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I am originally from Chicago, Il, and lived for a few years in New York, NY, before relocating to Los Angeles, CA. I currently work as a vocal, performance, and life coach. I would like for you to know how I arrived here, my current beliefs about personal development, and what I have to provide you.
While I discovered that I could sing around the age of 12. I was not one of those singers who knew early on that I had talent. Throughout grade school, high school, and college, I always sang in choirs, but even though I was encouraged by many mentors, I began to develop many insecurities as I did not believe I truly had talent. Because of that, I found it difficult to stay motivated or find direction as to what I wanted to do in my life.
I had a choir director in high school, Jerome Ramsfield who continually pushed me, and had far more faith in my talent than I did. This is where I learned how valuable a mentor or coach can be.
When I left college in Chicago, I had no faith that I could pursue a career in entertainment so I took a job in the corporate world where I remained for many years. However the yearning for performing never left me. I decided to push myself out there and began singing at open mic nights at clubs. This was terrifying for me but I continued.
I began to join different bands; I took acting and dance classes and did whatever I could to develop whatever talent I might have. When things continually became more and more difficult for me, I decided I need additional help in many different areas. I began counseling, going to vocal coaches, and reading and studying any personal development book or program I could get my hands on.
While doing all of this and maintaining a corporate job, I finally found a vocal coach who could address and help me understand why I was continually getting hoarse after shows, and at times completely losing my voice. That coach was Seth Riggs, known as the coach to the stars. After years of working with him, he encouraged me to start coaching myself because he knew that what I had personally experienced and learned to overcome would be so valuable to others.
In 1988 I began my vocal coaching career and, taking all that I had learned from previous coaches, I developed my personal method, and eventually, an online program entitled, “Singing Made Simple”. At the same time, I also began personal, life and career coaching. I knew that with all my adventures and many different careers, that I had the ability to help guide others to their own success.
This has finally brought me to my current philosophy, teaching, coaching and personal development methods. I believe that everyone possesses unique and individual talents and ability that is simply waiting to be developed.
Method and Philosophy
A thought that I’ve expressed quite a bit over my career is that anyone can learn to sing. This has developed over years of my own singing and decades of coaching others. I feel that I have now developed such a unique approach that I virtually get results with each and every client.
Whether I’m working with someone in my studio or over the Internet, my intent is the same. At the end of the session that client must know that they now understand more about their voice and they have experienced definite improvement. This is the goal I strive for in each and every session, even if the client has been with me for years.
First, the client must understand that everyone, even established professionals, are nervous or apprehensive at the first session. I explain that the voice is our most personal form of expression and everyone has some degree of judgement of their own voice. This is completely normal and my job is to make the client comfortable and feel safe enough to truly learn and develop.
The first part of the session consists of my explanation of the physiology of the voice, or how we physically create sound. Once the client has a basic understanding of this, then the physical experience of it will make it real and usable for them. I will next begin with vocal exercises. These are all designed to give the client the physical feeling of how they are producing sound, with the goal of increasing range, power, tonal quality and confidence.
It is important that the client understands proper technique as to how to prevent any sort of vocal damage that can occur with improper technique. The very first exercise will tell me the client’s present habits as well as their potential. I then explain this so they have a clear understanding of the work ahead and what to expect. At the end of the exercises, every client experiences a new freedom in their voice and greater understanding.
The next step is to work on a song that the client has chosen. I never tell clients what song or style they should sing as they must work on songs that they love and the style of music that inspires them. This ensures they will truly work on that material. My job as the coach is to have the client be able to sing whatever they desire. At the end of the session I will give the client very specific areas to work on that we’ve discovered through the session. I record every session, either to CD or online, so they have practice material and can review everything that occurred in the session. I have found this to get proven results and have always said that if all these things do not occur in a session then the client doesn’t pay; ‘Guaranteed results with the first session‘.”
In this week’s video, I discuss the professional singers I have worked with and share why many famous singers don’t talk about vocal coaching. Related videos: Learning to Trust Yourself …
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