I had a pretty amazing voice lesson the other day.
I arrived in New York Broadway bound. Ironically, the influencing question was 'Go to New York for Broadway or go to New Orleans for Jazz?' My thoughts at the time were, I'm only young and active now, let me see how Broadway works.
Jazz found me in New York instead...
From being employed at a Jazz club and now working on standards and building my repertoire, its just funny how the universe puts you in your place.
So at the lesson, my coach asked me 'what kind of sound do you want?' It was interesting because I was just talking to my roommate regarding the music in my book and how a lot of the songs we've gone over I don't find inspiring or at least entertaining. I've always sung what he wants me to and I decided I need to tell him what I want. Then he challenged me and said 'do you even know?' The thing is, I have a different voice. I'm not a Billy or a Nina or an Aretha but I have some soul. I can sound pretty and have a longevity with my notes. I can also sound like a teenager (i.e., Bye bye Birdie) So with a question like that, you can't say, I want to sound like Amy Winehouse because, well, every voice has its distinct quality. I know what I like to hear, but I'm not trying to copy anyone's specific sound.
Anyhow so he asked me what instruments I like the most and I said trumpet, piano and violins. (funny I've dated two of those)
So he said 'Pretend you're a trumpet and sing this song'. Now I obviously wasn't singing 'wah whahaha', I sang it how I would sing it as myself.
When we finished he said 'thats the best I've ever heard you sing'.
I said,' Because I was having fun and singing it myself'.
He says, ' I'm going to slap you in the face'.
LOL. He's a trip.
I explained to him that I sing how he wants me to sing. Sing soft, I sing soft. Sing uberloud, I sing uberloud. And finally he tells me to be myself and its the best. I really think we found the right place.
He drilled technique into my voice and as long as I can keep practicing and keep my sound consistent, I free to learn songs on my own, which essentially is what I need to do on my own anyhow.
On another positive note, I've been networking like a crazy! I have collected so many business cards from various fellow vocalists or writers. Its been pretty amazing. I feel so blessed to have had such opportunities that are allowing me to do this...