Things I've learned from other vocal coaches
I never want to stop learning. When I expose myself to others in my field, I come away with three things:
- New insights and information or corrections to add to my techniques
- Confirmation of the techniques I use and...
- Fresh insight into why I may think a technique is wrong.
From Jeannie Deva:
- I learned that if you purpose a finger's touch to mean a certain thing, you can affect yourself greatly. Such as... putting two fingers lightly on your Adam's apple and telling it to relax. I even use this in the studio. It helps me not raise my larynx when I'm tired. I've used it with many students with great success.
- To warm down as well as up!
- That touching my students very lightly can be very useful in helping them dispel tension.
- That if a muscle is stretched too far or too fast or even perceives that it is approaching it's limit, it can adversely contract, increasing tension instead of relaxing it.
- The amazing and illuminating anatomical connections between the body and the diaphragm and larynx which help me understand the mechanics of the entire voice like never before.
- He is the originator of the hook- or question mark- shaped voice path which I use to put my PPP method together.
- To think of breath control and breath support as opposites.
- To suggest that a vocalist use the "Inhalation Sensation" to help develop breath control
- The value of wall work
- To ask God to sing through me when I perform which cures any stage anxiety for me and for some of my students
- To watch my students for undue raising or lowering of the larynx
- The value of the "siren" as part of warm-up.
- That there are time-honored vocal techniques which will ALWAYS lead to better voices. I can't tell you how much I've learned from those old "Expressive Singing" books! This is classical training, and I have found most of it to be directly applicable to contemporary singing.
- To watch for "guarded" singing in my students.
- The value of professional vocal coaching; the incredible healing and maximization of potential that can indeed occur.
- Who never tire of bringing me unique and challenging puzzles! Each one is different, and I have grown as a teacher - and enlarged my bag of tricks! - from exploring what works or doesn't work with each one.
I've learned things NOT to do or teach as well, though I'll not name my sources :) I am also keenly aware that even though a teacher teaches correctly, a student may take that direction wrong or to extreme. So I keep tweaking my teaching, and like all good voice teachers, try to find insight anywhere it may be found. My caveat is: It must work! So thanks again to all who have taught me to teach. What a great joy it is for me to be part of other vocalists' successful journeys.