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Everyone wants to learn to sing but many people wonder whether singing is a skill you have to learn or one you’re born with.
I wanted to work with a singer who had never had any vocal training before.
The idea was to show just how much a singer could improve with the right vocal technique.
I worked with Jenna, a local actress and singer.
Jenna had just started singing a year ago when she started writing songs.
Also, Jenna had never had a voice lesson before and I had never heard her sing.
This was important in making sure that I wouldn’t have any bias in hearing her for the first time.
So, we had one 60-minute lesson to see how much Jenna would improve.
The results blew me away!
The first thing I did was assess Jenna’s voice type and range.
Knowing her voice type and range is really important in understanding what I could expect from Jenna’s voice.
During the assessment, I heard that Jenna was singing a bit breathy at the bottom of her voice.
This is known as singing with Light Chest.
In other words, the notes at the bottom of her voice were a bit light and breathy.
In order to correct this, I ask Jenna to count the numbers 1-4 aloud on a 5T scale.
This 5-Tone Count is a great way of getting Jenna more engaged with her chest voice.
This exercise works very quickly and soon Jenna is singing stronger on those bottom notes.
It’s a great improvement.
My next goal is to start taking the strength of Jenna’s chest voice up in to her head voice.
This means hitting high notes with power, rather than falsetto.
I decide to give her a bratty “Nae” (as in “Nasty”) exercise on an Octave and a half scale.
This bratty sound is fantastic at getting the vocal folds to close more on those high notes.
Also, the “Ae” vowel gives Jenna plenty of chest voice to hold on to for those high notes.
The Octave and a half bratty “Nae” works beautifully and gets Jenna hitting those high notes with a lot more power.
The only problem is the Jenna is starting to strain a little bit when she goes to those high notes.
So, I decide to give her an Octave and a Half “Nou” (as in “Nook”) to help unpress her vocal folds.
The Octave and a Half “Nou” works fantastically at getting Jenna to ease into those high notes without straining.
This is due to the “ou” vowel since it relaxes the larynx and unpresses the vocal folds.
Now with her voice warmed up, Jenna and I work on a song.
But the song that she chooses to sing is way too low for her.
So we move it up a few keys to let her voice shine a bit more.
With the song moved up into a better key, her voice sounds beautiful and strong.
However, since we moved up the key, Jenna has to sing a high note.
So we isolate that high notes on a scale and do it on a few exercises to train her voice for the song.
Once she’s gotten the high notes right on a scale, we go back to the song and she does it beautifully.
This was a great lesson for Jenna.
I was very grateful to work with Jenna and she was very happy to work with me.