The Top 7 Signs You’re Working With THE BEST Voice Teacher or Vocal Coach

The Top 7 Signs You’re Working With THE BEST Voice Teacher or Vocal Coach

83336438.1

It goes with out saying that we would all love to be working with THE BEST. We do our research online, ask our friends who they study with, find out who works with the stars we love and try to make an informed decision as to who is THE BEST Voice Teacher out there. While most of this seems like good sense when looking for a teacher– there is an element missing in this equation that is crucial to your success as a vocalist. That element is YOU.

I’d like to believe that in the city of New York (or most any city for that matter) a person who has set out to make their life’s work to teach or coach voice will have something extremely valuable to offer their students. Hopefully, they will have spent years doing their own exploration, studying several different techniques and pedagogies and making discoveries with their own instrument. They may hold certificates of study or be members of a teaching association such as NATS or NYSTA. They will have gained a reputation by slowly building their clientele and benefitting from positive word of mouth about their teaching. They may even have reputable clients that you recognize.

"Hey Elphie, I found THE BEST voice teacher!"

“Hey Elphie, I found THE BEST voice teacher!”

Of course, these qualities are desired in a teacher and when your friend tells you their teacher is THE BEST– that’s probably a fantastic referral source that you should take very seriously .

With all this in mind, the most important element in finding THE BEST teacher is finding out whether or not they are the best teacher for YOU.  The following is a list of signs that the teacher you are working with is working for you and you are a THE BEST match:

 

weinstein_goals1. MUTUAL GOALS:  You feel like your teacher understands and supports the goals that that you have set for your instrument and for your career.

 

SO HOW DO WE OVERCOME COMMUNICATION BARRIER

2. COMMUNICATION: You feel as though the way in which your teacher communicates is clear to you. You’ve found a common language and way to express ideas. You don’t have the sense that  your teacher understands something and you’re just not getting it.

 

3. CONFIDENCE:  You feel confident that your teacher has an understanding of your instrument and you as a person and will be able to help you achieve your goals.

4. TEAM SPIRIT: You feel your teacher has your best interest at heart and is on your team.  

Quote-Productivity-is-never-an-accident5. PRODUCTIVITY: You feel that the time spent in your lesson is well structured and productive towards your goals. Whether your working purely on technique or on repertoire, you feel that the time in the lesson is geared towards helping you move forward. 

 

 

6. INSPIRATION: You generally leave your lessons feeling motivated and inspired.

images-1

7. FUN:  You look forward to your lessons and consider them an exciting and special part of your week.

Your voice teacher is an important member of your support team and the right teacher can be key in helping to reach your goals and stay motivated and focused. When it’s a good match you will feel supported, confident and like you are consistently making progress— it’s great! Whether you are looking for a new teacher or have been working with your teacher for years, it’s important to check in and see where you are and if these dynamics are working for you.

Keep in mind that sometimes we go through plateau phases or set back phases while other times we are growing exponentially. If you are feeling stuck with your teacher, that does not necessarily mean you need to move on. However, it would probably be a good idea to have an open dialog and discuss the situation. Most of the time, if you are feeling frustrated, your teacher is feeling that as well and would like to help you find a way through that frustration.You may make some exciting discoveries within that discussion. Other times,  you may discover it’s time to move on and explore your work with someone else– even if it’s just for the time being to discover a new perspective.

With the proper research you will be able to find several teachers who have a ton of great technique, inspiration, experience and resources to offer. The only person who can really know if you’ve found THE BEST teacher is YOU.  Whether a teacher or student, we are all artists and we got into this industry because we are passionate about music, theatre and creativity. It’s part of our life force.  We all want to be inspired and we all want to use our gifts and creativity to contribute to the world of music and art. The best teachers learn from their students and are there to offer their experience , knowledge, guidance and support. When those elements are in place and communication and inspiration is flowing… it is truly THE BEST. 

Be Warm, 

Kim Stern

The Broadway Warm-Up: 

A Completely Synchronized Vocal and Dance Warm-Up that can be completed in under 30  minutes!

BWALPHA copy

www.broadwaywarmup.com

Why The Caged Bird SHOULD Sing

BWALPHA copyOk folks, it is with absolute joy and pleasure that we introduce our next guest blogger, the super cool, multitalented, glorious, ultra-creative…

(and incidentally a Broadway Warm-Up Cast Member)…

 

                                                       Jessica Latshaw!img-26

You can go to Jessica’s website www.jessicalatshawofficial.com to find out about all of the awesome things she does as a musician,writer,actor and dancer. But now, check out the first installment of her monthly blog:

Why the Caged Bird SHOULD Sing

508c4a1e-fa59-49f8-9ed0-c41c69c93285I have a friend who cut herself. She told me about it one night in the same tone of voice my ex used when he finally admitted he loved someone else: helpless to change. I listened to her tell me the story about how the pain she felt inside–something that threatened to swallow her whole–became manageable when tangible. She’d watch spots of bright red blood prove Newton’s law of gravity as it trickled down her legs, finding the fact that she was actually controlling the pain (this time) comforting.

And different.

And sometimes when you’re hurting a lot, different is the only thing you’re going for.

images-1That night, in a hotel room that blended in with all the rest during a non-equity bus and truck tour, I listened to my friend and tried to understand. I didn’t yet know of a pain that could feel like that. I didn’t yet know that something could hurt inside so strongly that you’d want to change everything, including yourself. Whether it was for the better or the worse didn’t matter, if you could just change the pain, then there was some relief.

Fast forward to me coming home from a dream job: the 1st National Tour of A Chorus Line.

(that's me all the way on the right)

(that’s me all the way on the right)

To him telling me that he loved her; that he’d never loved me at all. To me losing myself to a story that went wildly off track. To me moving back home to rural Pennsylvania when I was supposed to be in New York City, auditioning and landing jobs with the rest of my friends. To my parents constantly reminding me to eat and doing it only because I’ve always been a good daughter; I’ve always done what I was told.

It was a hard time, guys, but that’s not all it was: it was also a beautiful time.

It is the first time I learned about art as a way of survival. It is the first time I realized that I could be a shape-shifter, changing the shape of my pain into something I liked a lot better via stories, songs, dance, essays, sketches–anything that became tangible and then, yes, manageable. It is when I finally stopped looking around for inspiration (it was hard to find in those days, anyway) and started to look within.

I grew up with brothers who played video games. I mostly ignored them (the games, not the brothers), but I did enjoy Sonic the Hedgehog. When Sonic swam under water, he held his breath, living from air bubble to air bubble. Sometimes Sonic needed to find another air bubble in a matter of seconds in order to survive, and when this happened, the score turned minor and dramatic, driving home the point that you are either gonna find your air bubble or die trying.

AirbubbleThere were nights when I hurt so much inside, that, emotionally, at least, my own score turned minor and dramatic. My own air bubble was writing music, prose, dancing, playing the piano, or just singing whatever came to mind in the moment. My pain changed in those moments; it wasn’t simply different, it was beautiful. It was positive. It was better than I’d been before. It was like removing a bandaid from some terrible wound, only to find not only the absence of a scar, but skin that is softer, younger, more even, more vibrant than you’d ever thought possible.

A few years later, my friend told me she’s doing better, that she hasn’t cut herself in a long time. I’m glad. Adding pain to pain is never the enduring solution. But adding a voice to your pain is. It is, I believe, the artist’s responsibility to voice how you feel– through whatever medium it is you choose. We do this again and again and again. We do it until the voice grows silent, and we have nothing left to say. Which is probably a Sunday night and by Tuesday we wake up no longer empty; it is the great mystery and miracle of pouring oneself out until there is no longer one more word to write, no longer one more note to sing. It seems we cannot out give the gift that was given to us; by sharing it, we only emphasize its hold on us. We are the opposite of peddlers selling snake oil; we give away for a dollar amount what cannot be bought or sold–we give away pieces of ourselves that are gained in tears and days and moments of connectedness and visceral feeling that are as valuable as they are ephemeral.

images-3

This is what I have learned in my pain. And I am not special–no more so than any one of us, I mean. We all live through seasons; we all experience the same range of emotions. We are all called to observe life. To feel it deeply. And then to give it a voice.

Jessica Latshaw is a monthly contributor to:

BWALPHA copy

The Broadway Warm-Up: A Completely Synchronized Vocal and Dance Warm-Up that can be completed in under 30 minutes. Be Warm!

www.broadwaywarmup.com

Reverie Revelation: Rev It Up!


Exciting news folks! We are thrilled to introduce our first Guest Contributor to The Broadway Warm-Up Blog.  Check out Broadway Warm-Up Cast Member Marc Santa Maria’s monthly installment of  Reverie Revelation for inspiring info on Acting, Fitness and Adventure:

Reverie Revelation: Rev It Upquote-reverie-is-the-groundwork-of-creative-imagination-it-is-the-privilege-of-the-artist-that-with-him-w-somerset-maugham-320200

What Up. I love me some Broadway Warm-Up. Huge fan. Honored I got to be a part of making the DVD. And super stoked to be contributing right here, right now to the BW Blog. Here’s how it’s gonna go down. I’m going to offer three thoughts (I’ll call them reveries) and three photos to support them. They will be in the zone of acting, fitness and adventure. And by adventure I mean living life large, trying new things, being well traveled, chowing down and guzzling tasty drinks. Let’s do this . . .

ImageACTOR REVERIE: I’ve got the coolest Acting Mentor – Roz Coleman Williams. She hits me hard with pearls of wisdom (and yet can crack me up two seconds later). In class yesterday she said this about “the Work” – the stuff we put out there to the world – “The key to growth is to stand in the strength of your own choices. True artistry is being your own gage. Walk in the strength of your own individual artistry.” Walk strong my artist friends, walk like a bad ass and work.

 

Wimpy Photo-2FIT DUDE REVERIE: I’m the National Director of Group Fitness for Crunch Gyms so I get a lot of questions about getting in shape. Like it or not, it’s a fact that what we look like is a major factor in how we are cast. So,what’s your body type and what would you likely be cast as? If you’re happy with your answers – awesome. You’re on the right track. Go get seen and go book work. But if you want to say, play an action hero in Avengers but have a physique more like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, then get thee into an exercise routine – pronto. Don’t think about it – just do something physical. Got a Crunch Gym in your city? Email me at marcsm@me.com and I’ll hook you up with a 5 day guest pass to jump start your routine.

Chariot photoADVENTURE REVERIE: I love wine. I love wine chilled – even my reds. I discovered this keep the wine cool gadget called – The Corkcicle. #protectcool. Google it. And use it. With what you say? How about a great red under $10? Chariot at Trader Joe’s. So tasty – we’re serving cases of it at our wedding

Until next time. See you on the dance floor of life.

-Marcmarc-santa-maria

Check out www.marcsm.com for more reverie.

Marc is a Contributor for:BWALPHA copy

The Broadway Warm-Up: A Completely  Synchronized Vocal And  Dance Warm-Up for Performers that can be completed in under 30 minutes

www.broadwaywarmup.com