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FREE SINGING LESSON



ABOUT VOCAL TECHNIQUE - THIS IS NOT A GOAL FOR ITS OWN SAKE!!!


Vocal technique helps you to:
1) improve your performances,
2) make sure that you can do the things that you want to do with your voice &
3) help you with eventual problems before some of your habits make you land in offices of othorinolaringologists and/or logopedists.

WHAT YOU MUST HAVE:


1) Intonation & Rhythm - this is a BASE and this can’t be taught.
If you have it – we can build on it, if you don’t – you are Florence Foster Jenkins.
2) Good news: Vast majority of people who can speak can sing as well and there is only a vague chance that you are in any respect similar to Florence Foster Jenkins.

BLOCKADES:


1) Beware of underestimation of yourself and beware of taking yourself too seriously.
If you would be a neurosurgeon, and if you would need to perform a very risky operation – the worst thing that could happen to you is your poor patient being dead.
Finitto, cut, the end, конец.
If you are a singer and you sing in public – the worst thing that can (and most probably will) happen to you is that somebody is not going to like it.
Somebody is always not going to like it and this is really O.K.
So you just learn to live with it.
Even if somebody doesn’t like it – you probably won’t experience rotten tomatoes and eggs being thrown on you.
2) If you love to sing – it’s a HUGE WASTE to sing only in the shower.
Let the people hear you, they are mostly going to be grateful and happy about it.

CHOOSING YOUR VOCAL TEACHERS


1) Beware of the vocal teachers who DO NOT SING ACTIVELY THEMSELVES!
If your vocal teacher is not performing LIVE (or barely did and/or never did) – this is a sure sign that they lack the most important experiences they must offer to their students!
Although I do not find music should be competitive, you should make a parallel to sports and think about playing table-tennis, for instance: If my trainer doesn’t bring most of my balls back, why is he/she your trainer and not the other way around?
2) LISTEN TO THEM, DAMN IT!
So called “voice teachers” love to sweet-talk about their credentials, love to make fancy websites, adore terms such as “phrasing”, “intonation”, etc. – but if they do not have good intonation and good phrasing themselves (LIVE, ON STAGE, IN THAT VERY MOMENT YOU ARE LISTENING) – it is most likely that they are not going to be able to teach you that.
If you do not like somebody singing – just don’t buy it.
3) It is true, that not all great vocalists are great teachers as well (some of them don’t have the time to teach, some don’t like to teach, some feel that they are too good for doing that and their egos are standing in their way, some don’t know how to teach ‘cause what they know does not flow, etc.).
Still, the other way around does not function – if somebody just teaches and never or almost never sings, it is time to start being suspicious (although I reserve the right to be wrong and I hope to be wrong in some cases).
4) Trust yourself – sometimes there are times to move on and learn different things from other people.
5) Let me put one more thing clear: For most of the active performers, teaching is that PLAN B.
This is perfectly cool and honest.
And I am sure that doesn’t apply for every single profession, but I truly believe that in music and in sports YOU MUST STAY FIT BY SIMPLY DOING IT!
6) Choose wisely!
Choose your voice teacher as if you would choose your physician!
7) My personal motivation:
a) I’d rather provide good people with good stuff and important information than spend months on tours with bands and/or projects I dislike and can’t stand for and/or I am not interested in.
b) My students help me stay vocally fit myself – if they wouldn’t exist, I would probably get very lazy and/or cozy and would not develop my personal borders & points of view.
c) Through my students I learn something I wouldn’t normally learn in other circumstances (for example, I got to know some great music I wouldn’t know without them).

EXPECTATIONS & MOTIVATIONS:


1) If your goal is to be famous instead of creatively expressing yourself – don’t take them voice lessons; make viral videos and post them on Youtube, train your dog/cat/any pet to do something strange/unusual, make a quality porn video, etc.
2) Your teacher won’t turn you to Whitney Houston during her glorious days – he/she IS NOT A MAGICIAN.
If you want to take a few lessons and become Whitney, Aretha, etc. – NO WAY, JOSE!
This is a hard work and it’s the same as in other professions – there must be a reason for you not being Roger Federer, Steven Hawking and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel; therefore you are also not Whitney Houston.
3) Now you must forget what you just read ABOVE and realize that you are still exceptional!
YOU CAN ONLY SOUND LIKE YOU, BUT YOU CAN LEARN THAT IT IS TRULY GREAT TO BE YOU!
4) Check your motivation: If you don’t sing because you genuinely love to sing and must sing – we all can’t help you much.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:


1) BE A MUSICIAN, DAMN IT!
Make your own decisions about what you want and why do you want it!
Learn to play other instruments as well!
2) Do not expect that you can just put the flower in your hair and pretend that you are Billie Holiday, Christina Aguilera (or whatever) – and the rest of the musicians involved (supposing that you do not do all your performances just solo & a cappella) are going to do the rest of YOUR SHIT and YOUR MUSIC for you.
3) YOU NEED TO KNOW:
a) WHERE YOU ARE (the FORM!),
b) WHEN YOU ARE (the RHYTHM!),
c) WHAT YOU ARE (mostly the MELODY!),
d) WHY YOU ARE (now this is tricky, it depends on what do you want to do and only you can answer this particular question – but it can be the COMPOSITION, the INTERPRETATION, the INTERPENETRATION, etc.),
e) WHAT ARE YOU SAYING (the LYRICS, if applied – or not, it may be something else, equally important),
f) WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF YOUR IMPACT (the HARMONY),
g) HOW YOU ARE GOING TO CONVINCE SOMEONE TO BELIEVE WHAT YOU SAY (the PHRASING),
h) HOW YOU ARE GOING TO DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO (the ARRANGEMENT),
h) WHAT ELSE HAPPENS ARROUND YOU AND SOMETIMES (UNFORTUNATELY) APART FROM YOU (the BAND, the INSTRUMENTAL SET-UP, the SOUND, the VENUE, the AUDIENCE, etc.)
4) There is nothing worse than students expecting you to make their decisions – if you want to sing, you should at least know what you want to sing and not expect from me to choose out of whole music history for you!

VOCAL HYGIENE:


1) Drink more water.
1) Try not to smoke as a chimney, drink as a skunk and do not take drugs except from (I do not exactly know why, but here still illegal) marihuana.
Even if you smoke & like pot it will do you good to NOT be completely stoned on your lessons with me and my colleagues and/or on your gigs (out of several reasons I won’t mention right now).
2) Avoid drinking carbonated beverages & eating acidic foods in the evening.
3) Sleep well & enough (not just 5 hours as the legend says about Margaret Thatcher).
4) Enjoy life and don’t stress yourself.
5) If you are a teacher in some school fighting for the presence of your voice in the classroom full of puberty – don’t try to overyell them, but buy yourself a football whistle, ‘cause it’s louder than 30 of them teenagers and/or kids.

PRICES:


1) You need to decide – what is it worth for you?
2) And you need to research carefully because some teachers offer nothing for much.
3) Do value this work of ours.
4) My personal understanding of social justice and empowerment:
Single moms & dads, very talented but broke teenagers, handicapped persons and socially vulnerable people are going to pay less than you – and this is beyond any discussion.

CANCELLATION POLICY:


1) If you get sick I have compassion.
Do not come to your lesson, transmit your disease to me and my class and make us all incapable of singing and/or teaching for the next few weeks.
2) Do notify me about your cancellation or any changes by 24 hours before your scheduled lesson.
Otherwise we lose time and you must pay for that time.

PERSONAL PREFERENCES:


1) If I say to you that I do not have time for teaching you – I just don't.
2) If I don’t like a student – I won’t teach him/her (it would cost me much time and energy to pretend that I do).
3) If you don’t appreciate my work – please do not approach me for lessons because I value my aesthetic and technical criteria quite high.
4) I love my students to do something with their music and their lives in general – there is a time where they should move on and make entrance examinations, create great bands, write music they don’t need me for, move to more interesting cities and/or countries, do beautiful performances, etc.
This is what I ask from all of you – love what you do, don’t stop doing it, create great music and move on INDEPENDENTLY.
Thank you for reading.