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By Robert M. - TakeLessons Singing Teacher
There is nothing more enjoyable than the human voice. All of us use our singing to bring out artistry and fun in all places, whether it is echoing the radio, wailing in the shower, praising in congregations, or just humming while you work. Preparing the inexperienced singer can prove to be a difficult, multi-tasking job as teachers attempt to build up their students’ abilities, fundamentals, techniques, tonality and most importantly, confidence.
Since I have had many opportunities to work with all types of students taking singing lessons in Houston, I have drawn together common characteristics that allow me to always have a prepared and quick diagnosis as well as extensive goals within the first lesson. The most common concerns with beginner voice students include pitch control, breath control and posture, lip shaping, tongue placement, and balance of the vocal register. Building up a beginner or even someone with very little singing ability requires routine procedures that will always yield results. Some of my favorite techniques include the following: • Use melodic intervals to aid in pitch location such as the common Dominant to Tonic • Utilize a hand mirror/standing mirror for the student to self-check lip shaping while observing the instructor • Fix breath control by advising the student to lean back and pretend to sleep in order to activate the proper intercostals muscles and the diaphragm • Adjust the pitches to the correct registers by using the incorrect pitch and sliding it up or down to the right pitch with the keyboard • Empower the students by reminding them that their musical success and progress is in their hands, as the instructor is only the guide and interpreter • Anticipate every student inability in order to always have a prepared solution to any repetitive issue
What is so important to vocal lessons is the need to continually shape and manipulate the beginning students, expanding their abilities that require a teacher to give them precise direction. My music education background allows me to go beyond just the musical necessities as I know the best strategies and approaches for students: gaining their focus and confidence, manipulating the mental filters that inhibit the learning process, push for intrinsic motivation with few rewards, and always make the material relative on a personal basis. If you are ready to begin your musical journey and let out your inner voice, I encourage you to sign up for singing lessons in Houston today!
I teach a vocal technique which is called singing on the speaking level, or "Singing with the ease of Speech". It provides the student with a systematic approach to link together all the registers of the voice-chest and head. The student and I work together to build a bridge between the low voice and high voice, (through the break) combining those parts in the middle creating "the mix" ( a blend of chest and head voice), that most singers struggle to master and the vast majority of teachers don't know how to teach or identify. This allows the singer to access all of his or her range without strain. A student would begin to experience positive results within a few weeks of study, both in the studio and with practice between lessons.
One of the best things about this technique is that it allows you to sing any style of music. Whether you sing Pop/R&B, Rock, country, musical theater, gospel, or opera, you can experience vocal freedom and confidence that every singer wants to have. As
I teach singing using Kurwen Handsigns and other Kodaly Concept methods. A particular emphasis is pitch; I have successfully taken a professional actress from "tone deaf" (her words) to performing with a major opera company.
I have been teaching this subject for over 13 years. There is no specific curriculum as each student will come to lessons with their own unique skills, needs, and goals. Lessons are tailored to those specifics. It is not necessary to know how to read music at the first lesson for beginners. However, learning to read is required for subsequent lessons and will be a large focus for all non-readers. Music is not learned "by ear." A certain amount of theory will be a part of every lesson just as technique and repertoire. Concerning repertoire, it may be selected from the western classical, musical theatre, and popular rep based on the student's goals and learning needs with their input. The main emphasis on performance lessons, however, will be technique and reading. Students should come to the first lesson prepared to discuss their background & goals and the plan of their course of study.
This session takes a unique approach to traditional voice lessons. We start by listening, breathing and building up our vocal strength, and end in harmony. Please be advised : This class will bring lots of laughter and smiles into your students' life!
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