”My experience was absolutely incredible!
She helped me to really sing the emotion of the song as opposed to “just singing”.
Donna has shown me how to get to my goals!”
Toyin Dada – Award Winning Singer &TV Host of “African Gospel Vibes”
Question 1 - I have taken some workshops and group training but that really did not help much. Why?
Let me answer one of my most commonly asked questions with a question. Did you know that male vocal cords vibrate slower than female vocal cords? Well they do. There are many parts of your voice that are unique to only you and nobody else.
Being in a group with other voices will expose you to ideas and vocal exercises that are wrong for you. That can be harmful to the vocal cords and reinforce poor vocal habits.
Vocal scales are meant to change things about your voice and the way you use it, and work with muscles and things you do not know about. That needs specific exercises given to you by a qualified professional who can assess your voice and zero in on what you need.
Singing is meant to be a joy so stay away from anything that can stand in the way of that or slow down your progress.
Question 2 - What is a Singing Voice Specialist and how does that make me sing better?
You sing better because you will learn the must current leading edge tools, getting better results!
Being a Singing Voice Specialist means I have advanced training in addition to a Vocal Coach or Singing Teacher’s education. The UPMC – Life Changing Medicine Medical Facility, Department of Otolaryngology describes it this way: “The singing voice specialist is a singing teacher with special training equipping him or her to practice in a medical environment. Singing voice specialists may also evaluate singers for the healthy singing technique. The singing voice specialist must acquire knowledge of anatomy and physiology of the normal and disordered voice, a basic understanding of the principles of laryngology and medications, and fundamental knowledge of the principles and practices of speech-language pathology. This information is not part of the traditional training of singing teachers.”
We live in exciting times! What we know about the voice and how we approach any voice training program has changed drastically in recent years because of medical advancements we did not know, even as little as a few years ago. The older tried and true methods we once loved taught by teachers we respect and admire, have been found to often give less than ideal results. They are replaced with techniques designed by medical doctors. What could be better than that?
It is always hard for anyone to leave the past behind, especially if they hold great memories, and move on to newer better ways of doing things. If you are serious about giving your voice the best training possible this approach using both my Vocal Coach background and skills as a Singing Voice Specialist is for you.
Your voice is like a fingerprint. A fingerprint is different for each person. No two are exactly the same. I teach you how to bring out the best qualities in "your voice”. It is designed for your artistic growth, streamlining everything so you only do what works best for your specific voice qualities, never doing anything generic.
Better Techniques = Better Results = Better Sounding Voice
Question 3 - Aren't people who sing really gifted?
Really gifted? Well, that certainly must not be true.
Singing is what you get when you let your voice do what it is designed to do automatically and not manipulate it to do something that compromises that. There is no gifting for that ease and freedom, just a properly used voice and an understanding of how to get the best sound from your voice.
Only about 25% of your voice is the gifting you have been given. The other 75% is know-how. Know-how, in the end is what divides the singers who send chills down your spine from singers who do not. Anybody can acquire know-how!
The next time you wonder if you can, if you are too old, if you got off on the wrong foot and now you are too confused to correct things, or come up with any other reason not to follow your heart remember my words; “everybody can significantly improve their voice, gifted or not, with the right voice training.”
Question 4 - Why do I need vocal lessons?
Nobody, and I do mean “nobody” becomes a good singer without learning how to have a command over their voice. People cannot hear their own voice when they sing so they need a professional to direct them to do the right things to condition their voice and teach them how to do those things with precision. That is not something you can do on your own. It takes several years of voice study in all areas of voice, from classical to pop, to be able to teach voice. A little expertise goes a long way!
Your voice is part of you. It’s a living instrument! It is either growing/developing or deteriorating. If you love to sing you need lessons to keep growing.
As Keith Richard of The Rolling Stones once said……………
“You either pay for experience
or you pay for the experience”
MAKE PROGRESS: There are 3-Guidelines every singer and public speaker need to follow to make progress. Here they are.
1. WHAT’S HOT: Every voice has a golden nugget. Something that is unique and easier to access than other parts of their voice. Singers often have a good sense of what those are. On the other hand, some just like to sing and would not know their good qualities if they jumped up and bit them on the nose, but they are there.
Use the good juicy parts of your voice to help you understand how things happen automatically. Embrace the uncertainty of moving out of comfortable routines because that is where the growth happens. You cannot make progress if you want to do the same things over and over. Embracing uncertainty is where a singer goes from imitating sounds and ‘calling it in’ to finding their authentic voice and putting their personal signature on any song.
2. WHAT’S NOT: You can do scales until the cows come home, but if you only deal with the surface stuff, such as your pitch is off or you cannot hit high notes, you will never find the underlying culprit that holds back your entire voice and limits your progress.
Sure, precision is important. The more precise you use your voice, whether it is vocal scales, singing, or practicing your public speaking, the greater the benefits. But, if you only work on surface level problems and ignore the culprit, for every step you take forward, there will be something else that will take you backward.
Most singers have a Vocal Assessment / Diagnostic yearly to update their technique and correct any bad habits that may be forming. It is easier to stay on track than fall off and need to work to get back on. Never ignore the culprit!
3. SELF-EXPLORATION: Voice work is never about repetition of exercises or the length of time you practice. Voice work is about self-exploration, awareness, and discovery. If you only do repetitions or try to put in a specific amount of time for practice you are learning nothing meaningful and are likely doing nothing more than reinforcing the things you are doing the voice work to eliminate in the first place.
Voice work should never feel like a chore. If it is you are doing it wrong. Voice work is empowering, challenging and opens you to your inner-self. It is a meditation to some and a prayer to others. The higher your standards the more frustrating it may be when swimming in unfamiliar waters but always exhilarating and never disappoints. Best of all it is all about you. It is about you spending time with you as you break through barriers (technical and experiential) to bring yourself to a higher level. It is your intellectual properly and joy that nobody can ever take away from you.
So in short, work your strengths (what’s hot), get to the culprit (what’s not), and explore.
Call me today at 416-436-8063. Let's starting talking about your voice.
Let your musical journey begin!