Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The concepts behind "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method

According to Proverbs...a three stranded cord is not easily broken! (Read: broken, damaged voice.)

The idea for the "PPP" method came to me after I began giving a couple of years of vocal lessons, using all the information I'd gathered through years of professional singing and producing other singers. My professional vocal coach was Gerald Arthur, who is a legendary teacher in Nashville. He was known to be a healer of damaged voices, as was mine. That's what I wanted to do- pass along Gerald's heart and truly affect healing in other voices.

So I began noticing what really, really worked in helping vocal students gain ground. And I found that I could classify everything that was important into three overarching categories: Breath, Throat and Communication. I used some alliteration and changed the words to "Power (support and control of the breath), Path (imagery created by vocal teacher Jeffrey Allen leading to an open throat), and Performance (physical and psychological aspects of articulating communication).

And I found that these three areas actually affect each other in an amazing synergy. If you breath correctly with support and control, you are less likely to have a tight throat. Then you can relax into telling or singing the story because your throat doesn't hurt. If your performance is a true communication TO someone, you breath more correctly naturally because your posture is more confident. You also will have a sparkle in your eyes, communicating in such a way as to open the throat without even knowing you're doing it. I use acting techniques to help students get real and connect authentically. You can learn to pull Power and Path into allignment by authentically communicating.

If you are missing one of these three areas, it will show in the other areas. Put them together and your voice becomes powerful, controllable, effective and passionate, but strain-free.

Great teaching leads students to the same place. There are many ways to teach voice; I have found this to be a great way to teach voice holistically, and I love the way it works- for me and for you. When you sing and speak your best, you are using these techniques automatically. However, you may wish to learn how to make purposeful vocal technique choices on days you are not feeling so confident. If your throat hurts when you speak or sing, take heart... there truly is help.

If your voice is important to you, learn more about it. This will give you both protection and maximum use of your instrument. If you're interested in checking out Power, Path & Performance method, visit

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