Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Recently, I have been working with some of my vocal students who have higher voices (i.e., sopranos) and I have found that they really don't know the difference in the FEELING of singing in their head voice vs. singing in their chest voice. Most higher voices starting singing in their head voice on the notes D and E above Middle C. An alto will go into her head voice around notes A or B. (And there is a "Middle Voice" --combining the head and chest voice--that can also be developed, but that is a whole other subject.) I actually go into my head voice on note B above Middle C. Unfortunately for sopranos, it is not popular these days to sing in their head voice. All the female pop and country singers sing mainly in their chest voices, so sopranos must figure out how to sing in their chest voices. I have several exercises I use when I work with my students, and it definitely doesn't happen overnight. It takes practice. And from lesson to lesson, my soprano students slip very easily right back into their head voices. If you have any questions about this, just let me know. Or, if you would like to be able to sing in your chest voice and easily go back and forth at will, you could take some lessons :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013


For those of you who like to sing along with the radio or your cd's, don't think that you are becoming a better singer if you are singing along with the artist. It is so sad to see these contestants try out in reality shows and think they have a great voice. Just because your friends and family say that you are a great singer doesn't mean it is so. The true test is to bring your favorite song up on YouTube and sing it with just the background music or "karaoke." Then have someone listen to you who is not partial and ask them to give you their unbiased opinion. Or, you can come to Music Instruction Studio and take your first lesson (which is "free", by the way) and I will tell you. You can then decide whether you would like to take more lessons to improve. I very rarely let my students sing with the singer--I ask them to sing it solo. That is the true test.


For my friends locally, I am posting a series of tips on our "head voice" and "chest voice." I have posted this in the past, but don't think many of you have seen it. Lately in choir practice, our director has been making a point about the sopranos using their lower voices, or chest voices, so they could have more "power and fullness" in their voices instead of a thin soft sound.

The easiest way I can explain how to sing with our chest voice (especially for sopranos) to to ask you to sing like you speak. Just say the phrase "How are you today." Now, sing that phrase like you said it but sing it on just one note. If sopranos sing that like they normally would sing it, they would be talking like Julia Child. Remember her--the forerunner of the cooking shows on TV? Don't sing it like that. Just sing it in a natural talking tone. I will be putting a video on my page to demonstrate this. I don't want to overload you with too much information, but I teach that we all have a "chest voice" and a "head voice." You have probably heard of these terms. In between these two distinct voices, we have a "break" in our voice where we transition from one voice to another. I have exercises that I will put on my page to make that transition easier, but these exercises have to be practiced frequently to train your vocal chords and muscles. So stay tuned for more. . .

Thursday, February 14, 2013


I watched most of Idol last night and was pretty disappointed with what I heard group-wise. Yes, some of the voices were outstanding, but the harmonies weren't there for the most part. These days, I just wonder how this younger generation is learning music theory. Most of the schools no longer teach it. Actually, the only place we can learn to read music is either in the church choir or by taking voice and piano lessons. (I remember singing in church when i was young and trying to learn the alto part out of the hymnbook. When I mastered the alto part, i went on to the tenor part and learned to sing tenor. And if I could reach the bass part with my voice, I would even try that.:) ) And, yes, we also have the performing arts schools that are keeping it alive. I have an adult vocal student who is learning to read music. She sings in her church choir, but she wants that one-on-one help from an instructor. I love the sound of three-part and four-part harmony, but I often wonder how our young singers are going to learn it. I feel it is my job to teach this fast disappearing musical training as often as possible.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I am so excited about the happenings at Music Instruction Studio! We are expanding into the next space which is even larger than the space we are in now. This will allow me to do many new things with my voice students.

- I will have a larger studio.
- We will have a large room where we can have General 
Music Classes.
- We will have a mic and speakers set up in the large 
room so I can work with my students on stage 
presence,how to use a mic in singing, and 
Incorporating choreography into the music. 
- Also, the possibility of developing show choirs and 
even a Seniors choir.
- Working with formed groups of girl and boy bands.
- And, the possibility of students doing a professional
Recording demo and/or video. 

Just so many new possibilities! We will be moving in by next week. Jon is on a fast track of getting this space finished.