Updated: Sep 11
I will probably bring these posts here (there really aren't many) and delete the wordpress.
April 27, 2017
Hi, I'm Andara, an aspiring singer and mom. Studying Singing Success and how to be a Montessori homeschool teacher. Hide in the back row of my church choir.
I have a lot to write about; i’m just getting started in here. I’d like to document my journey through the Singing Success 360 program. Unfortunately I lost my pre-program recordings when my tablet died. But anyway, i’m looking forward to sharing my experiences and progress. I just signed up for the VIP program and would love to have a song graded by Brett Manning himself! We’ll see how it goes.
I started using Singing Success 360 around March 2016 and just signed up for the VIP program. I know I’ve gotten way better, and love the program with its built in encouragement and affirmations, but since I’m always so busy I’ve mostly just used it while commuting and haven’t sung many actual songs. I’m looking forward to getting feedback on my singing! I want to do a lot of other different songs, but i’m fearful of copyright rules. Seems like you need a lawyer these days to upload anything.
May 13, 2017
I’m not a singer yet. I don’t perform in public and have taken few lessons, plus started Singing Success 360 last year. My singing teacher at the church is very classical and would have freaked if I told her I was using a singing program developed by a rock singer. lol. But despite that, I had watched Brett’s videos on Youtube for a long long time and had tried some of his free vocal tips. I just knew he had answers no one else did, so I got the program and despite only practicing while commuting i have definitely seen a difference.
My teacher did too, and though i hadn’t taken very many classes she still recommended me to sing in the NATS singing competition this year. I didn’t place, but scored very well for being new and having less than a year to prepare for it. It’s all thanks to Brett, but I know I still need a lot more improvement. I’m breathy and run out of air, plus tend toward going sharp but i’m hopeful that with this program I can get my act together and practice more often and figure out what to do to create better singing habits.
I made a picture that I had printed onto a canvas and shipped to the studio last year. I hope the printed colors turned out right. It’s my gravatar icon. I was trying to draw Hayley from Paramore under pegasus Brett’s wing. That was before I found out there was drama and she wasn’t on team SingingSuccess anymore. Oh well. I guess you could call me a Singing Success superfan.
Just created a Soundcloud account where I hope to upload lots of stuff. I will probably just record my voice (karaoke with headphones on where you can’t hear the background) so the tracks don’t set off the copyright sensor in Soundcloud. Until I get $ for a lawyer and figure out how to get permission to sing covers legally, it’ll have to do.
May 15, 2017
Warming up body and mind
So, I have learned that before singing it’s important to warm up and after a workout or a lot of singing to always warm down. This is supposed to increase the longevity of one’s voice and prevent wobbly old-lady voice from setting in. That and not oversinging. I’ve learned from Singing Success that warming up should begin extremely light and gradually get heavier, using increasingly more voice. They recommend Humming pharyngeally and lip rolls as best to begin with when cold, starting on your lowest comfortable note and going as high as you can, maybe try one or two notes above what you think you can and then coming back down the scale, hopefully increasing your range that way over time as long as you stay comfortable and not strained or forced. There’s a whole bunch of stuff you can do to warm up, but stick to things that feel comfortable to begin with if it’s early in the morning. They have a whole morning warmup set and warmdown set for later in their Mastering Mix series, which I’ve found very useful.
You shouldn’t get discouraged with your voice if it’s not doing what you want on a particular day. I’ve learned that a positive attitude and patience yield the best results. Some people expect to sing like a pro without even warming up. It really does make a difference! Also that we are "human instruments" with good days and bad days; a song that's easy on one day may best be left alone on another and that's okay. Apparently even pros will change up their set lists depending on how they are feeling that day.
If you check yourself, “am I having fun” and you’re not, you need a break. I’ve learned that generally humans learn better by playing;if the process is relaxed and pleasant, not just as kids, and anyway if you’re doing something that’s not making you happy in some way why are you doing it?
Stretching and shoulder and neck rolls are also nice to prepare your body for singing. After all, your whole body is involved in singing and tension anywhere can manifest in your technique. You’re not a set of lungs and vocal cords floating in space after all. Make a point to check your posture and alignment frequently. Bad posture and a neck that won’t stop going forward are habits i need to kick!
Something else i’ve learned is that if you set your purpose before doing something, you focus your mind and get way more out of it. I found a book on Amazon called Photoreading Whole Mind system by Paul Scheele where a crucial part of absorbing a book’s information efficiently and quickly, which I believe can be applied to any learning, is to take the time to stop and think about why you are doing something, and what specifically your purpose in that moment is for the activity you are doing. It’s surprisingly difficult sometimes, though I didn’t think that it would be hard at all. This ties into something I read in another book called The One Thing by Gary Kellar with Jay Papasan, which is the idea of being an achiever, a person who only allows what matters to drive their day. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in that book; i highly recommend it. So when you’re going to practice choose a specific skill like breath control or pitch accuracy to focus on at a time. Add the rest one bit at a time, but being focused like this seems to yield better results, at least for me!
So, good luck getting ready to sing!
August 16, 2018
REVIEW OF SINGING SUCCESS
I have been using the singing success 360 cds since last year and was amazed enough to join the VIP group and take the radio friendly voice webinar and whistle voice webinar. Unfortunately, having my first baby has prevented me from being more involved in the community that Brett Manning is establishing online on Facebook and Smule Sing! but my hope is to take at least one lesson with Brett himself this year and reach a new level. I heard about singing success a long time ago and have been watching their youtube singing tips for a long time. I was inspired by Brett, a MAN who figured out how to sing in whistle voice, and on top of that figured out how to teach it! He always had a positive attitude that made me believe I could learn too if I worked hard; he was so different from other teachers who say you have it or you don’t because they don’t know how to teach it. I’m just an amateur in a church choir, so when i tried getting a professional accompanist to try to sing some solo songs at a retirement home in 2015 they were too busy for me. Brett Manning is a different kind of professional: he is kind and caring, a true coach who motivates you to keep trying keep working hard. I got to meet the other coaches that work for him through the VIP group and wish I could have taken lessons from some who have moved on while they were available. I don’t want to have that regret with Brett Manning. I highly recommend his programs and hope that other amateurs like me can find in them what I have found – hope. it looks like the link to their website is messed up here on yelp and on youtube; here is the main page along with their social media https://www.singingsuccess.com/ https://www.youtube.com/user/SingingSuccess https://www.facebook.com/singingsuccess/ https://twitter.com/singingsuccess?lang=en https://www.instagram.com/singingsuccess/ https://www.instagram.com/singing_success_featured/ No one paid or offered me anything to do this review. I’m just a super fan. I also recommend checking out Brett’s album and music videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUGhsNf7AuwvZ-QCioeeUTw https://www.amazon.com/All-Your-Mind-Brett-Manning/dp/B0036YGIVW/ref=sr_1_1/135-7579838-6297620?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1534399616&sr=1-1-mp3-albums-bar-strip-0&keywords=Brett+Manning
August 20, 2018
Learning about Learning
How do we learn anyway? The Feldenkrais Mind Model is very interesting. One of the things I love about the Singing Success program is the variety of ways that learning is approached. I've always been interested in methods of learning and teaching. I studied Win Wenger and Paul Scheele's Genius Code program for a while years ago. I tend to be very busy and so I wanted to find out the best way to maximize learning in the time I do have.
(Update 9/11/2020: at the time of writing this I was also trying to cofound an organic farm with my husband who at the time would have to travel a lot and so this is where my blog ended and my studies in learning and singing were severely interrupted. But here we are!)