Private Voice lessons
I base my method on the principles of “old school teaching”, i.e. Bel canto.
-Special attention is given to proper breath support
-Preparing for an audition and choosing the right repertoire , i.e. knowing what “Fach” your are.
Typical Vocal Problems.
Critical vocal issues that I have observed .
Singing with TOO much breath pressure: cause/ singing in many different
acoustical environments that create a subconscious desire to ‘hear’ the voice
instead of feel for proper sensations. This invites the singer to push the voice to
try and achieve a bigger sound. Collapsing of the rib cage or loss of proper
postural alignment can also contribute to this problem.
Registration problems: causes/ too much breath pressure resulting in the vocal
folds employing the thicker mass rather than the thin edges. This can cause the
singer to use too much chest register too high in the scale. (This problem is often
accompanied by a flat or retracted tongue posture.)
Forcing the jaw forward which creates a gag reflex at the tongue root: cause/
attempt to hear one’s own sound (a singer hears more inside when the jaw is
forward). This jaw issue can also result from forcing too much breath pressure in
a dry acoustical environment. A forward jaw position does not allow for a
healthy adduction of the vocal cords.
Shaking diaphragm on high sustained notes: causes: lack of focus in tone, going
for too much inner sound, singing the upper passaggio too wide open (voce
aperto) causing the larynx to rise, locking of the solar plexus (not allowing for a
smooth turning motion of the solar plexus).
Loss of higher overtones: causes/ pulling down on the facial posture which lowers
the soft palate or results in a flat or retracted tongue. Low soft palate can also
contribute to tuning problems and loss of upper range.
Low soft palate accompanied by a pushed and harsh sound: cause/ dropped facial
posture or too much push of breath pressure.
Thin tonal quality: cause/ singing without enough focus, forcing the singer to
push too much breath pressure or force the sensation of ring by tightening the
root of the tongue.
As one can see from reading the list above, most vocal problems are interconnected.
If the tongue is flat or retracted, then often the soft palate drops. However, it is critical for any serious singer to observe that ALL or
these vocal problems listed above are directly related to pushing too much breath pressure through the vocal folds.
· Low breath/Tall spine.
· High and wide soft palate/Low larynx.
· Laryngeal tilt : this should happen naturally when the breath flow steers the voice properly!
· Open back wall of the pharynx/ Tongue.
· Antagonistic pull between upper and lower abdominal muscles/
Solar Plexis gently turns as lower abdominal muscles slightly resist, coming in only toward the end of the phrase.
· Feeling overtones in the head (forehead) and lower body (chest) simultaneously.
· Vowels altering in the throat but keeping pure vowel sound with the tongue position!!
· Appogio (leaning of the breath) i.e. opening of the lower back.
· Sternum resists forward at the onset or attack/ Back muscles expand slightly down and out to hold back the breath pressure.
· Loose jaw/ Engaged soft palate.
· Open throat.