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I was told that I had an issue with my voice and wasn't able to sing at all. But here I am teaching students of my own.
Hey everyone, welcome back to the first episode of Singing Simply a series that aims to coach your voice over podcast. Now this is the first episode and I’m super excited but at the same time uncertain where this may go. But I’m hoping to literally explore anything that can help you sing better and make it super easy to understand. I know there's lots of information out there and it can be super confusing. Trust me, I've been there before.
In this episode we'll be exploring the major thing holding your voice back. The idea that "YOU CAN'T SING" and how this is simply not true.
Now before we jump into this episode, who am I even? For those who don’t know me, I’m Ivan, a vocal coach down under in Australia. You could literally call me the vocal coach who’s experienced all the pain and suffering that you’re experiencing with getting better at singing and I want you to show you that anyone can learn to sing.
If this episode resonates with you, make sure to share it your singing friends. I’d really appreciate that. The more members we have on this journey the more fun it becomes. Likewise if you have any feedback or suggestions for future episodes, you can leave a voice message here through anchor! I’m also on insta @singwithivan so just slide into my dms! If you want to improve your voice and get tailored advice head over to singingsimply.com and book in a lesson over Skype. Anyway let's jump in
One of the biggest misconceptions in the singing realm is that only “certain” people can sing. Certain people with gifts and talents, with a voice kissed by an angel. And because of this, often lots of people who interact with me, whether over instagram or when they're taking their first lesson with me on skype.. Their biggest hurdle is really getting over the thought, ‘I can’t sing’
And this is simply NOT TRUE. And the reason I know this, is because I used to think like this too.
Not only did I think I couldn’t sing, but my voice teacher thought so too. What a blow.
So I thought I’d start of this series by sharing a bit about my journey. No matter what anyone tells you. YOU CAN SING. It isn’t some magical ability only certain people have. Sure, talent may be involved. But here’s something that can really change your perspective. Talent determines where you start. But persistence determines where you’ll finish. Alright, anyway less with this motivational quotes and onto the story.
I started singing at the age of 15 and at this point I'm not even sure if this was even singing! I mean sure... I could stay on pitch but I could not even hit a middle C without strain (which is NOT a high note)
I still remember my very first performance. It was the good old I'm Yours by Jason Mraz and at this point I had ZERO vocal training. Although I practised and practised for this performance, I had NO IDEA what I was doing. Even most of my friends thought this performance was some kind of prank...BUT IT WASN'T… I wanted to sing well, and it was because of this that I decided to take ACTION and learn how to sing. I started off with a few singing programs here and there but saw little progress.
And so I began to work with my first vocal coach. I remember feeling so excited that I couldn’t even sleep the night before because finally, I would learn how to sing properly! But this feeling of joy really didn’t last. After a few weeks of working with her, my teacher suggested that I see an ENT (voice doctor). She was unable to get my voice to 'function properly'. And so I visited the voice doctor at the age of 16.... For anyone who hasn’t gone through this thankfully. It’s actually quite scary. You’ve got all these adults around you, examining your throat. Putting weird looking cameras through your nose, speaking these big words. Diagnosis comes through and they confirmed my cords weren't coming together. At the time they weren't sure if this could improve.
You know that feeling after a bad breakup…how your heart just sinks and the world kinda just closes in. This is how I felt. Knowing something was wrong with my voice and that I may not ever be able to sing with my voice made by HEART DROPPED. At this point I was really ready to give up on my voice...
Despite the news, I decided to stick for a few more lessons since I had a showcase coming up. By now, I was desperate but also discouraged to see change. It was almost like even if I could somehow get better, I didn’t want to. For this performance I sang 'War Is Over' by John Lennon. Because of the lack of strength I had in my voice, I had to sing this almost entirely in falsetto. But it was during this performance which felt like my last, my life turned around.
Within this audience of about 20 people, most of the people there for their kids, I noticed a lady in the back. She had an unfamiliar face, wore glasses but most importantly as I reached the final part of my song...She began to tear up.
It was at this moment that I realised the beauty of singing. The ability to stir another's emotions and make them feel something was INCREDIBLE…
This literally changed my direction forever. Regardless of the odds and diagnosis of these 'experts' I decided that no matter how hard it would be. I can sing better. I just hadn’t learned how to yet.
I cut ties with my vocal coach and continued to seek better help. Learning from many teachers and countless books I started to understand the voice and realised there was much more to it. I learnt how to stretch out your vocal cords, sustain notes and how the acoustics of the voice worked. Singing was no longer some elusive talent that only 'specific' people had.
And more IMPORTANTLY, anyone could learn it! Soon, I began to post covers of my own (terrifying btw) and now work with students of my own.
By no means is my voice perfect and frankly, it will never be. But from where I’ve come I am far more confident in my singing ability.
I’m pouring my heart out because I know the biggest thing you can do for your voice is BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN SING. There are many of you out there, holding your voices because simply because someone told you, you couldn’t sing. Or you tried singing once and it didn’t work for you. I’m not saying that it will be easy, but I’m saying that if you put in the work and intention of getting better, like anything else in this world you will get better.. I want to reaffirm this for you. No matter how bad your singing is, no matter how hard it feels to keep pushing on. TRUST ME you can learn it.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I’m incredibly grateful that you’ve spent some time with me today. If this episode really resonated with you. Please please please, share the message. I’d really appreciate that. Likewise if you have any feedback or suggestions for future episodes, you can send them to me! I’m on insta @singwithivan so just slide into my dms!