Singing teacher, trailblazer and Accredited Teacher Cerys Purser is the author of this guest blog about changing genre as a singer – the beliefs and the process. In fact, this was a spontaneous submission from Cerys after a 1-1 session online with Jeremy Fisher on moving from classical to CCM repertoire authentically. Here are her thoughts immediately after the session:
I don’t think I can do that…I’m a ‘classical’ singer!
Sure, as a professional singer there are songs, arias, notes that just feel like a comfy sweater, or well-trodden path but what if you want to explore somewhere new and try on a different style?
You may be really lucky and can just ‘do’ it – most people, however, need a working knowledge of the bio-mechanics – how it works! – of singing in order to be successful at it – to enjoy it.
At any level, if we don’t have that foundation, we can end up building it on the shifting sands of beliefs. Such as:
‘But this is how I sound’.
‘It has to sound like…it has to be beautiful’
‘I won’t be successful at that kind of singing’
Taking M1 higher
As a Vocal Process Accredited Teacher, one of the biggest things I have learnt, is that for every aspect of singing, we need a process – myself included.
I’m really fortunate, as a big part of the accreditation is ongoing accountability sessions with Jeremy or Gillyanne – lucky me! – in recent sessions, I’ve chosen to really dig into my own singing, which is so much easier to do when you are making adjustments based not just on the sound outcome but how it works and crucially, not wholly identified with a certain sound or style.
For me, with mostly classical training and experience (notice, I didn’t just call myself a classical singer!) working on taking my M1 higher is very much a need to know, or so I thought, for supporting my own clients.
Interestingly, as I worked with Jeremy, exploring the set-up and honestly, the smallest micro adjustments, I realised that I was holding a number of unhelpful beliefs around how it should sound or feel, which were actually irrelevant (like, instantly) once I had made it work in my own voice.
As well as finding a freedom and joy in a favourite CCM song (FYI – Sara Bareilles’ version of Yellow Brick Road) I build a new belief that, I can sing in myriad styles – or costumes, as Jeremy puts it – because I have a process. And guess what, my classical singing is better too!
So, what are you going to take away from today?
– a whole heap of fun and also, an even deeper conviction that those people (most people?) who can’t just ‘do’ it really need and deserve to have the opportunity, regardless of age or economics, to ‘know’ their voices, not just as a slippery slope of beliefs ranging from ‘sometimes I can’ to ‘I really can’t’, but from a firm place of ‘this is how it works – for me’.
We are singing teachers and not therapists. However, our own beliefs are a key player in singing technique and experience.
In their training, Vocal Process supports us in how to work with clients through a very practical and skills-based process, how to build and grow form a firm foundation, which in turn demystifies and dispels unhelpful beliefs.
Time to transform!
Cerys Purser – singing teacher, conductor, music educator and one of the choral entrepreneurs behind Warwick, a singing town
Book a coaching session with Jeremy or Gillyanne to expand your voice and understand your beliefs https://drgillyannekayesjeremyfisherinspirationsession.as.me/
If you want to join Cerys as a VocalProcess Accredited Teacher, click here to book a free Accreditation Chat with Gillyanne
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