• What am I expecting for the first lesson?
In order to develop your voice the fastest, you may expect an emphasis on the initial lessons in giving you a basic knowledge of vocal function, and to provide you with customized systematic exercises which will serve to condition the voice for healthy and efficient singing. As your voice develops co-ordination and stability, we may want to progress from vocalizations, and jump right into songs!
• What if I want to learn a particular song?
Please be prepared to provide either an instrumental backing track of the music (which is the easiest way for the both of us to work with songs). Failing that, acapella (that is, singing without accompaniment) will do. There are a number of instrumental tracks to choose from here at the studio using the Karaoke System.
• How often should I come for lessons?
Depending on your goals and/or requirements, a minimum of 1 half hour lesson a week might also be suggested to maintain fast, consistent progress. However, some students with time or professional commitments may come twice or more a week for lessons to ensure rapid progress; some come only every fortnight; and others on an ad-hoc basis to quick fix vocal issues. The frequency of your lessons is up to your own commitment, time availability, and budget. Further, almost all students notice significant improvements in their singing after just the first lesson… so be prepared for an enjoyable experience!
• What if i want to cancel or reschedule a lesson?
There is a 24 hour cancellation policy for ALL cancellations or you will be charged for your lesson. **We appreciate your business and understand that things do come up unexpected. Please be considerate of our policy so that your slot can be filled. **
• How do I offically cancel a lesson?
You can officially cancel your lesson by emailing [email protected]
• What language do you teach in?
Lessons are currently available in English, Cantonese 廣東話 and Mandarin 普通話.
Speech Level Singing
• Why do you call your method "Speech Level Singing"?
Generally, when you speak in a comfortable manner, your outer muscles do not interfere . You can learn to maintain your tone with this comfortable speech level posture when you sing, no matter where the note is in your range. You can then learn to add volume while maintaining this healthy balance, resulting in a strong, powerful voice that can last forever!
• Most voice methods start with "breathing". Is that how this method works too?
The voice is a subtle instrument that doesn't need huge amounts of air to work properly. We generally don't start with breathing unless the student is having a problem in that regard. We begin by helping you find a balance in your voice, andshow you how to keep the vocal cords closed so that you are usingyour air more efficiently. It's more about the subtle coordination ofhow you use your air, than about having huge amounts of air. Eventually, you will learn to lean in with more air behind a balanced instrument.
• Can I learn to sing if I think I'm "tone deaf"?
If a person has trouble singing on the right notes, there may be a variety of reasons for this. Sometimes they just haven't learned how to use all the different parts of their voice (from low to high) so the notes don't go up when they need to go up. We can certainly work with you to pinpoint what your problems are, and to help you improve. All students notice improvement from studying this technique.
• How long will it take for me to learn to sing with this technique?
This question can not be answered without hearing your voice. Every person who comes in has different issues, and some may have old, ingrained habits that need to be changed. For some, this can take months to years and others can pick the technique up fairly fast. Each student will be assessed when they come in, and, by listening to your voice, we can give you a better answer to this question.
• What is so different about this technique?
The key to speech level singing is understanding "Mix". As you sing higher into your range, you quickly encounter areas where your voice may "jam up", or it "breaks" and sounds weak. We call this area a bridge or passaggio. When you learn how to approach these areas in the right way, you can negotiate through them with finesse, increasing range into the higher areas.
• What about singing different vocal "styles" (rock, classical, jazz)? Will SLS training ruin my natural style?
Your voice wants to coordinate in its most comfortable way regardless of the style you're singing. However, most styles, even classical, can throw our best vocal coordination off-base. When you study SLS, you learn how to sing in the most healthy way for your voice. The exercises move you through your entire range giving you more styling choices and the vocal freedom to hit the notes you desire. As an artist you can choose to stay from good technique for style purposes, but with SLS it will become a choice rather than an unconscious habit, and you will always know how to get back to good form, or "home base", when you need to.
• What's the right age to begin vocal training? How old is "too old"?
With young children, we mostly try to keep singing fun, learning songs and getting students to sing back and forth over their bridges in a comfortable way. As to the the exact best age to start, all children develop slightly differently. Children who concentrate well and have a strong desire to sing will move ahead more quickly. Piano lessons, or lessons in another instrument, can be helpful. As to when one is "too old": if you can talk, you can sing!
• Do I need to read music and/or play an instrument to be able to sing?
No. Producing a usable vocal sound, and reading or playing music are separate skills. There are plenty of good (and well employed) pop singers who don't read music, or read at an elementary level. Reading ability is useful, however, for every singer, and necessary to some degree for classical and musical theatre. But, if your time is limited, and you really want to sing, better to start with that and not get hung up on things you think you "ought" to do. Playing an instrument, especially piano or guitar, is very useful for developing one's ear, choosing keys for songs, learning melodies and harmonies, etc., but is not necessary in learning to sing.
• I hear people talk about "falsetto"? Is that different from "head voice"?
Falsetto happens when the vocal cords are coming apart and therefore the result is an "airy" sound. Falsetto gives you the feeling of resonance up in your head, which you also have in head voice. The main difference is that strong head voice does not sound airy and can connect smoothly down through the bridges to chest voice, while falsetto has no "bottom", and does not connect to chest. (It sounds like a separate voice)
• Can anybody learn to sing, using this technique?
We like to think that anyone who can talk can learn to sing. Every student who comes in experiences great improvements in their voice.