6 1/2 minute Introductory Presentation
38 years of training and caring for professional singers…
Are you a performer who is not satisfied with the way you presently sing?
Do you perform in front of audiences?
Do you seek better ease, joy, freedom, and power without ever forcing/hurting your voice?
Do you want to build strength and stamina in your singing, especially for live performance?
Do you want to sing like nobody but yourself, using the voice that Nature provided you?
Do you want to learn to sing with minimum force and get maximum resonance, and do so with relaxation, the hallmark of resonant singing?
Not completely satisfied with your voice or having vocal problems…
Many singers experience this same issue. You know what your singing voice potential is, but, when you are in front of the audience, you lose power and are dissatisfied with your results. You have perhaps had voice lessons but you didn’t really see enough results. My work is to help you build a bridge between you speaking and singing voice where you will not have vocal problems in the future. This approach is action oriented as I teach your body first and not your technical mind, which will always interfere with natural singing. This is how I was trained. So I teach your body the motor skills that support healthy singing and keep your mind of concepts, theories, and language from taking over because it will always interfere with natural singing. Always!
Why would I consider working with you as a singing voice trainer and therapist?
My teaching comes out of 40 years as a singer and actor, trainer of singers, Psychotherapist, Neurofeedback & Biofeedback provider, exercise physiologist and trainer, and Certified Advanced Rolfer® helping singers free their body and mind of fear (tension) that prevents ease of singing. After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC, I studied, apprenticed, collaborated with a well known Broadway voice teacher named Margaret Riddleberger. Margaret had sung at the Metropolitan Opera but loved theatre people.
I have dedicated my life to passing on the knowledge that was passed to me and what I have discovered on my own since then. I am a trained psychotherapist, am certified in numerous somatic therapeutic approaches that help release blocks in the body and emotions and so help those who are carrying fear, unable to sing as they know they can. Fear, or unresolved stress, is probably the single biggest barrier for performing in front of others and will prevent you from singing with a relaxed ease, which is the hallmark of singing. The second biggest barrier is misinformation and mechanical ideas about how our human voice functions.
I have studied singing in the past but I hit a ceiling and am still not satisfied with my development.
You are not the only one who feels this way. Many of the people who I have worked with over many years have felt the same. They said that they just knew they had a more powerful and resonant singing voice but no matter what they did, they could not get it ‘off the ground’, especially in front of an audience. My approach is helping you get out of your head and use your God given instincts, which is all about your body and instincts, to discover that singing and speaking are similar processes. But when we begin to sing, many of us freeze up and lose the simplicity that we bring to everyday conversation. When we speak, we are not monitoring ourselves; so why do so we when we sing? It should be easy and fun, just like it is for children!
I have been told that I need to know what is happening in my vocal chords (now called folds) in order to sing well? Is this true?
Do you have to tell your eye ball what to do when you go out into the Sun? No, it is a function of your organism to adapt to the present moment and adjust to what is needed moment to moment biologically without having to think what to do. It is innate and an instinctual function of your organism. So why would you need to know, let alone manipulate your vocal folds, when you are singing, since you inner ear and brain handle that perfectly. This is where singers begin to have problems when someone teaches them that they need to ‘do something’ in their throat in order to sing well. Relaxation in the throat is the key to singing well. I help singers break habits that they have acquired from family, the world they live in, from misinformed teaching. I utilize art and science including biofeedback and neurofeedback approaches that help the brain and body to relax so that you can discover your innate, intrinsic singing voice.
I have been having problems in my throat when I try to get louder.
Many professional singers have this same issue which is why many have to cancel performances and down the road have surgery; at the least, go on voice-rest. There is a way to approach singing where you never to hurt your throat, never have to force, and thus sing with natural ease and power. Relaxation is the basis of this approach and many singers have the habit of forcing when they sing, trying way too hard, using muscular tension, even though they do not when they speak. If you sign up for the newsletter, you will receive the report, “The 3 mistakes singers make that keep them frustrated, not connecting with their audiences and not benefitting from their own singing“.
I am afraid that I will never be able to improve my singing.
Given the misinformation and the wide spectrum of theories and beliefs about the voice in the field, it is natural to have this thought. But honestly, if you can speak, then you can sing. If you don’t hurt your throat when you speak, then you can learn not to do it when you sing. They are the same exact physiological process. The only difference is that you have to extend the open sound on the vowel, what is so-called ‘holding the note’ and which is actually learning to sustain the vibration on the sound stream. But again, it is just as relaxed as when speaking. Singing develops breathing, not breathing singing.
Why can’t I sing in the same voice i speak in?
Many singers have not learned how to keep the sound center in their throat and the speech center in the front of their mouth independent from one another. If you do not know how to keep their function independent of one another, you end up causing tension in your larynx (voice box) and eventually, it begins to close down, causing raspiness and inflammation.
A singer was referred to me by a former student. This person loved to perform on stage and was quite a good actor. But he had to limit the roles he took because he had a limited vocal range and could never ‘break out of the cardboard box with his sound’, as he put it.
Acoustics versus force…
In the theater, you need to be able to be heard in the back row but without forcing your voice. This performer became frustrated that he couldn’t achieve this goal and was willing to try yet one more voice coach. We quickly discovered that he was using too much force/air due to unresolved fear and anxiety, and this was preventing him from being able to sing with ease and at the same time with natural resonance. Since he had so much experience performing, it didn’t take long for him to discover that speaking and singing are the same process and that he had been doing something other than nartural singing.
Without accurate placement in your singing, you will sound other than you…
The minute this actor began to sing, he suddenly sounded like someone else and his natural and rich resonance was cut off. He discovered that it was body tension (another way of saying fear) and lack of core elasticity. Singing naturally demands relaxation and body elasticity, so his own unresolved tension was inhibiting his singing and within a few months, he had transformed his ability to sing with ease and power without losing himself.
Have you worked with anyone famous?
Yes, many Broadway, pop, Opera, and film actors have come to me over my 37 years in this field.
Recently I had an actor who had to leave a Broadway show because of vocal problems. He told me that he had tried everything imaginable and nothing had helped. I was his last hope. A friend had sent my published article on my voice approach to a colleague of his and that is how he found out about my work. Doctors, well known Manhattan voice teachers, a psychotherapist, voice therapy, hypnosis, dietary therapy, medicine, and saw an osteopath. Nothing had helped.
I had him send me a video of him talking and singing and could see what his problem was. He flew in to work with me in Boulder, Colorado for 5 hours on a weekend between filming. In that single day, to his surprise, he had the experience of no longer experiencing the throat problem. I “got him out of his throat”. Of course, this will need more training time to correct his longtime bad habits. What I offer is rehabilitative training or what I call renormalization training –not miracles, not peak experiences, not clever tricks. But once we get it into working memory, it can be made stable; new habits are built. Old habits are replaced with new sensory motor skills and an ability to use your inner ear. inner hearing, to know when you are off your instrument.
Because I have not only been an actor and singer, but also had a profoundly effective voice teacher who passed her knowledge on to me, and having studied extensively the human body and psyche, I am able to quickly assess a singer’s problem and get them back on stage fast. That is what I love to do.
I also train singers to sustain their health and so that will never harm their throat and be able to sing for a lifetime.
Sign up for the newsletter and read my articles if you wish to learn more.
I offer a free 20 minute Skype or FaceTime discovery session to see what your needs and wants are and to see if I can be of service to you. I essentially teach you how to find your intrinsic singing voice. This means making sure that you know how to sing using the somatic motor skills (physical muscle skills) that are being used when we speak. I will support you to discover what is limiting and blocking you from singing like nobody but yourself, with the voice that is your natural, intrinsic voice.
Once I have done that, my job is done and I will then encourage you to work with other professionals who can take you where you need to go in regard to music, the business of music, and so on.
Send me an initial email and tell me what your goal in working with me is. I will correspond back and we can proceed from here.
My students and clients have been all over North America and Europe – Toronto, Canada; London, England; Thailand; New York City; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Arizona: California, Denver, Colorado, Boulder, Colorado…
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