Vocal Ease Method Voice Lessons

I write this because many students want to have a couple voice lesson then be able to sing loud after that. My advice is to not be concerned with building a strong voice right away. Your ability to increase your volume will occur after the coordination of your vocal muscles has been established. At some point (see future blogs on this subject), your vocal cords (folds) will be coordinated enough to sing more loudly. Until then, sing only with as much volume as you are able to stay at the level of ease as you sing through your entire range.

In learning to sing right, you have to condition your muscles external to the vocal cords not to be involved in the singing. To produce produce more volume over a period of time your vocal cords will develop their own strength, allowing you to sing with more power, without any assistance from those outer muscles. You will be able to feel it when you get to that point. It feels very different when we DO use the outer muscles. It feels like there is effort; like we have to do something to reach a note (high or low). And it feels relaxed when we just use our vocal cords, it feels so effortless we often think, that can’t be all there is to singing. It’s got to be harder than that!

Signing off for now. Be sure to read more blogs about how you get to this effortless style. I’ll write a building block of ideas on this subject.  Meanwhile, email or call me for a voice lesson and you’ll see what I mean,  Jane

Practicing Tips

Hi everyone, I think I’m going to like blogging. It’s an easy way to talk about singing but I can also address some of the questions I have received through the years on this blog.

Today I want to talk about PRACTICING. During the lessons I record on a Tascam DR-1  digital recorder that looks like an mp3 and also doubles as one. You can bring or buy from me (only $10.00) a 2 GB flat SD memory card. I record on these, hand it back to you for you to practice the exercises or vowel modification we worked on in the lesson. You can use it on your computer, clicking on “play” on Windows Media. You can also download the lesson into your computer and/or you can burn a c.d. from the lesson.

It’s not how much you practice; it’s HOW you practice. But if you are a performer, you should practice as much as you perform, maybe even more. Why? Because singing in performance is not the same thing as practicing.

Definition of Performance: This is the culmination of the conditioning you have done for your voice, just as you would condition for athletics. You must place huge demands on your voice on stage. Regular vocal practice keeps your voice ready by practicing coordination. Any diversion of correct vocal technique can be corrected and worked on while you are practicing. If you are not a performer, you can practice once a day if you have the time to focus on what you are doing, but if you want to only practice 3 times a week, that is okay, too.

When should you NOT practice? If you are very tired, haven’t had enough sleep, or practicing incorrect vocal hygiene, but also if you have a sore throat and just coming down with anything that could make you too tired to focus well on the technique you are supposed to be doing.  Then it’s time to lay off the practice until you get enough rest, eat right, and so forth.

Looks like I need to write a blog on Vocal Hygiene.  That will be coming soon. thanks for reading this blog ; I hope it helps all of you.

Hello and welcome to my blog. This is my first post! It’s about Speech Level Singing. I have a more detailed article about it here: Speech Level Singing. I hope I can offer useful information that is written so that it is understandable and not too academic. I chose this subject for my first one because I want to convey the essence of Speech Level Singing, the method developed by Seth Riggs.

When you speak in a comfortable voice this is your ideal vocal condition with which to sing. What is happening is that your larynx (a man’s Adam’s apple or a bump in the throat for a girl/woman) is resting or stable in what you could call a “speech-level” position.  If you learn to sing and maintain your tone in this comfortable “speech-level”  manner nothing will feel different in your throat or mouth.  Both your tone and your words will feel natural and sound natural. Seth Riggs did a lot of research to perfect this understanding.

The correct way to sing is “speech-level,” the wrong way to sing is either reaching for high notes or putting the chin down for those low notes.   Try this:  Say “here kitty, kitty, kitty” in a real high pitched sound while having your open hand on the bump at the throat. Notice, does that bump go up?   It probably does, but try it so you can feel what i mean. Many famous singers have said that Seth Riggs’ methods have transformed their performances, starting with this insight.

If you can tell  the larynx goes up, then you are feeling what happens to the larynx when “reaching” for a high note.

Now say  “here kitty, kitty, kitty”  in an unusually low voice. You might feel that the larynx goes down a bit from the initial position.

Hopefully this has helped to understand a bit more what it means to sing at speech level. Speech Level Singing does not mean “sing like you speak.” Speech Level Singing is more than that, such as keeping a stable larynx.

Hope you get something from this blog. There will be more to follow on all types of subjects.

Signing off for now,

Jane Jenkins,
Certified Speech Level Singing Instructor
San Antonio, Texas