Singing lessons. It’s something every singer considers, whether they decide to act upon it or not.
For me, I decided to act upon it. I’d never been a particularly strong singer, preferring to sing ballads and slow songs. I’ve performed in amateur musical productions since I was 5 years old and had a love of singing ingrained right from the beginning. I would sing all the time, learning and repeating songs for the various productions I was performing in – I’m sure I drove my family mad with it!
But, as I got older, I knew I was missing something. I was okay singing the slow, sweet, high pitched songs and towards my late teens, did indeed sing solos and duets that fell into this category. But, even so, I was always passed over for the stronger numbers that required more vocal power, simply because my voice wasn’t up to it. I always wanted to sing a “big song”, and knew I could carry it off, but didn’t know how to do so without tiring my voice out really fast.
Pushing the volume just made my voice so much worse afterwards, and I couldn’t carry off the slow songs either because my voice was so tired. I honestly didn’t think I was cut out to sing these songs so I just stopped singing them altogether.
Then, a few years later, I had one lesson with Your Voice Studio’s Tom Bathgate, and from then my voice and singing changed forever. Tom explained to me that I was singing with a “light chest voice” which simply means the bottom part of my voice wasn’t as strong as it should be. This was like switching a light bulb on in my brain – THIS was why my voice tired out so easily when I tried to sing loud and with power!
Once we’d started with the exercises to make my chest voice stronger, I took to it like a duck to water and practiced every day. I wanted to sing those big power ballads and be able to really pull them off! Even better, this did not detract from the slow songs I liked to sing, but enhanced the sound even more. This was a win-win situation, and I was sold on the technique almost immediately.
About six months after I started lessons with Tom, I auditioned for and got into the Edinburgh-based amateur dramatic group The Bohemian Lyrical Opera Company and was lucky enough to secure a solo spot in their summer Fringe Concert of 2012. To my delight, it wasn’t a sweet slow song, but one that required a fair amount of vocal power and even better than that, I was able to pull it off! Happy days!
Three years on, my voice has just developed so much, and I am so completely sold on the method taught through the Institute for Vocal Advancement that I am now a Certified Instructor myself. I have extended the range in the bottom of my voice as well as the top, and those big songs are well within my capabilities now.
If you are considering taking lessons, then I recommend you do so. You aren’t going to lose anything by having a lesson with one of us, you will gain more and lose nothing! So get in touch by email, on our Facebook page, or by Google + and Twitter!