Singing Lessons Brighton - East Sussex
Singing lessons are tailor made to suit the individual. One size doesn’t fit all. Exercises are prescriptive based on: your current vocal condition, the kind of repertoire you want to sing and your preferred learning style.
I use clear language based on anatomy & physiology and avoid the use of foggy terminology like 'sing from the diaphragm' or 'open the throat more'. Contrary to popular belief breath control in singing is mainly a laryngeal function, not the function of your lungs, diaphragm or abdominal muscles. Yes, you sing from your throat NOT your diaphragm and yes you should feel your voice in your throat because that is where the sound is made. The speed with which is air is exhaled in singing does partially come from the diaphragm, but it is the abdominals and lats that control this. Head voice and chest voice are also misleading terms. In reality the meaning attached to these terms has little to do with the voice resonating in the head or chest but everything to do with the mechanical function of the thickening and thinning of the vocal folds. Also, 'mixing' (high loud singing) is not a mix of head and chest resonance. It is the emotional sound that is produced when the vocal folds are holding back a lot of air with great stability when singing around B4 for women and F4 in men.
Do I need any previous experience to have lessons?
Absolutely not! Closet singers welcome along with professionals alike. No experience or loads of experience, it doesn't matter.
I am very nervous, what will a lesson entail?
I will never force you to do anything that you can't do. Lessons normally begin with a visualization exercise or a breathing exercise to focus the mind. I then get you to sing an easy scale or part of a song so that I can hear where you voice is at that day. I will then walk you through some prescriptive exercises designed to get you working your voice and mind. We will then choose a song to sing applying the techniques we've learned.
Am I too old to have singing lessons?
No way! If you can speak, you can sing. Singing can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone at any age and should be for your all round physical and mental health.
I really don’t like the sound of my voice, will lessons make me sound better?
By working with your singing voice you will learn to accept the individual tones that you produce. The more you tune into it the more your perception of it will change, for the better. It is normal to dislike the sound of your own voice at first but you must remember that we hear our voices through the filter of our own conditioning and what sounds strange to us is usually very normal to a person on the outside. After a bit of vocal training your perception will change about what you hear along with the quality of the sound you are producing.
I am a confident singer and performer but sometimes I find it difficult to make a connection to the song/audience. Will singing lessons with you help that?
Yes. If you have become so used to performing while thinking about your technique you may have become sterile which stops you connecting fully to your emotions. An audience would much rather see an authentic performance with a few ‘mistakes’ than a ‘note perfect’ performer with no emotional connection.
How often should I have lessons?
As with learning anything new, once a week for 6 weeks will help you change old habits quickly, then you can trail it off as your time and budget allows. Since this is about changing habits, it’s good to immerse yourself in it for a while until you fluctuate between conscious competence (“I can do but I have to think about it”) and unconscious competence (“I can do it and I don’t have to think about it").
Does having a break in my voice mean that I am doing it wrong?
No! There are certain ways to override or disguise the break and you will learn them with me. Breaking, is either a choice, a habit, lack of physical support or lack of emotional connection with the song. If you want to avoid breaking, I can show you how.
How long will it take before I start to see an improvement?
You will start accessing the vocal freedom that you are looking for within the first session. Usually it depends how committed you are to changing old habits as to how quickly you will be able to hear a solid difference in your voice. The trick is to be patient and not desperate.
Is there value in recording the lessons?
Absolutely. I encourage it. On second listening you will get so much more out of the lesson as you will hear things that you missed. If you don't want to record it on your phone I can record it on my SD card and email it to you after the lesson has finished.
Do I have to bring my own songs or will you choose songs for me?
This is totally up to you. I like the more advanced students to bring their own material, however, if you have come because you want to expand your repertoire then certainly feel free to leave song choices up to me. For beginners, it is useful to have in mind one or two songs that you would like to sing that I can help you with in first the lessons. Feel free to bring your own backing tracks on CD or MP3 player or sheet music although I do have access to most backing tracks here via Spotify and YouTube.
If I have singing lessons with you what positive changes can I expect to occur?
Not all singing lessons are the same and it is important to find the right singing teacher for you. My advice is to look for someone who has had their own vocal challenges and overcome them, NOT for someone who was born with natural talent. Natural talent is amazing but a person who was ‘born with it’ won’t necessarily be as good at teaching, problem solving, diagnosing and prescribing exercises as someone who has had to work very hard at their vocal development and can empathise with your challenges. Invest wisely in a singing teacher who is committed to TEACHING not their own solo career. Also please be wary of trademarked methods as in my experience these are often expensive, elitist and limited to what they can teach you.
Out of all the singing teachers in Brighton, why have singing lessons with me?
Can you run workshops for a group of people? There are a few of us that would like to have some fun with singing.
Yes. Singing workshops can be part of a team building day or just for fun! Time wise they can be whatever you choose, they are tailor made to your needs, from one hour to a full day. My hourly rate is the same whether it’s private lessons or group workshops, I simply include a fee for traveling time and petrol. Group workshops are extremely fun and are designed to open you up creatively, boost your confidence and raise the roof with our collective voices.