Institute for Vocal Advancement

If you haven’t heard about the Institute for Vocal Advancement, then check out their website here

This organization is run by a group of fine teachers, mostly of whom are previous master teachers from the Speech Level Singing organization run by Seth Riggs.

I believe this organization has much to offer both students and teachers.  It is the same sound instruction that SLS offers by a group dedicated to staying in touch with the latest developments in vocal science.

I have quoted a section about technique from their website below. It is well said, and explains to singers exactly why we need to exercise our voice regularly and correctly.

Why is Technique So Important:  Singers don’t have frets like guitar players, or keys like piano players.  We don’t have a volume knob. In order for us singers to change pitch and volume we have to rely on finding and maintaining vocal balance. Problems start when that balance goes out of whack.  Unbalanced vocal qualities like singing too airy, too husky, too tight, too squeezed, or too pushed, can contribute to throwing your voice out of balance.

Good technique starts where you speak

Are you aware of your vocal habits? Do you have a breathy speaking voice?  Is your voice too loud, too soft? Do you speak with a monotone sound that isn’t very interesting?

Take the time and analyze your speaking voice. This is a great precursor to singing well.

Being self aware of how your voice “feels” can help you achieve ideal changes…..changes that happen one little step at a time.

Taking your speaking voice to the next level means knowing your default and working on the opposite to achieve balance.

If your voice is breathy, try focusing on your consonants with good enunciation. Put your effort into defining your words and using your entire self to articulate. Stand tall and strong. Be confident. Take charge.

If your voice is loud there could be a few reasons. Being reasonably loud is a good thing. Being too loud and breathy can be problem.

Try forming your sentences with a more sing-song like approach. In other words, vary the ups and downs of the pitches you are speaking on. This is a great approach for all voices. Remember to enunciate well and articulate your consonants with precision. Being self aware is the first step to controlling your speaking voice. Don’t let your words simply “fall” out of your mouth. Take the time to control the flow and manage the small pitch changes in your voice. This adds interest to your speaking voice. It’s a great way to draw attention and make people listen.

Take note of how you shout, yell and cheer. Careful here….bad habits can take over. Here is a great time to use a more sing-song like approach to your voice. A slightly higher pitch will possibly stop you from releasing so much air when you yell and speak. Consider if you were in a loud environment and you wanted to tell your friend something funny but you didn’t want anyone else to hear you.  Notice your body energy that you are using to keep your voice controlled so no one else can hear you.

A great exercise for all speaking voices is the word “goog”.  It’s a bit of a tongue twister for some people, and that’s another reason why it’s such a good exercise. Say it up and down through your entire range. Pretend you are a little baby or a cartoon character, or an annoying bratty child. Replace all the words in your favourite song with the word “goog”. Do you notice the edge, clarity and precision to the sound? If so, then you are doing it correctly. If you can’t determine if you doing it correctly to get the preciseness of the sound, then do it over again a little quieter but with the same intensity (enunciate well and focus on the “g”).  But, never whisper!  Whispering is not a useful tool for improving the voice. A whispery voice is not a good quiet voice. Instead, use your entire body energy and practise with controlled effort. This will allow you to decrease your volume and maintain your intensity in a healthy.

Have fun and let me know how it goes? Do it consistently every day and you should notice some positive changes in your voice soon!


It starts with balance….

It starts with balance. My job as your coach is to help free your voice so you can achieve a sound that is crisp and clear, with no random weak spots from the bottom to the top of your range with ease. No voice is the same, and the process can be very different for each singer. I help you find “YOUR” voice.
A good coach should be able to tell you your strengths, weaknesses, and show and explain the exercises needed to improve your singing. These exercises must be done correctly and frequently to achieve the desired result.
There is no instant pill to better singing. Knowledge and practise will make the journey enjoyable and rewarding.