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ArtistWorks Vocal School Lessons: Classical Versus Contemporary Singing and Technique

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As you probably know at this point,
my method is considered a contemporary
approach for singers.
I want to explain a little more about
Classical technique was in fact the first
technique that came on to the scene some
many years ago.
And it carried with it certain opinions
about what the right sound was.
And, went about trying to assist singers
in sounding
the way their model was.
So, there were particular sounds that were
considered right sounds,
sought after sounds, and a singer.
Was guided and still is to sound that
particular way.
In contemporary singing, probably obvious
to you, but in contemporary singing
the decisions on sound are supposed to be
left up to the singer.
Individuality is very important in
contemporary singing,
whereas in classical singing, again
there's a particular sound
model that is supposed to be aligned to.
What I'm about is to help you discover
voice because I'm not giving you a model
of how to sound.
Instead, I'm going to equip you with an
understanding of your instrument.
And give you the steps to empower your use
of your instrument and
play it the way you want to.
I'll help you discover your voice and your
Now with classical, because they're
looking for
a particular sound depending on how you've
been categorized for example.
If you've been told that okay, you're a
baritone or you're a tenor or
you're an alto or you're a soprano, it's
you know, these different categorizations,
each category has a particular sound that
is considered correct.
This is above and beyond really vocal
technique, this is first,
this is how you should sound.
So in the exercises that you would do in
classical, and if you ever studied
classical you would have a better
understanding of what I'm talking about.
You're supposed to make these particular
for example
You know, would be a sound that probably
would be considered okay rather than,
which is more aligned with how do you just
That's what we're gonna be using.
We're gonna use the way that you pronounce
your sounds.
As long as they aren't like you choking
yourself or something.
But the way that you pronounce your
vowels, that's what we're gonna
use to align your voice with the various
exercises that we're going to do.
By doing that, it's enhancing.
The mechanics of your voice muscularly so
that we get all of the different muscles
that have to do with making your sound
aligned, and we build and develop their
If you have studied classical there may be
a transition necessary.
Most of the time a person who has studied
classical gets very used to certain
sensations, certain sounds, certain ways
of pronouncing awe, or
ee or oh or whatever.
And unfortunately, I have found.
Well, it's a good thing that I found this
but unfortunate for the individual.
Many of these sounds end up using certain
muscle tensions.
For example, lifting the soft palate.
That is a very traditional and
usual direction that a singer studying a
classical approach to singing.
No matter what the teacher says,
style-wise they're teaching you
if it includes soft pallet lift that's a
classical technique.
Class, classical technique wants the back
of your mouth or
you could call it the back of your throat
to have an arch.
And a drop.
That's gonna tighten certain muscles.
As a result, your sound will become
Rather than opening many doors of choice
for you,
it limits what your choices are because
there's only one way you can sound.
Given that particular muscular direction,
like if you've ever been told to sing with
a yawn, for example.
You might try it right now, like yawn.
[SOUND] And you feel your soft palate lift
and your tongue drop.
Now try singing with that position.
And sing like.
An aw,
gets kind of tight so
then you have to learn how to work past
that and
then you find this certain sound and then
that's it, that's your sound.
So once again I don't want you to sound
like me.
I'm not trying to make you a clone, I want
you to have the joy
of your own choice of expression, and how
you sound.
The world has a Madonna, the world has a
the world has Odette from the, a blues
singer you may not know of.
She was a very big blues singer, the world
has everybody, you know?
That you can list, that you hear on the
What the world doesn't have perhaps yet,
is you.
Your strength lies.
In you being you.
And I'm gonna help you find your voice.
And if you've already been singing
then we're going to build what you already
Because if you're on this site and
you're taking these lessons then you know
that there's more you can do.
We're gonna find that.