Teaching the pop singer who “won’t try”

I have a very talented new student who has a beautiful voice. He is one who pulls chest then flips into falsetto. I have tried explaining that “head voice” isn’t bad and it still resonates in the same place as falsetto, but just stronger since the chords stay connected instead of coming apart.

I think part of the problem is that he wants to sing songs that are too high for him, then gets frustrated when he can’t reach the notes.  I have tried to give him exercises to simply help him feel the sensation, like just going “wooh” like a roller-coaster or an owl and sometimes just a sigh from the top down.  But every time he tries, he stops himself before really ever going there and backs off and says “I can’t.” He will sometimes push it hard and force the notes up there, but I don’t want him yelling it either. I also wish he would show up every week for lessons. That is also frustrating since he is pretty new to singing lessons.

Does anyone have any suggestions for simply getting him to TRY? I just can’t seem to get him past that comfort zone to even feel what it will feel like so he doesn’t have to be afraid. I just have not had someone like him who is so afraid of that new sensation to the point where they give up so easily. Any comments or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. 🙂 Thanks!

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  1. Aimee,
    I describe my studio as a lab to my students and tell them we have to experiment with isolated sounds that don’t sound alot like singing. since muscle has memory sometimes we have to trick the vocalis muscles into making a sound in the “correct” position before we can use it for real singing.
    Hope this helps. I find alot of singers want to sound “perfect” all the time and have a hard time getting out of their comfort or “survival” zone. For some of my guys I liken alot of what we do to atheletic training. There are alot of exercises and stretches they appear to have nothing to do with the event they are preparing for…..vocal training is alot like that. In the end your student will to trust the “coach” and at least try or he will not progress and get better. You may also say that he probably won’t make the note singing with his ‘regular” approach. You are giving him a “new” approach using new muscles his vocal cords are not used to. Sorry lots of ideas but one may work. I think guys are particularly sensitive to feeling and looking silly.I also play the following video which I will post in another comment box as ‘the editor” It “sometimes” helps guys to “hear” what we are trying to do with a male voice. looks like for now I will have to post the video on facebook.

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