Can Anyone Learn to Sing? Print E-mail

Dot Teaches Hearing Impaired Student to Sing!

(Listen to Before & After Audio Tracks!)

When this young man called me, and asked if I would work with someone who was hearing impaired, I thought “Well, why not?”  If what I knew was true about pitch issues, and, like Arthur Joseph taught me, “singing has more to do with the brain and muscle memory than hearing,” and “less than 2% of the population is ‘tone deaf'”, then why can’t I teach this guy to sing?

So, we set forth on an amazing vocal journey.  This young man who loved to sing, but had to use a hearing aid and read lips to get by in the dance industry came to me with a whole new set of challenges most people would never imagine.  If I played a note on the piano or sang a pitch, he thought he had no idea what the note was, no concept of where it was or how to reproduce it!

Ben was one of my best teachers.  He was consistent, determined and hard working.  He even got an acting agent while he was studying with me and landed a national commercial played during American Idol! He wasn’t going to let anyone tell him that just because he couldn’t hear, he couldn’t sing.  Like everyone, he loved how singing made him feel.  But you can imagine how scary it would be to sing and think, “Okay, I already have hearing issues.  What if I sound horrible?  How will I ever really know?”

Ben pic quote

On top of that, I eventually discovered that we had to take out his hearing aids, (which I didn’t even think he had at first) because the frequencies were interfering with the correct notes.  Ben had to learn first to TRUST that he could do it. KNOW how it felt when it was open and free and LOVE his voice.  He had to believe in himself, and that didn’t happen overnight.  He stayed committed and focused on what he wanted.

During his first lesson/assessment I could tell he had a very nice tone, but wow, his notes were all over the place!  He had no control, his breathing was choppy and his sound was forced.  There was extreme tension in his neck, jaw, tongue and chest, resulting from a lot of negative inner dialogue and fears.  So even when I got him to hit the right note, his tension and little support caused the note to sound flat.

We would get to build his voice, one step at a time.  There was a lot of work to be done – and I told him this!  I told him it wouldn’t be easy… but one thing I knew, was that he had a sweet tone (you might agree by the end of this) and I could hear it.  I knew he had potential.  I had no idea how long it would take him to tap into it from an empowered space. It all depended on how much he trusted and how much of his time and energy he was going to put into integrating what I taught him outside of the lesson.

BEFORE – Listen to Ben within weeks of starting his training with CORE Vocal Power®:

Okay, so he’s not perfect yet.  There is no quick fix, but remember – he can’t hear himself.  What a huge risk this was for him to even think about recording! If you don’t know this Rent song, “Living in America,” it just might sound like someone yelling at you on certain pitches and really trying to hit the notes. If you do know this song, you might appreciate the fact that I’m not playing the melody and he’s still somehow within the key of the song. After doing some of my integrative C.O.R.E. Vocal Power® drills, he learned how to feel the key of a song.  He’s still shooting in the dark on many levels here,  but believe it or not, a few weeks after this, he improved considerably and auditioned for the part of Snoopy in a local “Charlie Brown” production and he made the first two cuts down to him and one other guy! Well… the other guy got it – but I have to admit, I was very proud!

BEFORE: Click here to listen

 

BEN’S SECRET FORMULA

Aside from his A) Drive and B) Self-Compassion (which takes time for all of us to develop), another thing I really appreciated about Ben, was that he trusted and just stuck with it, no matter how discouraging it was at times for him.  I had to think outside the box and be very creative with my approach to his unique gift. Breath support, rhythm, pitch, range, learning to get the vocal folds to unzip and thin out through the bridge had to be taught in a whole new way suited to him, because he couldn’t really hear me.  I had to teach him to FEEL and TRUST his instrument; not a bad thing for all singers to do!  I also had to “tap in” to the right side of his brain and show him how to do the same to eliminate that Negative Inner Dialogue, or like I say, “get rid of the N.I.D.!”  The confidence to do this was really the biggest issue.  It always boils down to confidence, which means Self Empowerment, and working with Ben actually helped me solidify the key components to my C.H.A.S.E Method, which is the meat of how to become a confident singer. These parts come together as a whole in my C.O.R.E. Vocal Power® Program.

 

AFTER – Listen to Ben after a few months of training with CORE Vocal Power®:

Once again, this isn’t perfect, but shows much more confidence and now… do you see what I mean about how sweet his tone is?  Who would have ever thought it would be possible?  And who’s to say if this fellow, who initially, did not even have the ability to sing the correct note on the piano when I played it over and over, could end up singing like this?  If he can do it, then what makes you think you can’t?

AFTER: Click here to listen

 

I’m so grateful to Ben for everything he taught me as a teacher, singer and human being. This dedicated, powerful spirit showed me that empowered singing is so much more than just hitting all of the right notes.  He had to feel empowered to sing. Ben gave me priceless lessons that actually took my teaching and his voice to the next level!  I know I will never stop learning from my students.  After earning all those degrees in school, (which was worth the six years of study, but certainly just a beginning for me) I came to find that it is the interaction and experience with another human soul that gives us the greatest growth in life!

THANK YOU BEN, for your example! Yes, Ben is living proof that ANYONE who sets their Mind and Soul to it, CAN EMPOWER THEIR VOICE and learn how to take it to the next level!