Maria Kramer’s Philosophy
On Voice Lessons
|Music is a special art form that used to be shared and taught as part of society. It was natural. Today in a culture where “stars” are admired like gods and record sales are interpreted as success many people shy away from singing. Singing is so good for the soul and mind. When I tell people that I’m a singer, I’m often asked, “Where do you perform?” That works well when I actually have an upcoming performance but part of me wonders why in this culture, we have to qualify the validity of an artist by whether or not they perform in public.
In many cultures around the world people sing as they work, while they walk or socialize with others. It’s part of their lives. Here if you are seen/heard singing in the grocery store, security will be called to follow you around. Many people are afraid to sing because they are embarrassed by their voice. I understand this completely. Even professional singers have stage fright that can keep them from performing for years at a time. Facing these fears in a safe environment, such as in a voice lesson can help us overcome our fears. I can provide a safe haven for you.
Singing is a wonderful way to breathe, express and release our feelings of sadness or joy or anger. What makes me a singer is that I desire to express myself in this way. Period. I encourage my students to find their own meaning in songs and to sing from an emotional place. Technique is paramount to the health and strength of the voice and vocalizing helps students fine tune their instrument,. This helps the body to learn an automatic coordination that enables the singer to sing freely. It is work and can be physically demanding. However the benefits are paramount.
I have studied yoga and dance for many years and have incorporated yoga breathing and posture in my singing as well as my teaching. Typically I ask the singer what their immediate and long-term goals are. Perhaps they don’t really know and are just exploring at this point. That is all right by me. Every student is taught vocalizing to fit their needs and encouraged to record their lessons. This greatly enhances their practice. One or two songs are worked on for a period of time. When the singer is preparing for a performance or audition I will videotape them at their request. Reviewing the tape can be embarrassing but that tape contains crucial information that will help them grow. I try to be honest with my students and give them feedback that is useful. If you are looking for the traditional voice teacher who yells and screams at their students, I’m not the one for you. However I have a high standard and expect my students to practice. Otherwise it’s a waste of your money and a waste of time. Twenty minutes of practice a day will usually produce amazing results. I prefer to work with adults but will consider a younger person if they love to sing.