It Doesn’t Sound Like Me

Weekly Teaching Tip – Feb. 5, 2012

This week’s teaching tip comes courtesy of one of our IVTOM teachers, Ali Harber. She mentioned that she had two students this week that had similar experiences and thought the IVTOM teachers might benefit from her experience.

The first student was a 23 year old female that she has really been working with to try and help her get into her higher notes. This week she was really sounding great and Ali was excited about it. Ali felt that the girl would be very excited about how high she was getting, but when Ali asked her about it her reply was, “It doesn’t sound like me.” Ali tried to explain to her that it really did sound like her, but that she just wasn’t used to hearing herself sing that high.

Later in the week 14 year old girl came in that has a very light and airy singing voice. Ali had been working with her to try and get her vocal cords more together and help her find her chest voice. Although she speaks in her chest and the vocal cords come together, when she sings she is totally soft and airy. Ali really pushed her not even worrying about mix, just helping her to feel chest voice and singing with her vocal cords together. She was doing ‘ah’ staccato down in her chest. Finally the girl started getting it and for the very first time got a powerful sound when she was singing. Ali was way excited, but the girl looked like she was about to cry. Ali asked her what was wrong and the girl said, “It doesn’t sound like me.”

It is interesting to note that singers get so used to how they sound and how they sing that even when they do something that sounds good and something that they want to do, like sing high or sing strong it is difficult for them to accept because it feels and sounds so strange to them.  Not only do we need to help singers get in a better place, but we also have to help them accept this new place, the new sounds and these new feelings.

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