Guidelines/Goals for Beginning singers
- A natural and relaxed tone production with ease and comfort
- Moderate balance between head register(hi notes) and chest register(lo notes)
- Approximate range of 1.5 octaves or more
- Moderate balance within the vowels
- Proper breathing and posture
- Confidence and "Joy" in the singing
Guidelines/Goals for Intermediate singers
- Free of unintentional constriction
- Solid balance between head register and chest register
- Moderate strength and flexibility
- Approximate range of 2 octaves or more
- Clear vowels in most of range
- Proper breathing and posture
- Articulation in a presentable way
- Knowledge in targeted genre of music
■ The Basic Voice
Learning to posses more control over the voice is a primary requirement to become a better singer.
Focuses will be on,
- a healthy natural production
- relaxed and free of excessive constriction
- balance in register/vowels
- strength in volume and tone
- flexibility in speed and range
- stamina in sustained production
- meaningful articulation
- freedom in the art of expression
Demands for the Professional voice
- 2 to 2.5 octaves of range
- Solid control over the bridge(passagio/break)
- Control through range in volume and color of voice
- Strength and flexibility
- Stamina for sustained producment of a strong voice
- Clear vowels, and modified vowel production upon intention
- A healthy vocal production under heavy demands
- Minimum constriction on intention
- Grounded technique of all of the above, in an automated manner
Songs consist of multiple vowels and consonants, which will be a much more difficult task, compared to simplified vocal exercises. The basic voice technique must be grounded in the body and mind using a song. This is also the point where muscle memory, carry stubborn tendencies that work in a negative attitude. On ocassion, the voice must be worked subtracting style and exessive expression, concentrating on the function of the voice.
There are different demands in different styles/genres of music.
For example, Jazz demands a smooth balanced voice with groove and melodic freedom. Rock demands a powerful belty sound, sometimes even a nasty sound, and this must be done in a healthy attitude. A singer song writer will be demanded, originality, some knowledge in music theory, preferably technique to play guitar/piano, and obviously technique to meet the expression in the art. Given the function of the vocal folds being the same, different genres/styles have to be treated with slightly different ways of training.
Singers will be determined to target specific goals.
- Clear pronunciation
- Lyrical understanding
- Meaningful articulation
- Connected tones and balanced vocal production
- Honest emotion
- Groove and freedom
■ Music Theory
Being knowledged in the music may not come as a demand for a singer, but will deepin the understanding of music.
Some of the "basics for a singer" to be covered are the following.
- Writing/Understanding sheet music
- Transposition of keys
- Rhythmic identification(can be aural)
- Intervals and scales
- Chord structure and tension chords
- Chord progression(2-5-1)
- Chord substitution
- Ear training/ Chord identification(Maj, min, dim, 7th, etc)
■ Jazz Improvisation
Learning to improvise is a long-term task. This will not be something that is going to be accomplished in 1 month. This does not mean one cannot improvise until all the training is done and every little knowledge is grounded. Although, the more you know, the more you will desire to study. You don't have to know everything to get up on stage to do a solo, but knowing the jazz language is essential if one truly desires to improvise.
Examples of specific practices
- The triplet feel (can be aural or by handclapling)
- Use a short phrase and follow the rhythmic pattern through the entire song
- Meaningful phrasing
- Practice a phrase/lick in at least 2 keys, far from eachother by a 5th. The pitch difference will most likely force the voice to sing in a different register, so this is also a good way to work on registers balance.
- Focus on 4bars of a song until comfortable and confident with the chord progression. Transpose a 5th and work more.This usually forces you to work with different phrases regarding the key difference. This is also to be practiced lyrically for more freedom in the lyrics.
Material/Subjects covered in lessons
Subjects taught are on request
Tak Iwasaki as an Educator
Tak has been through training in all levels of the Somatic VoiceWork(TM) The LoVetri Method, a certification program for voice teachers, specifically designed for the pedagogy of the singer's voice.
Somatic VoiceWork is based on one of the most up-to-date scientific research, focusing on the "Function" of voice. Tak is also a member of the Somatic Voice Work Teachers Association.
He has also worked with many of the Speech Level Singing Masters, and has gained much knowledge and experience through it.
Performing as a singer being Tak's main career, he has had the privilege to teach over 200 singers in the past 8 years.
Back in Japan, he was a voice teacher at the BMF Music Factory, teaching voice and performance.
In 2008, he was the Voice Teacher/Director in the Tsurumi-Musical. He has also taught/coached many chorus groups, gospel choirs, and had many private students. In 2012, he was the producer/vocal director of a full album by singer M. Arthur Maeda.