Friday, March 19, 2010

Online Singing Lessons

How good are online singing lessons?

The value and effectiveness of online singing lessons has everything to do with what is being taught. The reason for this is that there is very little standardization in the arts, in general. So, you might be getting a lesson that is fifty or a hundred years behind the times. All singing lessons are not the same. Shopping for singing lessons is like shopping for new and used cars. The differences are vast. You sometimes do not know what you are paying for until you run into the disappointment of having made a bad decision.

Some people say that the most important thing about singing is breathing. Some say that you “sing from your diaphragm”. Not only do they say that, they are adamant about this being the only correct way to sing, as if they are religious zealots. They sometimes get angry when you question this. They let you know that “everybody knows that.” This is simply untrue. You do not and cannot sing from your diaphragm. Physicians have known this for a long time. For over a hundred years, physicians have known the function of the diaphragm. I’ve asked several doctors about this and they all agree that the diaphragm is your “inhale muscle”, not your “exhale muscle.” Ask your own doctor next time you get a chance to visit with him or her. How much is a useless lie worth to you?

Here is a free online singing lesson: “Sing from your diaphragm!” Since this is an impossible thing to do, it is useless advice.

Did you know that your diaphragm does not have propreoceptive nerves in it? This means you cannot feel it, let alone manipulate it in magical ways to make it work upside down.

You could get a lesson on singing classical music. What if you want to do R&B, pop, jazz, or country music? Some classical teachers would say that what you are doing isn’t even music. Some would say there is only one way to sing and that is opera. Some classical singing teachers would tell you that R&B, pop, jazz, and country music is all junk and isn’t even music. There is even a term, which I have heard from some jazz musicians use, calling classical music “legit”, short for legitimate music. What is the rest? Illegitimate? Is that not at least a distasteful term? If you do want to sing classical music, what if your teacher only teaches country?

You could get a lesson on how to place your tone in the “masque” or how to place it forward. You might be able to get your sound all up in your nose but you will find it difficult to place your tone somewhere, unless you have had mechanical placement valves installed by your ENT, along with the remote control mechanism. Who wants wires coming out of their heads unnecessarily? What travels at 750 miles per hour? Sound. How long does it take sound to emerge from your vocal folds (vocal cords), until it exits your mouth? Assuming that is less than a 12 inch distance, try doing the math on that one. Also take a look at some anatomy charts and books and see if you can find placement valves.

Let’s say that you have a specific problem that you want help with. Your voice cracks or you might say that you have a break in your voice. If your online teacher doesn’t know a passaggio from a potato, then you might instead buy yourself some French fries instead of an online singing lesson. Your money might be better spent.

Your voice can be used as a musical instrument. It is a living mechanism with several functions. There are muscles, ligaments, cartilages and living tissue, which can be used, exercised, coordinated and controlled to make some amazing music. It is a great idea if a voice teacher truly understands the function of the larynx. The tongue, lips, the jaw, and teeth are also used for articulation. There are two main types of vowels and several subtypes. There is a safe and effective to warm up your voice before you use it and this can save you trouble and can enhance your performance and your endurance. There are other things you can do which might harm your voice. You do not want to discover these things by accident.

You can find information about singing on my website ( It continues to grow and change as I continue to learn more about the voice from teachers and doctors. It was once thought that if you mix art with science that you will destroy the art. If you ignore the wonderful discoveries in the medical field, you may have a very short singing career.