Modern society continues to suffer the decay I mentioned at the beginning, with the multiplier effect of digital communication speed and social panurgism. In fact, if in ancient times the singer’s “managers”, i.e. the people who handled the artists, had to make a living by offering the public “mediocre” artists, exalting them as if they were the best, imagine what could happen today where the media bombards us from all directions.
The public is constantly misled and persuaded, little by little, that mediocrity is pure talent. Then comes the emotional aspect, the cheering, the faith, which makes it almost impossible to oppose against these yardsticks of judgment. If someone firmly believes in something, even if it’s wrong, then it’s a good idea for them to fight hard to get the results. What is sure is that if you once worked a lifetime to achieve success and maintain it, today you work at most for a couple of years to achieve temporary success before disappearing into thin air.
Many people who approach voice training rely on chance as if they were gambling on lottery numbers. Often they do not have any means, sometimes not even an idea, for assessing the teacher in front of them and to whom they will entrust their voice. This is where it is good to explain what are the yardsticks for measuring the skills of a vocal coach.
The first yardstick is to evaluate his/her voice. And that is where the shoe pinches! In fact, very often I find myself in front of people or other vocal coaches who want to evaluate skills based on how someone sings. Many people are surprised because they can’ t find on YouTube or other similar websites any trace of my “singing” performances as if it was mandatory to show them to be hired. They can’t find any because I have chosen not to show them.
In fact, the ability to judge someone else’s vocal ability is inextricably linked to one’s own personal experience. Since normally people who want to learn how to use their voice do not consider themselves to be able to sing already, it should be clear to you that this may not be the right yardstick for judging a vocal coach. We might consider a voice full of flaws as beautiful and we might not like a technically perfect voice. It’s a bit like taking a first-grade child before a fifth-grade child who can do multiplication in his or her mind. For the first grade child, the fifth-grade one would be considered as a “genius” or a “magician”.
But if we take the same fifth-grader and confront him/her with a eighth-grader things will be reversed in the presence of a second-degree equation.
The yardstick is always relative. Few people are able to assess the skill of the master they have in front and, most importantly, when they no longer have something to learn from him/her.
Judging without a background is possible, but the final result will be related to chance, which often brings with it real disasters. A bit like judging the solidity of a bridge without knowing anything about the laws of physics, dynamics, and materials.
Since each of us can speak, it will certainly be easier to judge the skill of a vocal coach while he/she is speaking than while he/she is singing. If it has some pronunciation defects in the langue he/she is speaking, a marked local accent, apnea during speeches, haste in exposing things, reddening of the face, excessive sweating or shows that it is not at ease during a first meeting, then you will have many elements to understand that maybe, even if you like how he/she sings, he/she is not a good teacher.
Since in life you will always find a better teacher or someone who knows more about it than us, it is good to understand also when you have learned everything from a teacher. In fact, it is unlikely to be able to exceed one’s own master, in time one can only hope to equal him/her. Clearly, the better the teacher is, the faster the learning will be and the greater the final level reached.
For me, it is important that people can understand and therefore make well-informed choices about who to entrust their voice to. It is also important to know what may be the consequences of incorrect learning.
Today more than ever I feel the responsibility of doing a little clarification on the world of voice training. The job of a vocal coach is to help people improve their voices, to speak, act or sing. That seems clear to everyone. What is often underestimated is that no result can be achieved if the health of the vocal cords is not preserved intact. In fact, it is impossible to develop a conscious and harmonious voice when the vocal cords have suffered any form of damage or abuse. Let’s take for example the soft and silky hands of a child, capable of giving very delicate caresses. Only when you care for your hands, even after 30 years, they will maintain the same delicacy. If on the other side, the hands are exposed to mistreatment, they will develop a whole series of modifications that will make them rough and calloused: they will always be able to give caresses, but no longer with the same delicacy. Our vocal cords must be absolutely preserved and, fortunately for us, if we know how to use them correctly, they don’t get damaged, they don’t develop nodules and they allow us to grow up to centenarians with an enviable voice.
Thanks to my popularity, every day I receive dozens and dozens of emails from all over the world. Many are written by people who for one reason or another find themselves with some serious voice problem. Only a very limited minority of them have already identified their causes in prolonged and incorrect use of vocal cords. The vast majority are unwilling to understand or accept the idea that the cause of their problems is to be found in the very way they use their voice. In fact, many of them have followed some specific training in the past, so they are convinced that they are already “ skilled “ and that they have never mistreated their vocal cords. There’s no such thing as a skill when you develop vocal cord problems.
The art of using voice, elocution, rhetoric, dialectic, and singing is something as simple as it is complex. All these words I mentioned have a very precise meaning, but essentially they aim to express the same idea: to communicate effectively the feelings of the soul.
None of these words refers to or implies, any technical ability, any particular talent or any miraculous education. These are all capabilities available to every human being! So it should be easy to understand that any teaching aimed at something other than effectively communicating one’s feelings to others should be avoided.
In the 1960s, the idea of what a singing lesson should be, is exactly what you can see in this gag by Jerry Lewis. A teacher, more or less pompous, entrenches himself behind a piano and pushes the pupil to ruin his voice.
We can really laugh at that still 60 years later, but there are still people who believe that this kind of scene is a real Singing Lesson! In my career as a Vocal Coach, I met a lot of people who thought they had learned to sing in this type of lesson. They all realized that they had not learned something a little too late.
If you recognize yourself in this type of lesson and you are aware that you are not getting the results you are looking for, or worse, you have already developed vocal problems (you lose your voice, you have frequent sore throats, you feel choked) it doesn’t fall to you!
Your voice is something delicate and precious, I can help you genuinely improve it!
As of today the videos of Singing Lessons have been displayed 35,414 times on YouTube! Thank you all!
Here is one of my students that sing using the Growl and Scream Techniques. He has left a video testimonial you can find in my app. This proves that with a good teacher even this techniques are safe!
The song is actually in Russian, so don’t be scared!
Singing Metal require the male singer to create notes higher than the average, even for a female.
Are they superhuman?
Are they something rare?
Not at all, with the proper teacher everyone can be, with the correct commitment, become a great metal singer!
In all of the bookstores in Italy and Online you will find available the results of my collaboration with some of the most well-known vocal coaches in the world. The book on how to learn to sing and speak correctly is titled “Libera la tua voce”. The book presents a method of teaching adaptable to those who want to learn on their own, and it is complete with an instructional CD that contains exercises and has piano accompaniments for male and female voices. It is not necessary to know how to read music, it is enough to listen to the examples included and repeat them clearly as it is explained in the book.
You will find also exercises for breathing and posture. This book can surely also help those who don’t want to learn on their own, but are looking for a good singing teacher and want to avoid possible negative consequences by choosing the wrong professional.
If you are interested in buying the book “Libera la tua voce” (written in Italian only) you can send me an email of request to: