing ANYTHING!! Yes, any style of music!  This is the year 2010….Singers, get with the times!!  Universities are out of date!