Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

4 Steps of Vocal Training

I believe that there are four steps to vocal training. These are the steps I take:

1. ACCESS THE VOICE
  • It's important to discover your vocal strengths and weaknesses because only by becoming aware can you change or keep doing things on purpose that work.
  • As part of an assessment, you should also explore your vocal goals and what it may take to accomplish them.
2. REPAIR and HEAL VOCAL DAMAGE

If you have damaged your voice, you need to know it for two reasons:
  • You may need to go to a doctor or clinic specializing in the voice to see if the damage is so pronounced that medical intervention might be necessary or voice rest prescribed before trying to build a damaged voice back to health in vocal training. Some of these problems can be vocal nodes, polyps, paralysis or partial paralysis of the vocal folds (cords).
  • You also need to gain assurance if there is no physical damage, or if corrective vocal training will allow your voice to heal from any damage they find.
Damaging habits can and must be overcome by re-training in correct vocal technique. Here's a wake up- screaming for 20 minutes can cause blood blisters on the edges of vocal cords...the beginning of dreaded vocal "nodes"

3. IMPROVE and MAXIMIZE VOCAL ABILITY

There are all kinds of muscles which can be strengthened and others which can be relaxed, and body movements that can become much more coordinated for optimal operations of the voice.
  • Breath problems can be overcome; the truth is, it doesn't take nearly as much breath as you may think to sing or speak, if the breath technique is correct.
  • A weak, tight, thin, hooty or voice can, with right vocal training, become richly resonant. Often the person feels they have gained a voice they never knew they had!
  • The psychological and spiritual components that go into effective performance that moves the heart can be drawn out and focused.
Vocal training should enable steady progress in vocal improvement, until the person's vocal goals of the are attainable.

4. PROTECT AND MAINTAIN THE WHOLENESS OF THE VOICE

Vocal warm-ups and warm-downs as well as longer vocal exercise routines should be learned and practiced in an ongoing program. They will support and protect the voice physically by maintaining correct co-ordination between the voice and the body.

When these 4 steps are completed, the vocalist should be the best he or she can or wants to be. One more thought:

If a vocalist is working professionally, it is my opinion that they should touch base from time to time with a vocal coach they trust to keep the voice from forming sneaky bad habits which limit vocal ability and can lead to damage. The lessons at that point don't have to be regular, just a check-up with any necessary corrections. Think about it; why did Tiger Woods have to get back to lessons? He stopped doing what worked. But you know what... he's back, and he's bad in a very good way!!

For information about my "Power, Path & Performance vocal training courses on cd, go here.

For information about my "Power, Path & Performance" personal lessons, go here.

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