This post is for those of you curious about my vocal training method "Power, Path and Performance", and how it was developed.
Power, Path and Performance (PPP for short) was many years in the making. The kernel of the method began to form when I tried to figure out a system where I could put everything I knew that was important about the voice into a system that I could use as a template to work from with every student.
My one benchmark was that whatever I taught vocalists had to WORK, in practical settings like small/large/indoor/outdoor performance stages and recording studios of all types, for every genre of contemporary songs as well as speaking. So I started carefully paying attention to what my students needed to know to improve their voices enough that it was more than worth my fee. I drew from my own 40-plus years of vocal experience and from sources like doctors, chiropractors, alternative health practitioners, other vocal training methods, and of course, my own professional coach Gerald Arthur.
I happened upon a book called "Secrets of Singing" by vocal teacher Jeffrey Allen. To date, it has been the most influential source I've found for my own teaching method. There was a shape of "voice path" he had in his book that set lightbulbs off in my brain, because I recognized that voice path muscle memory in my own best singing through the years.
With that voice path imagery inspiring me, I gradually condensed all that I knew about voice into three primary cornerstones of vocal technique. They were: the power of breath, the voice path through an open throat and physical and psychological aspects of communication. I contacted Mr. Allen for permission to use his "voice path" imagery in my method, which he kindly granted. After a few months I used alliteration to finally trademark my method "Power, Path and Performance".
It was some time after that when I noticed that not only was this a logical sorting of information... there was a synergy involved between the three cornerstones. What that means is that if you get something right or wrong in one area, it will affect the other two. So if your breath support or control is off, you will not be able to keep your throat open. This creates a subtle block to being able to connect with your audience without being distracted by the way your throat feels. Tight throats cause tight breath, with compromised performance. Breath issues create tight throats and hinders communication. It's all connected!
But the good news was that if I could help a student improve in their weakest cornerstone, the other two would benefit. When I teach a vocalist to integrate all three with the Power Path and Performance method, the whole voice is available... without strain... to powerfully move an audience. This worked even for the speaking voice- with my own method I gained (and taught) the ability to talk all day without vocal fatigue. I was also able to cure my own vocal break... and those of my students.
I am on a continual learning curve. I love to network with other voice teachers and scientists, and I find new ways of helping my students with every one I teach (they are all so unique)... but so far there I have yet to find something that didn't fit within the three stranded cord of PPP.
But in my experience with my own voice and with others...It's not enough to get one right- you have to have all three things working optimally: your breath, your throat and your communication skills.
I hope that gives you a peek at this training method. It's available in personal and phone lessons and in vocal training products.
Question: Which cornerstone (breath, throat, communication) do you think the weakest link you have in your own voice?