A Vocal coach is rarely a voice teacher:
A Coach spends more time on preparing your audition which may include, teaching and recording your music, suggesting breath marks that are appropriate musically and dramatically, finding the acting journey of a song, helping you cut your music down to 32 or 16 bars, and marking your music to accurately reflect these cuts. A coach is often a great source for finding new music.
Coaching a song is the finding the marriage of lyrics and music: combining the dramatic and musical elements of a song, therefore creating a cohesive presentation. As a vocal coach my goal is to help you choose audition material and to successfully prepare you for auditions. For example:
- exploring the lyrics and the intention of the song
- addressing vocal needs such as placement, proper key, dynamics, breathing, etc.
- cutting your music down to sixteen or thirty-two bars, if needed
- marking your music so it is clear, presentable, and readable to the audition pianist
A voice teacher is rarely a vocal coach:
- A voice teacher specializes in the mechanics of sound production including vocal placement, vocal exercises, stretching your range, deep breathing. (Not to say that some don't or can't crossover into coaching territory) most will focus on technique.
CHECK LIST FOR FINDING THE RIGHT COACH FOR YOU
-knowledge of musical theatre repertoire in helping you find new material?
-training and experience in helping me act the song?
-knowledgable on basic vocal issues such as placement and breathing?
-capabilities of transposing a song while trying to determine the best key for you?
-challenge you to be a more prepared auditioner?
USING YOUR TIME WISELY:
Too often, someone comes to me for a coaching and when I ask what he or she would like to work on, they answer, nothing in particular. If you would like to sing through all the songs in your book for an hour, I'm happy to take your money, but it's probably not the bet use of your hard earned money.
- Be prepared. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish. I love it when someone takes out a list and I see:
- Need to find a better musical introduction to this song
- Play around with other keys of this particular song because when I'm in the audition room and nervous, my voice tenses up and this key suddenly feels too high.
- This song isn't getting me many callbacks. Would you take a look and listen and give me some feedback?
- Would love to find an uptempo soprano song.
A healthy philosophy:
- auditioning well is as important, if not more, than necessarily booking the job
- feeling comfortable in your own skin, a friendly persona, successfully communicating to the pianist, and really knowing what you are singing about, are just some of the elements of an audition that you can prepare
- you can’t rehearse or prepare such qualities as your height, body type, vocal color, innocence, age range, resume experience, etc. etc.
- what you can do is be extremely prepared with material that is appropriate for the audition
- having a presence, being active, and living in the moment
- not getting a callback doesn’t necessarily imply that you didn’t present yourself well. It may just mean that you aren’t right for that particular show, yet, the director could be thinking about you for a future project that you are right for.
- stop second-guessing!!!
My approach to finding you new material:
- the 'right' song is merely a vehicle to display a sense of yourself and your abilities, such as vocal range, personality, musicality, and abiility to act a lyric
- a successful song is one that fits your voice, type, age, and emotional being, and that you enjoy singing
- your audition song must fit and be adjusted to your needs, the way an expensive suit or dress need to be tailored to fit your body
- what part of your voice really sings?
I have one of the largest musical theatre libraries in New York City including obscure and standard material as well as shows currently running on Broadway. My clients include performers just starting out, to performers starring in Broadway Shows and National Tours.
"You are the one auditioning for the job, not the composer or lyricist of your songs"