22. Are you a perfectionist? With Helen Woodley59:59Are you a “triple threat” — a performer who’s adept at singing, dancing, and acting?If you want to work in musical theater, revue shows, or cruise ship entertainment, you’ll often find producers expect their dancers to have some singing ability.Unfortunately, many performers who identify primarily as dancers may resist learning how to sing. Having held themselves to extremely high dance standards, many choose to believe they “can’t sing” when they don’t immediately sound like Beyonce Knowles.This week’s guest helps prevent that perfectionism from getting in the way of performing dreams. A professional singer who identifies as a dancer, Helen Woodley has helped many dancers become comfortable with their singing voices — even when they need to sing in a foreign language. Her experiences have showed her the dangers of “maladaptive perfectionism” and how it can lead to anxiety, depression, and avoidant behaviors that keep talented people from expanding their skillsets.Join us as Helen explains the challenges perfectionism creates for students and teachers. Discover strategies that encourage students to recognize the voice as another muscle that can be trained. And learn where those self-limiting beliefs about singing and performing may originally come from.In this episode, you’ll learn:How Helen’s early background as a dancer unexpectedly gave way to a singing career 7:43 Why modern musical theater is now requiring more dancers to know how to sing 9:26The unique challenges voice coaches face when working with dancers without a strong singing background 12:38Why students decide they “can’t sing” 15:19The difference between adaptive perfectionism and maladaptive perfectionism 17:48The tendency dancers have in developing maladaptive perfectionism 21:10How to encourage a dancer to develop their singing abilities 23:45How social media and reality shows have helped create limiting beliefs about singing and training 29:28How adult dancers need to look at singing and their ongoing singing education 34:15If singing should be part of a dancer’s early education 38:00 The Vocal Advancement Podcast interviews many talented performers and educators, each with their own unique perspective on music and teaching. Follow us and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss an episode! IVA offers plenty of great resources for singers and voice coaches, including a FREE singing teacher’s summit in November 2023 and a vocal warm-up app for IOS and Android phones that’s due in October 2023. Sign up for our mailing list and be notified when these resources come out! About the Institute for Vocal AdvancementInterested in becoming a better vocal coach? The Institute for Vocal Advancement (IVA) connects you with teachers who can provide you with more teaching tools for your classrooms. The IVA community and trainers teach from the empathic mindset that students of all ages benefit from, showing you how to improve your own teaching style.Check out our list of upcoming events and learn how our Teacher Training Programs can help your career. Use the code “iva20percent” to get 20% off your first year’s course membership fee!
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21. Did You Warm-Up Before You Sang? with Tessa Smith55:45Do you do vocal warm-ups before you sing?If you’re like a lot of us, you may gloss over this part of your singing process. Maybe you feel you don’t have enough time. Or maybe you think good warm-ups can’t be done without a piano.This week’s guest Tessa Smith knows how you feel. In fact, she spent much of her early life skipping her warm-ups and going straight to singing. But a chance meeting with session singer Kim Chandler showed Tessa that beneficial warm-ups could be done in five minutes, anywhere and anytime, with no special tools. Intrigued, Tessa began researching vocal warm-ups. What she found enabled her to embrace a new philosophy where warm-ups don’t have to be prescribed exercises but adaptable activities that performers change based on what their voices need.Join us as Tessa reveals why warm-ups are so important. We’ll also delve into the benefits offered by short and long warm-ups and the obstacles that keep musicians from warming up. Finally, we’ll explore how performers can check-in with themselves to discover what warm-ups or cool-downs will help them the most.In this episode, you’ll learn:How her early music teachers inspired Tessa to pursue a career in jazz — and later teaching 6:44How a meeting with Kim Chandler caused Tessa to re-evaluate her beliefs about vocal warm-ups 12:25The different benefits offered by short, physiological warm-ups and longer warm-ups 16:25Common obstacles that keep many students from wanting to do warm-ups 18:24What singers need to ask themselves before deciding what vocal warm-ups they need 19:25How much time a singer should spend warming up their voice to avoid straining it 22:58How to approach “cool-down” periods and get your voice back to its base position after performing 25:50How singing lessons can help you understand what warm-ups and cool-downs your voice needs at any given time 31:35The type of vocal warm-ups non-singers (professional speakers, podcasters) can benefit from 32:56Why teaching students how to adapt vocal warm-ups to their needs motivates them to actually use those exercises in the field 34:14The responsibility singing teachers have in properly explain vocal warm-ups and their purpose to students 38:16How Tessa teaches students to alter warm-ups to fit whatever they’re working on 38:59Tessa’s favorite SOVT exercise — and the importance of not relying on external tools for warm-ups 40:32Find the educational courses and resources on vocal warm-ups Tessa describes at her website.Ready to get some more help with your warm-ups? IVA is coming out with a vocal warm-up IOS and Android app in October 2023 for both male and female singers. Sign up for our mailing list to be notified when the app is released! About the Institute for Vocal AdvancementInterested in checking out our webinars and online courses? See what’s coming up in our list of upcoming events and learn how our Teacher Training Programs can help your career. Use the code “iva20percent” to get 20% off your first year’s course membership fee!
20. Getting Funky 'n Fun with Kim Chandler01:01:42Different music patterns offer different flavors for performers to sample. But few musicians enjoy indulging in as many flavors of music as Kim Chandler.Originally planning on being a high school music teacher, Kim spent her early career as a jazz singer and orchestral flautist. Then she founded a heavy metal rock band and learned she was comfortable performing in both leather and frilly blouses. From there, she built a career as a session singer and offered her vocals to Barry Manilow recordings, Romanian commercial jingles, and Kung Fu Panda 3 soundtrack. All these experiences helped shape Kim’s perspective on music, showing her the complexity of pop songs and the value of exposure to new musical patterns. She realized that singers could train their voices like musical instruments and began using this philosophy to help her students expand the number of melodies and scales they felt comfortable singing.Today, Kim is one of the UK’s top vocal coaches. She’s pioneered a revolutionary vocal training series, “Funky ‘n Fun,” that’s helped countless singers develop better breath control, tone production, pitch, accuracy, range, and flexibility through exercises that relate to real-world singing. Join us as Kim shares how her eclectic background helped many young students learn how to become professional performers. Discover the growing respect that pop music is earning in the academic world. And learn the important roles speed and accuracy have in developing true musical fluency. In this episode, we’ll reveal:How Kim went from being a music instrumentalist to a multi-talented singer 9:34Kim’s insights into what it takes to make it in the busy world of session singing 15:44How having an eclectic music background helped Kim train music students to become professional performers 19:24Why the vocal pedagogical world is gradually developing more respect for pop music 22:04How Kim applied what she knew about playing a musical instrument to voice training and helped singers view their voice as a musical instrument 25:42How introducing artists to new musical patterns helps expand their creative expression 29:31Why Kim would like to see vocal exercises cover a wider spectrum of scales and notes 32:50How Kim’s vocal training series “Funky ‘n Fun” engages and challenges students by going beyond classical music patterns 33:56How vocalists who don’t come from a music instrument background can benefit from improving their musicianship knowledge 40:49Why Kim feels that vocal exercises need to relate more to real songs 42:53 Why training singers to get comfortable with fast lessons is so important to develop true music fluency 44:29Learn more about Kim’s career and voice coaching services at her website and follow her on Instagram at @KimChandlerSinger.About the Institute for Vocal AdvancementInterested in seeing what we have to offer? See what’s coming up in our list of upcoming events and learn how our Teacher Training Programs can help your career. Use the code “iva20percent” to get 20% off your first year’s course membership fee!
19. What the Pitch with Tom and Heather53:27As voice coaches, we need to properly assess our students’ voices before we can devise effective lesson plans for them.But what happens when you get a student who can’t match the pitch you want them to sing?It’s an issue that comes up a lot in our chat box. Many voice teachers wonder if these students are “tone deaf.” They worry their students can’t recognize different notes or sing tunes accurately. This creates a lot of stress when they try to understand the student’s issues and come up with proper exercises.When this happens, it’s important to have the right teaching tools ready to help students sing in tune. In this episode, IVA co-founder and mentor teacher Heather Baker shares the “pitching tools” she collected after encountering many “tone deaf” students in her classroom.Join us as Heather reveals why the term “tone deaf” is such a misconception. You’ll also learn what the research says about pitch recognition and formation — and how popular video games can help students improve their pitching skills! In this episode, you’ll learn:Why the term “tone deaf” is so inaccurate 12:20What “amusia,” the neurodevelopmental disorder that affects perception and production of musical sounds, really is — and why it isn’t a problem for most voice teachers 13:22Why only listening to different pitches doesn’t help many “tone deaf” people match pitch 16:14How growing up in musical or non-musical environments affects your ability to match pitch 20:18 What the phrase “practice makes permanent” means when developing motor functions 21:30Why listening to recordings of your own singing voice makes recreating notes easier 24:03 Why accurately demonstrating singing techniques in front of students is so important 26:41 How to pinpoint where a student’s pitching issues come from 30:07What research says about taking the time to form a mental representation of a desired pitch before producing the pitch 32:42 How the brain interprets feedback to create a more accurate pitch 36:56Why nursery rhymes are used so often when training the brain to sing 38:53 How playing the singing version of the “Guitar Hero” video game can improve pitching 40:40Learn more about Heather’s insights into music instruction by subscribing to the Vocal Advancement Podcast.About the Institute for Vocal AdvancementHeather’s teaching tools are only the start of what you’ll gain when you join the IVA community. Our trainers teach from the empathic mindset students benefit from, offering numerous insights and techniques for improving your own teaching style. You’ll gain access to webinars and online courses taught by leaders in the music industry and gain the benefits of their perspectives. Interested in seeing what we have to offer? See what’s coming up in our list of upcoming events and learn how our Teacher Training Programs can help your career. Use the code “iva20percent” to get 20% off your first year’s course membership fee!
18. Performing for the West End with Savannah Stevenson59:10Some people are born to perform.Take Savannah Stevenson. This English singer and actress got her first job understudying for Mary Poppins with the Original Cast of the West End production of Mary Poppins before she graduated from the Guilford School of Acting. She’s gone on to have a very successful career on stage, playing Glinda for three years in the West End production of Wicked, has acted in multiple TV shows, and also built quite a name as a voice actress.But as much as Savannah loves acting, she also loves teaching. She taught younger students while studying at GSA and has gone on to teach several masterclasses and coach young actors intent on beginning their own stage and screen careers. This passion for education, coupled with her real-world experience, gives Savannah a valuable insight into what performers and teachers need to know about the acting industry. In this episode, she shares how the auditioning process has changed, the type of actors that schools and casting agencies are looking for, and even how prospective students can stand out when applying for drama schools. In this episode, you’ll learn:How Savannah got her first professional gig before graduating from drama school 9:15The differences between performing on stage and performing on a TV show 12:34 What teens pursuing a career in acting need to know about the industry 17:16 How important it is to attend a good drama school 21:32How embracing diversity has opened new doors for performers from different financial and racial backgrounds 23:00The advantages modern technology provides in the auditioning process 24:01Whether or not living in a theater district is important for getting cast in theater and film 24:35How each of Savannah’s favorite roles helped her grow as an actress 26:40How an acting coach can help performers sing better 33:34Why students need to understand the type of roles they can be cast in when auditioning for drama school 35:51How different body types, accents, and ages are more accepted now in casting 38:07How certain music choices can help prospective drama students stand out in an audition 41:43What teachers and acting coaches need to know about working with young performers 44:05Learn more about Savannah’s private coaching and masterclasses by visiting her website.Learn practical techniques to help your students best explore the character they are portraying within the musical theatre genre with Savannah's IVA Webinar, "Tools/Application for Acting the Song."About the Institute for Vocal AdvancementGain the teaching tools you need to become a better vocal coach by joining the IVA community. Our trainers teach from the empathic mindset that students of all ages benefit from, showing you how to improve your own teaching style. You’ll gain access to webinars and online courses taught by industry leaders like Savannah and enjoy the benefits of their perspectives. Interested in seeing what we have to offer? See what’s coming up in our list of upcoming events and learn how our Teacher Training Programs can help your career. Use the code “iva20percent” to get 20% off your first year’s course membership fee!
17. Adapting Voice Lessons To Suit Children with Dana Lentini01:07:48How old should your voice students be before they start taking singing lessons? For many instructors, the idea that only prodigies with natural singing talent should start training as children continues to influence which students they choose to work with.But for child singer expert and voice teacher mentor Dana Lentini, teaching kids how to sing doesn’t mean giving college-level instruction to children. Instead, Lentini, whose online classes include teenagers she started training at the age of five, feels that imparting the fundamentals of singing is something that can be done at any age. More importantly, she feels singing lessons can help all young students — not just future opera singers and pop stars.In our talk with Lentini, she shares why working with young pupils is beneficial for both students and instructors. She offers resources for creating age-appropriate singing lessons that allow students to leave classes filled with joy. And she explains how choosing the right songs is fundamental to help young singers discover not only what their voices can do but also what music can accomplish. In this episode, you’ll learn:How teaching college courses and elementary school classes simultaneously showed Lentini that singing instruction can be adapted to suit younger students 9:46Why more voice teachers should consider taking on young pupils who aren’t pursuing a singing career 17:11Lentini’s response to voice teachers who believe children shouldn’t be taking voice lessons 19:08What teaching “singing technique” means when instructing young children 24:47The advantage of being able to work with young students for several years 28:32 What Lentini looks for in a song that can help young singers develop better oral skills, personal expression, and singing technique 30:38 How singing instruction can be as much about opening minds up to other cultures as it is about teaching singing technique 40:34How a game of “carpool karaoke” can reveal much about student preferences and musical awareness 42:04Classroom techniques that make singing classes for engaging for young learners 45:22Find teaching resources (and freebies!) by visiting Dana’s website and sign up to receive her blog updates. Dana’s songbook Singing Kids’ Songbook is filled with music choices for students of all ages.And don’t forget to download Dana’s IVA webinar “Teaching Singing Techniques to Children” where she addresses the unique physical and mental aspects of teaching singing techniques to young children.About the Institute for Vocal AdvancementAt IVA, we provide the teaching tools to help you offer the type of functional training voice students need. Our trainers teach from the empathic mindset students benefit from, showing you how to be a better vocal coach by example. Join the Institute for Vocal Advancement and you’ll be able to participate in webinars and online courses used by teachers in every part of the music industry.See what’s coming up in our list of upcoming events and learn how our Teacher Training Programs can help your career. Use the code “iva20percent” to get 20% off your first year’s course membership fee!
16. A Day in the Life of an SLP with Marci Rosenberg59:06As voice teachers, we regularly help our students with multiple vocal challenges — but few of us probably deal with the range of clients this week’s guest has.As a speech language pathologist and clinical singing voice specialist, Marci Rosenberg works with anyone who uses their voice professionally in front of an audience — from singers to preachers to lawyers to sports announcers — at the University of Michigan Vocal Health Center.Specializing in repairing injured voices, Rosenberg’s work in vocal health has helped her see that no two patients are alike and everyone deserves to be treated holistically. As such, she tailors the vocal exercises she teaches to match each client’s psychological state so they gain the maximum physical, spiritual, and mental benefits from her treatment.In this episode, Marci reveals the most common vocal issues people come to her clinic with. She shares her views on mistakes singers make when trying to rush through their vocal exercises. And she emphasizes the value of moving toward your goals slowly.In this episode, you’ll learn:How a field trip to a voice clinic led Marci to pursue a career in speech language pathology 12:22The number of diverse clients a speech language pathologist can see in a day 20:41How collaborating with patients and getting them to do the bulk of their voice work helps Marci manage her large workload 23:16Why addressing a patient holistically helps them better than just focusing on their vocal folds 23:55 The most common vocal issues people are now seeking help with 25:19How COVID-19 has created entirely new populations of patients for clinics to accommodate 26:25Why taking a person’s performing and psychological needs is essential when tailoring voice lessons 28:33Common mistakes singers make when using straw exercises to improve their singing 32:10How focusing on the process of your voice lessons leads to better results than rushing through voice exercises 41:40Learn where Marci will be lecturing and presenting next by following her on her website.Marci’s IVA webinar “To Sing or Not to Sing? The Performer’s Guide to Managing Illness and Performance Demands” offers practical strategies for singers to manage their voices when they become ill. Download the recording to hear her insights.See Marci demonstrate effective ways to use vocal straw exercises by checking out the video version of this podcast on YouTube. Don’t forget to comment, subscribe, like, and follow us! About the Institute for Vocal AdvancementAt IVA, we provide the teaching tools to help you offer the type of functional training voice students need. Our trainers teach from the empathic mindset students benefit from, showing you how to be a better vocal coach by example. Join the Institute for Vocal Advancement and you’ll be able to participate in webinars and online courses used by teachers in every part of the music industry.See what’s coming up in our list of upcoming events and learn how our Teacher Training Programs can help your career. Use the code “iva20percent” to get 20% off your first year’s course membership fee!