The Voice Building Method

What’s the first thing an aspiring violinist needs to do to learn to play the violin? Go into a music store and purchase a violin, right? If they were a little short on money and the salesperson showed them a violin that wasn’t completely built - let’s say, the neck wasn’t attached to the body or it wasn’t varnished or it was missing a fingerboard, would they still buy it? No, they would probably find an alternate means to obtain a finished instrument because you can’t learn to play the violin on an unbuilt instrument.

But can you go into a music store and purchase a voice? Unfortunately not - a singer can’t ‘buy’ their instrument and learn to start playing it like any other musician can. This is why singers are at a great disadvantage compared to other musicians - singers are the only musicians who use their own body as their instrument. Therefore, whether you want to sing opera or pop or be a professional voice user of any kind, unless you have the supreme fortune to be blessed with a great natural voice, in other words, a voice that has been built by nature to work correctly for the most part and only needs polishing (which is the case with most successful singers) the voice needs to be built before you can start learning to play it.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of voice teachers work the already existing voice even if the student can’t sing at all! They have the student ‘sing’ scales and songs before the voice has been built and after a year of weekly ‘lessons’, the student sounds more or less the same. The only reason they think they have improved is because they want to believe they have and they’ve gained confidence regarding their vocalization, consequently they confuse that confidence with improvement and wax lyrical about what a great teacher they have. I once spoke with a popular teacher who said of a student, “She’s been taking lessons with me for 20 years and I think she’s finally starting to get it”.

Not being blessed with a great ‘natural’ voice, I took ‘singing lessons’ for 14 years in three different countries with very reputable ‘teachers’ who worked the already existing voice but by the end of that I was still at square one and completely clueless about vocal technique. Then I found an unusual teacher who practiced voice building and as a result I felt that I was taking singing lessons for the first time. After five years with him I went about taking lessons with a few other teachers to fill in the gaps in his teaching method and finally realized that I needed to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and develop my own method of training the voice as much for my own benefit as for that of my students. As a result, over several years of research, I developed The Voice Building Method which is largely based on the muscle and strength building techniques of body builders – consider it personal training for the voice. By using carefully applied exercises designed to effectively condition the specific muscles which control the various components of the singing or speaking voice alternating with periods of vocal rest to allow those muscles to recuperate and strengthen, this method produces results very rapidly. Most students who previously studied with other teachers have reported experiencing a year’s worth of progress in the first month of lessons. As a result, I possess the unique ability to build a marketable singing or speaking voice completely ‘from scratch’ (provided the student has a reasonable level of inherent musical and vocal aptitude).

Common benefits of this method, which students usually experience in just a few weeks:

-A substantial extension of both upper and lower range

-Elimination of the ‘break’ in female pop singers

-An increase in vocal stamina and elimination of vocal fatigue

-The ability to sustain long notes and phrases without running out of breath

-An understanding of how the voice actually works and a resulting improvement in the mind/body connection.

-More substance and tone quality in the overall sound

-Experiencing the voice more easily produced throughout the range

Students can enjoy these benefits without being preoccupied about it since the muscles which create these results have to a great extent been strengthened independently of vocalizing. The exercises which achieve these results are designed to be done every other day and only take about 30- 40 minutes to complete.

One of the most frustrating aspects of studying with all the ‘teachers’ I trained with during my first 14 years of vocal study was constantly hearing, “Do it like this” or “This is how it should sound”, (followed by a demonstration by the teacher who in many cases was a polished professional singer with a world-class natural voice and decades of experience) without being given an exercise to make it sound like that. This was basically ‘vocal training by wishful thinking’. To give an example, even something as simple as opening my mouth was what my first ‘teacher’ in conservatory would tell me over and over again. “Throw the jaw down, John” was what I remember hearing repeatedly for the four years I studied with him but by the end of that time I still wasn’t doing it. So, years later in my research I developed an exercise by which students can strengthen the lateral pterygoid muscles which open the mouth so that after a couple of weeks the student will be dropping their jaw without having to think about it. Which seems the more efficient method? A singer has so much to focus on when performing that they shouldn’t have to concern themselves with whether they are opening their mouths enough or if the cords are vibrating correctly.

Experience a rapid, effective path to achieving your ultimate vocal potential with The Voice Building Method!