With today's technology now making it easier than ever before to make music no matter what your budget may be and where in the world you reside, the need for vocal training is at an all time high. To fill this need, natural born singers are popping up all over the world ready and willing to take your money in exchange for vague advice like "sing from your diaphragm", "picture the sound coming from behind your eyes", and "just practice, you'll get it eventually". Although they themselves may sound incredible chances are they have no idea what they're doing technically in order to produce their sound.
That's where I come in. I wasn't a natural born singer. I've had to build my voice from the ground up and have made nearly every possible mistake along the way. I've also dealt with the frustrating process of recovering from throat surgery and once again having to build my voice from scratch.
I have two major strikes against me as a vocalist; first, after a botched health related throat surgery and a series of followup corrective procedures after it left irreparable damage in my vocal tract, I was diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, an incurable vocal condition that leaves many unable to speak, much less sing. It’s a credit to the technique that I’ve built through the years that I’m able to do both though, admittedly, some days better than others. It took an enormous amount of retraining myself how to both speak and sing to get to this point and, therefore, I have uniquely qualified experience for working with singers who have damaged their voice or are recovering post-op.
Another strike comes from the fact that I have severe hearing loss in my right ear, again due to a common procedure gone wrong and years of ear infections as a child. Obviously, this lack of ability to hear clearly messes with all things related to vocalizing from speaking to singing but through my technique I’ve learned to trust more than just what I hear.
I've worked with some of the best vocal coaches alive (my training began at age 13 with world renowned vocal coach Mark Baxter and continued on with other top notch teachers like Jaime Vendera and Ankh Ra Amenhetep to name a few), studied every resource available on vocal health/technique/anatomy/and artistry, and interviewed dozens of world class singers and vocal professionals. This process has helped me streamline everything I've ever learned into a vocal approach that I can tailor to fit any vocal style and any skill level.
Over the years I've held many titles in the entertainment industry; Singer, Writer, Producer, Engineer, Publicist, Assistant, Manager, Account Executive, Journalist, and most recently Director of Operations of a world renowned talent and music licensing firm. I bring all of these experiences into my work as a vocal coach by not only providing technical vocal training but also artist development and career advice/strategies on how to best navigate a difficult industry.
Here are some of the things we'll work on in our lessons:
Tone. Everyone is obsessed with building their range (which we will) but the most important quality in a singer is their tone. I'll help mold your vocal tone into something that is unique yet natural. We'll also work on developing different tonalities for different uses. You'll learn to switch your tone up throughout a song to create as much variety as possible.
Range. Genetics determine your maximum range; however, most people only use about 50% of their range without training. We'll work on opening up all areas of your voice; not only the highs and lows. We'll also iron out the middle notes where your voice probably tends to crack right now. Soon, you'll be able to sing through your entire range without worrying about cracking or your voice giving out on you.
Breathing & Support. Breathing for singing is so natural that its become unnatural! Throughout our lives we've gotten off course and have become shallow breathers. I'll teach you to go back to basics and soon it will once again become second nature.
Style. A singer is useless if they're simply mimicking their idols. It's ok to be influenced by someone but you've got to build on that influence and create something that's your own. We'll work together on developing your own signature sound that sets you apart from anyone else in the world while still being commercially viable.
Screaming/Growling/Rasp. Rock & metal singers... how many gigs/recording dates have you had to struggle through or even cancel because you've blown out your voice? Its unnecessary. Screams/growls/and even raspy singing in general can be done without blowing out your voice and I'll teach you how. However, rock and roll is an imperfect art form and is the "contact sport" of singing. When you're on stage screaming for thousands of people, the last thing on earth you're probably going to be thinking about is whether you're screaming with proper placement and support.... no worries. I'll teach you how to minimize the wear and tear and how to recover after those shows where you do go overboard. Other coaches will scold you or lie to you and tell you that there should never be any swelling whatsoever... thats simply not true if you're going to sing like this frequently and pour everything you have into your performance. The rock and roll lifestyle you may be leading is also not going to do your voice any favors. Unlike most coaches, I'm not going to judge you or try to get you to change those behaviors; we'll just get your voice back on track so you can go out and do it all over again that night!
Belting. Pop divas and broadway singers...you place an incredible amount of stress on your voice by belting things out at high volumes. Just like screaming, there are ways to do this without hurting your voice and I'll show you how. Also like screamers, I'll help you bring your voice back when you slip and push a little too much.
Post-op voice. Whether you've had a tonsillectomy, laser surgery for nodules/polyps, or some other kind of procedure that alters your vocal cavity, you need to be very careful with how you get back into singing. A speech therapist will be great at bringing you back to speaking normally but isn't going to be of much help with singing. A doctor can tell you what to be careful with in terms of hygiene and general vocal health but again they can't offer you any warning on how this may actually affect the way you sing. A vocal coach can offer you assistance with the technical aspects but if they have never gone through the process themselves they simply won't understand the problems, physical and psychological, that come up on the road to recovery. Thats where I come in. I've been through it and I've brought myself back to my original form. You don't have to make the same mistakes or encounter the same setbacks I have. We'll slowly but surely rebuild your voice the proper way and you'll be back in your prime before you know it.
Rapping. Hip hop is one of the most overlooked art forms in the vocal training community while also being one of the most in demand styles of music in the world today. Rappers deal with just as many, if not more, vocal health issues as their singer counterparts so I've put the time and energy necessary into building a technique that will benefit hip hop artists of all kinds. These exercises are designed to increase tone quality/flexibility, power, range, breath technique, rhythm/speed, and much more.
All of this and more will be covered in your vocal lessons. If you want to work on songs we can do that. If you want assistance on coming up with an image or songwriting help we can also work on that. If you want to come in and drill exercises the entire time we can do that. These lessons are for you... only you can decide what you ultimately want to get from lessons and its my job to facilitate that with the proper training.