I get tired, y’all.
Tired of constant negativity, finding fault, and altogether tired of our culture’s obsession with focusing on what’s wrong.
These traits exist in me as much as the next person, and I am learning to be more patient and loving with myself on this subject.
But, I also believe in giving compliments, encouraging people, and focusing on ALL the things that are going well. I think it is a powerful and effective way to build relationships and help ourselves grow. And from what I can tell, this is not necessarily a popular way to be.
In fact, I’m going to go as far as to say that focusing on the “what’s right” of a situation, or seeing the most positive aspects of something or someone, is often perceived as naive, weak, or just plain dumb. I’m okay with that because I’ve discovered that being ultra positive works better than being ultra critical. For me, and obviously not everyone. Remember, we all get to decide how to play the game of life.
A beautiful woman enters the room. She is impeccably dressed. Tall, with flowing black hair. Her lipstick is the perfect shade of red, and her heels match her suit as if they were designed by the same person.
And then – she starts to sing.
“Specificity refers to the concept that strength training must be designed
to appropriately target the specific muscle or muscle group with the intended skill or task.”
(pg. 246, The Vocal Athlete, 2014)
On the heels of presenting at the Jazz Educators Network conference in New Orleans two weeks ago, I’d like to share some ideas about using jazz to train voices.
My presentation was called “Functional Voice Training Through Jazz Literature and Style,” and it outlined the benefits of using jazz rep and style as a training modality for commercial (or contemporary) singers.
Think: jazz lit and style as tools in the pedagogy toolbox.
In the 11+ plus years I taught university level jazz voice lessons, it (eventually) became obvious that jazz was good for voices. I could use it to get a barely functioning voice to work like a charm, and even if a student wasn’t swimming in musical talent, a seme
ster or two of jazz voice lessons could help him/her get control of pitch, range, harmonic awareness, rhythm, and basic levels of phrasing. Jazz helped vocal function based issues.
Jazz is replete with opportunities for teaching, at least in my opinion. And I don’t think we’ve even begun to plumb its depths as a vocal training tool.
So, let’s begin, shall we?
The best. For you. Right now.
Let’s be real, shall we? Not every voice teacher is right for every student or client. And there are as many reasons to seek voice training as there are people, so this article is about helping you decide on a teacher that fits your needs.
Since the field of vocology is still in it’s relative infancy, there’s a lot to learn about how the voice functions. This also means there are quite a few voice teachers who either do not have access to current research, or do not know how to integrate it into their practice.
And none of us have all the answers. Not everyone needs a vocal coach with technical knowledge either, but it is helpful to know there’s a difference.
Considering that, here are a few guidelines that will help in your search in finding someone who can help you meet your voice goals.
Today marks 4 months into a weight training program I never imagined I’d do. But, in order to change the body, you have to change your habits. This is what I tell my voice clients everyday.
But you can’t preach what you don’t know. Well, you can, but then you just sound hollow and boring after awhile. There’s no #truthjuice behind words without experience to back them.
I’ve witness several clients go through a fundamental shift in vocal function after approximately one year of doing organized voice exercises. Something in their bodies aligns in a new way, and they seem to have a new ground zero set point. In order to truly know what that feels like, I have to go through that process myself – at least that’s what seems logical.
Tom Blaylock often asks the question, “does it get results?”
He has this lil’ gem of a thought provoker posted in 1001 point font on his studio wall in reference to vocal exercises. Do your vocal exercises get you the results you need?
I think this is a correct question to be asking. It requires a singer to dig a little deeper than just mindlessly doing a vocal routine from day to day, or picking and choosing random vocaleses depending on their mood.
It also allows for many answers! There are any number of ways to get the result you want, so don’t box yourself in to just one way of thinking. On anything, really. (Voice is a reflection of the cosmos, remember.)