Tag Archive: Singing

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.

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 Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak(TM) 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.

You can see and hear some of Sally’s clients on Broadway stages, Off-Broadway, in Musical Theater – Regional, on Major Label Recordings, the Conan O’Brian show, A Prairie Home Companion and in Federal Courts, the PA House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate.

Guess How Much I Spent on Voice Lessons
by Sally

My quest to find the solutions to my singing challenges began when I was a teenager. Mom and Dad got me voice lessons and I rarely took a break from studying for the next many years.

Then in 2005 long after I left my teens behind, I realized that I had spent over $100,000 on voice lessons over the years. And even after spending that much money studying with “top” voice teachers in NYC, I still did not have the answers to my singing needs.

#1 I knew my voice was still trapped inside my body. I could feel it. I knew it was there but I could not figure out how to let it go and the voice teachers I was relying on for help didn’t know how to set it free either.

#2 My singing was still unreliable and inconsistent. When I opened my mouth to sing I never knew what was going to come out. My stage fright became almost unbearable from this lack of consistency.

#3 I still feel disengaged from the audience. The only time I felt like I was really connecting with the audience was when I was joking around and talking to them. I wanted to connect with my audience through the music because that’s what real artists do.

$100,000+ later and these 3 major challenges still plagued my singing. Yikes!

I developed Sing Like You Speak™ to solve these issues for my students and myself. The Sing Like You Speak(TM) techniques continue to prove highly effective in solving most vocal challenges and provide answers to many other questions of technique for singers.

Let’s take a look at singing challenge #1 and how to begin setting your voice free. When I gave my Sing Like You Speak(TM) workshop at SXSW, many singers said a trapped voice was a frustrating problem for them too.

How about you? Have you ever felt that your voice was trapped inside your body? To me it felt like a lump in my throat that had traveled to my chest. When I tried to get the sound out it seemed to lock itself in there. My heart felt shut down too. How does it feel to you?

Now switch that around. How would it feel to set your singing voice free? Luxurious, fantastic, joyful! The question is HOW? How do you set your voice free?

Sing Like You Speak™ is all about answering that question.

Setting your voice free requires…

-A clear and open path through your instrument for breath and sound to flow
-The right techniques to open your instrument
-Awareness of any holding, pushing, straining
-The strength and willingness to stay open as you sing
-Consider that your instrument is from your bottom to the top of your head – your torso. Straighten your torso by opening along your spine like opening a book. Then…

1. Your inhale serves to open your instrument – it’s not about lots of breath.
2. Unhinge the jaw and feel as though you are opening all the way to your bottom.
3. Exhale saying an FFFF, letting the breath float up into your nasal passages and sinus cavities – your resonators.
4. Pay attention to the moment you switch from inhale to exhale. Do you feel any holding, pushing, straining?
5.If yes, then repeat the opening inhale and do your best to gently release the holding, pushing, straining from the process. Repeat.
6.Unhinge the jaw and feel as though you are opening all the way to your bottom. Then as you exhale saying an FFFF, think of keeping your heart space open. Feel your breath releasing.
7. Use the same process and speak the lyrics to your song.
8. Use the same process and sing a song being aware of releasing, constantly release the breath and sound, keep your heart space open.

Congratulations you have begun to set your voice free! Continue to practice the above process every day – several times a day. This isn’t a one-and-done deal. It requires daily practice.

Every moment you put into your practice will get you closer and closer to that luxurious feeling and amazing sound of vocal freedom!

Have fun. For answers to other singing challenges, visit https://SingLikeYouSpeak.com

P.S. I had a very interesting experience while writing this article. I took a break to sing for a bit and I noticed that my voice was ever freer than usual. Reading the article might work the same magic for you!

Sally teaches singing voice lessons in NYC and worldwide on ZOOM.


Online voice lessons http://SingLikeYouSpeak.com/onlinelessons

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.

Help! My Voice is Trapped and Can’t Get Out!
by Sally

s your voice locked in a room – somewhere deep inside of you? More than locked, it can feel like there are no doors or windows in this room and that your voice will never be allowed to break free. The voice is apparently inaccessible. But is it really locked?

And yet, you have to sing. Something else inside of you needs to sing to express yourself, to feel powerful and happy and free.

I often hear private students make statements like this…

“I can’t find my voice and I don’t even know how to start looking. I feel like it’s trapped in a room somewhere.”

How sad to feel that way. How wonderful though when you realize that you feel that way about your voice. Wonderful because if you can feel it, you can fix it.

You are not alone. I’m going to tell you about 2 of my private students who suffer from these same feelings.

First, is a student who is a fierce and confident dancer. She’s insanely good! She’s been on national TV many times and teaches dance all over the world. This woman is also a very good singer and songwriter.

So as her voice teacher I asked her to get into her dancer character to do the lesson to give her that same fierce confidence. Her reaction really surprised me. She became, for the first time in my association with her, shy and embarrassed.

What??? You dance as this fierce, confident character but don’t allow yourself to use that same star quality to sing? Curious. She has not claimed her power as a singer.

That’s how deeply personal singing is to the singer. It also illustrates the many beliefs about expressing yourself that you may not be aware of at all.

This is also why people love to listen to singing. Singing communicates the deepest emotions. Singing expresses Truth. And when your singing voice is free it’s the best feeling in the world!

Another private student tells me that he feels like his voice is trapped in a “room” deep inside. Somehow he has come to believe that he’s “not allowed” to access his brilliant natural voice.

Borrowing a concept from new thought leader Marianne Williamson, you may ask…

“Who am I to claim my power as a singer?”

That’s not the question.

The question is, “Who are you not to claim the power of your natural talent? Who are you to not develop and share this vocal gift?”

Diminishing yourself, diminishing your musical gift does not serve anyone. In fact, it robs you and all who love to listen to you of the pleasure.

How do you overcome the habit of keeping your voice trapped?

– Watch your thoughts about your voice. Your thoughts a powerful force that cause a response in your physical body – your instrument. (Read more…)

– Figure out where your voice is trapped. Breathe into that spot to open the door to freedom. (Read more…)

Get vocal training with a knowledgeable voice teacher.

– Create a character who is a fabulous, confident singer. See yourself as that character. Become that character to learn exactly what it feels like to be a confident singer.

– When you sing, check out how it feels to sing as your fierce, confident character.

– Practice, practice, practice!

I love what I do every day – empowering the voices of singers worldwide. When a student tells me that I have helped them set their voice free, that I gave them the key to unlock their voice, that’s the biggest thrill for me.

I remember what it felt like when my own voice was trapped inside and I did not know how to set it free. That’s why I developed Sing Like You Speak™. And it’s very gratifying to witness how the Sing Like You Speak™ technique and my teaching is setting voices free all over the world!

Join us on the road to vocal freedom!

For many more tips and much more practical vocal training, join the Sing Like You Speak™ Academy !

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