Transcript of "Teachers Talk on Music Theater and Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM)" from December 4, 2011

This is the transcript from the December 4, 2011 NATS Chat. NATS Chat host Dr. Kari Ragan moderated a discussion for teachers on music theater and contemporary commercial music (CCM). This chat took place on the NATS Chat Facebook Group. Please join us for future chats, which are held in the NATS Chat Room on the NATS website. All are welcome to attend.

Kari Ragan: Welcome everyone already logged on. Glad you found us on FB tonight. I'm looking forward to a lively chat. As we navigate the increase in chatters-there will be some trial and error. I would like to suggest that tonight if you want to start a new topic please send me a side chat and I will lead the new topic. LETS GET STARTED. Is there anyone logged on who is NOT familiar with the term CCM? Jeanette LoVetri was the pioneer in this terminology to replace the term "non-classical."

Katy Peterson: I know that is stands for Contemporary Commercial Music, but you expand up on what entails?

Edrie Means Weekly: Actually it was J Lovetri who coined the term CCM at the NYC Belt workshop in 2000.

Kari Ragan: In entails really all music not classical. As I explain to my students: when you think of the 'musical pie' classical is a small portion. Think of all the music that falls under the Contemporary Commercial Music qualities.

Kari Ragan: Ann Adamik posted earlier this week that she would like to discuss how to start preteen (10-14 year olds) on a path to healthy CCM singing as well as teach both CCM and legit.

Laura Proctor: I am interested in that as well

Kari Ragan: Since this is a teachers talk and I know we have a lot of fabulous teachers on tonight please-let's begin a dialogue for Ann who hopefully is with us tonight.

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: At that age, would it benefit the student most to concentrate on fundamentals of breath?..that would be needed for classical and CCM, correct?

Christina Thompson Howell: I do not teach that age group but have children that age. For them, I want them to understand the difference between :head" and "chest" in a functional way

Rachel Day Velarde: With young students I always focus on encouraging good vocal hygiene habits, especially hydration, and REALLY emphasize the importance of physical fitness, so that the breath flow can be optimized from the start.

Kari Ragan: I think we can all agree the fundamentals of breath is one of the important components in teaching young voices in any genre.

Veera Khare Asher: I also feel that target goals for good posture should be a focus.

Mike Ruckles: I think that you really must begin with the student's speaking voice, particularly when dealing with CCM styles that are absolutely centered around the connection to speech. Are there inherent problems there already or is the speech well-placed and EASY? Hyper or hypo-nasal?

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: I do agree that calling attention to the different registers is essential, especially considering most of what they are listening to is chest/pop.

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: It's also important to work on releasing tension in the neck and tongue, no matter what age.

Kari Ragan: Love it Mike!

Edrie Means Weekly: I have had professional young singers as well as non-professional - teach them pretty much the same - breath management - isolating and balancing registers

Rachel Day Velarde: For those who are "belt-inclined" I really work on making them aware of the pressure of the voice (too much = potentially harmful) and to really be comfortable using the "nasty" sound that can create the correct resonance w/o the pressure.

Valerie White Williams: The foundation of good singing is the same but the vowels and "mouth position" is different belt vs. legit

Kari Ragan: Kristin I love the approach to introducing them to registers as well.

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: I agree with Edrie, breath management, isolating registers, in both CCM and Classical, no matter what age.

Valerie White Williams: breath is key

Laura Proctor: I'd like to hear your thoughts on vowels and mouth placement

Katy Peterson: What are some ways you encourage teenage male singers to develop their high range in a healthy way? So many pop songs are for screaming tenors that students usually try to get the pharyngeal sound without having a clue as to how

Christina Thompson Howell: "Breath support" in the way that an opera singer would think of it, it more complex than they would use but a basic understanding in order to facilitate flow is important

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: Valerie, I agree. It's best to let them discover the difference in placement for each genre.

Kari Ragan: With regard to Mike I'd like to say teaching other teachers to listen to the speaking voice is one of my great passions. This week I had yet another singer come from a different studio and I knew immediately from her speaking voice she was in trouble. Luckily, I'm an SVS and have a team in place. She got the diagnosis of pre-nodules and now we begin the road to habilitation.

Valerie White Williams: classical and choir vowels are vertical. belt is horizontal. with bite

Michelle Bret: As a student strengthening the TA muscle to support my voice as a classical singer, the major difference for me is being able to feel if there is pressing or pulling in order to produce the sound that i think im look at a younger age it would be key to identify that difference I would think...that's from my experience though.

Laura Proctor: I find that there is some crossover as far as vowels go

Christina Thompson Howell: Valerie brings up an important point as well - most of the singers in the age range we are discussing are singing at several points on the belt-classical continuum. They need to understand how to switch back and forth

Mike Ruckles: That's great, Kari. With a new student, I ask questions, not just to get the answers, but to really listen to their speech.

Ellie Seligman: Registration in teens for CCM seems to be a big challenge, much more than with classical singing. They love the power of their chest voice and really struggle to find the mix because they don't want to let go of the full-belty-chest voice.

Kari Ragan: Where is the like button Mike!

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: Speech is useful in Classical training, to, in helping them to connect into the chest voice.

Valerie White Williams: I agree, Barbara

Mike Ruckles: I'm an SVS as well, Kari, so we may be on the same wavelength!

Ellie Seligman: Mike - As a teacher, the funny thing is trying to carry on normal conversation when I am aware that my own teacher is doing the same thing to me...listening to HOW I speak!

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: Yes, Barbara, I find that essential too! Too many young girls especially have no idea how to blend head down into their chest.

Edrie Means Weekly: They need to cross train their vocal production muscles

Katy Peterson: not sure if my posts were visible before. What are some ways you encourage teenage male singers to develop their high range in a healthy way? So many pop songs are for screaming tenors that students usually try to get the pharyngeal sound without having a clue as to how

Ellie Seligman: What is working for all of you on encouraging that blending of registers in teens?

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: Lots of slides!

Jacqueline Venable: top down slides

David Sabella-Mills: Katy - Anthony Frisell has a great little book on that

Valerie White Williams: I have found most young girls don't like their head voice because it's wimpy, once they learn how to energize the sound, they ;like it better

David Sabella-Mills: imply called the Tenor voice

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: I find that some students find slides up easier. Both work.

David Sabella-Mills: he encourages developing the detached falsetto first

Laura Proctor: I have 3 13 year old boys in the middle of voice changing. It's been an interesting week

Ellie Seligman: I've been using slides down extensively, but have to be patient with the results.

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: Valerie, I tell my early teen girls that their head voice is weak because they aren't used to using it. I liken it to working out at the gym.

Valerie White Williams: slides, sirens, humming

David Sabella-Mills: and then melting it into what he calls the middle falsetto and finally into a mix

Edrie Means Weekly: develop the falsetto

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: The Titze straw exercise is good for blending registers, too.

Katy Peterson: Thanks David. slides and occlusion exercises are great. I'm wondering what else is out there. I think there is application for the cuperto in CCM to help avoid chest strain and find mix not just head

Mike Ruckles: Yes detached falsetto is very helpful for men. But I don't know what "middle falsetto" is. What do you mean by "the cuperto"?

Mike Ruckles: I use a LOT of Resonant Voice work (Verdolini/Lessac) which really, I find, makes the passaggi disappear.

David Sabella-Mills: Occluded exercises also very good

Katy Peterson: detached falsetto as in just start in the "mickey mouse voice" and find that first?

Ellie Seligman: I've been using the straw slides, too. Sounds like I am doing all the right things and just need to be patient and trust that as the muscles strengthen and they get used to the voice, the blend will happen on its own more.

David Sabella-Mills: the top of the yodel. the "oops I cracked " voice

David Sabella-Mills: Middle falsetto = true head voice for male

Ellie Seligman: Yes, Verdolini/Lessac techniques do work very well for this sort of thing, too.

David Sabella-Mills: but with more pharyngeal resonance

Mike Ruckles: I refer to some wonderful SLPs here in NYC when necessary.

Kari Ragan: Ellie-sounds like you are. Many of us I'm certain talk about being vocal athletes to our student. That analogy really helps them to get that we need to understand anatomy/physiology.

Valerie White Williams: Ellie, yes!

Mike Ruckles: and that training takes TIME

Barbara De Maio Caprilli: And lots of patience!

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: Absolutely agree!

Mike Ruckles: basketball stars are not made in a year's time

Ellie Seligman: Many thanks Kari and Valerie. I love this kind of feedback. We are so isolated sometimes!

Laura Proctor: True

Kari Ragan: What a knowledgeable group on tonight.

Mandi Berlin: I am feeling so encouraged right now watching these ideas fly back and forth....

Kari Ragan: Is there another topic someone would like to start?

Katy Peterson: what are your thoughts on pharyngeal voice techniques for men and women?

Valerie White Williams: How about cross do you works with singers who wish to sing both styles professionally?...student or pros

Lauretta Haskel: Going back to young girls around 14 with little sense chest voice--what's the best way to introduce belting--I'd like to hear from Edrie on this one.

Kari Ragan: Since Katy got in first let's go to pharyngeal voice then move to Valerie.

Laura Proctor: I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on impatient 13 year old male singers in the middle of voice changing

Kelly Stuible: I second the cross training idea

David Sabella-Mills: has there been talk about traditional belt vs contemporary belt?

Barbara De Maio Caprilli: Katy, I'm not sure what you mean by pharyngeal techniques

Ellie Seligman: We talk about opera being too heavy for the teen voice. What is the current thinking on musicals that are too heavy for the young voice? Like perhaps "Wicked?"

Kari Ragan: Hang on: Let's let Edrie answer Loretta's question before moving forward.

Mandi Berlin: so agree with Ellie!

Mike Ruckles: Can I state, for the record, that the term "pharyngeal voice", while historical, makes me CRAZY?? ALL voices are pharyngeal voices!

Laura Proctor: Couldn't avoid Defying Gravity last year in that age group, but it has passed here

David Sabella-Mills: Pharyngeal refers to a resonance characteristic. twangy. lofty

Edrie Means Weekly: By cross training the vocal production muscles creating laryngeal flexibility allowing the singer to switch back and forth between registers and styles by making different interior shapes or positions to allow changes in the resonance to serve the style

Katy Peterson: I understand. "non-legit" and "legit" make me apoplectic

David Sabella-Mills: pharyngeal

Barbara De Maio Caprilli: Agreed, Mike, I'm never sure what that means

Mike Ruckles: Estill's "twang" always made more sense, as it references the actual sound.

Valerie White Williams: Hi Susan, I agree as usual.

Mike Ruckles: Or squillo or ring or ping! Anything but "pharyngeal"!

Mike Ruckles: And how many non-Estill people know what Estill's twang is?

Katy Peterson: when you think of the edgy passion of high tenor vocals that's what most people banter about pharyngeal at the moment

Mike Ruckles: Right.

Laura Proctor: I do, but it must be because I'm old

Valerie White Williams: is it that nasal edge=twang?

David Sabella-Mills: well that depends

Mike Ruckles: Twang can be nasal or denasal.

David Sabella-Mills: Domingo did not use Pharyngeal resonance

Mandi Berlin: that whiney pop sound?

David Sabella-Mills: but pavarotti did

Katy Peterson: Adele isn't particularly nasal-y, but could be described often in her energy as pharyngeal

Mike Ruckles: I would not put squillo and CCM twang on the same page.

David Sabella-Mills: right brain

Laura Proctor: me either

Barbara De Maio Caprilli: Ah, the Singer's Formant, then, is what you are calling Pharyngeal?

Mike Ruckles: How would you differentiate them?

David Sabella-Mills: squillo also part of singer's format

Katy Peterson: twang is more of a country term. not particularly pharyngeal

Valerie White Williams: could someone define twang?

David Sabella-Mills: NO pharyngeal is more use of 2nd formant tuning

Cynthia Vaughan: its always a challenge to describe SOUNDS with words!

David Sabella-Mills: twang - frontal res

Valerie White Williams: In regards to this discussion

David Sabella-Mills: a nasal quality in some loft = more legit covered sound

Mike Ruckles: Not sure. Twang and squillo are often taught the same way by the same teachers. "Puppet/witch voice" How do we differentiate them physiologically?

Katy Peterson: I think one of the biggest problems with CCM pedagogy is the youth of its terminology. We still can't universally agree what sounds are or what terms mean

Valerie White Williams: David ...then would twang be opposite than loft or can a sound contain both?

Unknown: I feel that twang negates nasal - while we imagine the sound has a nasal edge, the loudness means there is no actual nasality.

David Sabella-Mills: pharyngeal - straight up through the top and "witchy"

Mike Ruckles: Very true Katy.

David Sabella-Mills: twang and loft opposite, but good classical sound does what a combination chiaroscurro. pop and ccm sound no loft

Valerie White Williams: So true, katy...we could be talking the same thing but not know it

Katy Peterson: so the question is how to develop the passionate "wow" quality in a healthy way for our singers. I don't care what we call it

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: Agreed

Katy Peterson: However, I love these discussions that help us get on the same page

Kari Ragan: agreed

Edrie Means Weekly: agree

Katy Peterson: and Cynthia is so right that it's difficult to type a description of a sound

Kari Ragan: Let's move on the CROSSTRAINING!

David Sabella-Mills: love crosstraining. keeps my voice in shape

Edrie Means Weekly: love, love love

Kari Ragan: What are some ideas from you brilliant teachers.

Mike Ruckles: It's an absolute must.

Trish Causey: Absolutely!

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: The best. Helps the voice!

Mandi Berlin: is it more than just varied repertoire?

Cynthia Vaughan: No matter what fancy scientific terminology we use amongst ourselves, its important to find various ways to communicate the concepts clearly to our students.

Kari Ragan: Can we ALL agree that if you sing in different genres you must master the stylistic qualities.

Mandi Berlin: yes

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: Yes, more than just rep, it is also style

David Sabella-Mills: yes

Mike Ruckles: Yes ma'am.

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: Yes, definitely.

Unknown: style informs tone

Cynthia Vaughan: Agree re cross training. It helps all styles

Valerie White Williams: Kari...yes! it must be authentic!

Kari Ragan: In other words: no pop singers singing classically without training and no opera singers sounding like...well...opera singers singing music theater.

Mike Ruckles: right

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: YES!

Mike Ruckles: Please God.

David Sabella-Mills: don't get me started on Kiri's JAZZ album

Edrie Means Weekly: Yes - it's more than varied rep, style -- it's total vocal function

Mandi Berlin: do you sing it cleanly first and then add in stylistic nuances?

Cynthia Vaughan: yes, kari!

Mike Ruckles: I had repressed that David!

Unknown: and then singers must recognize the difference between STYLE and TRADITION

David Sabella-Mills: but Eileen Farrell, she could do it

Katy Peterson: sounds scary, David

Valerie White Williams: One size voice does not fit all styles!!!

Trish Causey: re: Kiri's "jazz" album... oh, god... thought I was the only one who remembered that awful ting...

Cynthia Vaughan: great point Susan!

Kari Ragan: So glad we're all in agreement. Now how do we continue to educate our NATS teachers more classically attuned.

Laura Proctor: Would anyone mind if some of my graduate PH D vocal students hopped on here?

Unknown: and style isn't the same as stylizing either

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: Kiri's jazz was no worse that Barbra's Classical or Sting's Dowland.

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: So if you are dealing with an adult who is very advanced in belt, what classical rep should they be working on? Baroque and early classical?

David Sabella-Mills: agrees. or Patti Labelle Nesun Dormas. dorma

Mike Ruckles: They shouldn't work on classical at all unless they specifically want to do that rep.

David Sabella-Mills: the breathing techniques help

Mike Ruckles: As long as they are USING and maintaining that musculature, I'm happy.

Kari Ragan: Interesting comment Brian. Expand please.

David Sabella-Mills: that where the cross training comes in for pop singers

Mike Ruckles: The laryngeal musculature must be balanced.

Edrie Means Weekly: laryngeal flexibility allowing the singer to switch back and forth between registers

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: I'm not sure that I agree, there, Brian, I think that cross training should be between CCM and Classical, too

Mike Ruckles: Cross-training doesn't mean everyone needs classical as one of the "crossover points"

Trish Causey: Functional training is what teachers should teach to all students... Opera is a style just like Broadway is a style...

Timothy Ballard: I am sorry I disagree

David Sabella-Mills: yes edire

Unknown: style is one thing - and physical athleticism is another

David Sabella-Mills: with what point tim?

Kari Ragan: Timothy. What are you disagreeing with?

Valerie White Williams: and some styles require more athleticism

Trish Causey: Teach the voice, THEN teach a style according to a student's goals and abilities....

Mandi Berlin: I always though of classical as like ballet with dance, all stems from it

Unknown: you can learn the requirements but it doesn't mean you have the physical attributes to reproduce it authentically

Mandi Berlin: yes, Trish

Cynthia Vaughan: Brian, I've got some rock singers who love singing Italian art song. One guy wants to do a rock cover of Lasciatemi morire. That would rock!

Timothy Ballard: That singers shouldn't work on Classical rep if they want to do MT or pop CCM

Mezzoid: Do we have to define breathing as specifically classical?

David Sabella-Mills: in many cases though the style dictates the function

Mike Ruckles: Yes, but if they hate classical it doesn't mean they can't be taught or even "cross-trained"

515002233: that's only after the basics of vocal behavior are physicalized

Mike Ruckles: yes Susan!

Mandi Berlin: like that statement, Susan!

Mike Ruckles: chest and head, bright and dark, high and low

Valerie White Williams: work on head voice doesn't need to be classical

Mike Ruckles: Very true, Susan. I had a student come in this week who had a big callback for the new musical "Prince of Broadway". She had to sing "Buenos Aires" AND the end of "Phantom of the Opera". Extraordinary high belt and extraordinary high soprano. Cross-training!

David Sabella-Mills: RESPECT for the desired style and necessary function, no matter what it is. that's my motto.

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: But if someone wants to be completely versatile in the professional realm? Don't you think that classical fluid literature would help?

Trish Causey: The great thing with cross-training, esp. in MT, is that one show you're singing legit and the next you might be belting... you have to be prepared...

Timothy Ballard: Well I have a young girl who definitely has a folk sound but she is making HUGE strides in that rep with French art song

Veera Asher: on an aside: I think it is important to ask students what music or artists they are listening to. Also, I educate them on recording techniques that might be used to get a certain 'effect' on a recording. It is important to demonstrate what the 'real sound' is in the studio before it is processed. (re: CCM)

Mike Ruckles: There's plenty of "fluid" stuff in R& B and gospel and jazz

Susan: : well if they truly want to sing classical rep - but even so- what within classical rep? there are many styles and genres there too

Valerie White Williams: Kristin...yes IF they were heading in that way

Trish Causey: Classical should never be forced on a student. EVER.

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: I always start with early English, Dowland, Purcell

Timothy Ballard: Sometimes its for opening their minds as much as technique...

Mezzoid: Early music style is very different from verismo!

Katy Peterson: Veera, love your point about vocals being processed. Singers don't sound like fully mastered recordings when they're in the studio

Edrie Means Weekly: Remember good CCM singers greatly vary their sound quality by altering the shape of the vocal tract.

Valerie White Williams: Actually, I have found the Beatles catalogue to have music from almost every genre

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: True, and early music is usually more approachable for crossover training than Verismo

David Sabella-Mills: yes veera, I always ask who they listen to, it informs their choices

Mike Ruckles: I have all young students try some classical, I just don't force it on anyone who is more advanced, or is older.

Cynthia Vaughan: Thats great, MIke. The singers who work steadily are often the ones who are versatile, are reliable, and can stay healthy.

Trish Causey: @Brian - agreed...

Mike Ruckles: Indeed, Cynthia!

Timothy Ballard: Agreed Brian

David Sabella-Mills: and Broadway is a fickle mistress

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: Of course, Brian, that I can agree with.

Kari Ragan: Great conversation.

David Sabella-Mills: she will ask you to belt and legit in the same night

Unknown: I would say that's true and there is a lot of vocal tract playing that is possible for switching as long as it's done in a healthy and very knowledgeable way.

Susan: : a fickle mistress?! she can be an absolute WHORE!

Trish Causey: @Brian -- as in, to try it on for size is one thing... to force a student into that rep for an extended period is a great way to lose a kid from music...

Katy Peterson: @valerie, so true about Beatles versatility

Mandi Berlin: LOL!

Mike Ruckles: lol

Kari Ragan: Christina Thompson: Please start the next topic we side chatted about.

Trish Causey: @Susan - HAHA!

Susan: : (oops should be my inside voice)

Timothy Ballard: OK.... but belting and the young girl particularly???? LOL Susan

Susan: : belting and young girl = ridiculous

David Sabella-Mills: how young? how developed the larynx

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: I don't force my students to sing classical, but if they ask me what will help them most in their trouble areas of technique, sometimes classical is my answer.

Valerie White Williams: anyone else work with pop, rock and r&B singers? these folks don't want to sing classical! they just want to sing their rep better!

Timothy Ballard: AGREED SUSAN

Susan: : the muscular development hasn't happened yet!!

Christina Thompson Howell: How to address teachers who are not as well versed in teaching the CCM technique.

Mezzoid: Paul Sperry said, in his keynote speech at a NATS conference, that one thing we do as teachers with beginning students is give them Italian. So not only do they have to do all these new things with breath and resonance, they have to do it in a foreign language.

David Sabella-Mills: toooo fast. let me catch up

Christina Thompson Howell: There are still misconceptions and bad information out there how to address these folks in a respectful yet firm way

Susan: : agreed Christina

Unknown: Belting and young girl shouldn't really appear in the same sentence unless there is a level of unusual maturity

Katy Peterson: Valerie, that's my clientele, too. Almost zero classical

Timothy Ballard: David.... 12-15 or even 16/17

David Sabella-Mills: hello? Annie

Mike Ruckles: agreed Sandy

Susan: : and even then - it has to be approached very carefully -

Christina Thompson Howell: In a recent conversation with J LoVetri I asked her just this question and her answer was quite helpful to me

Edrie Means Weekly: agreed

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: Christine, I agree, which is why I start with Early English and not Italian

Mandi Berlin: christine, so was he saying this is a bad thing?

Mezzoid: He believed that singers start in their native language and hold out foreign literature as an incentive. And by the same token, I will start people out in legit MT rep instead.

Christina Thompson Howell: She suggested that I approach the colleague and just focus on function function function and for those who know her, you know what this sounded like

Mezzoid: Yes, Mandi, he felt that it was overwhelming.

Christina Thompson Howell: at any rate

Trish Causey: Jeanie ROCKS!

Christina Thompson Howell: she suggested that I speak to this person AS IF she understood the function

Mike Ruckles: yup no Italian the first year

Mike Ruckles: I'm running into a LOT of colleagues who seem to be teaching into a stylistic bias over function. It's disconcerting.

David Sabella-Mills: I don't think you can say a very young girl is "belting" her instrument is not developed and so the lower half is not functioning as an adult

Unknown: Function, technique, function. That's the place to focus if the student is to find a personal and authentic rather than mimicked voice.

Nancy Bos: BTW, I work with belt in all ages, even young girls. I do not have any issues with it as it is properly done as a bright, belty mix -- not like Adele. However, it is crucial in all voice to make sure all 3 or so octaves (often more in kids) is healthy every week.

Mezzoid: I agree, Brian.

Christina Thompson Howell: just keep talking about with the implication of "Well of course you know this a particular fact..." One cannot argue with the fact of the physiology

Timothy Ballard: One local NON NATS teacher espouses belting and has a studio FULL of little screamers 3 of which have been treated for nodules....They are all 12-14

David Sabella-Mills: oh GOd

Unknown: That makes me very mad.

Mike Ruckles: Tim, we must do an intervention!!

Mandi Berlin: that is awful

Cynthia Vaughan: An exception to cross training is a singer/songwriter who has a distinct sound. They want ONE basic sound or color We work technique specifically to that artist's works.

Nancy Bos: little screamers is pretty harsh. If that's an accurate description it is poor teaching.

Kari Ragan:

Christina Thompson Howell: I think patience is the key.

Trish Causey: Belting is not a dirty word!

David Sabella-Mills: yes, intervention. Turn that teacher onto the NYSTA PDP course. courses

Edrie Means Weekly: agree cynthia

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: Neither is classical a dirty word...

Timothy Ballard: Brian good luck!

Kari Ragan: We've come a LONG way in the past several years. Look at this chat for an example.

Mike Ruckles: I don't know who it is Tim, would be interesting to get the dirt sometime.

Unknown: No, belting isn't a dirty word, it's just very hard on the young vocal system.

Valerie White Williams: Yes, we have!

David Sabella-Mills: PLEASE tell all of your colleagues about the NYSTA Courses

Mike Ruckles: kinda like marriage - best to grow up a bit

David Sabella-Mills: very valuable

Timothy Ballard: Adele???? I admit to not listening to a LOT of her stuff but what she seems to do isn't belt most of the time it's just wearing on the chest voice constantly...

Kari Ragan: I think of how patience Jeanette and Robert have been for YEARS.

Veera Asher: Agree Cynthia

David Sabella-Mills: yes, Kari

Nancy Bos: Timothy -- I agree with you about Adele for most of the time.

Valerie White Williams: But even pop singers can use different vocal colors and textures....this is where we can help them develop more

Timothy Ballard: LIttle screamers would seem tone correct if they are winding up with nodules and cysts?

Edrie Means Weekly: Absolutely

Cynthia Vaughan: One of the tenets of CoreSinging (little plug ;-)) is that everyone has the right to study with anyone they choose. I no longer feel a need to save anyone from "bad" teaching. I just concentrate on the singer in front of me.

Kari Ragan: Before we get off on Adele:

Mike Ruckles: We must ALSO understand, however, that some teachers call EVERYTHING belting. ANYthing related to speaking is belting, which I find enormously confusing.

Katy Peterson: Here's what's undeniable about Adele for me: her passion and fire is universally appealing. Teaching students to get the fire and passion without hurting themselves is key

David Sabella-Mills: My studio is exclusively CCM and I do webcast a lot of my lessons, you are all welcome to look in anytime

Kari Ragan: Someone asked to discuss 13 year old male in middle of voice change. Who was that? Please state your question again.

Mike Ruckles: I have a lot of experience with that and blogged about it recently.

Mandi Berlin: David, might try to look in, is it under your name?

Ellie Seligman: Indeed, Katy!

Timothy Ballard: Studio full of voice changing males...

David Sabella-Mills: at

Unknown: I'm just joining this chat, but am a HUGE advocate for singers able to sing MANY different styles. As for children..oddly the best MT singers I have have been trained by the Royal School of Church Music program-healthy singing that I can then move through new styles as they mature.

Mandi Berlin: thx!

David Sabella-Mills: "view a live lesson" tab

Kari Ragan: Timothy-did you post the questions?

Laura Proctor: Yes, I have 3 of them at the moment although I am a prof, I have a private studio

Valerie White Williams: I agree, Katy. My students like Adele because she actually can sing...unlike the fakers

Timothy Ballard: Kari no... sorry

Waterbounddiva: I think a hot and helpful topic for NATS would be to further discuss teaching cross-training and function to 14-16 year old and beginning high school students. We also have many successful children who belt and it would be good to see their progress on a continuum of vocal development through the teenage years.

Mandi Berlin: oh my students love Adele!

Valerie White Williams: Young males...patience

Katy Peterson: I had a question about strengthening the teenage male voice top range

Mike Ruckles: work with the registers, much you can do even with the hole in the voice gotta work the falsetto Katy

Katy Peterson: almost all they hear is high tenor

Nancy Bos: regarding young males -- I have often run into problems where they are cast in a show that depends on them singing in their unchanged voice and they are stressed out their voices will change. Advice?

Cynthia Vaughan: yes, Katy

David Sabella-Mills: yes, divide and conquer

Laura Proctor: That's what I've been doing and they are so stressed out

David Sabella-Mills: the Peter Brady syndrome

Mike Ruckles: On the topic of Adele, incredibly powerful chesty singing is exciting to listen to. I wore out my CDs of LuPone in "Evita"! But we have to educate that it isn't always being produced in a viable way.

Timothy Ballard: Well mine may love Adele but I think it would be better to hear someone who doesn't need vocal surgery.... Agreed Katy. YES YES YES MIKE!!!!!

Mike Ruckles: Callas would be the classical comparison!

Timothy Ballard: Absolutely!

Katy Peterson: sorry about the Adele post but I cried when I heard she needed surgery. so avoidable

Unknown: Thanks, Tim. Indeed.

Mike Ruckles: I play Adele in my studio and we analyze what she is doing, where you can hear the problems and where it's working well.

Unknown: So avoidable, absolutely.

Cynthia Vaughan: Nancy, double casting is the only solution. I their voice is going to change mid run of the show, its going to happen. I was in a Secret Garden where one of the Collins had to be let go. He started as a treble and turned into a baby baritone.

David Sabella-Mills: and also when students HEAR that sound, they don't produce it correctly

Unknown: for young boys afariad of the change...te;; them to remember to take pressure off the larynx as they move to higher registers...think breathy and it will al be ok.

Mezzoid: I've had very good results with male voices but I feel like I've been lucky. The falsetto hasn't seemed to work that well for me.

Valerie White Williams: David, most don't!

Laura Proctor: All 3 are in musical theatre and despite my work with them, they keep giving them songs in such horrible keys(for the moment)

David Sabella-Mills: the hearing sounds big and powerful but the proper way of doing it is actually more intimate and spoken

Unknown: (just sang with a 13 year old Amahl with that issue...)

Katy Peterson: I feel like imitation can help singers play with and find their body awareness in classical voice, but they often strain when they try to imitate CCM

Mike Ruckles: Right! And I have SOME students in my studio whose voices really DO make that sound with vocal ease. It depends on the instrument. In belt, there are the LuPones and there are the Kerry Butlers.

Valerie White Williams: Yes! when right it feels narrow and bright although it is loud

Nancy Bos: Ease up on the pressure -- thanks for that. It's counter-intuitive for a 13 yr. old boy.

David Sabella-Mills: yes. and that's why the occluded Ex work. they take pressure off. and reset the function

Valerie White Williams: it's a feeling...

Mike Ruckles: Love the semi-occluded tract for belt.

Cynthia Vaughan: Katy, that might be because they can't SEE the pop/rock singers perform live. What they see in a music video is lipsyncing, so the artist can be doing all sorts of physical things that they weren't actually doing when they were being vocally recorded.

David Sabella-Mills: yes, occluded and semi occluded

Timothy Ballard: I use the straw!

Mike Ruckles: So true, Cynthia.

David Sabella-Mills: yes, straw

Ellie Seligman: Ooo, good point, Cynthia.

Kari Ragan: Mike-Dr. Titze was thrilled in our October nats chat to hear the straw phonation was helping CCM singers as well.

David Sabella-Mills: and NG

Valerie White Williams: plus...recording can be doctored and edited

Timothy Ballard: I also use lip trills

Katy Peterson: good point, Cynthia. I was just watching Glee and can't imagine they make those voices in the studio

Mandi Berlin: definition of straw please

David Sabella-Mills: kids also need to distinguish auto tune

Laura Proctor: am not pressuing them. They have outside theatre obligations and the directors are pressuring them

David Sabella-Mills: they try to make inhuman sounds

Katy Peterson: occlusion exercises have been magic for my students

Mandi Berlin: so true, Katy

Kelly Stuible: Can you explain occlusion exercises?

Kari Ragan: Mandi: Youtube: Ingo Titze Straw Phonation for explanation.

Valerie White Williams: most of my students hate autotune

Katy Peterson: yes! teaching the students to recognize auto tune is very important, David

David Sabella-Mills: occlusion - Closed tract exercises



David Sabella-Mills: humming NG

Mandi Berlin: thx, so much, Kari!

David Sabella-Mills: hand over mouth

Cynthia Vaughan: Thanks@

David Sabella-Mills: semi occluded - reduced space

Mike Ruckles: Wouldn't humming and NG be semi-occluded, since the nasopharynx makes up part of the tract?

David Sabella-Mills: singing through straw

Katy Peterson: how does the hand over mouth help? I haven't found the way to connect that for my students yet

Kari Ragan: Mandi-many of us went to an entire weekend on Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract Exercises with Dr. Titze.

David Sabella-Mills: good question Mike I have always considered hum and NG occluded

Mandi Berlin: guess I missed out! : )

Mezzoid: I did the hand over the mouth with Shirlee Emmons at the 2000 NATS Intern Program. Thanks for the reminder!

Mike Ruckles: Yes Mike but it can be helpful to spread the occlusion around and take it out of the body somewhat

Kelly Stuible: (I'm a pretty "green" teacher, so all of this is SO helpful!)

Mandi Berlin: Kelly, pretty green here too!

Kari Ragan: Well done Kelly. This is like a graduate level tonight.

Unknown: I find the semi-occlusion theory and Alexander technique a little counter please...

Cynthia Vaughan: I wish I'd had a resource like this when I was just starting out. Welcome "green" teachers!

David Sabella-Mills: I think the distinction between occluded and semi is the oropharyngeal opening, not nsal

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: I've enjoyed everything except for the tiny chat screen!!LOL So hard to keep up with the reading!

Mike Ruckles: I see.

Nancy Bos: Hi Lisa, what issue do you have with Alexander Tech?

Mezzoid: There was an article in the NATS journal years ago about how NG exercises (and other nasals) weren't as useful as lip trills and tongue trills (which it referred to as "high spit factor alternatives to the nasal continuants." Excellent articles, although I believe that nasal continuants don't work only if the teacher isn't observant

Edrie Means Weekly: agreed Kristin - I need new glasses

Mandi Berlin: yes, Kristen, a little like alphabet soup sometimes

Nancy Bos: A great example of noble posture in modern pop is Selena Gomez

Kari Ragan: Kristin, we're working on a different format. But this is better then the stress of last chat. Hang in there.

David Sabella-Mills: lip tril - semi occluded, right?

Mike Ruckles: Correct.

Mezzoid: Yes, definitely.

Laura Proctor: Dr. P had us read that

Nancy Bos: She is clearly dangling from a thread off the top of her head.

Cynthia Vaughan: Nice, Nancy!

Timothy Ballard: yes David

Valerie White Williams: I've never been able to do lip trills...ever

Mike Ruckles: fully occluded would be of no use

Mandi Berlin: Selena Gomez, really...

Valerie White Williams: They don't work for everyone

Unknown: Alexander encourages singing/being in the space you are in-eyes open, etc..semi-occlusion/straw is an artificial reality...but I DO get how it works!! Trying to figure out how to marry the two!

David Sabella-Mills: try tongue trills

Mandi Berlin: have to check that out

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: Lip trills take a LOT of breath

Christina Thompson Howell: LOL Brian Fully occluded would let no air out at all.

Nancy Bos: Lisa, can you repost that? It went by too fast.

Mike Ruckles: You can't make a sound fully occluded in my world.

Timothy Ballard: I know barbara - I love it1

Mike Ruckles: so they're all semi-occluded

Timothy Ballard: YES

Valerie White Williams: I have plenty of's how my tongue is made

Kari Ragan: 2 minute warning.

Mezzoid: Tongue trills are actually even more useful, since in order to do one, you can't tense up the back of your tongue.

David Sabella-Mills: YIKES

Mike Ruckles: This hour flew by Kari!

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: I've found that some students can do lip trills, others tongue trills, but both do similar good things.

David Sabella-Mills: well thanks

Mike Ruckles: Yes there are some folks who can't do lip or tongue trills, that's OK

Edrie Means Weekly: yikes - already - ugh

Mezzoid: I came in late. Dang.

Kari Ragan: I am going to start a roll call on the NATS CHat Facebook group page.

Unknown: Any recommendations on young pop singers that make good models for students?

Valerie White Williams: n's tongue trills I can't do...

David Sabella-Mills: male or female

Mandi Berlin: Ann, yes, that would be great... anyone?

Valerie White Williams: dyslexic

David Sabella-Mills: female

Cynthia Vaughan: I watched a band I coach recently and was delighted to hear them lip buzzing and humming while they set up the equipment for the gig.

Kari Ragan: Please sign yes in comment under my post.

Barbara DeMaio Caprilli: If they can't do trills, they can do ng or hums or straw

Nancy Bos: Lady Gaga is amazing

Mezzoid: Or [v]. I like slides on [v].

Mike Ruckles: haha

Mike Ruckles: I like those too, Chris, or I teach them Spanish B

Mezzoid: Gaga rocks. I've been having students stretch to songs by Gaga that they don't know are by Gaga. "Lady is a tramp," "Orange colored sky."

Mike Ruckles: like a V but no teeth

Kari Ragan: What a FABULOUS group of people tonight. For 3 years we've only had 10-12 chatters and this year has been incredible. Thank you all for contributing to this success.

Katy Peterson: Sarah McLachlan, but her last album didn't get much traction

Mezzoid: Yeah I had a couple of doubles myself.

Cynthia Vaughan: slides on V are great!

David Sabella-Mills: Sara Barellis

Mezzoid: Christina Perri was also very good.

David Sabella-Mills: SP?

Mezzoid: Or I should say, is.

Valerie White Williams: thanks, cynthia...I will try Vs

Mike Ruckles: I like Justin Timberlake

David Sabella-Mills: Katy Perry?

Cynthia Vaughan: Jane Monheit, jazz

Unknown: I had a determined student who took a year to be able to to do lip trills!! She finally succeeded...It's all appoggio techinique!

Mike Ruckles: chris Brown

Mezzoid: I was going to mention Katy Perry.

Valerie White Williams: I love Jamie Cullum!

Kari Ragan: Please be patient. Because of the increase can no longer accommodate us. They are researching different options but it will take time. Sorry for the small box tonight but last month Dr. Merati had no screen.

Mezzoid: Chris Brown? Everything I hear him do is wildly autotuned.

Valerie White Williams: British pop jazz

David Sabella-Mills: also check out Ben Folds

Mike Ruckles: not all, Chris

Edrie Means Weekly: Taylor Swift

Timothy Ballard: Thanks everyone.... I'm old... bed time....

Cynthia Vaughan: definitely Ben Folds

Mike Ruckles: Thanks everyone!

Kari Ragan: As always a transcript will be posted in the next couple of weeks.

Nancy Bos: Thanks for making this work, Kari. Sorry if we sounded like we were complaining -- just excited to keep up.

Laura Proctor: BF yes

Veera Asher: Thanks!

Edrie Means Weekly: Happy Holidays all!!

Kristin Jewell Cartwright: Great chat! Thanks!

Kari Ragan: The feedback is helpful Nancy. Did not hear any complaints.

Kelly Stuible: Thanks everyone for the info, as well as for a lot of terms to research

Trish Causey: Thanks!

Kari Ragan: Goodnight everyone!

Cynthia Vaughan: Agreed, Edrie, re TSwift. Thanks for mentioning her.

Valerie White Williams: Thanks all...time flies when having fun!

Katy Peterson: thanks again!

Mandi Berlin: good night!

Edrie Means Weekly: Good night and Happy Holidays - see you in the new year!!!