The first plateau of vocal training is reached by changing some breath, throat and communication habits, both physically and psychologically. I do this by giving some suggestions, then having the person sing again. When the student can feel (and hear) the difference, I show why these suggestions help, by teaching some basic anatomical principles and putting it all together where the training makes immediate sense.
The student's job will then be to practice these new habits. In this first plateau of vocal training, new habits are effected by choosing to do things a different way, and by correctly doing special exercises designed to develop new muscle memory to connect the mind-body-voice.
The next plateau is reached by gaining strength in vocal and breathing muscles, and coordination among the parts of the whole instrument - which really includes the whole body. This strength can increase the vocalist's ability beyond what was possible to improve at the first vocal lessons.
I'm enjoying watching my more regular students bloom with special exercises to strengthen the breath and coordinating and focusing exercises to enable better bridging of the vocal registers. Some of these exercises are the sirens along the right voice path, bouncing belly breathing staccato runs and paradigm shifts in how to make performance more authentic.
People wonder how vocal training works to improve the voice. I hope this illuminates some of my process. If any of you have thoughts from your experiences, please chime in. I would especially like to know of any frustrations you've had with vocal lessons. This is how all vocal coaches can improve their services... by listening to your feedback.
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