I was contacted this year by American Idol to submit contestants to them for their upcoming show. It was a wonderful opportunity for some of the people who studied with me to be able to get in front of the Producer of the show and not have to wait in that long line all day. I was also recently contact by Fox about a new show that is airing in December. They are looking for seasoned experience singers/artists/performers for a brand new show with a different concept. The talent they are looking for should be “ready to make it now!” (could even already have a record deal). It’s going to be a great opportunity for exposure on national television. If you have studied with me, and you feel that you are now in this category – please contact me through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. no phone calls please. If you are not ready for something like this, and you want to be – get your singing lessons and artists development going – and get ready!
Last night I was working with such a variety of students in different stages of development and aspirations. But it occured to me that each of these students had a need to have music as a part of their lives. So many people wish they could play or sing, but they never pursue it. I don’t think it matters what your dreams are with music; but I think if you have the desire, you should explore what it can add to your life. Music is a healer, a companion, a lifelong friend and great way to spend some of your time. Music is a spiritual feeling that brings great satisfaction, peace and joy. Music has been a wonderful comforter to me in my life. Give yourself the gift of a little time expressing yourself through music whether that is playing an instrument, singing or writing songs. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
After having said yesterday that you should rest your voice when you’re sick. Well, let me say that when you are well, the best thing you can do is sing regularly to keep your vocal cords fit and active. Of course, it’s important to sing properly with good breathing and support for your voice. If you’re never learned how to breathe properly, you would do well to take a few lessons just to learn the right method. Four lessons in support and breathing properly can do wonders for your voice. It’s totally worth the investment! If you’re singing, and your voice gets tired or you start to cough and your throat begins to hurt – stop singing and rest your voice. It’s a sign that you’re either doing something wrong or singing too much. If you sing correctly, you can sing for many hours every day without harming your voice. If you love to sing or want to sing, it’s really comforting to know you’re doing it the right way to get the most out of your voice!
It’s the time of the year that colds and illness are going around. My best advice to taking care of your throat during a cold or illness is to NOT sing. Rest your voice with your cold. It’s a good idea to steam your throat and to also gargle with hot salt water. You can steam your throat by boiling a pot of water on the stove. Put a towel over your head to contain the steam and lean over the pot. Inhale the steam with deep inhales so that the steam reaches your vocal cords. You can put a special oil, i.e. oregano, “breathe right”, etc. in the water for more benefits. Do this for 5-15 minutes. I have an aromatherapy inhaler for the throat, it works really well for steaming the throat. Also gargle with salt water: put a teaspoon of salt into a cup of hot water (hot, but not scalding). Gargle deep down into your throat and then spit it out. Do this 3x a day. These two things will help take the swelling out of your vocal cords. Avoid coughing if at all possible with medication. Coughing is very tough on the vocal cords. So take your cough medicine to protect your voice day and night. Here’s hoping you’re all doing well and fine and will make it through the season without a cold. But if you get sick, please take care of your voice.
I enjoy teaching all ages. My youngest has been 4 years old, and my oldest 65 years old. Each age and person has their own story and reason for wanting to sing or learn to write or play an instrument. I have had the pleasure of working with some young students and watch them go through elementary, middle and high school. Participating in their creativity and participating in their musical growth through the years is very fulfilling. I just had three of my young people graduate from high school and take off into the world recently. Two of them have gone off to colleges to further their education: one in musical theatre and the other music therapy. The other one went straight to New York to go for Broadway. It’s always exciting to watch talent grow up and go out into the world. It’s a privilege to develop talent on every level and for every purpose!
It is so important to take care of your vocal cords. If you have a cold or the flu, etc., please rest your voice if at all possible. Whispering is just as bad as talking and singing. Gargling with warm salt water is a great “at home” remedy for helping those swollen vocal cords. If you have a cough, please take cough medicine to help stop the cough. Coughing is very difficult on the vocal cords, and you can end up with serious laryngitus or even damaged your vocal cords. Inhaling steam is another way to help the irritated vocal cords. You can put a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil…..then place a towel over your head and stand over the steam and inhale deeply. Taking a vocal rest is the best cure for laryngitus. Some people find it very difficult not to talk. It can, however, be a very spiritual time. It can be a time to be more observant and a better listener. Take care of your instrument, and it will bring you great joy.
The journey of music has magic within itself. I personally feel the closest to God when I am singing. It really doesn’t matter if it is in front thousands of people or alone with God. I have absolutely no regrets about the amount of time and money I have spent developing my voice/musicianship/songwriting. If you want to sing, singing your very best will bring you the greatest joy. I believe every person has a voice, and I love helping someone find that voice and developing it to its fullest. Singing is a very personal and spiritual experience. Pure Joy!
Think of yourself as a “vocal athlete”. You will be a better singer/performer is you are well rested, well nourished and in good physical condition. Sleep, diet and exercise are very important. You need “all” of yourself to be a top performer! More on this subject to come!
Having confidence in performance is so important. Confidence can be backed by knowledge and education so that when you sing you know that you are going to produce the sound you want for the song. If you are singing in a place of fear and not being sure that the notes you want will be produced, it is impossible to create magic in performance. Give yourself the gift of knowledge about your voice and learn the techniques you can count on in your performance!
I have been totally booked for some time now. However, I have a student who is moving out of the country which opens a new spot in my schedule. So, I’m excited to announce that I will be open to a new student. I look forward to hearing from someone who loves music and wants to develop their voice and/or develop their talent as a songwriter/musician/artist.