My Blog

The Art of Teaching Voice

  In my total years as a Voice teacher, several great memories come back to me. Perhaps, I was very fortunate to have had three students who were totally Tone deaf.  Diligently I worked with them but finally I just had to tell them I absolutely no longer was I able to help them.  Of course I could keep on teaching them, take their money but to me that is stealing and falsely leading them on, giving hope where there was none.Then into my studio walked a young man with a Masters degree in vocal performance.  Lots of the things I mentioned he had never heard of and never in all those years going for his degree had he come close to singing an Operatic Aria.  I gave him Per me giunto form Don Carlo by Giuseppe Verdi.  He loved it and did a excellent job.


After studying with me for almost a year, I found out he himself was a Voice teacher at a prominent place in San Antonio.  One day coming for a lesson he surprised me to no end.  James he said, I am giving you my position because I can not teach the way you do.  So I took over his position including all the students.So far I have had four students with degrees in Vocal performance.  One was told to keep singing Lieder and for four years that was all he did, getting extremely bored.  He asked his teacher a question and was simply told not to ask questions but to do and sing the way he was being taught.  About to give it all up, he found me and when I heard him, his range was limited and he had a bad vibrato.  He was told his vibrato was just right but I told him, not for what you are singing. Vibrato is a very misunderstood word and if one is not careful enough it may turn into a bad worble and if the individual has a large voice it has to be controlled right from the start.I usually teach scales, Sieber, Vaccai, going into Art songs and Operatic Arias, I personally started with Arias adding Lieder and Songs.  A good aria is wonderful to put your teeth into, to discover that Lieder and Songs are very much more difficult.  By then the Arias made you love to sing encouraging one to try harder, realizing how much more difficult the Art of Lieder is.  At Present, I have a very promising young tenor, with an extremely wide range.  He sings Opera Arias with me and loves them.  Now we started working on Italian Art songs and he realizes the difficulties of the control, especially the breath, that is of most importance to get working and be an absolute part of the singing.Once I had a young, tall and big with a very lyrical tenor.  He went places for the summer and when he returned his voice had changed into a Baritone, for the holidays he left to visit family and on his return he had changed into wonderful Basso Profundo (deep Bass), so went from Tenor Arias to Baritone and then had to get started on his fine Basso voice.I am telling these things because one can never be sure of ones voice when young or still in puberty.  Good advice and patient guidance is needed to discover the potential. We go on what I call A Vocal Expedition, to discover what is there.  The complete voice will be used on that Expedition. The Art of Teaching Voice.

 

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR EVERY SERIOUS VOCAL STUDENT

 

When I teach a student making sure the voice is treated with the greatest regards because we only have one voice and it must be handled with care and respect. This alone is the best advice to and for a customer. I will treat your voice perhaps better then you do yourself

The Teacher Published by James Van der Post ·  

This is a very informative article written by Stefan Zucker, a great Opera critic who has written many books and articles about the great singers. This one about Magda Olivero, a fantastic performer. For any one who wants to study voice as in singing, read this and you will understand about the way I teach. Her voice takes getting used to but it is incredible. Her interpretations are awesome. Look her up on you tube.. I teach a classical foundation but will not tell any student they have to be an Opera singer. The foundation I give can take you into kind of singing you so desire Here is part of the article Olivero, too, had her doubts. "I've already changed teachers three times, and I'd have to convince my father." Her father had come to feel her voice lessons were futile and wanted her to study piano at the conservatory. He relented, however, and Gerussi took her on. He was so severe a taskmaster that he made her cry. "This is the last time you are going to say 'I can't,'" he screamed. "Those words must not exist. If necessary, I'll see you dead to get what I want! Die afterward if you wish, but first you must do what I want." Above all, they worked on breath support.

The love for teaching Voice is not to describe in any words, perhaps Ecstasy. When a student discovers his or her voice, the look on their face is a sort of rapture and I what I do is jump up from behind the piano and say in passionate voice OMG you got it. Remember it takes a while before you can do it more and more like you just did.

Perseverance is the key and they realize it sometimes, then they get eager, to eager at times and I have to the towing them back in. You have to stay on Earth, something I used to say in a class I was teaching. Some of the kids would stare and I tell them to blink and say Interplanetary travel during my class is not allowed and certainly never ever tolerated, they laugh and get right back to what they are supposed to do.

My most favorite quote is by Rudyard Kipling, fantastic author

 East is East and West is West and never the two shall be twain until they meet each other on the Threshold of GOD .

What to do when in doubt about your Voice singing and speaking

 

It is so understandable for some one trying to make a decision weather to learn how to sing correctly, easily and as natural as possible, any idea or thought?

Well what if you don't and you become older and never given yourself the chance or opportunity to at least give your voice a chance to be discovered.

Think this, your voice a diamond in the rough needed to dug out and then cleaned, shaped and then polished, Voila there it is bad good or very good even fantastic, all good to discover and know.

My Skype is ready to teacher eager Vocal students

 My computer and Skype are set up, ready to accept students, no age limit. If not wanting a professional career remember, learning to use your voice correctly not only gives great pleasure but can turn into making you a much more secure and confident individual, singing in church either in the choir or congregation, public speaking. 

 We take up hobbies so why not singing.
For the person seriously pursuing a career I tell you up front I am very good in helping you widen your range up and down. Everyone is different like finger prints. If you don't have the high notes, you are not going to get them. 

 I teach total natural singing, easy but difficult for a lot to grasp but wow ones you get it, you will see by my elation that you got it. No specific time limit can be given, again it is up to the individual person
Try me, what do you have to lose, I have a lot of patience so no worries, I will repeat over and over again till you tell me you sound like a broken CD.
I am waiting (in)patiently to hear from you out there . 

Complements from overseas teacher, Argentina

 Message:
Eu adorei tudo o que disse, seu método de ensino, seu repertório e finalmente, seu respeito e cuidado com o aparelho fonatório!PARABÉNS! Muito obrigada pela confiança e pelo seu carinho comigo!! Bom trabalho em grande quantidade éo que lhe desejo para 2018. Felicidades!!!!!!! 


translatiom

 
I loved everything I said, its teaching method, its repertoire and finally, its respect and care with the phonatory device! CONGRATULATIONS! Thank you so much for your trust and for your affection for me !! Good work in great quantity is what I wish for 2018. Congratulations !!!!!!! 


Burned out Voices

 

What does a burned out voice really mean? Burned out is a term used to describe a voice that has been mistreated. It can be caused by singing songs not ideal for your type of voice, and yet I believe one should be able to sing everything. Listen to Jonas Kaufmann, he sings it all with his voice, something I have come to admire. I read that he had trouble finding a really good vocal teacher....

Therefore, I have decided to accept students with vocal problems as well as burned out voices, as long as the student realizes that it will take a more dedicated and gradual approach with the understanding that the voice might not recover. The good news is that I am a patient and hard working vocal teacher and will work to help you overcome your obstacles. In the beginning, I might refrain from having you sing. Rather, I would have you listening and learning to vocal composers such a, Panofca, Lamperti, and then Vaccai. A voice can only be rebuild note-for-note.

I am often curious as to how many young singers have vocal problems. Please don't wait too long - especially if you are male. The male voice matures slower than the female voice. Take a look at my website, and use the Contact Me area to request a vocal assessment. If your voice is damaged, I recommend two to three lessons in the beginning. Otherwise, weekly is the average schedule.

Please do not hesitate to call me to set up a schedule!

Singers of today versus Singers of earlier years

 

ew students come to me and talk about their chest voice. I have to explain that what they are singing with is the regular middle voice. chest voice is when a woman sings low and almost like a man. It should or must only be used for certain roles. This fabulous singer uses it to much but personally, I love it.
Maria Callas also used it yet singers of today do not sing like this anymore. the new singers sing with a mouth so open it looks to me like they are doing facial acrobatics.
Enjoy, especially my students, listen to it, these singers knew how to sing, yes I believe it sincerely. Teachers of today will disagree with me, so let them. I refuse to let my students to sing and look as if they are working their you know what off
Look for this article on my home page and listen amazing in there..

I wrote about this before, still no students, why? I am old but, how many more years will I be able to help young students and share very gladly my way of teaching.
I am a fantastic teacher, belong to some of the smart ones and come to me and begin a fantastic Vocal journey