Thanks for visiting How Can You Sing Better? My name is Nicole and I’ve been a musician for over thirty years. I trained as a pianist from the age of six, but after years of spending a lot of time working with choirs and bands, I became interested in taking singing lessons to improve my voice.
I’d always been told by people that I had a nice voice, but I always felt that it was too quiet and small. I also wished I could sing higher, as my range was only about an octave and half. I experienced terrible nerves whenever I had to get on the stage, and wanted to learn more about what I could do to get over, or at least control, my fear of performing.
I’m into research, so I got out lots of books and read as much as I could on the subjects of singing and performing, but eventually I realised that books would only get me so far. Reading about vocal exercises and techniques in books was not enough, because I could never tell if I was really doing exactly what they were asking me to do!
I finally realised that if I wanted to learn how to sing, what I really needed was singing lessons.
I asked around, and a friend gave me the number of his singing teacher. I studied with her for six months, spent a small fortune in weekly lessons, put in hours doing the things she asked me to do, but didn’t really get results. I switched teachers and the same thing happened – he had a different style of teaching and a different philosophy, but I ended up with the same lack of progress. He’d ask me to do airy things like ‘sing through the top of my head’ or ‘throw my voice to the back of the room’, but couldn’t tell me exactly how I was supposed to accomplish these things!
Just as I was starting to think that singing was not for me, I decided to give it one last try with a different teacher. She saved me. After just a month of weekly lessons (and daily practice!) my voice had changed considerably. I learned about the mechanics of the voice, proper diaphragmatic breathing, how to use abdominal support, ways to open the back of the throat, opening up resonators in the body, and how to support my tone to make sung notes clearer, stronger and longer without running out of breath.
It was only later that I discovered that my teacher was using the same method that Brett Manning teaches in his SS360 program.
As I practiced singing along while I played the piano every day at home, my family were amazed at how my voice blossomed. I was thrilled. It was hard work, but the results were brilliant. My tone was stronger, my range extended, my confidence increased and within a year I was entering music festivals, singing at weddings, and soloing at local concerts. The benefits of taking up practical singing lessons were enormous, even though that was still just the beginning – cultivating and honing the ability to sing beautifully is an addictive kind of freedom!
I have now spent over a decade with my own music students. What I love most about teaching are those ‘a-ha!’ moments where you suddenly see that something you’ve said, or demonstrated, is resonating with a student – a shift happens, something clicks, and all of a sudden they can do something with their voice that they couldn’t do five minutes before. It’s so thrilling to watch and be a part of, especially as you never forget how it feels when it happens to you.
I hope to use this site to provide guidance to singers who need advice and don’t have their own singing teacher to ask questions of (though if you don’t have a teacher, a high quality online singing program is a great and affordable option).
I welcome your questions and feedback, and hope to be of value to you in your musical journey – either drop a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.