Blog Post #1: March 13, 2019
I have a feeling that if you survey voice teachers and ask what the most common comment is after telling people that they teach voice, most would say things like "Oh, I can't sing," "I wish I could sing," or "I'm beyond help." I try not to be frustrated by this, but it's nearly impossible. People are so certain that they can't sing, and they are so afraid to try, that they hardly entertain the idea that as a voice teacher, I might know what I'm talking about when I tell them that I could teach them to sing. That's like telling a doctor that your bone is so broken that they can't fix it.
I listened to a podcast just yesterday on finances. The guest was saying that any topic in which people lack experience or training is like rocket science or brain surgery. To a rocket scientist, rocket science isn't difficult. To a brain surgeon, brain surgery isn't particularly difficult, but to a brain surgeon, rocket science would be quite difficult. It is true that some people are born with a voice that functions beautifully, they somehow discover they can sing at some point, and somehow they continue to sing beautifully with little training. A voice teacher should be able to improve anyone's ability to sing.
The people who are born with a beautifully functioning voice are rare, and some voice teachers become famous by teaching those people. When you have a student like that, you just become a guide and a coach. You ensure that they sing appropriate repertoire (and sing it well), you talk them through mental and emotional challenges, and you send them on to the next step of their career or training. It's a different kind of experience to teach this type of singer. While it is exciting to see how far they might go and satisfying to hear their beautiful singing, it is so very rewarding to teach a student who really wants to sing but doesn't have immediate access to the beauty of their voice.
I believe that every human who can speak has a singing voice that should be used and can be developed. Some voices are readily available to the singer and simply need guidance, while some voices have to be uncovered, discovered, or untangled. Facilitating this progress is my focus and responsibility as a teacher, regardless of the student’s singing goals or aspirations.
What does it take to be able to overcome the idea that you can't sing?
-A bit of courage/vulnerability
-Willingness to learn
-Patience with yourself
-A kind, patient teacher who has a thorough knowledge of the voice and how to overcome issues
I have a lot of experience in this and have found beautiful voices in people who initially have trouble matching pitch. I am available for lessons in person or online, or if you are looking or a teacher in a different city, I can help there too.
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