What makes a good performance?

By | May 5, 2016

I recently gave a presentation to the NHS on the subject of Performance Anxiety, as part of a wider day on Social Phobia. We discussed the physical responses to stress (irregular breathing, constriction etc) and simple solutions to deal with those triggers. But the part that caused the most debate was when I asked them to discuss what… Read More »

What is ‘Mix’ anyway?

By | May 2, 2016

‘How do I sing in the mix?’, ‘What is my mix?’, and ‘How do I find my mix?’ are fairly common questions I get asked by singers. But what exactly do they mean? I suppose the first thing to say is that every Voice Quality is a ‘mix’ – a combination of structures that contribute to the overall… Read More »

Stop reaching for high notes

By | April 24, 2016

Quite often I’ll see singers lifting their chin or even standing on tip toes as they approach the top of the range. Partly, I think this is because we describe them as ‘high’ notes and ‘high’ means ‘up’. In all string instruments, pitch is determined partly by the tautness of the vibrating string. Stretch an elastic band and… Read More »

Laryngeal Mechanisms – how the voice REALLY works

By | April 2, 2016

The most important first step for any singer is gaining control of the vocal fold vibration. Although resonance and articulation play vital roles in the overall voice quality, the sound is fundamentally produced at the level of the vocal folds. To REALLY understand what happens when we sing, we need to strip away emotion and aesthetics and think… Read More »

How can you place your voice?

By | March 18, 2016

All sound is vibration. In other words, waves moving through the air, like ripples on a pond. Singing is no different – when you sing, you disturb the air between yourself and the listener. That’s a scientific fact, and not one that many people – even singers! – would dispute. But when it comes to the movement of… Read More »

Stop singing, start explaining

By | March 10, 2016

A common problem I encounter when working with voice coaches is the difficulty they face when trying to demonstrate to their pupils. “It’s too low for my voice” “It’s too high for my voice” “I get tired singing in falsetto all the time” “The tone is just ‘wrong’” At a fundamental level, teaching by imitation is flawed, for… Read More »

The ideal Music Theatre technique

By | February 12, 2016

Acting through song. It’s one of those phrases that gets used a lot in Musical Theatre. But what does it actually mean? dictated by the text, not where you are in your range. In essence, the tone of your voice should represent an emotion to the audience, and this should be dictated by the text, not by where… Read More »

Stop hurting yourself

By | January 17, 2016

Clap your hands. Clap louder. Clap REALLY loud. What do you feel? You probably feel your hands stinging. The fingers and palms are packed with nerve endings, which is why we’re able to do so many various tasks with our hands, from stroking a baby’s cheek to pounding nails with a hammer. Imagine if your hands had no… Read More »