Weird, unnatural voices (Singing Teachers)
…For want of a better title.
I just don’t know what to do with people who sing like they are constipated. Or they actually change their voice in a very strange way so that it’s nothing like their speaking voice even.
So, as I thought case studies might be a good idea for my secondary teacher meetings, perhaps they are good to have on this forum too? So here is my first one:
Case Study: Mary, 30 (not her real name).
Mary is currently working on Hallelujah. My go-to song for beginners! Her voice is so nasal that it’s unpleasant to the ear (I have to try not to flinch!), so thankfully I managed to get her to drop the larynx with yawn/bellowing from the belly type exercises and also to sing Hallelujah in a very posh voice as all her vowels were so narrow and screechy. So it’s much better, but she seems to stay in head voice when going into the chorus which is very odd (I have tried to tell her to just go back to an almost speaking voice mode).
Also, her breathing is extremely unnatural… massive expel of air on the offset (I have tried to get her to maybe not take in massive breaths, but maybe it’s the other way around, I can’t really tell)
Her warm ups started with really harsh onsets as well – that’s getting better, although she can’t seem to find that simultaneous air and sound on a vowel (but that’s quite common and should get easier as time goes on).
There are some students who just can’t seem to relax and think of singing as talking.. I don’t teach SLS or anything, but breathing should be literally the same as talking in my opinion. I’ve tried to get her not to overthink it and not tense up – but difficult when you’re telling someone a million things to think about at once!
I would like to attach some examples as I feel like I could get my point across a lot better if you heard her sing. I think that’s probably a complicated option to have on this forum, so here’s some private links for now:
Hallelujah in her natural singing voice: http://picosong.com/bDes
Hallelujah in her adjusted, warmer tone: http://picosong.com/bDen
Rolling In The Deep in her natural singing voice: http://picosong.com/bDeq
Sobbing Scales: http://picosong.com/bDec
This was taken from your latest video, Matt – I even showed it to her and I don’t think she really gets it – she’s just going into head voice really.
Sorry to sound so negative, obviously my true feelings come out when talking to fellow teachers!!
I would love some guidance and a second or multiple ears on this as I have had a few frustrating cases where I want to help so much but reach my teaching limits…