SXSW® South by Southwest Conference® and Festivals has asked me to present a Sing Like You Speak™ workshop in March 2018! I will have 2 hours to share the brilliance of the Sing Like You Speak™ technique with 100’s (possibly 1000’s) of singers from all over the world.
This is an amazing honor and a dream come true for me. SXSW® is an iconic global music industry event that attracts more the 30,000 people. It embodies the DIY spirit, ingenuity and entrepreneurial drive.
When I first spoke with Bobby Nall of SXSW® last summer, I told him that I love working with DIY musicians. The challenge as a voice teacher is that this population of singers usually waits until they have some form of vocal damage before they seek my help. It is only then that they realize if they are going to have a career as a singer – any chance at all – then they have to have a healthy technique to heal and prevent further damage.
Bobby said with great enthusiasm that I should submit my proposal – that this workshop is perfect for SXSW® DIY musicians.
My mission, my intention for the 2 hours that I have to present to a very large audience of singers, is to give them a few of my most effective tools to keep their voices healthy and strong.
This is the first line of my proposal to SXSW®:
Sing your songs with the same originality and craft as you write without sounding trained.
Singers who are not familiar with vocal training or have had bad experiences with a voice teacher who does not
understand the natural nature of the voice, have good reason to shy away from singing lessons. I’ve heard horror stories from singers who after these bad experiences find their way to my studio.
So you would rather do permanent damage to your delicate vocal cords than to sound “trained”? Not the wisest choice and so not necessary! Video training.
3 Steps to Prevent Vocal Damage straight from the Sing Like You Speak™ workbook:
- Inhale to open the body – your instrument. Use your inhale not go haul breath into the lungs, but to open the airways that breath and sound flow along as you sing. Open in this sequence…
- Widen the nasal passages
- Unhinge the jaw
- Open the throat
- Feel the opening all the way to your bottom
Note: Focus on opening one step at a time. Eventually the whole instrument will open with one thought.
- Exhale to release breath and sound. Release mean to let go, not to push or strain or struggle. Release the breath and sound along the open path created by your opening inhale.
- Resist the urge to push and allow the muscles to strengthen that will make your voice powerful.
- Consonants connect your to the deep abdominal and back muscles that propel the voice through your body effortlessly. Use them!
- It can feel like you are releasing so much air that you’re going to die. Not to worry. No one has ever died from singing however the feeling can be very strong. Just keep releasing and you will eventually crave the luxurious release of breath.
Note: Voice training takes time and laser focus on the task. You are changing habits developed over your lifetime. You are challenging the beliefs that you have held in mind about singing. Hint: those beliefs are all lies!
- Communicate! It’s all about communicating through the music, lyrics and rhythm. Audiences respond to and bond with a performer’s clearly spoke words.
- Begin by knowing what you want to say with the song.
- Figure out who you are saying it to and picture that person right there in front of you.
- Allow the song to speak through you.
Note: When you sing like you speak communication happens naturally. When your focus is on telling the story of the song, it takes your mind away from your “that’s not enough” thoughts and releases breath and sound.
Communication is compelling, captivating and charismatic. It does not require that you hurt yourself.
Incorporate the above tips to begin your journey to vocal health.
What would you like to learn about singing? Ask me a question in the comments section below and I will answer with another blog post – especially you DIY musicians. Get answers before you get vocal damage!
For many more tips and much more practical vocal training, join the Sing Like You Speak™ Academy!
Sally Morgan, NYC voice teacher, wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique — literally. Sing Like You Speak™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully teaching people how to sing for more than 35 years.
You can see and hear some of Sally’s clients on Broadway stages, Off-Broadway, in Musical Theater – Regional, on Major Label Recordings, the Conan O’Brian show, A Prairie Home Companion and in Federal Courts, the PA House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate.
Sally teaches singing voice lessons in NYC and worldwide on ZOOM.
Check out Sing Like You Speak Academy