What About Talking?
Sometimes singing correctly isn’t enough. If you are someone who does a lot of speaking – like an actor, public speaker, a teacher, etc. – then the same rules apply to your speaking voice that you use with your singing voice. You can sing correctly all day long but if all that amazing technique goes out the window when you speak, you’ll still suffer from vocal fatigue.
When my husband and I were on the National Tour of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” (which was AMAZING, btw, if you ever happen to get the chance to see it), I got the opportunity to listen to the show every day. One of the things I noticed, besides the dialects being used, was that the actors spoke very differently on stage than off. When on stage, they tended to create a lot more space inside their mouths – much like we do when singing in the “legit” technique. I noticed something else about that, though. Just like when singers try to sing powerfully with all that space in the back of the throat, the voice is more prone to fatigue (and worse if it becomes a habit). Just like with singing, the chest voice (which only exists when all that space in the back of the throat is present) is only meant to go so high (Ab for women, F# for men – both just above middle C) before it is meant to switch into a head voice. If you push past that natural breaking point, you put yourself at great risk for vocal damage and, until that damage is done, a lot of vocal fatigue.
Instead, if the singer or speaker places the sound forward by not creating all that space in the back, those vocal breaks and limitations disappear, allowing the singer greater range, flexibility, comfort, and most of all: safety.
My friend from the show, Charlotte Maier, and I were at this cool bar in Cleveland called the “Velvet Tango Room” with a speakeasy in the back (it’s behind a full-length mirror in the storage room – AMAZING).
Somehow, over delicious cocktails, we all got on the topic of vocal fatigue so I decided to share my insights. Later that week, Charlotte came to me at the theater and said she tried what we talked about and that it made such a huge difference to her performance.
Hear what she had to say about it:
Oh, and PS – Alicia Keys, if you’re reading this, let me help you with this!! #HireMeAliciaKeys
I feel like I finally learned the secret of singing I’ve been looking for all my life! I always felt like my teachers didn’t quite “get” my voice and there was something either I really wasn’t getting or they really were not teaching. Now I know what it is! Thank you Katti!!
Katti Power is bar-none, hands-down, one of the very best voice teachers out there. I’ve been singing for 23 years, and have had several teachers over the years, from NYC to LA. Many of my teachers have been good, but I learned more in one lesson with Katti than I did several months with other teachers.
I’m singing songs I did not think I would ever be able to sing!
I’m really not sure where I would be without you. You have given me such confidence in so many areas and have given me the skills to take my performing to the next level.
I’m most excited to know the difference between legit and belt voice and practice choosing how to sing and speak intentionally in a way that is healthiest for me.
I’m so excited – I got the role I told you I was called back for (the initial audition consisted of a monologue and my singing “That’s Rich,” which I had worked with you in my VIP session)! Thank you so much, Katti, for your training! I’m thrilled, and will continue to make the efforts to sing without fear and apply the proper technique so I can sing without getting fatigued.
Katti is BRILLIANT!!! I never thought I would be able to belt, but I was definitely proven wrong! Thanks to my ONE LESSON with Katti I have just landed a role in “Shout! The Mod Musical” and will be healthily belting my face off!
Katti is an unforgettable voice instructor. I came to Katti when I was 18 years old because I wanted to improve my musical theatre sound. I had absolutely no clue how to belt before beginning [Unlimited Vocal Health™] and when I graduated from Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City four years later, I was the top belter in my class. The more lessons I took the more my confidence as a singer and an all around performer grew.
Now that I have had that hour session I know how to overcome my straining and relax my throat when singing up high. The way Katti teaches, the illustrations she gives, and the exercises she uses help me to understand in a way I’d never thought about before…Knowing how quickly she fixed my problem, I feel extremely confident that she would be able to help anyone else…
I believe you can always improve your craft, so for the past few years I’ve been working with internationally acclaimed vocal teacher Katti Power.
Katti…helped me realize that my voice will always be there, and I just need to trust that it knows what to do. The biggest change was our work with how forward my belt is going. I had learned how to do it before, but something wasn’t clicking for me to keep it forward. Katti listened to my fear about having true power in my voice and allowed me to have a safe place to start the work to let myself be heard. I ended up belting a note I had tried to… belt for 10 years!
I can sing higher again and I’m more confident in my belting abilities, as well as my breath support!
[Katti] is the best singing coach I've ever had. I love working with her because she's so supportive, she has such a great ear, and she can get to the heart of any of my problems right away. She's positive, very knowledgeable, and most of all - one of the biggest reasons I would highly recommend Katti is that she's a great human being.
No joke, Katti Power is a complete and utter bad ass. She’ll turn you into one as well if you give her the chance.
Thank you so much for believing in me and for helping me become who I am today… You changed my life Katti.
I had the honor of working with Katti right before the Talent Quest National Competition. In only a few short lessons she had me miles above where I started out. Her methods help you stretch your range while keeping your vocal health. She continuously helped me get better each time we met.
Thank you, Katti. I’ve learned so much from you; no words can express my gratitude!
I use to think my voice just couldn’t sing certain notes in certain ways, but that is completely false! I wish I had known these techniques back when I was struggling and performing every day. And knowing how to sing in my uncomfortable areas without hurting my voice is amazing. I feel like I could sing almost anything now!!