How to deal with allergies

How do I deal with my allergies? | Octave Higher TV E11

This week’s question about allergies comes from a long lost friend. David Phillips.

I guess he’s not that lost. He is just busy taking lessons from my mentor Gene Raymond.

The last time David and I met, I was doing a workshop on performance technique and I was struck by how curious and articulate David was.

Just last week, David emailed me with congratulations for having reached episode 10 (thank you!) and asked me a great question.

In his words: “With allergies so prevalent in Austin, what are some ideas for keeping the naso-pharyngeal systems in good shape, and ideas for singing “around” a vocal infirmity such as post-nasal drip?”

In Episode 11, I discuss what remedies work for allergies and how to sing around them if you have to.

Speaking Voice

Improving Your Speaking Voice | Octave Higher TV E10

Recently I’ve noticed a ton of people asking about how to improve their speaking voice.

From working with actors, singers, and even managing accents I’ve noticed how many people are dying to know how to improve their speaking voice.

The majority of people that take voice lessons from me notice within a few weeks that their speaking voice is more powerful.

My coteacher Mark JW Graham shared this story with me:

“I was teaching a lady in her late 70s, with such poor muscle tone in her cords that she had a 1Hz wobble to her speaking voice up and down by about a 2nd/minor 2nd (* this is fancy music speak to mean that she had a real big wobble in her voice).

It had been that way since her 60s. Her lack of vocal control was so bad, the only things she could do were lip bubbles (imperfectly) and ‘Buh’ on a 5 tone.

By her third lesson, she reported that people were now struggling to recognize her on the phone because her wobble had more or less disappeared/reduced to a point it was barely noticeable.”

So let’s talk about how to work with all those soft-spoken voices, those loud-speaker voices and maybe even those voices for whom English is a second language.

It’s all here in Octave Higher TV Episode 10!

How to Choose the Right Song

Repertoire 101 | Octave Higher TV E9

With the sad news of David Bowie’s passing this week, I can’t help but remember the times when I would play in the SF Bart stations for hours at a time, desperately hopingĀ  to make a connection with the quickly passing business people.

Many people would smile politely as they walked on.

There was one gem in my song collection.

I always looked forward to playing it because the tables would turn completely.

It was “Ziggy Stardust” from Bowie’s album of the same name

The train station would transform and everyone would sing, dance, or clap on their way to work.

I made sure to play it at least once an hour just to keep my spirits up.

This was the magic of Bowie.

But it’s also a great lesson in how to choose the right song.

Let’s bring it in with Octave Higher TV Episode 9:

Also happening this week, I have created the Octave Higher East Mix Tape.

A collection of great singers and their songs.

This was designed specifically for those who are always scrambling to find something to sing during out lessons each week.

It’s also designed to be collaborative for my students who love sharing new music that keeps them motivated to do cool vocal stuff.

To access the Mix Tape, ensure you have Spotify, we are friends on facebook and that you have liked the Octave Higher East facebook page. After that, listen, share and use however you like.

Octave Higher East Mix Tape

The Octave Higher East Mix Tape

Octave Higher East Mix Tape

It’s finally here. This is the Octave Higher East Mix Tape!

A collection of great singers and their songs on Spotify.

These singers and their songs have been selected on the basis of their beauty, difficulty (many are easy, and many are very hard), style and technique!

What they all have in common is anyone can learn something from them about singing.

Stuck on what to sing for your lesson one week? Have a listen!

Since my students are the heart and soul of Octave Higher East (and as a whole are way cooler than me), I have also made this playlist collaborative.

That means all you need is a Spotify account and you will be able to add your own favorite songs to the mix for others to learn from.

Make sure you have Spotify first. Then add me as a friend on facebook and like our facebook page.

Know a great song where the singer is killin’ it?

Now you can add it to the playlist!

I’m looking forward to helping people swap great songs.

So what are you waiting for?

Start sharing your favorite songs so everyone can learn!