Tag Archive: Voice Lessons


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.

3 Studio Techniques to Get Better Vocal Performances from Any Singer
by Sally
Originally Published by SONICSCOOP

Singer: “Let’s do 1 more take, please.”

Producer: “Ok, I’m running out of tracks here. TAKE 54!”

Those are actual words spoken to a vocal student of mine by a producer in a recording session. It was not actually the 54th time recording the song; it was a sarcastic outburst from a frustrated musician.

The most charitable reading of the producer’s remarks is that he was failing at being playful or funny, rather than succeeding at being cruel. But regardless of his intent, his comments brought the absolute end of any productivity in the studio that day.

It was also the end of my student’s relationship with the producer—and mine. Never again will I subject a voice student to such carelessness or cruelty. I had told the producer before we set up the session date that my student was very inexperienced and needed support and encouragement. How could I send another student back to him?

Even with an experienced singer, a producer’s job includes giving support and encouragement when it is required. When you approach a vocal session with encouragement and support, a singer will perform with so much more confidence. The results of the recording session will be much higher quality and may even include that magical spark that makes a recording into a real work of art.

There are many small ways a producer or engineer can inadvertently yet deeply undermine a singer’s ability to perform in the studio.

Singer: “I am so nervous!”

Producer: “Well don’t be.”

This too is not the right thing to say! The singer already knows it isn’t helpful to be nervous and is thinking, “Yeah sure, but how?”

Stage fright and nerves can be the death of a singer’s spontaneity, creativity. Nervousness grips at a singer’s instrument—the body—and can quite literally strangle the voice and stop it from vibrating fully.

So let’s take a look at some specific practical techniques a producer can use to help a singer through a recording session.

1) Mindful Breathing

Fortunately breathing—specifically, mindful breathing—can keep singers in the present moment, keep them in the music, and keep them from freaking out about the end result.

It has been repeatedly a proven that mindful breathing lowers the heart rate and blood pressure while increasing brain function.

To give your your singer a nearly instant mental and physical “reset”, guide him or her through this simple mindful breathing exercise that can be taught in a moment, with benefits that will show after just 3 repetitions.

-Inhale by opening down into the body to the count of 4

-Suspend the breath by suspending the open body to the count of 5

-Actively blow the breath out to the count of 6

-Repeat a minimum of 3 times

Pause and try it right now for yourself and see how much it changes your perspective and calms your own nervous energy. Inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of fine and exhale slowly and firmly for a count of 6.

I’ve seen this very simple bit of mindful breathing bring a singer back off the ledge. For more on calming stage fright take a look at singlikeyouspeak.com/stomp-out-stage-fright and encourage the new and inexperienced singers you work with to take a look at these techniques for themselves in advance of their first sessions with you.

2) Help the Singer to “Sing to Someone They Know”

A singer who isn’t really in the song, who is just phoning it in, instead of really getting down and dirty with the song, is a singer who isn’t communicating. And if music is about anything, isn’t is about communicating an authentic emotion or perspective to an end listener?

“Sing it like you’re talking!” is a popular saying among producers for good reason. Unfortunately, unless they are students of a course like my Sing Like You Speak™ series, they are once again thinking “Ok, but how?!”

Here are 2 simple instructions to get a singer communicating through the song, and singing like they are talking to their BFF.

Ask the singer to decide who she or he is talking to and what is his or her relationship to that person. If the person they choose does not bring out the best for the song, ask the singer to use someone else just for giggles and listen to how their tone of voice changes.

Ask the singer to “say” the lyrics very clearly, and with meaning. This does not mean over enunciating by working the jaw too much. It means focusing on getting the simple, clear meaning of the words across.

Ask the singer “What makes you begin singing this song? What happened the moment before singing this song that you are responding to?” This helps them get into the “story” behind the song and focus on what the performs really means.

3) Help the Singer Catch their Breath

When a singer is running out of breath way too fast, it’s usually due to nerves that interfere with getting a deep inhale. I have 2 very simple exercises to unlock a singer’s breathing.

Pant like a dog. This forces the singers breath down into the abs that are meant to propel breath and sound through the body.

Be Santa! Say, “ho, ho, ho!” imitating a good belly laugh.

Even better yet, real laughter will always do the trick. Just be sure not to make a joke at the singers’ expense or you too could find yourself with one less vocal client coming back for deeply productive and supportive sessions with you.

Summing it Up

Sally Morgan teaches singers to unlock their talents and find their true voice at SingLikeYouSpeak.com

The techniques I have shared here have served my students and me very well over many years.

They are simple, practical, and everyone can use them. As an empathetic producer, you can use these tools to establish connection with a singer, and help them connect with the end listener.

Help them learn techniques like these, and you will be the hero of every vocal session that comes through your doors!

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

Sally@SallyMorganVoice.com

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


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.

Sally@SallyMorganVoice.com

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 !


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 sounds like a lot to do but it can be achieved 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!

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


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.

Find Your Signature Sound
by Sally

I love Broadway musicals and I love singer-songwriters and their creativity and I love pop music. But frankly I’m getting a bit bored by it all. Why?

Each genre has a vocal “sound” that has become the ideal and it seems that almost everyone sounds the same! What happened to unique voices? What happened to individuals sounding unique – sounding like themselves? Isn’t that what artistry is all about?

You can probably hear my frustration jumping off the page! I train singers. I train them to use their natural instrument as it was meant to be used and get out of the way. I train singers to find their unique, signature sound. Why be a bad imitation of someone else when your natural sound is so compelling?

You may be thinking that your voice isn’t all that compelling – unless you do something extraordinary when you are singing. That just ain’t so.

What is most interesting to an audience is simply – you. What makes your voice unique and how your voice sounds naturally.

The majority of the training I do with singers is to help them get out of the way so their natural voice can sound.

Here are some singing tips that help to promote your signature sound…

*Use your inhale to open your body, your instrument
*Open all the way to the pubic bone to engage the powerful low abs and back muscles
*Let those powerful muscles do their job without interference
*RELEASE your breath and sound as you sing
*Observe – do not judge – observe your voice and how it sound
*Observe – do not judge – observe how your abs are working
*Let it work without pushing or straining

Voice work is always best done with a great teacher because it’s counterintuitive. What you think should be right 99.9% of the time actually adds tension that strangles your signature sound.

SING OUT WITH COURAGE AND CONVICTION!!!

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.

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

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!

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