IHMV Singer Secrets for Recording | Part 3

A huge key in creating recordings that you'll love to share for the rest of your life is to slow down and be present throughout the whole process. Great vocals don't just happen, and recording isn't always easy. 

Recording at I Heart My Voice with Roxie Francis

But the great singers fought for it. They rehearsed, edited, tuned, and hand-crafted their vocals until they loved them.

So to give you the tips and tools for you to create your own great recordings that you love, here's our final Part 3 of our IHMV Singer Secrets to Recording guide! 

In case you missed it, for Part 1 click here and for Part 2 click here!

Here's Part 3:

What To Do After You Record Your Vocals!

After you've laid down all of your amazing vocals, you now get to be involved in the creative work of bringing your recording to life!

We now move into what is called the post-production phase; it's now time to 'comp your vocal takes'.  

1. COMPING

...is a fancy word for editing together an amazing performance from the best parts of your different takes.

Here's how you do it:

Listen back through your takes in reverse order. This is because your takes usually get better each time you record, and it helps to hear your best work first. 

Choose your takes by what sounds best to your ear. Go with the vocals that have the most emotional impact--the takes that really capture a feeling, a vibe, or the meaning of the lyrics. The vocals that have that special something, whether it's riding the groove or using a tone that gives you goosebumps. 

Don't worry too much about pitch--this can be corrected by the engineer with tuning software. Feeling is more important than pitch, and it can't be artificially created!

If you've only recorded a few takes of each section, you can just go by memory to choose your faves.

If you're sorting through 10+ takes, we highly recommend grabbing a piece of paper and making notes of what sounds good and what doesn't! Our favorite method is using a rating system, like 1-5! 

After you've chosen your best-sounding takes for each section, make sure to listen back to the whole song.

Listen for flow and continuity between takes. If you notice that your takes sound too different from each other or you just don't like how something sounds, always feel empowered to go back and make changes until you are happy.

Don't let yourself feel rushed!

The comping stage often involves choosing takes and then replacing them multiple times until the song has a good flow to it. You can always go back and find another take if something doesn't sound right.

Make sure that you are happy with how you sound on every single phrase before you agree that the comping phase is finished.

Once you've made your comp track, the next step is tuning your vocals! 

2. TUNING

...is all about crafting your vocal performance to perfection by nudging your pitch, timing, volume and vibrato!

Before you record, you should ask the studio what kind of tuning software they use. There are many different tuning softwares out there, and the software the studio uses will tell you a lot about what kind of vocal you're going to get from your session. 

Software like 'Auto-Tune' tells you in the name that your vocals are going to be automatically tuned--which is generally not a great thing. Your vocals may be in tune, but will have an artificial quality to them. Having your vocals tuned by a robot just won't sound as realistic and convincing as having your vocals hand-tuned by the trained ear of a musician. 

Melodyne is the industry's standard for getting authentically tuned vocals.

Make sure to ask if the studio will manually tune your vocals or use automatic tuning software. 

Just as with every other stage of recording, let the studio engineer know which notes you'd like changed and how.

Now that you've comped and tuned your vocals, it's time to mix your vocals.

3. MIXING

...is the skill and art of choosing volume levels, EQ settings, compression, reverb, delay and special effects like chorus and phaser so that your voice sounds like a million dollars.

Often singers will not be present during the mixing process, but you certainly can ask to be present. 

After mixing is finished, tracks are usually 'mastered', which is the process of mixing the whole song as a single track to make it sound as loud, full, deep, and professional as possible. 

It is now common for studio mixing engineers to do a quick master of the track after it is mixed. Unless you are budgeting for a major release, you don't need to worry about having your song mastered by a dedicated mastering engineer.

After the studio emails you the track, the final phase is giving your revisions!

4. REVISIONS

...are the process of listening multiple times and taking notes of what you'd like to change, then having the studio make your revisions until you are happy with it.

Organize your notes to be super clear, so the studio can find and understand the specifics about what you want changed.

Here are some things to listen for:

Does the volume of your voice stay consistent? Is your voice super loud in the verse? Does the track bury your voice in the chorus? Do even certain words or phrases sound too loud or soft? 

How do the vocal effects sound with your voice? Are they too electronic-sounding? Does your voice sound like a robot from being auto-tuned too much? Does your voice sound flat, bassy or boxy, or does it sound too harsh or shrill or nasal? Is there too much reverb or delay, or not enough?

Always keep your ears open for anything, and trust what they tell you! 

You've put in a ton of work to rehearse the song, record it, comp and mix your vocals, so give the revision process the same quality attention you gave every step up to this point. 

It's often those final revision notes you send to the studio that make the difference between your loving a track or not!

THAT'S A WRAP!

You've made it to the end of our guide, IHMV Singer Secrets to Recording.

We made this guide to help our clients prepare for their recordings with us and any studio they work with. Now you have know everything you need to rock the mic in the studio--every time! 

We also created this recording guide because the recording studio industry can sometimes be like the car sales industry; it isn't always known for having the client's best interests in mind.

No matter what, make sure you find a recording engineer you like and trust. You want someone who really cares about you loving your recording and who is willing to go the extra mile with you to make it sound amazing!

You can visit IHMV Studios to RECORD your cover song! 

Learn how to deliver vocals you love in the studio, gain courage and invaluable experience. I will be there to support and guide you through the process to capture your best vocal performance.

Learn how our clients' recordings have gone viral on YouTube--all while growing your skill and having a blast singing your heart out! 

CLICK HERE to record your cover song in LA!

Much Love,

 

IHMV Singer Secrets for Recording | Part 2

How would it feel to make an awesome recording of you singing your favorite song and be able to share it with your friends, family and your fans this summer!

Would you feel fulfilled?

That your voice and heart's desire to sing in the world mattered?

That all the time you've spent hustling to find your voice has been worth it because you're genuinely following your heart and living your life like the superstar you were meant to be?

I believe that great singers arrive at the next level of their craft by doing 3 things:

  1. Singing everyday

  2. Recording your voice often

  3. Performing live at least once a month!

Recording Studio at I Heart My Voice with Roxie Francis

I have no desire to just help you sing a little better. I want to help you claim your uniquely awesome voice so you can make a bigger impact and find more opportunities to sing!

Hone in on your talent and passion so you can feel confident when someone says, 

"Wow, you sing? I would love to hear you!" 

When you have recordings of you singing that capture you at your best, you can't help but want to share your voice with others.

Recording your voice grows your confidence, skill and experience, so you and your voice can leap to the next level! 

If you desire to capture your best vocals ever, then I can't wait to coach you on everything I know about recording! Today I'm premiering to you Part 2 of our IHMV Singer Secrets To Recording! Check it out below! 

You can also read our previous post here: Part 1: How to Get Your Voice and Song in Peak Performance Shape

Here's Part 2 of our IHMV Singer Secrets to Recording:

What To Do The Day Of Your Recording Session

What you do the morning and day of your recording is super important! The seemingly little things that you do and don't do can make the difference between a great recording session or a missed opportunity! 

The count-back technique is super handy at improving your odds of success! Just count back from the time your recording starts and add in reverse order everything you need to do. Do this all the way to the time you need to get up. Once you know what time you're getting up, then you also know what time to go to bed the night before to get your crucial 8-9 hours of sleep!

If you're recording at say, 3pm, count back the time needed to each of the following, listed in reverse order:

  • Finding parking

  • Driving

  • Getting ready (don't forget your lyric sheet!)

  • Having (a light, healthy) lunch

  • Running through your song a few times without stopping

  • Spot-checking your challenging sections

  • Getting a solid rehearsal that includes warming up

  • Having breakfast

  • Getting in a light jog or workout

  • Waking up! 

Adam Levine Running

If you're like me, I find that I have to wake up around 6am just to barely pull it all off in time!

The count-back technique is one of your biggest keys to recording success, because it gives you a plan and a schedule for getting all of these crucial things done that all play a factor in your having a good recording. You wouldn't want to record on an empty stomach, or without a good vocal warmup!  Plus, you can avoid the feeling of rushing or being late, which will mess with your ability to be at peace with your voice.

What you want is to focus on the job at hand: making a fabulous recording that you'll always love! The count-back technique is simple, but super effective.

Don't let this be you on recording day:! LOL!

Once you get to the studio, here's what you need to know to become a quick expert!

What To Do In The Studio (Before You Hit Record)

Before you or the engineer presses the red recording button, you'll be doing short test recordings and listening back a number of times to find the right sounds and settings for your voice. Here's a quick checklist to get yourself situated in the vocal booth! 

  1. The first step is called 'mic placement', which basically is moving the mic around over and over again until you get the perfect sound! This is an absolutely crucial recording step. It's much easier to get a great recorded vocal in the first place than trying to 'fix it in the mix' later by adding a bunch of effects!   
    • Get the mic at the right height. As a rule of thumb, you want the grill part of the mic to be even with your mouth. You have some creative options; raising the mic above your mouth will give your sound a more nasal tone. Lowering the mic below your mouth will bring out more of a chesty sound. Try moving the mic around and pick what sounds best to you! 
    • Get the mic at the right distance. 6-12 inches away from you is the sweet spot; and here too you have creative choices. The closer you sing to the mic, the more intimate and breathy your vocals will sound--and your mouth and lip movements will also get picked up more. The farther back you sing from the mic, the more of the 'room sound' will be picked up, which will create more ambience and a more acoustic vibe to your sound. Again, try a few different distances, and choose which one sounds best for your voice and your song! 
  2. Try a different mic. If you're just not happy with the sound of your recorded voice even after trying a few mic placement options, try a different mic. All studios should have at least one other vocal microphone, if not several. Know that you are totally within your rights as a singer and artist to ask to try another mic if you're just not happy with how you sound! If you try another mic, just repeat the mic placement steps above until you've found the mic for you!
  3. Stay still. As tempting as it is to jam out as you sing, once you find the sweet spot, you want to stay pretty still, because mics are super sensitive, and even tiny movements will lower the volume of your signal! MJ used to drive his recording engineers mad because he could not help but dance while recording his vocals! 
  4. Get your 'headphone mix' set to your preference. In your headphones, you'll hear your voice and your backing track, and possibly a click track (called the 'click'), which is a metronome beat used in studios to help singers record in time. Before you start recording, you want to make sure your voice and the track are loud enough for you to hear. Next, decide how loud you want your voice and the track to be in relation to each other. Decide if you want them to be about the same volume, or one louder than the other. Maybe you really want to hear the backing track so you can hear the beat, or maybe you'd rather hear every detail in your voice. Keep messing with the settings until you're happy, because hearing your headphone mix the way you like it is super important and has a big effect on how you sing. Again, don't let yourself feel rushed getting this right!  
  5. Latency is a pain in the butt. At this point, you're just about ready to start recording! You just have one more thing to listen for--something called 'latency'. Latency is also frequently referred to as a singer's biggest pain in the butt! In a word, latency is a very small delay that you will often hear in your headphones of your recorded voice right after you sing. The reason latency happens is because the signal of your voice has to travel through the microphone cable, into the audio interface, and then back through the headphone cable and into your ears. Even though this happens very quickly, it still very often results in a slight delay by the time you hear in your headphones what you just sang. Fortunately, there are solutions! If you hear any latency, tell your engineer, and they will know exactly how to adjust their music software and/or their hardware gear. There are multiple quick and easy ways to reduce latency. If you're recording at home, try reducing the buffer size in your music software; this should do the trick! 
  6. The Ultimate Recording Rule of Thumb: when in doubt, just refer to those 2 floppy-looking things on the side of your head! Your ears are your ultimate tool and guide in the studio--trust them! 

Whew! That seems like a lot just to get ready to record, but trust me, it goes pretty quickly, and this is definitely information you'll want to have to feel empowered and knowledgeable in the studio every time! 

Next, here's an overview of how the recording process (also called 'tracking') goes and a few tips to guarantee singing success while you are recording.

What To Do While You Are Recording

Once you start recording, you want maximize your best singing and your studio time you booked. We recommend that you book 2-4 hours to record your lead vocals and background/harmonies per song. There are a few ways to record your song. At IHMV, we usually recommend recording the song once all the way through. This gives you a feel for the whole song, and it warms your voice up again nicely.

After we do a rough draft recording, we like to record each section of the song one at a time, and do several takes until we are happy with that section. We usually go in order: Intro, Verse 1, Prechorus 1, Chorus 1, Verse 2, etc. However, depending on the song or singer, we may start with the chorus, for example. Or we might just only do recordings of the whole song, if the singer wants a really authentic performance.

Whatever order you choose to sing, do as many takes as you need until you are happywith every section of the song. 

Also keep in mind that each take is usually better than the last.

Since half the benefit of recording is that you get to try many takes, have some fun and try different things on each take! You can try different phrasing and riffs, as well as different vocal inflections, like slides, vocal crys and frys, flips, and tonal variations. Don't worry too much about how your different takes will sound put together--that's for a later recording stage called 'comping'. Just have fun and get creative!

And finally, make sure to keep drinking water throughout your recording session! Also bring a banana or something nutritious to snack on to keep your energy and focus up.

That's the end of Part 2! Stay tuned for Part 3 of our Singers Secrets to Recording: What To Do After You Record Your Vocals!

Palm Tree at I Heart My Voice in Los Angeles

At IHMV, we have recorded countless times, from sessions at the same studio in LA where Michael Jackson recorded Thriller to recording in our living rooms. We've seen it all!

That's why we are dedicated to coaching our singers on everything they need to know to make recordings they love, in a supportive, educational atmosphere where your talent can grow. We are a sanctuary for your creative juices to flow, where your voice can be nurtured, and where you can learn, make mistakes...and build your confidence and ability.

If you want to kick your singing up a notch, come to LA to work with me and record your favorite summer song! 

Spend the day with me and get your song recorded with our studio engineer Lucas! I'll be there to warm up your voice, work out the challenging sections of your song and coach you through the entire recording session!

Learn more here...

We'd love to bring your voice to life. Get your cover song coached, recorded and mixed in a day, and walk away with a recording you love! 

Just hit reply if you have any questions, and let's do this! 

Much love, 

Roxie Signature IHMV
 

IHMV Singer Secrets for Recording | Part 1

One of the reasons why many of my clients have gone on to land major recording contracts is because they have spent countless hours focusing on their voices in the recording studio! 

Recording can be one of your greatest tools to living your singing dream, or it can be your biggest block!

I remember the first time I heard my voice played back to me on a recording--I couldn't even play it without cringing!

#YIKES

Trust me, I think I made every possible mistake while on the road towards loving and sharing my voice with the world. I learned the hard way.

For so long, recording was the biggest roadblock in my life. 

It held me back from releasing my album, living my singing dream, and it stopped me from discovering my uniquely awesome voice!

And all the time I see so many other beautiful, AMAZING singers like you making the same mistakes I made over and over again.

I hear singers with truly unique voices and a beautiful message to share being held back from their heart's calling to sing...all because of their fear of stepping up to the mic!

And I don't want fear to stop you!

My whole point here is that I know how terrifying stepping up to the mic can be...and more importantly, I know how long it can keep you from really getting your voice out into the world and creating the impact that you're meant for.

That's why I am sharing with you below my brand new guide: Singer's Secrets to Sounding Extraordinary in the Recording Studio!

This week I'll be sharing with you Part 1:

How To Get Your Voice and Song in Peak Performance Shape!

How to Prep Your Voice
>>> 4 WEEKS BEFORE YOUR RECORDING SESSION

  • I recommend spending 30-60 minutes a day for a decent warmup and vocal workout. More time is even better, but if you can do 15 minutes a day, this will make a BIG difference. You'll be doing your voice a huge favor when you record by making time for your vocal warmups every time you sing--week in, week out.

  • To get the full breakdown on many of the best vocal warmups and exercises, sign up for our IHMV Classic Program

How To Pick Your Song
>>> 3 WEEKS BEFORE YOUR RECORDING SESSION

  • Our voices are as unique as our thumb print, so pick a song that suits your unique sound and zone of genius. The melody and style of the song needs to amplify your vocal strengths. Plus, every note must be within your range. 

  • Pick a song that you feel emotionally connected to. The message and meaning behind the lyrics must be a topic that you believe in and relate to.

  • A throwback to American Idol...I can remember Simon Cowell saying over and over again: "Song Choice Is Everything." So get feedback by working with a coach tofind the right key, style and tempo that lets your voice shine. Try out 5-10 songs before you choose the 1 song that you feel really allows your voice to SHINE!!! 

How To Rehearse Your Song

  • In addition to your vocal warmup, spend 30-60 minutes drilling your song. Be able to sing your song all the way through--no stopping--at a performance level of quality for at least 2 weeks before your recording session. This way you'll make sure you can confidently hit every note in the studio with absolute certainty and passion! 

  • Study your song...every note, rhythm and lyric over and over again until you have it memorized and you are satisfied with how you sound. I have a running joke with one of the 10 year-old singers I coach, which is to sing the song 999 times to get it into peak performance shape! 

  • Record yourself singing your song every day, then listen back...carefully. Make notes on what needs to be improved and make the necessary improvements. Ask trusted musicians and your coach for their feedback. REPEAT...and keep recording it again until you LOVE every word. 

Q: How many times should you rehearse your song before you record it? 
A: As many times as it takes for you feel satisfied with how you sound.

HOW TO PREP YOUR MIND
>>>2 WEEKS BEFORE YOUR RECORDING SESSION

  • The only way to create recordings you love is to record--a lot! I had to record my first song three times before I finally loved how I sounded! A great recording is the result of hours spent honing your craft in the studio. Just like learning any new skill, it takes some experience before you really get take your training wheels off.

Courage is when you feel the fear, but you do it anyway!

  • So turn your fear into the fuel that lights your passion to sing on FIRE by making it non-negotiable to move forward towards your singing goals--no matter what! Come to terms with the fact that your first few recording may not be for others to hear.Always strive for progress, not perfection. If you choose to grow from each experience in the studio, there is no failure--only lessons to learn.

  • If you want your voice to sound extraordinary, you have to raise your commitment level. Schedule your 2-hour daily practice sessions in advance. Plot out every hour of your day leading up to your recording, counting back from when you arrive at the studio.

  • Studies show that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals by writing them down on a regular basis. Write down all of your specific singing goals and accomplishments every day!

  • If you have negative and critical thoughts taking over your mind, start reciting daily positive vocal affirmations in front of the mirror. Write out 10 affirmations that build you up for each day, and STOP feeding into your old, self-sabotaging thoughts. Commit to keeping a positive mindset, and you will succeed.

  • For examples of awesome singing affirmations, click here.

HOW TO PREP YOUR BODY
>>> 1 WEEK BEFORE YOUR RECORDING SESSION

  • Your body is your instrument. I have worked with singers that have wondered why they could not hit their high notes, why their voice kept cracking and why they just could not belt out their money notes...and sometimes the issue is simply that they are not drinking enough water and sleeping enough for their voices to function properly! 

  • To get in peak performance shape, let's start with the basics! Know that what you do with your body in the weeks leading up to the recording is so important! These might seem like no-brainers, but you wouldn't believe the effect that feeling exhausted, dehydrated, hungover, and/or malnourished has on a singer. 

    • Get 8-9 hours of sleep for at least 3 nights before your session. Getting plenty of rest is absolutely crucial for your body and voice to recover and be at their absolute best when you record. 

    • Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day for at least 3 days before your session. Your voice is the last thing to be hydrated--only after about 90 percent of your body has been hydrated! How well you are hydrated has a direct effect on your singing ability on any given day. And it takes a few days of consistent hydration to really get your voice fully hydrated. So drink up! 

    • Stay away from alcohol the week leading up to your recording! It also takes several days for the toxic effects of alcohol to clear your system. Few things wreak more havoc on your voice than alcohol--even wine. 

    • A little caffeine is OK and can make you feel more focused and boost your mood, but watch out; too much will dry out your throat!

    • Avoid greasy foods, processed foods and sugar. Also stay away from fatty foods (except for naturally fatty options, like nuts and avocado).

    • Stick to natural, healthy foods. It doesn't matter so much what you eat, as long as it falls under this category, and not the categories to avoid listed above.

    • My personal recommendation is adding a couple of green smoothies into your daily diet; For breakfast and lunch shakes, I like blending: frozen berries, bananas, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, oatmeal, avocados, spinach (yes, spinach!), almonds, cocoa powder and/or honey. 

Taking care of your body will make the difference in how recording your voice can go from sounding average to extraordinary! 

So that's how you get your voice in peak performance shape so you can sound extraordinary in every song!

You are meant to share your voice! But it's so easy to let a lack of experience, a lack of support-
-even a lack of confidence--get in the way and stop you from living your singing dream!

Preparation is key! And rest assured knowing that making an amazing recording includes a trial period of training. So stay tuned for Part 2 on what to do once you actually get in the studio!

IHMV Singer Secrets To Recording Part 1 Music Blog

When I was growing up, recording studios were not as accessible and I did not get the chance to learn how to really step up to the mic! The first time I recorded a song, it was in a large, scary booth with a producer who was expecting me to NAIL it! Needless to say, with my lack of recording experience and knowledge....this is far from what actually happened.

I wish I had the skills and knowledge back then that I have now.

This is why we have a built-in recording studio here at I Heart My Voice, where singers like you get to learn to record and capture extraordinary vocal performances you get to keep for all time! 

Join us and BOOK YOUR NEXT RECORDING SESSION AT IHMV STUDIOS in Los Angeles, CA!

We offer a special 4-hour recording program that in which you receive vocal coaching, studio recording time, and a mixed pro demo of your fave cover song!

If you are ready to step up to the mic, then I can't wait to work with you! Reserve your session today! 
 

Much love, 

Roxie Signature
 

Singing Affirmations To Set You Free

As singers, we all deal with critical, negative thoughts about our singing. If we aren't careful in how we manage these thoughts, we can become in danger of self-sabotage. As Suzy Kassem famously said, "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will." 

One of the best ways I know to put our critical side in its place is to use daily affirmations about our singing to put things in perspective!

Listed below are the affirmations I give to all of my singers when they sign up for an IHMV program. These phrases can be used in various effective ways in your singing and in your life.

https://rakvocal.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/affirmation-eft-phrases-for-singers/

DIRECTIONS

Spend 10 minutes and write down the beliefs that resonate with you. Once you’ve written them down, say them out loud! Without stopping to think, write, and talk about this, you will not get the benefit of the exercise. Studies show that when you write things down, you are 42% more likely to apply it!

-Affirm them: make them into wonderful positive affirmations for you

-Write them down: carry them with you in your phone, pocket, purse, wallet, glove compartment, gig bag, …

-Put them on your mirror(s), on your file cabinets, on your fridge, on your practice mic stand, on your CD player, at your desk 

AFFIRMATIONS

A.  My voice is relaxed, toned, resilient, balanced

B.  My voice is expressive and emotive

C.  My voice expresses me from my core

D.  My voice shares me wonderfully

E.  My voice is balanced and expressive

F.  My throat and voice are open and toned and balanced

G.  My voice is the wonderful expression of me

H.  My voice expresses everything in my soul

I.  My high notes are effortless and ringing

J.  My low notes are effortless and resonant

K.  I use my airflow with ease and balance through all of my range

L.  My voice comes through with easy, resilient, balanced use of my airflow

M.  My voice and I are working together in balance as a great team, everyday

N.  I release and balance my use of my vocal muscles and nerves to enjoy my singing and voice use

O.  I allow myself to sing spherically in balance with all my parts and feelings

P.  I love my singing and allow myself to shine onstage

Q.  I love performing and sharing myself and my feelings with others

R.  The sound of my voice is not my worth as a person – it’s just expressive air…

S.  I deserve to enjoy my voice, my singing, and my performing

T.  I welcome my opportunities to share myself through my voice and my singing

U.  I choose to enjoy myself singing and performing

V.  I know I am good enough

W.  I know my voice shares wonderful things about me

X.  I can become my best supporter, my best fan, now

Y.  I can choose to love myself and my voice and my performing

Z.  I choose to value myself and my voice and my singing, now

AA.  I choose to believe in myself as a good singer and performer

BB.  I choose to share myself creatively with others through my expressive voice and singing

CC.  I choose to feel and be expressive with others as I sing and perform

DD.  I choose to express myself through my full range of emotions and feelings

EE.  I choose to show myself openly through my voice — speaking and singing

FF.  I choose to be profoundly appreciative of what I am learning through my work with myself, my voice, and my singing

GG.  I choose to build strength and power in my singing through resilient, balanced muscles and body

HH.  I choose to trust in my body, mind, and voice for my great singing

II.  Caring for myself – body, mind, and voice – is now feeling good and loving

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1.)  Even though people around me have complained about my voice, I deeply and completely love and accept myself

2.)  Even though adults around me who loved me, made fun of my voice when I was young, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself, and I Choose to love myself and my voice

3.)  Even though I sound like a little child, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, and I choose for my voice to share me wonderfully

4.)  Even though my voice makes me sound ‘too old’/’too young’, I deeply and completely love and accept myself as I am, and I choose to express myself as I am

5.)  Even though I might sound ‘bad’, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, and I choose to know my voice is improving and expressing me

6.)  Even though I might be loud, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, and I choose to know I am evolving as the singer of my soul

7.)  Even though someone might hear me, I utterly and profoundly love and accept myself and my singing

8.)  Even though I don’t sing every note perfectly, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and my singing

9.)  Even though once in awhile I might sound ‘bad’, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, my voice, and my singing

10.)  Even though, as a performer, I may have memory blanks and stop and start and ‘make a fool of myself’, I totally and utterly love, appreciate, and accept myself and my performing

11.)  Even though my performance may be disappointing, I like myself

12.)  Even though I stuff up and crack notes, I still rock!

13.)  Even though I fear being judged by others, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself

14.)  Even though I fear letting myself down, I deeply and completely love and accept myself

15.)  Even though I fear making mistakes, I deeply and completely love and accept myself in all ways

16.)  Even though I feel this need to be perfect, I utterly and profoundly love and accept myself in all ways, always

17.)  Even though I fear making a mistake and then ‘losing it’, I deeply and completely love, accept, and trust myself in all ways, always

18.)  Even though I worry about this hard bar of music, I deeply and completely love, trust, and accept myself and my performing

19.)  Even though this part makes me nervous, I deeply and completely love, trust, and accept myself and my performing

20.)  Even though I ‘want to get this part right’, I deeply and completely love, trust, and accept myself, my voice, and my performing

21.)  Even though I am afraid of not being good enough and that others will judge me, I deeply and completely love and accept myself

22.)  Even though I am afraid of disappointing myself, and I’m the one who thinks I’m not good enough, I utterly and profoundly love and accept myself, my voice, and my performance

23.)  Even though I am projecting my self-judgment onto others, thinking they are judging me, I deeply and completely love and accept myself

24.)  Even though I am afraid of disappointing myself because I am not good enough, I utterly and profoundly love, trust, and accept myself and my performing

25.)  Even though my mother [or someone else…] was jealous of me when I would sing and express myself, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and my creative expression

26.)  Even though I felt like I was doing something wrong and was going to be ‘put down’ for it, I utterly and profoundly love, trust, and accept myself

27.)  Even though I shouldn’t have that much fun and just feel so good, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and my creative expression

28.)  Even though I really liked to sing and perform and my mother [or someone else…] didn’t like it, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and my performing

29.)  Even though I may be taking myself too seriously and feeling ‘significant’ or important about myself and my voice, I deeply and completely love, trust, and accept myself, my voice, and my singing

30.)  Even though I am getting nervous and that takes all the fun out of singing and performing, I utterly and profoundly love, trust, and accept myself and my singing

31.)  Even though I’m afraid I can’t just get up there and have a good time, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, and I CHOOSE to feel good about my performing NOW

32.)  Even though a part of me thinks I have to apologize for performing and pretend that I don’t know I’m a good singer, I utterly and profoundly love and accept myself and the good performer I know myself to be

33.)  Even though a part of me thinks I don’t deserve to have a good time singing and performing, I deeply love and accept myself, and I CHOOSE to believe in myself as a good performer

34.)  Even though I might not know who I am if I totally enjoy myself while performing, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and my singing

35.)  Even though I am so angry that I felt I needed to repress myself and my voice, I now deeply love and completely accept myself and my voice

36.)  Even though I am so angry and sad that I felt so restricted, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, and I choose to feel released and free in myself and my voice

37.)  Even though I felt I wasn’t allowed to be myself and show my full range, and that makes me so angry, I know that I am lovable the way I am

38.)  Even though I am so sad that I restricted myself and my voice in order to be accepted, I choose to forgive myself and anyone who might have contributed to this restriction

39.)  Even though I am so sad that I have been hiding a huge part of myself to be loved and it still shows in my voice, I choose to forgive myself and anyone who contributed to this hiding

40.)  Even though I am so sad, so frustrated, that I didn’t trust that they would accept me if I show the full range of who I am, I now choose to let go of this hiding as I deeply and completely love and accept myself

41.)  Even though I am blowing too much air with a lot of excessive effort when singing, especially in my [higher or lower] range, I deeply love and accept myself, my voice, and my body the way it is

42.)  Even though I feel I need so much effort to get my voice to come out and be heard, I love, accept, and trust my voice — speaking and singing

43.)  Even though I feel I need this effort to express myself when I sing, my voice and I are working together better every day

44.)  Even though I feel intimidated to sing in front of others, I utterly and profoundly love and accept myself and my singing

45.)  Even though I don’t forgive myself for not sounding the way I would like to, I deeply and completely love and accept myself now, and CHOOSE to forgive and trust myself and my way

46.)  Even though I have not allowed myself to shine onstage, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, and CHOOSE to sing and shine now

47.)  Even though I have overpressured and misused my voice production muscles, I deeply and completely love, trust, and accept myself and my voice, now and forever

48.)  Even though I have not allowed myself to feel confident in my vocal production, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, and choose to trust my inner self to know how to lead me through my healthy and balanced voice use

49.)  Even though I have not always felt free to address my emotional and vocal issues, I utterly and profoundly love and accept myself, and CHOOSE to balance myself and my voice from now on

50.)  Even though I have often thought I needed to force my voice and my body for loud, powerful singing, I choose to know that my body, mind, and voice know how to work in balance for my best, most expressive singing

51.)  Even though I am afraid of having to miss things I love in my life in order to healthfully care for myself and my voice, I now choose to love what is good and balanced for me and for my body, mind, and voice

52.)  Even though I didn’t realize I have to ‘act’ to be a good, expressive singer onstage, I utterly and profoundly love and accept myself and I CHOOSE to be able to act and share the feeling and meaning in my songs and performing

53.)  Even though practicing may sound silly or strange, I utterly and profoundly love and accept myself and my voice as I progress through the stages to becoming the singer I love

 

How To Put Your Voice FIRST

I've had quite a few questions come in this winter about how to take care of your voice when you are feeling under the weather.

My coach taught me something priceless many years ago during a period of time when I kept getting sick, and it changed my life!

Here it is:

SELF CARE IS #1!

Self care tips for singers by Roxie Francis at I Heart My Voice

Being the go-getters we are, it can be tough to know when to stop or say no, even in the name of love!

I love singing, dancing in the rain, popping champagne and working my tail off! And there is nothing that I love more than helping others, but sometimes I have to put it all aside and gracefully bow out of my crazy superhero plans!

The best advice I can give you for a lifetime of healthy singing is to put your needs first!

 

If you eat well, sleep well and exercise everyday, the odds that you will catch a cold that could affect your voice in the first place are slim.

If you start feeling a cold come on, take a moment to check in with yourself to see what you need to feel better in that moment. Your power is in staying positive and making good choices in the moment. When you do this, you will be in control of your health!

My go-to faves when my voice needs a little self care are:

  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of room temperature water

    • Try warm water w/chopped ginger & squeezed lemon, or Traditional Medicinals' Throat Coat tea

  • Keep your diet light, with plenty of green smoothies

  • Protect your neck and chest with a large scarf

  • Get tons of rest: your body goes into super-healing mode only when you are asleep

  • Breath directly over a small portable steam inhaler for 10-15 minutes, several times a day

  • And if your voice is in any pain at all--go on vocal rest, meaning no singing or talking!

So take a moment and ask yourself: what you can do right now to put your voice FIRST? 

The Struggling and Settling Ends Today

Last month I hosted the Summer Spotlight, an annual workshop and showcase here at the I Heart My Voice headquarters. This event was jam-packed with tools to help vocalists sing better and dream bigger! 

We focused on how to embrace your truest desires, set specific singing goals, overcome limiting beliefs, build confidence that attracts magic opportunities, and--most importantly--how to take the action steps you NEED to create your dream to sing!

The theme that kept came up was:

"How good are you willing to let your singing career get?"

I explained just how CRUCIAL it is to develop and strengthen your mindset FIRST.

Why? So that you only think about what you're meant to do, instead of worrying constantly that you don't have the resources or time to do it now! 

I see sooo many singers allow this to be the biggest block to success. I'm here to tell you that it does not have to be that way! 

I too let my belief that I didn't have the resources for my dreams to come true stop me for years. 

But I didn't just change my belief and then magically go from wishing I had an album to actually sitting in Capitol Records and having a 2016 Top 20 college radio chart debut release the next day...

I WISH!

Instead, it took work. And time. I built a proper mental MINDSET, practiced setting bigger expectations and overcame my limiting beliefs. I also sought pro guidance and mentorship!

By taking action and getting coached...I did it. 

I finally created the voice, the album and even the life that I had always desired (but never thought would be possible) when I began working on my mindset and receiving proper training.

Today, the songs I used to only dream I could sing, now bring me great joy to perform with ease! The stunning vocal studio I used to only wish I could coach you from...I have now relocated into this week! (I can't wait to share more with you on this soon!)

And now? Now I want to help give YOU the training, guidance and support to help you build the voice and life that you have always desired, too!

IT'S TIME!

TIME to allow yourself to be your best self and to express your art at the highest level and your fullest capacity... 

TIME to do something for YOURSELF and give your dreams a shot...

TIME to start living every day in your own freedom, feeling absolutely lit up about what you sing and who you share your voice with....

TIME to start demanding the attention that you KNOW you deserve, to be able to call your own shots and be able to live the lifestyle you want instead of feeling trapped or burnt out...

TIME to start living your life as you have always imagined it, because this is the only life we get!

And it's time to finally let your TRUE VOICE shine in the world and to live out your purpose!

Are YOU ready?

...every day! 

...every day! 

YOU are here to be fabulous, you are here to be seen and you are here to share your voice and message only you can speak. 

I’m so excited to see what the future has in store for YOU.

PS: Curious about how IHMV programs will help you make more progress on your artistic goals and develop your dream voice? You can schedule a private call with me to get all your personal questions answered!

4 Exact Things You Need To Create Your Dream Voice

Are you struggling to sing and just not loving how you sound?

I should know. I spent years trying to sing and write songs about what other superstars were singing and writing about. They were having success, so I figured I'd follow in their footsteps. 

The problem was that my voice was missing. 

So yes, you've got to keep it real! Whether you think so or not, you have a special calling and the world needs what only you have to offer. 

It's true!

It's true!

 

Here are the exact 4 things that have allowed me and the singers I work with to find their unique voice, often in just 90 days of training in my Master Your Voice  program. 

1. Get an understanding of WHY you want to sing better. What is your motivation? Do you truly love creating music or being on stage? Do you have a special message to share? Are your motivations due to something else? The truth is, once you have a deep emotional desire for something and expect that to manifest, then nothing can stand in your way. If you are not passionate about your singing, you will not get the results you are hoping for! 

2. Get proper training. Some of you may know that I am passionate about vocal technique and have studied with some of the top coaches in the industry in search of the best training methods to strengthen, maintain and protect your voice. This quote from Enrico Caruso sums up my findings perfectly:  

"There is far too prevalent a tendency to shrink the real hard technical work which must be accomplished before lasting success can be attained. No matter how naturally talented any individual vocalist may be, he or she cannot possibly produce the best results as a singer unless the particular organs have been subjected to a proper and sufficiently long course of training."

3. Give it your all. Put in your hours every day, and don't tolerate distractions. Be responsible with your time and energy and stop make excuses. Study the greats that have come before you, but also allow what makes you special and unique to come forth. Do you have a soulful, heartfelt message to share? Or are you a belting machine with a fierce attitude? The more you believe in you, the more others will too. 

4. Act, don't react. This applies to all areas of your life, but especially to your singing. Untrained singers react--they get emotional--and that just makes singing difficult! Often when I work with young or beginning singers, they get sad, frustrated, angry, complain or play the blame game. What you actually need to do when you make a mistake is to take new action. Get out of the fear and out of the pain and sing it again, but this time focus your mind on on your body. Get out of the mind jargon and self-judgement (i.e. "I sound bad", "That sucked!") and get into feeling and observing the the body so that you can decipher what you need to do to physically improve your sound. Become a scientist and investigate your mistakes. For example, do you need more breath support? Or are you squeezing your neck and need to keep your throat open? Getting emotionally charged up and judging yourself won't help you find your voice. Taking action instead will! 

Do these 4 things and you are sure to enjoy the journey and LOVE how you sound!

How To Book Coachella

With Coachella 2016 going down the last 2 weekends, it brings up a good question: "How can I play Coachella?"

Often considered the most prestigious US music festival, along with Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, to play Coachella is major validation and one of the best ways to break through to a huge audience, with crowd festivals of 100,000 and global live-streaming of the sets. 

With so many singers and bands out there, it can seem almost impossible to break through to get noticed for a big festival. And yet, Coachella books many relatively unknown acts--some with only 1 album out or just 1000 Likes on Facebook. So how do they do it?

It's not as hard or as mysterious to play a major festival as it might seem. Don't get me wrong--it definitely requires hard work, commitment to your vision, and just as importantly, a strategy.  

Ok, so how do you book Coachella?

First things first, every artist needs an EPK (electronic press kit) to be taken seriously. An EPK contains your branded professional photos, recordings, live performance videos, artist bio, and any press coverage.

Here at I Heart My Voice, our Your Wow Factor artist development program can help you assemble your own industry-standard EPK! Whether it's recording in a state-of-the-art studio with a pro producer or starring in your own live music video--we got you covered!

Also, after you create your EPK and press kit, we refer you to 3rd-party companies that will expose you to countless playing opportunities, as well as licensing, contests, airplay and other exposure such as applying to SXSW--one of the other most recognized festivals for up-and-coming artists. 

Coachella 2017: Is this you next year?

Coachella 2017: Is this you next year?

Once you have your EPK, you need to work up to Coachella by playing smaller festivals. Your best bets are local festivals and non-profit festivals. Playing multiple smaller festivals will build your resume and fanbase, while proving you can perform for crowds--all a must to be considered for larger festivals. Make sure to hire a videographer to get pro video of your performances to add to your EPK as proof of what you can do! JamBase's Festival Guide is a great resource that helps you discover upcoming events in your area.

Armed with festival experience and an EPK, you can legitimately have a shot at getting into Coachella--but you can't do it on your own. To book the major festivals, the truth is you need to hire a booking agency.

A booking agency already has connections with the festival organizers, and serves as a pre-screened approval for the artists they try to book. The Windish Agency books dozens of artists for Coachella every year, including 35 this year.

The good news is that you should never have to pay an upfront fee for a booking agency--they should only get paid if you do, with booking fees ranging from 10-20% of the gig revenue. Remember, booking agencies are there to work for you. They should sincerely believe in your artistry. You should also have a 'honeymoon' period where you can cancel without penalty if you aren't getting booked.

Your raving fans await!

Your raving fans await!

How to book Coachella 2017

By no means is this all you have to do to book Coachella, but you do need to do these 3 things (make your EPK, play local small festivals, sign up with a booking agency), and it's a great outline to get you from where you are right now at this exact moment to rocking the mic on stage at Coachella 2017! 

There's nothing to stop you from playing Coachella or any other major festival. With a plan, along with commitment and passion, I know you can achieve that anything your heart desires!

So what else do you need to do to get your 2016 on full-swing? 

Check out my 16 Tips To Fast-Track Your Singing Career In 2016!

The Secret To Winning

Just a couple months back, I can remember watching Season 15 American Idol winner Trent Harmon nearly cave in to the pressure when he was diagnosed with Mono during Hollywood Week. 

Hollywood Week at American Idol is known to be wickedly grueling! Sleepless nights are jammed up against some of the world's most competitive vocalists in a do-or-die atmosphere. 

Encouraged by doctors to go home, Trent was restricted from interacting with other contestants during the group performance round. 

"I was so exasperated to a degree. I was kind of quarantined to the bathroom for four of five days." He remembers, "They told me, man you can quit!" 

Harmon labored over making a decision as he was lying sick and discombobulated on the bathroom floor.

But he did not quit! Trent found a way to compete as a soloist in the group round and went on to be crowned the 15th and final American Idol! 

Trent Harmon singing on Season 15 of American Idol

Trent Harmon singing on Season 15 of American Idol

The secret to winning, Harmon said, is simple: preparation.

Harmon continued, "I quote one of my favorite basketball coaches, Mr. Bobby Knight," he said. "Everybody wants to win. Not everybody prepares to win. I prepared to win in July. I prepared to win 25 years ago when I was riding around in a tractor with headphones in my ears."

Vocal coach and mentor Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records has taken Trent under his wing to create what he describes as a "Justin Timberlake country record." 

Humbled and aware of his new challenge, Trent goes on to say: 

"I am fully aware of the fact that all that happened tonight is that it got me to the bottom of the next level. That’s all I really wanted was I just wanted a fighting chance. This doesn’t put me at the top of radio, it doesn’t put me in the top 100, it just gets me to the bottom of the next level up and I’m good with that.”

Upon winning, Trent said not once or twice, but THREE times in a row: "I worked so hard. I worked so hard. I worked so hard!"

I share this with you because I know how hard you work, Superstar. 

Sometimes it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You may not know exactly how in those heavy moments you are going to pull through, but DON'T STOP! Don't give up! Find a way to pull through.

When in our darkest hour, know that it is in this place where transformation happens.

Trent's story of perseverance through adversity and his long-term strategy of preparation is the secret to winning--whether it's American Idol or any dreams you are pursuing.

With preparation and perseverance, nothing can stop you!

For a moment of inspirationclick here to watch Trent singing Sia's 'Chandelier' on American Idol!

Superstar Mentality: Transforming Your Mindset

March has been an exciting month for me, as my new album released under my label Sakura Sun has landed on the official US college TOP 200 radio charts for 4 weeks alongside Lukas Graham!

Superstar Mentality: Transforming Your Mindset For Singers

One of the things that makes this so special for me is the fact that just a short while ago, this wouldn't have been possible. 

The truth is, a short while ago, everything was different. 

I tried to do everything on a zero budget because I didn't think I had the money to pay for it.  So I recorded songs without the support of a vocal coach, and I released recordings that my producer and I recorded, mixed and mastered all by ourselves! 

We then tried to single-handedly promote our music to hundreds of radio stations by ourselves! We spent countless hours researching, contacting and following up with these stations--and were ignored 90% of the time. 

While it felt special to try to make hits and get noticed by doing it all ourselves, it was exhausting to constantly be thinking about saving money and looking for new ways to be practical with our cash. And what suffered most was my artistry.

But here's the thing, I didn't know better. 

I thought I didn't have a choice. I thought I had to pay my dues as a 20-something struggling artist. After all, musicians never have any money, right? 

And I was a singer whose parents were non-musicians and not rich, so it was supposed to be difficult for me to get a break, right?

And every 20-something lives in small studio apartment and cries herself to sleep wanting a bigger life, right? 

You get the idea. 

For years, I told myself it was okay to wait to train with a great vocal coach, and wait to record in the studios with Gaga's or Rihanna's engineers, and wait to live somewhere bigger than the size of my closet!

I knew I'd be successful one day, and I convinced myself that I was OK waiting for that "one day".

There came a turning point when I realized that not every 20-something on the planet was living the way I was...

I noticed not all artists were worrying about money every day. Many of them regularly trained with a vocal coach and some of them even hired PR and radio promotion teams that got them noticed in the market place! 

I believe that sometimes you need someone else to show you what's possible before you can see what is possible for you. 

Once I saw that it was possible for me to have what I wanted now, I made a choice that changed everything: I decided I was no longer willing to wait for the life I wanted. 

That's when everything started to shift.

I got the idea for my new album concept, and then I made key changes in my mindset that helped me go from broke to creating my dream life. 

The result of these changes is that I made my album at Rihanna's studio and Capitol Records, I worked with Grammy Award-winners, and I hired a radio promo company that helped my album get on the US college radio TOP 200 chart!

Let me emphasize this again: the key to all these changes started with transforming my mindset. Those words may sound like a foreign language to you (I know they did to me at one point). This is why I am sharing with you exactly what I mean in the P.S. section below. 

I'm sure that you have big dreams, just like I do.

NOW is your opportunity to step into your dreams, and it starts with transforming your mindset.

Do you believe that you can create the voice, career and life you want now...or are you willing to wait?

So what exactly does 'transforming my mindset' mean? 

Check out below my IHMV credo: "The Mentality of a Superstar". These are some of the fundamental changes I made to my thinking that helped change everything about my life. 

Transforming your mindset is all about you creating new beliefs in every moment that lead to making new decisions and choices! I recommend that you put these beliefs into practice immediately. Write down the steps that resonate the most for you and repeat them out loud often! 
 

The Mentality of a Superstar

  • We follow a no-excuses policy.

  • We only create solutions--zero negativity or complaining.

  • We manage our time effectively.

  • We practice self-care on a regular basis to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

  • We stay on track, get results and do what we say we are going to do.

  • We don't wish or want. We have desires and then manifest them.

  • We strengthen our success mindset (thoughts and beliefs) daily.

  • We strengthen our music, art and vocal practice daily.

  • We follow and implement the training we receive.

  • We take responsibility for getting the most out of our training and education.

  • We remain highly engaged throughout our training and education.

  • We use the resources available to get more help and training as needed.

  • We rely on our inner guidance and stay open to input when we desire support.

  • We assume the best in others and give the benefit of the doubt.

  • We use good judgement in our interactions and business.

  • We choose to be visible and participate in our own lives and online.

  • We celebrate our successes and the success of others.

  • We enjoy life.
     

In other words, transforming your mindset is the key to transforming your singing! 

If you are ready to fast-track your singing success and live life on your own terms, schedule your first vocal consult and receive our first-time client offer here! 

 

Follow The Footsteps Of Your Heart

As a singer, it is absolutely essential to focus on finding your purpose and your voice.

This search for ourselves is truly challenging; in fact, in movies, books and myths, this is known as the hero's journey! 

I think the reason it can be so hard for us as singers to find our true calling is because we are trained from a young age to listen to other people's voices more than the true one inside us, even when it's screaming at us to do what we are called to do in life: SING! 

In December, Lady Gaga accepted the Woman Of The Year Award at Billboard's Women in Music 2015. She gave this advice to singers and parents alike:

"Support your children in making music. If they have a creative instinct, don’t ask them to deny it, because it will make them so sad and depressed. It’s part of your life destiny if you’re born with that gene. I am so grateful to my parents that they didn’t deny me my right to express myself at a young age." 

Lady Gaga Woman Of The Year Award Billboard Women in Music 2015

We let other people and the industry tell us what we are worth. They also tell us what we should be doing, what roles we should squeeze into, what we should sound like, dress like and act like. All of this serves to fill us with limiting beliefs that block us from allowing the greatness that can only come from being ourselves. 

We live our lives according to other people's expectations. 

It is time to take a note from Gaga, who definitely is NOT the good little girl who follows the rules. She has made history by marching to the beat of her own drum, and she continues to follow the footsteps of her heart. 

During her speech, Lady Gaga encouraged her fans to believe in themselves:

"We can’t expect things to be perfect. But what you can do is have the heart. No matter what, you can have the heart. And it might be hard, and it might be ruthless, and it might be the ugliest thing you ever saw. But if you want it, you can do it. It’s there."

And to those who did not believe in her, she expressed gratitude:

"I'd like to say thank you also to everyone that didn’t believe in me. Thank you. Because there was a lot of people. Probably more than believed, and you gave me a fire in my belly so strong I couldn’t wait to prove you wrong."

So, honestly: are YOU living according to your true purpose? 

Or are you living according to the plans other people have for you?

Are you listening to your heart's song and creating your dream voice? Or are you playing by outdated rules and roles from your childhood that are stopping you before you can even get started?   

Remember, if you keep doing things the same way you always have, then you will keep getting more of what you already have. 

Are you cool with that?

Or are you ready to do what you came here to do? 

Wouldn't you rather be singing, performing, creating music, sharing YOUR voice, sharing YOUR story, sharing YOUR self?

3 Steps To Breathing For Singing Success!

I want to remind you of how amazing you are.

You are here on this beautiful planet to SHARE your amazing voice and story!

Maybe you know what story you want to sing...or maybe you just know you are meant for something more. Either way, I'm here to help you expand your singing skills (and breath capacity) so that your dream voice becomes a reality and your story gets heard.

It's always good to go back and revisit the basics from time to time. So today, let's discuss the very source of your singing!

Practice your breathing by inhaling low, slowly and deeply

Practice your breathing by inhaling low, slowly and deeply

Singing is a simple and natural 3-step process that involves getting and keeping control of your breath. 

At first, creating this coordination for maximum impact can be challenging if you have been interfering with this natural process or are an inexperienced singer. 

What you are trying achieve is a steady flow of air that moves in and out of your body. Just chill, relax and get out of your own way--you will find your voice cooperating. 

Here are my 3 Steps To Breathing Success For Singers:

    STEP 1: INHALE LOW, SLOW & DEEPLY

    To activate your breath, inhale low, slow and deeply. Create space and expansion 360 degrees around and below your lungs, which means towards your ribcage, diaphragm, belly, lower back, hips and all the way to your pelvic floor. 

    *Practice deep inhalation to maximize your breath capacity over time. Breathing should feel unrestricted, relaxed and never forced.

    STEP 2: CREATE CLEAN & CLEAR CHORD CLOSURE

    After you inhale, your breath rises up to touch your vocal cords and create sound. There should always be an efficient seal or kiss between your chords, which is called chord closure. 

    *No leaking air, breathy tones or whispering! Start and end each phrase with fully-closed chords for a clean and clear tone. 

    STEP 3: EXHALE OR SING WITH SUPPORT

    If you sing with proper support, those good vibrations should then rise above your neck and get amplified when it hits your face. To do this, keep your ribcage expanded and anchor down by engaging the same muscles you use for sit-ups. Don't overly tighten, push or pull your stomach muscles; they will automatically and naturally contract on their own.  

    *Managing your breath efficiently is key. This is referred to as breath management. If you run out of air or feel like you have to push it out of you, that doesn't necessarily mean you need to take in a bigger breath. It could mean you need to learn how to better manage, support and control the release of the air. 

    TRY THIS TO ACTIVATE & EFFECTIVELY MANAGE YOUR BREATH:

    Try singing  with an 'A' vowel from the floor 

    Try singing  with an 'A' vowel from the floor 

    Lay on the floor, bend your knees and place your hand on your belly. Sing through a song with your mouth open wide with a clean and clear tone on an "A" vowel, like the "A" in "apple". Make sure that each time you inhale, your hands rise up and slowly fall to your natural resting position as you support your voice. 

    So remember to breathe, and remember to get the support you need! You're amazing, and you deserve it! 

    Wondering how to make 2016 be the most amazing year of your life?

    Develop a plan for peak performance so that you will be prepared to seize opportunities that come your way. Schedule your first vocal consult with me: you will love the guidance and support you receive!

    3 Tips To Find Your (mix) Voice

    The mark of a pro singer and the most commercially-used part of our voice is our mix. 

    In fact, I believe that when you find out how to access your mix voice, you will find your authentic, unique voice! The mix provides for us ease, power and a multitude of tonal colors to choose from. 

    Without a strong mix voice, it is a struggle to sing up and down our entire range without sudden, uncontrollable, ugly-sounding breaks, flipping or changes in tone quality. Sometimes we can push through our breaks with brute force, but ultimately we will end up sounding flat and getting tired quickly--needless to say, it's just not a good thing to do!

    First, let's get familiar with your 2 voices:

    • Chest Voice: your lower notes that resonate mostly in your chest and mouth--this sounds like your speaking voice.
    • Head Voice: your higher notes that resonate mostly above your mouth--this sounds like imitating Mickey Mouse's voice.

    Your goal is to create a bridge or smooth transition between the chest and head voice so that they unite as 1 connected voice. Jeffery Allen puts it best: "The head and chest voice should never be divided."

    Most bridges are located on these similar notes:

    • Men: the transition is between E-F-F#. For baritones, it is from A-Bb-B .
    • Women: the transition is between A-Bb-B. For sopranos, it is from E-F#F.

    So, how DO you create a bridge that allows you to MIX throughout your range with ease?

    Here are my 3 tips to creating a healthy foundation for finding your (MIX) voice.

    3 Tips To Find Your Mix Voice, by certified vocal coach Roxie Francis, I Heart My Voice

    TIP 1: ACTIVATE YOUR BREATHING

    Take a nice, activated breath and rid yourself from all unwanted tension. There should be an absence of sensation between the belly (where you support your breath) and the face (where the tone is amplified).

    *Just remember this saying: "belly to face and nothing in between". 

    TIP 2: HIT THAT SWEET SPOT

    The Sweet Spot is between your nose and mouth, in the front of the face where the mustache is. Aim your vocal vibrations there and use a "cry"-like sound, similar to a newborn baby. Click here and imitate a baby cry. Allow the sound to travel up above the mouth and ears, and then forward into the Sweet Spot. Feel the sound vibrating freely along the lining of the mouth, tongue and palate and mustache. Memorize the sensation. Next, practice getting used to this coordination at a comfortable speaking volume first--it is the quality of your tone, not the size or volume, that is desirable.

    *If you are struggling to keep a clear, connected tone that is not breathy, try using "vocal edge". Made most popular by American Idol and used by over 150 Grammy Winners, this creaky sound is similar to a squeaky door hinge, and causes the inner edges of the vocal cords to connect in a brilliant way! Click here to learn how to create a connected vocal edge and mix. 

    TIP 3: KEEP YOUR FACE RELAXED & OPEN  

    Sing loosely and keep an open face. This means giving total freedom and relaxation to your facial muscles, neck, jaw and tongue. Create space in the back of your throat by having the feeling of a slight yawn (lift the soft palate and drop the jaw).  Stay relaxed and gently ease into the area that wants to break/crack. Don't grip, let your face structure sag, reach up or down, or attack or push your chest voice out. Check yourself often to make sure the tension isn't creeping back into your voice.

    *Allow your voice to crack instead of pushing through the break. You will find after enough practice a pleasing yet powerful tone emerging in your voice. If you push, the tension will go to your throat, and you will not be able to round off the "yelly" nature of your tone. 

    Mixing takes practice and time.

    It requires a laser focus on constantly sending cues to your body. There is no room for mental, emotional or physical distraction, so leave all that outside of your practice space. 

    I can teach you how to do it, but you then have to take it and develop it on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. It is not learned, it is developed! A masterful singer trains privately for years with a qualified coach to develop and maintain their mix.

    16 Tips To Fast-Track Your Singing Career In 2016!

    Hello, 2016 (as Adele would say)!

    Isn't it time for you to take the next step? You're on the same road, doing the same thing...day after day... You're not satisfied with where you are at today and you know there has to be a better way. You're done playing small and you're ready to take a leap. 

    I know this is your year for huge expansion. With the start of a new year comes the very real opportunity to launch your voice and singing career onto an unstoppable trajectory towards success!

    2016 is your year to fast-track your singing career!

    2016 is your year to fast-track your singing career!

    If you desire to stand in the spotlight of you life, you've got to be relentless. You have to believe in your dreams more than your fears and harness the courage that develops when you push through what's holding you back. 

    This is why I've selected for you the TOP 16 Tips To Fast-Track Your Singing Success In 2016 to inspire you for the new year ahead. Everything on this list is taken from the I Heart My Voice training programs.

    I have seen these tips turn ordinary singers into superstars, and of course, this is possible for you too! 

    Let's do this together! 

    16 tips to light your singing career on fire in 2016! 

    16 tips to light your singing career on fire in 2016! 

    1. Establish your daily maintenance singing routine and stick to it! A great goal to start with is to make sure you practice at least 30 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week! The voice is a muscle that needs to stay fit! Just as pro athletes train daily to develop various muscles groups at the gym in order to compete at the highest level, you have to warm up and drill your vocal muscle groups as part of your singing routine every day, so that you have the strength and coordination to rock your power notes!

    2. Work regularly with a professional vocal coach to give you the vocal tools and training to help you discover, attain and maintain your dream voice and signature sound! Consistent training with a coach will not only maximize your unique sound and master vocal technique, vocal health and vocal anatomy, it will also give you the accountability you need to succeed. I Heart My Voice offers multiple training options to fit your goals.

    3. Get clear on your signature sound and "Wow Factor". Your "WOW Factor" is the combination of your most powerful, impressive and inspiring qualities, abilities and artistry that make you stand out from the crowd, drive you to create work that only you are capable of that expresses your authentic voice so you can confidently break into the industry. Click here to learn more.

    4. Learn how to read and write music! Learn the basics of music theory: scales, intervals and chords. With this basic knowledge, professional singers are able to sing on pitch, in time and harmonize with other singers on stage and in the studio. Once you can write the melodies and rhythm of the songs you love to sing, you will be armed with the creative tools to now write your own original songs from a powerful and undeniably professional musical space. This will propel your artistic growth and success as far as you can imagine!

    5. Write 1-3 songs a month to develop your songwriting. When you record your EP, album or single this year, you will have a large number of songs to choose your best work from. While live covers are all the rage on YouTube, if you want to go beyond YouTube, you've got to have one great song. You can be the greatest, best-looking singer in the world, but without a good song, there will always be a limit to how far you can go in your career. Katy Perry wrote many dozens of songs before her breakthrough single "I Kissed A Girl". Also consider finding a songwriting partner. Did you know that over 90% of the songs on the Billboard Top 100 in the last year had 2-4 songwriters? Collaborating can make songwriting easier and more fun, and it increases your chance of writing that breakthrough song!

    6. Memorize and master how to sing at least 25 killer cover songs that you love sing! Perform each song using your unique signature sound, style and range. Picking 25 songs can seem like a huge task if you are a beginner, so be patient with yourself. Always be on the lookout for crowd-pleasing new releases to add to your songbook! Now you are ready to gig and jam with other pro musicians! Create your songbook binder with 25 lead sheets of your songs in your correct singing key, plus a table of contents. When the band wants to jam with you, you can all be on the same page instantly!

    7. Record a video of your live performance and upload it to YouTube. With advancements in technology, more musicians are releasing processed studio vocals. For this reason, industry reps and booking agents request that you send a live performance video to be considered for gigs and label signings. So your live-recorded performance video is quickly becoming your new calling card for credibility and career growth! Hire a professional video/audio engineer and capture footage of your next live show or of you performing at home or at the studio!  

    8. Release your 2-5 song EP in 2016! The EP has slowly been replacing the album as the most popular way to release your music. With so much music available that can be listened to immediately by streaming, artists cannot disappear for a year or more without releasing new music to keep their fans engaged and interested. This is good news: because an EP can be as little as 2 songs, that gives you no reason not to release your EP this year! You can release a combination of covers and your original(s) songs. Your recorded music is the original calling card in the music industry--with a recording, all doors can open to you, from radio airplay to interviews, reviews, and yes...income! Don't let another year pass without releasing your recorded music! 

    9. Take professional photos you need for social media, your website and promotions by being the star of your own branded photoshoot! Before the shoot, envision and create your unique artistic image that identifies with your fan base. From there, choose your outfits and locations that you are drawn to that tell people who you are. Find a photographer whose work you admire that is also a good match for your brand. For the day of the shoot, hire a pro make-up artist and hair stylist—it’s worth it! As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words—so you want to make these photos count!

    10. Start your Twitter & Instagram accounts and Facebook artist pages. Post quality content at least 1-3 times a day that is authentic and real to who you are. Establish your brand as an artist. Your brand should be consistent in themes, colors, fonts, and your personal tone. If you aren't consistent in your posting or your branding and message, your fans will have trouble believing you and won't be able to rely on you as the up-and-coming artist they love to check in with. The single most important thing you need to do in social media is BE CONSISTENT. 

    11. Increase your followers by playing "the follow game". Apps like  manageflitter.com and crowdfireapp.com allow you to see who you follow on Twitter and Instagram that are not following you back. You can play the follow game each week to increase followers by following these simple steps 1. Click the followers of the singers, artists and celebrities that are similar to you. 2. Follow people who have profile pictures and a bio (to make sure you are following real people). Many will follow you back! 3. Wait a week and unfollow the people who didn't follow you back. Not only will you increase your followers quickly while keeping your own follow list low in comparison, you are much more likely to gain real fans who followed you because they like you!

    12. Create your own website. In 2016, your single most important piece of real estate online is your personal website. Your website is where you can express yourself, your voice and your music more freely and more completely than any other platform. In addition to linking all your social media, you can also link to your live YouTube covers, publish your blog, showcase your gallery, highlight your bio, and sell your music yourself as digital downloads--and keep nearly 100% of the profit! While some website builders like Wix make creating a website very easy, I recommend that you use Squarespace; it's the best looking interface and makes it easy and quick to create a world-class looking website. Click here to learn more.

    13. Download a digital copy of the Indie Bible, the definitive handbook for any independent artist. Here you will find all the steps and answers from industry experts to every area of being a successful indie musician. You also receive a comprehensive list of music magazines, blogs and radio stations that feature indie musicians, as well as indie promoters, publicists and other tools and resources. Do your career a favor and read this book in January, so that you have the knowledge and resources you need in advance to plan your strategy for this year to write, record, produce and release your single, EP or album in 2016, not 2017! Click here to learn more. 

    14. Purchase and read "The War of Art". Can't figure out why days or weeks will pass by without you singing? Not sure why you aren't singing or songwriting or performing consistently, even though that's what your heart beckons you to do? "The War of Art" reveals the cause of your inner struggle with singing and creating: it is the "Resistance" within you: the self-doubt, inner critic, procrastination, lack of support and fear of being judged--all of which serve to block your success by any and all means--whether it be directly or indirectly, consciously or subconsciously. If you suffer from resistance (and we all do), and you want to sing every day in 2016, this book is your ticket. Click here to learn more.

    15. Remove the habits that do not serve you. An artist knows to avoid trouble at all costs because it interferes with her art and ability to create. Clear out all the gunk in your life that prevents you from having the space, time, energy, motivation and inspiration to PURSUE YOUR SINGING DREAM. Establish healthy systems and structures that support and facilitate daily progress towards your dream. Consider working with a vocal success coach for pro support and accountability for your goals.

    16. Meditate! Clear your mind of the ego, repetitive thought patterns, chronic negative thinking and self-battling to make a space for stillness, presence, and gratitude. This will help lay the mental and emotional foundation to focus on your singing dreams and goals without distraction or blockage. Set aside 5-10 minutes each day and simply focus on your breathing. When a thought arises, just observe it, and let it pass. Then gently return your focus on your breath. Start your daily meditation practice today! 

    I can't wait to see you succeed in 2016.

    I'd love to hear about some of your goals and plans for the new year! Just email me at info@iheartmyvoice.com, or message me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at @iheartmyvoice!

    If you are ready to take action, then enroll in our most popular program, Master Your Voice.

    Master Your Voice is an investment in you, your dream voice and your purpose. This comprehensive vocal training program isn't for everyone--it's for the select singers who are looking for real results in their singing and career in 2015, and who are willing to take action to manifest their dreams.

    It is time to make a change! 2016 is yours for the taking!

     

    How To Eliminate Vocal Tension

    With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season now upon us, the holiday stress that often comes with it can take a toll on our voices. 

    Singing is very physical--if our bodies are holding unnecessary tension, this will affect our tone and our ability to express ourselves freely. 

    Today I want to share with you some of the best tips I know of that help to eliminate tension so you can boldly and freely create your dream voice!

    First things first: so how do you know if or when you are straining when you sing? 

    The most obvious way to tell is if you feel any pain or soreness after you sing. Other indications include a turkey neck that shifts out of place when you go for a high note, veins that bulge out of your neck, and tension underneath your chin. 

    Sam Smith, Adele, Meghan Trainor, and John Mayer have all recently undergone vocal surgery from straining and/or simply pushing their voices too far. 

    Don't let this happen to you! As always, remember: "Self-care is #1!"

    I want you to challenge yourself everyday and push yourself to your limit--just never go past it! There is never a need or justification to cause vocal damage to yourself. But at the same time, don't let fear hold you back from discovering your dream voice. 

    If you truly love your voice, become aware of the tension in your body and use these tools to release the strain so you can enjoy singing with freedom and prevent injury.

    Here are my 5 Tips for how to sing without straining!

    TIP # 1: IF IT HURTS, STOP!  

    You are the best source for knowing whether you are pushing yourself past your breaking point. Often, your breaking point can be tied to improper technique, which causes vocal straining. You should never feel pain in your jaw, vocal chords, neck or face. If you feel pain, STOP!

    Knowing when to stop is related to understanding the crucial concept of good tension in your singing. For example, when creating those ideal 6-pack abs, you must learn to isolate your abs from your neck muscles. When you lift your body to do a sit-up, you should be using your ab muscles without straining your neck. It can be tempting to use your neck muscles to assist your abs for that final set of sit-ups, but this will only cause strain in your neck, it will not benefit you in creating a 6-pack. 

    Similarly, when you go for a 'money' note, your abs, intercostal ribcage muscles, arytenoid and thyroid vocal chord muscles should be engaged with a fair, healthy amount of tension, but there should be no strain in your neck or tension from using the wrong muscles that surround the outside of your vocal chords. 

    Creating additional tension in the wrong places can cause real problems, pain and struggle. Strength and muscular training involves isolating and strengthening the correct muscles, while releasing and freeing the incorrect ones. You are the only person who can dictate when something feels like good tension and when it doesn't. This brings me to...

    TIP # 2: DON'T MAKE ANOTHER SOUND ON AUTO-PILOT

    One of the most powerful ways to eliminate strain is to start talking to your body while practicing. You have the power to communicate with your body--your instrument--and you should be in the driver's seat sending mental cues to your body, telling it what you want it to do and how you want it to feel!

    Try a deep-breathing meditation before you sing to release tension

    Try a deep-breathing meditation before you sing to release tension

    Don't make another sound on auto-pilot. Because singing starts with activating your breath, don't even breathe on auto-pilot. Feel and focus on each breath you take in and release.

    Similarly to the way we create an active mind-body connection in yoga, start your vocal practice by using a simple deep-breathing meditation. 

    Try this: Close your eyes and focus your mind entirely on your breath. If you start thinking of anything other than your breath, repeatedly go back to feeling air move into your diaphragm and out of your body until you no longer are distracted by your thoughts. 
     

    TIP #3: RULE OF TONGUE: SING WITH YOUR TONGUE OUT

    Another great way to eliminate vocal strain is to sing through a song while sticking your tongue out! 

    Eliminate vocal strain by sticking your tongue out when you sing

    Eliminate vocal strain by sticking your tongue out when you sing

    • Try singing through a song sticking your tongue out or holding on to your tongue with your thumb and index finger. If at any point your tongue jolts or shifts back into your throat, you will know exactly where you need to focus your attention to eliminate strain.
    • Try this a few times until your tongue stays forward and relaxed naturally.
    • Another tip is to put your thumb under your chin to make sure your chin feels loose and free while you sing.

    TIP #4: BUSTING JAW TENSION 

    Try holding a pencil loosely between your teeth while you sing

    Try holding a pencil loosely between your teeth while you sing

    Tension held in the jaw is one of the most common places for singers. Left unchecked, jaw tension can affect your sound and cause injury.

    • Try opening your mouth for 10 seconds & breathing into the tension. Repeat 3 times. 
    • Also try holding a pencil between your teeth while you sing without biting down on the pencil!

    TIP # 5: NO TURKEY NECKS ALLOWED!

    Stretch your neck during your singing sessions to reduce neck & shoulder tension

    Stretch your neck during your singing sessions to reduce neck & shoulder tension

    Singers can hold a lot of tension in their neck and shoulders. One way to tell this is happening is if your neck shifts or budges out of place from where it naturally rests when you speak. This is often called a turkey neck.

    To help release this buildup of tension in your neck, bring your ear to your shoulder, your chin to your chest, and breath into the tension for 15 seconds. Do this 3 times and repeat for the opposite side. Stretch your neck throughout your practice sessions and your body will feel considerably more relaxed!

    Tension blocks the pathway for sound to travel freely and for your authentic voice to shine through. It also causes unnecessary strain that can leave your voice feeling tired, in pain or in worst cases, injured past repair--requiring you to undergo vocal surgery.

    Emotions are the body's response to the thoughts that arise in our minds. Don't stuff your feelings like a turkey this holiday! If you feel stressed or tense, try these exercises before you sing and pay extra special attention to what your body needs to feel relaxed and free. 

    I'd love to hear how these tips for relieving tension work for you, or what works best for you to relieve tension in your voice! Just write me at info@iheartmyvoice.com!

    Remember: even if the holidays can be straining, that doesn't mean you have to strain when you sing!

    Click here to schedule your first introductory vocal consult and receive our first-time client special offer!

    How To Train For Fast Singing Results!

    When I was 7 years old, my mother had me audition for the Southern California Conservatory of Music. From that point on, I was lucky to study voice privately and on a scholarship with the founder of this amazing facility until I was 18 years old.

    Lurrine Burgess, my first vocal coach, was classically trained and super strict--she knew how to get results!

    Lurrine had each student prepare and perform 8 new songs every 3 months, come rain or shine! 

    Keep up your daily vocal workout!

    Keep up your daily vocal workout!

    This is where I first noticed that some singers would get better and some would not. And the ones who didn't eventually quit! 

    I almost quit myself, were it not for the encouragement of Lurrine. She taught me so much of what I know about singing success and coaching.

    Lurrine said that failure is for those who stop trying.

    She would often would end each lesson by pointing to this quote, which she had framed on the wall right by the front door of her vocal studio.

    Being the rebellious teenager that I was, I used to think that meant I could skip a day and Lurrine would never notice! But these days, boy can I hear the difference in my voice when I practice 5 days versus 7 days per week. It is night and day.
     

    How quickly you start sounding better is directly linked to whether or not you are consistent with your practice.

    I want you to become a singer who is always getting better, so here is a brief overview of what I know will yield fast, lifetime results.
     
    First and foremost, you must maintain a daily vocal check-in and workout. This is really about showing up everyday to activate your breath and get your juices flowing until you feel fully warmed up. Some days this can take 10 minutes. Other days it can take 30 minutes. 
     
    For example, professional athletes don’t just occasionally show up for practice when they feel like it, or just arrive to the game hoping for the best, right? Athletes train with their coach, their team and on their own--every day. They take time to study and maintain specific muscles groups every single day.

    Singing is no different, because vocalists are athletes too. 

    Vocal maintenance is about making sure you stay in top shape and improving upon certain exercises and techniques that you already know how to do well. It is the heart of your practice and a way for you to stay in tune and in touch with your voice. It is a way for you to reinforce proper technique and relax into your body.
     
    Consistency is key; it won’t work unless you do it on a daily basis. 
     
    Which leads me to the next essential key to maximize your results and stop wasting time: 

    Stay engaged with your mind and body during your vocal practice!

    Stay engaged with your mind and body during your vocal practice!

    Here's what I mean by this:
     
    Are you actively staying engaged with your mind and body when you practice? Or are you on auto-pilot?
     
    Are you sending visual cues to the body? For example: do you consciously expand your rib cage when you inhale? Do you lift your soft palate and make space behind your face each time you go for a high note?

    Or are you just physically forcing the note out? Or thinking about what you want for dinner?

    Singing is the ultimate test of your ability to connect with your mind and body.

    Each exercise or note you sing should be performed with the intention to help you dive deeper into focusing your mind on the sensations in your body. There are cues and directions you must give your body if it starts to tense up or if you run out of breath--are you aware of what they are?  
     
    Active mental cues are key to your progress. If you learn how to sing and connect in this way, you will find that getting results can happen fairly quickly. It doesn’t have to take weeks, months or years!
     
    A quality vocal maintenance session results in feeling good, free and relaxed in your mind and body. Whereas, unproductive singing or just jolting in singing songs, no matter the length of time you spend, will lead to poor results and the reinforcement of bad habits.
     
    Challenging yourself with new songs and advanced techniques is great, but this is not meant to happen without a proper vocal maintenance workout first. You will get better, faster if you follow these guidelines.

    Superstars, commit to a daily vocal maintenance schedule and learn how to use effective vocal techniques and mental cues that will develop fast results. 

    Stop wasting your time singing the same exercises or jolting into songs on auto-pilot. Remember, it is not just about what you do on a daily basis, but how you do what you do that makes a difference.

    And by all means, don’t quit!

    Click here to schedule your first introductory vocal consult and receive our first-time client special offer!

    Nutrition Tips For Singers

    There are those singers that can eat and do whatever they want and it never affects their voice.

    And then there are singers like Taylor Swift, who, according to vocal coach Brett Manning, "...has a fantastic work ethic, and she's very careful about what she puts in her body."

    Apples are mostly water and will help hydrate your voice--Taylor knows!

    Apples are mostly water and will help hydrate your voice--Taylor knows!

    At the end of this article, I have uncovered nutrition and health secrets straight from the mouths of your favorite singing celebrities to inspire you to embrace your vocal health and transform your diet and lifestyle for great singing!

    It can be difficult to know what to eat, but you have to eat well in order to sing well! Each of our bodies are unique, and with a little investigation I know you will figure out what works best for you! 

    Eating a balanced diet before rehearsals and performances is absolutely crucial. 

    And while I've covered this before, I can't stress enough that the single best thing you can do is hydrate, hydrate and hydrate your chords; even more than the suggested 8 glasses per day. 

    Choose foods that are natural, easily digested, keep you hydrated and offer you energy. Food is your fuel--that's why it's directly related to your ability to produce vocal power! 

    Here is my personal list of foods for a healthy and happy voice:

    Eat well to sing well!

    Eat well to sing well!

    Proteins: Fish and chicken, or if you are a vegetarian, try quinoa and soy products like Seitan.

    Carbs: Whole grains, brown rice and  oatmeal. Avoid highly processed carbs like white bread, white rice, plain bagels, pasta and sugary cereals to keep your energy balanced, your body fortified with real nutrients, and your weight low!.

    Hydrating fruits and vegetables: Apples, watermelon, bell peppers and cucumber are all mostly water. Stay away from citric fruits with high acidic properties. One of my favorites is organic applesauce--make sure there are no added sugars!

    Soups: Vegetable or broth-based with noodles or pasta! Avoid creamy soups that sneak in extra cheese.

    Salads: Almost any salad can be a good choice--just watch out for heavy dressings or fried proteins! Oil and vinegar dressings are the best choice. Vinegar balances your blood sugar and oils like olive, coconut and avocado oil provide provide the healthy monounsaturated fat your body actually needs, which will actually level your blood sugar and help with weight control!


    So what do Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Beyonce have in common? 

    Super-healthy eating habits! I have dug up the nutrition and health secrets of the stars!

    Jessie J says, "I eat lots of fruit and veggies and drink a lot of water, but I love my carbs. I don't really eat junk food."

    Ed Sheeran recently dropped from 210 pounds to 154 pounds by consuming raw vegetables, healthy green juices and eliminating late-night snacking. Sheeran told an Australian radio station, "The main thing I cut out was eating after shows. I'd get off stage and eat pizza. Now I eat before a show, play, go to bed." 

    Ariana Grande is full of energy. She snacks on almonds and cashew, and she can't resist salmon or coconut water. "I always have a bottle next to me," reveals Ariana.  

    Beyonce told Self Magazine, "I can't eat what I want, and I can't not go to the gym. It's more about your mental strength then physical strength. You have to push yourself. It doesn't matter what program you're on. You have to be healthy and make the right choices," she says.

    Superstars, remember that self care is #1. What we consume directly influences our vocal sound! 

    Write me and let me know if you've tried any of their tips and how it worked out for you. What nutrition tips have worked best for you?

    Click here to schedule your first introductory vocal consult and receive our first-time client special offer!

    The 7 Worst Foods For Singers To Avoid

    There isn't one magic trick or pill that I credit my healthy vocal cords to, but I am happy to share what works and maybe more importantly here, what doesn't work. 

    I am highly conscious about which foods I eat and which foods I avoid. 

    Even when your body breaks down, there are a number of actions you can take to maintain your vocal health. To help inspire more healthy singing days, here are the 7 worst foods for singers to avoid: 

    The 7 Worst Foods For Singers To Avoid!

    1. Cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and other dairy products can create phlegm and get in the way of your natural tone.

    Singers should avoid dairy products

    2. Green vegetables can create gas and bloating that distracts from your breath support.

    Singers should avoid green vegetables

    3. Nuts and snack foods can leave remnants in the throat that can cause you discomfort. You may need to clear out your throat, which can be damaging and abusive to your vocal cords.

    Singers should avoid nuts and snack foods

    4. Spicy foods can cause acid reflux and dry out and irritate your vocal cords. You may need to clear out your throat, which can be damaging and abusive to your cords.

    Singers should avoid spicy foods

    5.  Fruits that have acidic properties, such as oranges, lemons, grapes, and pineapple can cause acid reflux and dry out your vocal cords.

    Singers should avoid acidic fruits

    6. Fast food and high fat foods cause weight gain and extra strain on your body or voice.

    Singers should avoid fast food and fatty foods

    7. Very salty foods and caffeine (sorry, chocolate!), can dry out your body and dry out your throat.

    Singers should avoid salty foods and caffeine

    2 Bonus Food Tips

    ★ Do not perform on an empty stomach! 

    ★ Do not eat food before you sleep, especially foods with acidic properties. Digesting while sleeping or laying on your back increases your chances of triggering acid reflux. In severe cases, the acid from your stomach can float back up and directly damage your vocal cords. 

    Superstars, remember that self-care is #1, and what we consume directly influences our vocal sound! 

    Click here to schedule your first introductory vocal consult and receive our first-time client special offer!

    The 7 Worst Drinks For Singers To Avoid

    Singing is a labor of love. When singers express themselves with total freedom and no struggle, their message can resonate in the hearts of millions.

    But no matter your level of singing mastery, you can still occasionally experience a tense and dry throat that makes it difficult for you to get in your zone! 

    I can remember my very first jazz gig in Hollywood. One of my fans had given me a salt-rimmed strawberry cocktail right before my time to shine. I gratefully had a tiny sip and thought, "Now I'm ready to sing!" When the band started, I followed with: "...!"

    Translation: "my voice cracked!" 

    And this got me thinking...

    How do world-class performers get on stage night after night and give a flawless performance? Do they possess some kind of super-human talent that I don't have? 

    I researched the habits of the best performers in the industry, and this is what I found to be true:

    Self-care is #1.

    Have you ever woken up with an itchy, irritated or dry throat? 

    I get asked this question all the time: "Help! Why is my voice not working the same as it did yesterday? Was it something I did?"

    How do you implement vocal self-care into your life, so that nothing stops you from the best possible version of you coming forth when it is time for you to be center stage?

    In honor of my infamous 1st-ever jazz performance, here is a self-care guide to which drinks you should avoid or minimize in your daily diet for optimal vocal health.

    Singers, rethink your drink!

    Singers, rethink your drink!

    The 7 Worst Drinks That Can Harm Your Voice

    1. Coffee dries out the throat and can cause tightening and irritation in your throat. 

    2. Dairy products produce mucus, which can affect the sound of your voice and range.

    3. Fruit juices with acidic properties produce mucus, which can also affect your voice tone and range.

    4. Green and black teas contain caffeine and can dehydrate your vocal cords, which can lead to sore throats, and worse, nodes.

    5. Iced drinks or cold temperatures can affect your tone and vocal cords.

    6. Carbonated or aspartame-containing drinks (NutraSweet and Equal) increase the amount of air in the stomach, which can affect your breath support system.

    7. Alcohol dries out the throat, which can cause irritation and tissue swelling.

    Out of all the side effects from beverages that can cause the voice harm, dehydration is the worst! Dehydration can cause the voice to lose vocal cord flexibility and become more susceptible to damage!

    Don't wait until your throat feels dry and start chugging water! The vocal cords are one of the last places in our body to get hydrated.  

    Don't leave your vocal cords hanging out to dry!

    Don't leave your vocal cords hanging out to dry!

    You can't hydrate your throat until you have consumed enough water to hydrate all your vital organs. As you probably already know, we are largely made of water! So drink water when you wake up, and also throughout the day and night before your vocal coaching session, recording or gig! 

    There are other natural remedies I could recommend to help you keep your voice in top shape, but the #1 thing you can do is:

    Stay hydrated.

    9 times out of 10 when my voice is feeling dry or irritated, it is because of something I consumed, and the remedy is usually to flush it out by drinking a ton of water.

    Never struggle with your voice again because of what you consume!

    To freely express ourselves, we need our bodies to feel good and support us. Take care of your body and voice; it is your instrument!

    Click here to schedule your first introductory vocal consult and receive our first-time client special offer!

    3 Steps To Discover Your Signature Sound

    Whether you love to sing pop, r&b or rock songs, the truth is, you can develop your signature sound in any genre of music, but you have to decide, commit and connect to a style first. 

    Did you know that Katy Perry started her career as a gospel singer? Growing up in a strict evangelical family, the only music she was allowed to sing was gospel. She said this about her successful transition from releasing her first gospel album in 2001 to her hit pop album a few years later:

    "I didn't know there was another world that existed beyond that. So when I left home and saw all of that, it was like, 'Omigosh, I fell down the rabbit hole and there's this whole Alice and Wonderland right there! My motto from then on was to live life to the fullest."
    Katy Perry transitioned from a gospel upbringing to her more authentic pop sound.

    Katy Perry transitioned from a gospel upbringing to her more authentic pop sound.

    Are you ready to discover or redefine your signature sound?

    Here are my 3 Steps To Discovering YOUR Signature Sound:

    1. DECIDE

    What style do you want to sing? By trying many different styles, you will provide the groundwork for deciphering what is easiest for you to sing (pop, r&b, jazz, rock, metal, funk, rap, blues, singer/songwriter, etc...).

    For example, if you love belting and have trouble with riffing, try pop-rock songs from artists like Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson. If you love riffing but don't like to belt, try pop-r&b songs from artists like Ariana Grande. If you like to take your time sliding into notes, try the soulful pop of laid-back singer/songwriters like Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.

    The most important thing you can do is make a decision about what specific style you want to sing. If you are having trouble deciding, work with an experienced vocal coach to find a style that emphasizes your strengths and best suits your unique talent. 

    2. COMMIT

    Master your new style by picking your top 3 singing idols or influences and commit yourself to learning their entire collection of songs. Be able to emulate how they use their voice. i.e. vibrato, tone, riffs, vocal cry, belt, phrasing. Once you master all of their many detailed vocal nuances, start to bring in your own melodic and rhythmic flavor.

    3. CONNECT

    Only sing songs that touch your heart and deliver a message that you can authentically connect with. Every song you sing should feel like it is your song, whether you wrote the lyrics or not. Record and perform to get valuable feedback, and to make sure others can also connect with your style. 

    BONUS: A MUST-WATCH VOCAL VID

    You don't have to be born with the talent to sing a certain style of music. In fact, the video link below proves that you can sing many different styles if you study the many nuances in that style. 

    CLICK HERE FOR A COVER OF KATY PERRY'S: DARK HORSE

    To find your signature sound, decide, commit and connect to a specific style and master it! 

    However, as Katy Perry discovered early on, don't stay stuck singing the same songs over and over again if it no longer touches your heart.

    Superstars, keep expanding, evolving and living your musical life to the fullest!

    Click here to schedule your first introductory vocal session and receive our first-time client special offer!