My Lesson with Mackenzie

This terrific young singer, Mackenzie, has been taking voice in my studio this summer and I’m so glad that I have an opportunity to work with her!

What’s so nice about Mackenzie is that she loves to sing and has such a fun time doing it! She looks very serious here at this rehearsal but trust me she is a normal fun-loving kid.

I love that she is learning to use her voice so well. She’s only 9 years old, but she works really hard to avoid strain. She has eliminated singing through her nose which is such a pit fall for lots of singers, especially younger girls.

Notice how she sings in her mix and gets a nice free warm tone without pulling up. Great lesson Mackenzie! Live out Loud!

Bring the Awesome!

concert crowd

Safe singing is not always good singing. In fact, it is usually boring. There is a certain risk that must be taken in order to move an audience. There is no substitute for a singer who is fully engaged in what he is trying to say. You can’t fake that passion.  Fear, self-focus and lack of preparation are key factors in a less than powerful performance.

Last week my family and I attended our first Broadway show in NYC. We saw Disney’s The Lion King. It was beautiful, visually stunning and impressive. However, I was a bit disappointed with the vocals. This was an expensive world-renowned musical and surprisingly, the singing was blah, o.k., and not awesome. Considering what we spent on the tickets, I expected extraordinary.  Rafiki was exceptional and Nala had a beautiful moment, but over all it was just not moving.  I was feeling guilty for thinking this until my 15 year old son said the same thing.

An amateur easily hears the difference between good and great singing.  So, why is it that a  truly great performance can be elusive even to a professional vocalist ?  What makes a performance incredible and moving? What does it take to go from good to awesome?

Step One is Preparation

It goes without saying that to have a great performance you must be prepared. You must know your lyrics, the melody, and have the ability to sing every note in-tune with great tone and support. If you’re struggling here, then take the time and get the help that you need to do this well.

To really bring the awesome, you need more than just being able to sing all of lyrics, rhythms and words correctly. A good singer can do that but, you want to be great, right?

Step Two is to Create a Moment

To create a moment and have a powerful connection with the audience you’ve got to know what you’re singing, mean it and make the audience believe you. You have to completely focus your mind and body on  exactly what you’re saying in the moment. You must have the focus to set aside all of your thoughts and decide that you really have something important to say.

Here are some practical tips for creating the moment and taking your performances to a new level.

  • Emphasize the consonants or sounds at  the first part of the word. This is a powerful tool that’s useful for connecting with an audience when you’re speaking or singing.
  • Be  present. You can’t fool your audience. They will know if you’re distracted and  thinking of anything else.
  • Put aside the critique of your voice until after you sing. Don’t let self-critique derail your performance.
  • Plan out your performance, the dynamics, vocal runs, and rhythmic changes that you want to implement. Focus on  executing your plan.

The more prepared you are the more confident you will be.  A great performance is not just about high notes and big and loud. It’s about bringing all you have to the table and a creating something beautiful.

Video Consultation

mic and music standWant to take your performance to a new level?  Get a personal video consultation from Marjorie.  Here’s how it works:

1. Audio or video record yourself singing a song.  For video, upload to youtube and send Marjorie ( the link.  For audio, email Marjorie ( the mp3.

2. Marjorie will video record detailed comments about your performance–things that were great and things to work on.  She will also include next steps to make your performance the best it can be.

Make it great!  Get a video consultation today! Only $47

Reasons Why You Need a Vocal Coach

I had a Skype lesson with one of my very best singers today.  This is a client with years of vocal training and performance experience. He was using my Pre-show vocal warm-up and I noticed some reasons why he really needed me.  Using warm-up exercises was helpful, but, it wasn’t enough. Here’s what I found with my client today.