Tag Archive: Sally Morgan’s Singing Tips


Sally_newsfeedSally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

What Is Singing? Seriously. What Do You Think?
by Sally

Singers all hold ideas in mind about what singing is and what it isn’t. I was leading a MythBusters for Singers workshop for the NY Singing Teachers Association, a workshop dedicated to examining those untrue thoughts we all have about singing, when the following exchange happened. It was the perfect teachable moment!

The singer had skipped a few measures of the song while singing the first 16 bars or so and I asked him to start again. This is the conversation that followed.

He was upset and said:
“Darn, I didn’t even start singing yet.”

Sally:
“Really? What were you doing then?”

Student:
“I was just telling a story.”

Sally:
“So what’s singing then?”

Student:
“Well… it’s certainly more than telling a story!”

Sally:
“Is it? Were you telling a story with music?”

Student:
“Yes I was.”

Sally:
“So what is singing then if it’s not telling a story through song?”

I could not have had a better set up to demystify one of the myths of singing. Myth: singing is something extraordinary – outside the norm of communication.

Truth: Singing is the most natural form of communication and the more real and natural and normal it is, the more engaging and amazing it is.

Minutes after this conversation with a redirect from me on how sing the song this man brought the audience to tears with his emotional honesty by simply telling a story through his song.

As he continued to sing the song, his simple honesty allowed him up to really wail and it was thrilling to hear! The audience told me they got goose bumps from his performance. The singer felt empowered.

It is amazing how simple, honest communication through song communicates volumes to your audience.

Is it time for you to examine what you think singing is? Let me know! I’ll help you change your mind about singing. With Sing Like You Speak™ singing is as simple and natural as talking to your best friend.

Click here for the best voice lessons on the web!


Sally_newsfeedSally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Your Body-Your Instrument-is Smarter Than Your Mind
by Sally

Your body is smarter than your mind. Your body is your singing instrument. So why does singing seem to be so difficult? Sing Like You Speak™ is here to teach you it ain’t necessarily so.

Breathing is completely natural. You are reading this, so your breathing is working – you are alive.

And yet when it comes to singing, we second-guess or even doubt the body’s natural ability. We actually override nature by overthinking the process and relying on the mind to ‘figure it out’ instead of trusting the natural process of breathing and phonation. We actually invite the mind to participate in a perfectly natural process.

Does this sound familiar?

You take an inhale and you immediately think, that isn’t enough air to get through the phrase! So you push and pull at the muscles of your abdomen to “help” your singing process.

But guess what? You run out of breath even faster!

That’s what happens when you take a subconscious process – breathing – and make it a conscious process.

The purpose of your inhale is to open the whole instrument. It is to open your resonators, release the jaw and larynx and open all the way down to the lower back and abdominal muscles, thus activating those powerful muscles that will naturally work to propel breath and sound easily through your open instrument.

When I was developing Sing Like You Speak™ my contemporary vocal technique, I could not ignore the fact that singing is natural. And if singing is natural and breathing is natural – what makes singing so difficult?

Makes singing difficult…

Voice teachers who tell you to manipulate and force the physical instrument
Trying to imitate most singers recorded after 1997 where the singer has been recorded (first was Roy Vedas Fragments of Life) and then a sound engineer has manipulated the voice for better pitch, tone quality, rhythm. You are not listening to a voice but to an electronically altered sound that cannot be imitated by the human instrument.
Myths or false thoughts about the effort involved in singing
Trusting the mind and not the body

Sing Like You Speak™ always uses the natural physiological process for simple, healthy signing. Your inhale is to open the instrument. Done right, releases the jaw, tongue and larynx, opens resonators and activates the very intelligent low abdominal and back muscles. That sound like a lot to do but it can be achieve with one thought.

When I have new voice students who has studied voice with another teacher in the past there’s always a conversation that goes something like this.

Student: That’s it? That’s all you do to inhale?

Sally: Absolutely! A simple opening inhale.

Student: But how do I get enough air to sing a long phrase or to sustain a pitch?

Sally: With a simple opening inhale. It seems you want to feel how much effort you are using to breathe.

Student: Of course. The effort tells me that I’ve gotten a good inhale.

Sally: Aren’t you taking lessons to learn how your singing can be effortless?

Student: Well, I didn’t really believe that it could be easy. My last teacher taught me to push out on the inhale and pull in like crazy to exhale.

Sally: Yes, that’s typical old-school teaching. Let’s experiment with a simple, opening inhale.

First step is a simple, opening inhale…

Align your instrument collarbones wide, head on top of the body
Release the jaw and tongue
Feel as though you are opening your instrument all the way to your bottom
Blow the breath out and simply observe how the abdominal and lower back muscles are working – just observe to not interfere.
Use the above breathing process for our experiment proving how brilliant the body can be. No pushing or pulling of belly muscle allowed!

Experiment 1

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale saying an FFFFFF
Observe what muscles are working

Experiment 2

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale saying a VVVVV (be a motorcycle)
Observe what muscles are working

Experiment 3

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale saying a ZZZZZ (be a bumble bee)
Observe what muscles are working

Experiment 4

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale sighing an MMMMM
Observe what muscles are working
What did you observe?

If you were able to perform the simply opening inhale then with each experiment you felt a different set of muscles working. The physical intelligence of your instrument chose which muscles to use. Your physical intelligence simply knows what to do. Your mind cannot possibly figure out how to use different muscles for different consonant sounds.

I love the fact that my physical intelligence takes over the singing process when I allow it to. Taking the process out of my mind and putting it into the body where it belongs lets me focus on the music, on phrasing, on character, on enjoying the massive vibration of my sound and having a blast doing so!

Click here for the best voice lessons on the web!


Sally_newsfeedSally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Sally has helped her clients heal vocal damage, expand vocal range, land a Broadway show, record their own music and tour internationally without vocal fatigue or strain.

I love what I do every day! Last week I have the joy of teaching a Live Online Sing Like You Speak Class. We had singers from all over the world – Hong Kong, Rome, Geneva, and all around the US. Singing is the universal language. Such a thrill!

One of the questions asked during the class was, “How can you ensure you are correctly relaxed to sing, both doing exercises and singing?”

Good question. The answer I gave begins with an explanation of this instrument you sing with. It’s your body. It’s the only instrument that’s alive so it has emotions and moods and illness. In other words it’s constantly changing.

A thought such as, this song is hard, translates into muscular tension in the instrument – your body. So to begin with a relaxed instrument, begin with the thought that singing feels _________ (you fill in the blank with a positive word. Amazing, sensual, powerful, free, cool, awesome, divine, etc.)

Use a simple opening inhale that opens your instrument from your eyes down to your bottom. Opening your body opens the path that breath and sound must follow when you phonate and activates the powerful lower abdominal and lower back muscles that are the powerhouse under your voice.

If you associate your opening inhale with peace, life, freedom, etc then your brain is with the program and sending your body signals to be peaceful, lively, free.

When I’m teaching private students we begin every lesson with a meditative breathing exercise. Doing this guided meditation calms the body and mind and switches the focus from external chaos to interior calm. The voice is mastered inside the body and therefore that’s where you keep your focus.

Meditative breathing exercises are in CD form with my book, Sing Like You Speak™ and available for members of SingLikeYouSpeak.com along with other practice tracks.

Whatever you use to calm and open your instrument, it all begins with a thought.

“If I cannot fly, let me sing.” ~ Stephen Sondheim

Sally Morgan

Visit Sally at http://singlikeyouspeak.com and Facebook

Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Sally has helped her clients heal vocal damage, expand vocal range, land a Broadway show, record their own music and tour internationally without vocal fatigue or strain.

I teach a group singing class, 32-Bar Audition class, at Steps on Broadway, the best dance school in New York City. The singers in the class are fairly inexperienced.

And yet, magic still happens.

A young woman in class sang Sondheim’s Loving You. The first time through the song it wasn’t all the much fun to listen to. My instruction to her was to sing the song again saying the words simply and clearly. We did the song again and I got goose bumps. The rest of the class was on the verge of tears. Magic.

That’s the beauty of honest communication and that’s why I teach Sing Like You Speak. It is designed to set your voice free to communicate intimately with your audience. There are many layers to strip away before you get to the simple, raw communication that grabs people’s attention – like a vise grip.

Once the layers are stripped away, the raw energy of a great performer is allowed to reach the audience. The audience gets goose bumps and it feels SO GOOD!

Let’s do the Singer Striptease.

Strip away those thoughts about what singing is and how you do it.
Say the lyrics out loud with meaning. Observe how natural and easy it is to speak the lyrics. Do your best to maintain the simplicity of speech when you add the music.

Strip away the idea that your inhale has to be enormous and effortful.
Replace that destructive thought with the fact that the purpose of the inhale is opening your instrument from the tip of your nose to your bottom.

Strip away how you ‘think’ the song ‘should’ sound.
Please don’t imitate how someone else has done the song. The world already has that version of the song. Make it your own! Saying the lyrics clearly and completely is guaranteed to bring a rich life and meaning to the song.

Strip away any pushing, shoving, struggling when you sing.
Instead of forcing the notes out of your body, open on your inhale and release the sound. Your strength as a singer rests is keeping your body open so the sound can move through unobstructed.

Speak your truth simply and clearly. Strip away all else and you will have a fabulous singing experience!

Enjoy!

breathe,
Sally Morgan

Contact Sally Morgan


Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Sally has helped her clients heal vocal damage, expand vocal range, land a Broadway show, record their own music and tour internationally without vocal fatigue or strain.

Singing Is Scary!

Singing Is Scary!

Recently 2 private singing students, within 2 days of each other, when struggling to sing, said, “Wait a second, I know what to do!”

Each made a mental adjustment after which their singing sounded amazing! When I asked what they did, both students used the exact same words. “I just remembered that it’s easy.”

That’s right! This proves an essential key to rock solid singing: singing responds to your thoughts about singing. Test it out right now.

Without singing at all, think, “Oh no! Here comes the high note!” and observe what your instrument, your body does in response. Bet there’s some pretty tight muscular action happening. Are you reaching up for the note? Are you already feeling embarrassed about messing up, which makes you pull back from making the sound?

Think, “This song is so hard.” Then observe what how your muscles react to that thought. That reaction in your body – your instrument – makes the song hard to sing!

Hold in mind that your family thought you should not sing! How’s that working for you? Not so much, right?

The mind has influence over the body. We embody our thoughts. So change your mind about singing and watch what happens.

Think, “Open my instrument; release the breath and sound.” Observe how your body responds to that thought.

Sing a phrase as you think, “Wow! This is fun!” Observe how does that feels. How different does your voice sound? Is your singing freer?

Singing Is Flow!

Singing Is Flow!

My bet is, yes!

Every day as I’m teaching singers, I see this science proven: thoughts produce a reaction in the body that either gets in the way of good singing or opens you up for good singing.

Singing Tip: Observe your thoughts about singing and then observe how those thoughts effect how you use your body – your instrument – to sing.

Then change your mind – about your singing!

Send me an email Sally@SallyMorganVoice.com and let me know what you learn!

Contact Sally Morgan


Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Sally has helped her clients heal vocal damage, expand vocal range, land a Broadway show, record their own music and tour internationally without vocal fatigue or strain.

“If I train my voice, will I sound trained?” I am asked this question often by singer-songwriters.

Most singers’ idea of a trained voice is sounding like an opera singer – an affected, ‘covered’ sound. I can understand singers not wanting that sound – I certainly don’t!

Sing Like You Speak training grew out of my frustration with classical training. A great singer needs training, must learn all about their intricate instrument, but training that frees your natural sound – training that helps you respond to the music with a healthy and powerful voice.

This video singing tip illustrates the difference between classical and contemporary training. Enjoy!

– See more at: http://singlikeyouspeak.com/singing-tip-vocal-training-you-need-without-sounding-trained/#sthash.BAIUAxQ4.dpuf

breathe, Sally

Contact Sally Morgan


Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Sally has helped her clients heal vocal damage, expand vocal range, land a Broadway show, record their own music and tour internationally without vocal fatigue or strain.

Some of my voice students have not yet developed a vibrato. To convince these singers that ‘chasing down a vibrato’ or trying to ‘make it happen’ will never work, is the first step.

Vibrato is natural – when the voice is free to vibrate. Freeing the voice is what voice lessons ought to be all about. They certainly are when you study Sing Like You Speak.

Vibrato is a slight variation in pitch, a shimmer of overtone. You’ve heard forced vibrato also. It’s a very quick, tense with a slight variation of pitch. There’s also the warble vibrato – a slow and wide variation in pitch. Neither of these vibratos is natural. And neither will make a song sound better.

To develop a vibrato from straight tone – no vibrato – or from a ‘manufactured’ vibrato, the singer must free the voice to do its’ natural vibrating thing. As a singer develops the freedom required vibrato magic can happen.

I have a few students who are new to singing and have not yet developed a vibrato. As the voice becomes more free a slight shimmer begins to happen as a note is sustained. One student calls this ‘vibrato pixie dust’. There’s a sweetness to the sound as it begins to release.

To find your vibrato pixie dust, begin with an opening inhale to open your vocal instrument. It’s NOT about getting breath into your lungs, it’s about opening the airways and engaging the right muscles. As you sing, release the sound without any control or manipulation. No pushing, shoving or struggling allowed. Remain open and RELEASE your voice to the freedom of your natural instrument. You will begin to hear your vibrato pixie dust.

Of course, there is much more to learn about freeing your singing voice. I’m here to help sprinkle the pixie dust. I love what I do every day! http://SingLikeYouSpeak.com

– See more at: http://singlikeyouspeak.com/vibrato-pixie-dust/#sthash.wxvFytKM.dpuf

Contact Sally Morgan


Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Sally has helped her clients heal vocal damage, expand vocal range, land a Broadway show, record their own music and tour internationally without vocal fatigue or strain.

Sing Like You Speak technique uses the natural ease and power of the speaking voice to ‘teach’ a singer how to sing just as easily and naturally. This is because most of us have some very strange habits around our singing. So ask yourself, “What if I talked like I sing?”

As you will see in this video, talking like you sing can have some pretty funky results! Enjoy.

– See more at: http://singlikeyouspeak.com/singing-tip-what-if-you-talked-like-you-sing/#sthash.l4AAyMf5.dpuf

Contact Sally Morgan


Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Sally has helped her clients heal vocal damage, expand vocal range, land a Broadway show, record their own music and tour internationally without vocal fatigue or strain.

Are you a singer who struggles and stains for high notes?

Are you a singer-songwriter who dumbs down your writing because you’re not comfortable singing in a higher range?

You must be longing to belt out the high notes easily and powerfully and to watch the crowd go wild.

I understand. It really does feel amazing to let loose with a high note that impresses and makes you feel powerful.

The truth about high notes is that There’s No Such Thing as High Notes. That’s a pretty radical statement for a vocal trainer who wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique with 30+ years teaching experience. But it’s absolutely true.

There are no high notes. There are no low notes. There’s no mid-range notes. There are just different ways of expressing what you want to say.

Of course when you look at a ‘high note’ written on the musical staff, it looks higher. It vibrates higher in your body, higher in your head. Thus we get the term ‘head voice.’

But ‘high’ is only a label that helps us identify the quality or pitch of the sound.

‘High’ is just a label and nothing more.

The problem is that the label of ‘high’ has absolutely nothing do to with how to produce a great ‘high note.’ Most singers think that because it’s a ‘high’ note they have to come up higher in the body to produce that note.

You get tense when you know the high note is coming up. And physical tension in the body – your instrument – will never help you sing well.

So your first step in to singing easy high notes is to let go of the idea that they are high. Let go of the concept that they are difficult or different from other notes.

Instead, think of those notes as a different expression. When you are speaking and you get all excited, your voice pitches higher. And your speaking voice gets higher without any extra tension in your body because it’s a very natural thing to do.

It’s very natural when you are singing also – if you allow it to be so.

Singing ‘I love you’ in a low range is a different expression of love than singing ‘I love you’ in a high range. That is why the composer writes that specific word on that specific pitch – because s/he is looking to express a certain emotion.

From now on when you know the high note is coming, open up your instrument and inflect to that pitch and express what you need to say.

Contact Sally Morgan


Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Sally has helped her clients heal vocal damage, expand vocal range, land a Broadway show, record their own music and tour internationally without vocal fatigue or strain.

Time to smile at a success story in the music biz where success is scarce and hard-won.

Women in Music is a terrific networking/support group that I have been privileged to be a member of for about a year now. I’ve been building relationships in this organization for that year. To meet more of these wonderful women I am always jumping in to help out where and when it’s needed and I also gave a Sing Like You Speak Master Class for the group.

At a recent WIM event I met two lovely young ladies who just started Gold Standard Collective, a management firm. These ladies had terrific energy and a real passion for good music. Two of my favorite qualities in people.

In the follow up emails after the event, we got to know each other better: I asked how I might help them grow their business. And they are actually looking for talent! She wanted to know if I had any students that were great performers. It just so happens…

I’ve been teaching a very talented young man for about 4 yrs now. Raw talent is what he had when we first met. And talent is a necessary component of any successful artist. But it takes more – a lot more.

Edmerald and I worked to find the sweet spot for his voice, to release the best part of his voice that was “trapped

Emerald Gan

Emerald Gan

inside” of him just bursting to get out. We got his phrasing, stage presence, connection with the audience, connection to the lyric and other aspects of professional singing to a high level.

At their request I sent a couple of Edmerald’s mp3’s to Gold Standard Collective. They love the tracks and met with him and love him as a person. They have a plan to market him here in the NY metropolitan area first and then begin to spread out regionally and then nationally. How cool is that?

Luck must be defined as, “being prepared when the opportunity opens up to you.” I had spent many years teaching and developing my vocal method, Sing Like You Speak when Edmerald came to me for lessons. I also had put in my time networking and making a good name for myself in the music biz.

Edmerald put in years of practice and study to polish his raw talent. He was open and ready to take it to the stage when opportunity knocked. He will continue to practice and study and grow as a performer, singer, musician as his career blossoms.

Nothing makes me happier than helping my students find the success they deserve. Well, maybe actually helping them develop their raw talent comes first, but only by a sliver.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Edmerald Gan. Click here to listen.

Contact Sally Morgan


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