Singing lessons with Dr Dan Jess in Brisbane usually start for one of three reasons. Either you want to become a professional singer and have a performing or teaching career, or you’re looking to sing for fun, or you might be considering sitting singing exams. Regardless of your reason for wanting to learn to sing, there are some tried-and-tested methods that you can use to improve your singing ability in less time.
Is it safe to use methods that improve your singing quickly?
Absolutely, but not just ‘any old method’. You need to engage with specific methods or exercises that help develop specific parts of your vocal ability, or your performance skillset, so you can proceed safely, knowing that you will not be harming your voice or creating any sounds that are not natural for you. This is where your teach comes in handy, because they are your vocal coach, mentor and guide to help you avoid any potential pitfalls or mistakes, that could lead to vocal strain or damage.
Method 1: Supported singing using accent method breathing techniques
These breathing and singing techniques have been used by professionals around the world for many years, to help the emerging singer to better connect their sound with the air in their lungs, to provide for a supported sound that is clear and free of strain and tension. How do you use accent method breathing?
There are lots of ways to incorporate better breathing exercises into your singing lessons or practice at home, without it becoming a chore or being boring.
One of my favourite exercises is best done before you eat a meal (then eat after, there’s no need to stay hungry for your art)! The steps are simply:
1) Stand comfortably and relaxed.
2) Take a good, deep breath in and fill your lungs completely. Let it go after holding your breath for a few seconds.
3) Repeat this four times.
4) On the fifth inhalation, don’t let your breath go easily. This time, you will make a repeated “shh shh shh shh” sound and with each “shh” you will focus on feeling your tummy muscles pulsing in and out as you make the sound. This is how you start to feel connected to your breath, and feeling the sensation of your lower body supporting the sound you make.
5) Take a break so you don’t pass out.
6) On the next few runs of this exercises (which is simply repeating step 4 with different sounds), you can use “vvv vvv vvv”, “thh thh thh” or “sss sss sss” sounds to mix things up. They all use different amounts of airflow too, so it adds variety to your muscle memory.
That is just one of many (literally hundreds) of simple breathing exercises for singers that, when used properly, can seriously turbo-charge your singing ability and vocal power, without causing any harm to your voice.
Method 2: Singing “Vocalises” that challenge you on multiple levels
In my experience as a singing teacher in Brisbane and elsewhere, very few singing students ever get truly excited about singing scales and exercises, but they do work to make you a better, more professional singer. You can’t just sing songs on their own and expect to become a superstar, it just doesn’t work like that. It’s the same for chefs, they have to spend lots of time cutting the same vegetables over and over, before they can slice and dice with both precision and speed. Singers are no exception to the rule – sorry!
However, there is a happy medium in this for singing students.
There are books and books of what we call “Vocalises” (pronounced vo-ka-lee-zess), which are short songs that you simply sing on vowels such as ah, aw, oh, oo, ee or any combination of these. They usually start off easy in the front of the book, and become progressively harder, until they are as challenging as some of the greatest songs ever written on earth!
These ‘exercise songs’ are way more fun to sing and practice than scales, and they provide you with a platform to practice different techniques, colours and shade, tones, timbres, expression markings and much more. Vovalises are excellent tools to use whether you learn classical, contemporary, musical theatre, jazz, rock, blues or something else.
Ask your singing teacher in Brisbane about these techniques and methods, to help you become a more professional singer, faster.
Interested in starting singing lessons with Dr Dan Jess?
Simply call 0434 145 881 or contact us here. You can start your lessons anytime of the year!
How to become a singing teacher in Brisbane, Australia
So, you’re keen to learn how to teach singing in Brisbane?
Perhaps you don’t know where to start or what qualifications and experience you need to become a singing teacher. Taking the step to become one of the best singing teachers in Australia is an incredible journey of discovery, personal and professional development. Teaching singing is one of the most rewarding jobs in all of the arts industry. When done right, teaching others to sing can provide the successful teacher with a great income, flexible hours and the ability to work closely with students as they advance through their singing ‘career’, whatever that may look like.
Dr Dan Jess is our principal singing teacher and is a renowned voice specialist, having trained hundreds of young and emerging singers and singing teachers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. An established singing teacher in Brisbane himself, Dr Dan has specifically designed a program of study and musical experience, which includes directly teaching while Dr Dan mentors you during your studies, to help you become qualified and experienced as a singing teacher.
Is it possible to become a singing teacher with no prior qualifications?
Absolutely! While there is no ‘one best way’ to become a singing teacher or even a single set of qualifications that will make you the best teacher possible, there are some ‘must haves’. Dr Dan will work with you to evaluate your career goals and then piece together a study and examinations/qualifications plan to help you become a singing teacher. You will work closely with Dr Dan to complete a number of short courses, which also include performance exams, to give you the best chance of success as a singing teacher in Brisbane or elsewhere.
I can’t really sing. Can I still learn to become a singing teacher?
While being able to sing is a fundamental ‘non-negotiable’ skill to have as a singing teacher, almost anyone can be taught to sing well enough to become a great singing teacher. It is not a requirement that you are the best singing performer or vocalist to allow you to teach singing. No, far from it. In fact, some of the best singing teachers in the world are not themselves great performers. However, they understand the human body, vocal mechanism, musicality and much more – all of which work together to form their ‘pedagogy’ (or ‘way of teaching’) which make them a great teacher. The same is true for older teachers, who are losing their performance skill as a result of mere age. This does not make them poor teachers by any standard.
What does it cost to become a singing teacher?
Because of the varied nature of singing qualifications (from private exams right through to university Masters or Doctorates), there really is no single answer to this question. You should work closely with Dr Dan to evaluate your career goals, best pathway to achieve those goals and to discuss budgets around your study. You should always be able to become a great singing teacher, even if you have a super limited (or no) budget. You just need someone like Dr Dan to show you how.
Most singing teachers can sing and the majority also work with local music groups or in professional productions, meaning they gain real world experience as a performer. This invariably increases their abilities as a performer, but it also has a flow-on effect to their students, who benefit from having access to a teacher that fully understands the requirements of live performance. Experience really does matter, so you should try to get as much performance experience as possible, as well as experiencing teaching students under the mentorship of Dr Dan, to help you ‘find your feet’ as a singing teacher. Learning as Dr Dan’s ‘shadow’ in the studio will give you exceptional first-hand knowledge and skills working with students from all walks of life.
The studio teaching business
Dr Dan Jess has enjoyed a complex career that also captures music marketing. A strategist with an MBA in strategic marketing for many years, Dr Dan is committed to helping all of his students achieve their commercial goals, not just their performance or creative goals. This means that, as you become a singing teacher, Dr Dan will help you get established with a student customer base, and give you many skills to help manage your studio effectively. No other singing teacher in Brisbane can do this for you!