Ep. 35 Mindy Pack (Vocal Coach, Justin Timberlake, Martina McBride)

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Working with artists like Justin Timberlake, Martina McBride, and Pharrell, Mindy Pack has a unique take on vocal mechanics. Mindy speaks candidly about her development as a coach, her past struggles with vocal health, her advice on choosing the right ENT, and what new voice teachers need to understand about teaching. 

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. Singers are aural listeners. We need to be able to demonstrate what we’re asking our client to do in order for them to do it and experience it in their own bodies. 
  2. You have to get the function of the vocal cords right before the sound can come into place. 
  3. Singers need to advocate for downtime while on tour. 
  4. You have to train for a tour. You have to build up endurance. You have to set strict routines. You have to set in really strict vocal hygiene patterns. 
  5. You need to get hydration into your body at least 24 hours prior to the gig.
  6. As a singer, smoking is one of the worst things you can possibly do for your voice and your career. 
  7. Anytime you have surgery there’s a risk. Ask to talk to past patients. Find out what normal recovery is. Get referrals. Don’t just go by what you would read on yelp. Take a list of questions that you want to ask. 

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Mindy for joining us this week!

Ep. 34 Bobbi Page (Vocal Contractor, Armageddon, Family Guy)

Vocal contractor and session singer Bobbi Page has been a fixture in the session singing world for many years. She’s been the vocal contractor on mega films like Aladdin, Armageddon, and The Nightmare Before Christmas and on television shows like Family Guy and American Dad. In this conversation you’ll learn how Bobbi became such a sought after session vocalist and vocal contractor, how she got through her some of her toughest sessions, what kind of singers she likes to hire. This is a packed episode you won’t want to miss!

Join the email list and get your “singing lessons” freebie here!

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. There’s no room for prima donnas in session singing. It’s really a team sport.
  2. You should vocalize everyday. 
  3. Sing in a chorus of some sort on a weekly basis to keep your skills sharp. 
  4. The singers who are the most versatile with open personalities stay busy. 
  5. Learning to sing like a child is really important. 
  6. Singing in a group is a place to network. Continue to expand your spheres.
  7. Send your demo to contractors and get their opinions on what they think of your demo. Don’t put anything on your demo that you can’t really do well. 
  8. Be in touch, but not too much. 
  9. Showcases are a great place to be seen and heard.

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Bobbi for joining us this week!

Ep. 33 Crystal Barron (Vocal Coach, MDH Breath Co-ordination, Laryngeal Massage)

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Crystal Barron is a vocal coach, MDH Breathing coordinator, trained in laryngeal massage, and mentor to new teachers. Crystal reveals how she overcame vocal health problems, how she challenged “teacher imposter syndrome,” and how our mindset affects our voices. 

She is also presenting her singer self-care workshop at our next Working Singer event on September 8th. 

We dive deep on this one! Don’t miss it!

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. When we’re so focused on things outside our body we’re completely unaware of what’s happening inside our body. 
  2. Your body can either be your biggest advocate or your worst enemy when it comes to singing. 
  3. It all goes back to mind body breath and voice. 
  4. Every time you phonate you’re training yourself. You’re either reinforcing something that you want to change or you’re reinforcing something that you want to keep. 
  5. What comes out during performance is what you’ve done multiple times and what you’ve trained the body to do. 
  6. A new teacher will have to learn how to serve the student and how to read what the student needs as opposed to imposing their own experience on the student. 
  7. It’s super important for teachers to allow themselves to not be perfect. 

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Crystal for joining us this week!

Bonus Episode! – Movement for Singers with Carol Hatchett (Bette Midler, Sheila E.)

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On this bonus episode, Carol and I talk building your performance quality and value, connecting voice and body, creating a voice for yourself as a performer.  Carol offers all of this and more at her Movement for Singers Masterclass hosted by Empowered Singer Workshops.

MENTIONS:

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Carol for joining us this week!

Ep. 32 Sheila Jordan (Charlie Parker, Blue Note Records, George Russell)

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On today’s brand new episode of The Working Singer podcast guest Sheila Jordan discusses keeping jazz music alive, her friendship with Charlie Parker, and being the first singer ever to be signed to the legendary Blue Note Records. At the age of ninety, Sheila has seen it all and with a full schedule of performing and teaching, is still one of the busiest jazz singers around. 

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. You must learn the original melody of the tune before you can even think of doing anything with it. 
  2. Don’t force improv. Just let it happen. 
  3. You’ll never get lost if you learn the original melody.
  4. (On soloing/scatting) If you can’t say it in two choruses you’ll never say it. 
  5. Don’t give up.
  6. Learn the music.
  7. You don’t have to scat to be a jazz singer. 
  8. Tell your story.
  9. Only sing songs that you really like, that touch your heart, that you really can get into lyrically and otherwise. 

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Sheila for joining us this week!

Bonus Episode! Listener Spotlight on Staci Griesbach

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It’s time for our first working singer Listener Spotlight with Staci Griesbach! Staci’s story is familiar to many so many of us singers. Staci talks about that familiar fork in the road, having to choose between a full time singing career or the safety of a day job. Fifteen years later, Staci has finally given herself permission to follow her dream and record her first record, a lovely Brazilian jazz interpretation of selections from the Patsy Cline songbook.

Staci talks about her biggest hurdles, being laid off from her corporate gig, being okay with being where you are, the mind games we play with ourselves. Prepare to be inspired! I love this conversation. It’s never too late to pursue the life you want to live. 

MENTIONS:

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Staci for joining us this week!

Ep. 31 Dave Ruch (Performer & Educational Artist)

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I am so excited for you to hear today’s brand new episode of The Working Singer podcast with Dave Ruch (Performer & Teaching Artist).

A true Working singer in every sense of the word, for twenty plus years, Dave has carved out a full time career for himself creating relevant, educational shows for children and adults. Hailing from Buffalo, New York Dave has engaged audiences at schools, museums, performing arts centers, libraries, historical societies, and cultural and civic events. We talk about how to specialize the music you perform, how to transition out of low paying gigs, how to develop an engaging show, and how to keep a full calendar.

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. Treating it like a full time job can get you out of a lot of ruts. 
  2. Put together a themed show. Take the material you love to do and figure out an umbrella that you could put it under. Sell the theme to venues instead of yourself. 
  3. There’s an unstated value in putting a good value on yourself and sticking to it.

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Dave for joining us this week!

Ep. 30 Catharine Wood (Planetwood Studios, Producer/Engineer, Singer-Songwriter)

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This week singer-songwriter, producer, and engineer Catharine Wood (Planet Wood Studios) discusses what she learned working just a few hours with Linda Perry, attending audio engineering school, the drinking culture in the advertising world, her transition into running her own studio, and having your “ladder up against the right wall.”

A unique episode with lots of lessons you don’t want to miss!

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. There’s no shame in getting a day job when you need to. 
  2. If you’re aligned with doing the right thing you’re not going to run out of energy. 
  3. Make sure you’re taking care of mind, body, spirit. 

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Catharine for joining us this week!

Ep. 29 Tashara Forrest (Soul II Soul, Sleeke Entertainment)

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Tashara Forrest (Soul II Soul, James Arthur, Paloma Faith) London based singer, performer, and owner of the Sleeke Entertainment opens up about how losing her mom inspired her to leave her full time job as a counselor to pursue a career in music. Tashara also discusses the realities of balancing her business with motherhood, creating good working relationships, and the key to building a loyal team.

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. You attract the things to you that you want. 
  2. Anything is possible. If you want to do something you can. Just give it time and work hard. 
  3. You’ve got to have a life. You can’t always be working.
  4. It’s important to look after yourself. 
  5. You sing as well as you look after yourself. 
  6. A lot of our kind of work is belief. You have to believe in yourself. 
  7. Record yourself so you see what you look like so that you can tweak your performance when you see yourself back.
  8. If you want something to happen you’ve got to do something. If you want something to change you’ve got to do something differently. 

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Tashara for joining us this week!

Ep. 28 Josie Aiello (Quincy Jones, Kenny Loggins, Jazz in Pink)

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Josie Aiello is recognized internationally as an award-winning singer, BMI songwriter, performer, vocal arranger, and worship leader with four album releases under her belt. Josie began singing at the age of nine at her parents’ Sicilian restaurant in Chicago, and soon developed a reputation for her powerful vocals and ability to command an audience. After relocating to L.A, she quickly became highly sought after for session work by some of the top hit music producers, including the late Phil Ramone. 

Eventually, her hard work and tenacity paid off when she captured the attention of Quincy Jones, who personally signed Josie to his Record and Publishing label with Warner Bros. Since then, Josie’s been called to record for J Lo, Cher, Jessie J, Enrique Iglesias, Andra Day, Kenny Loggins, Brenda Russell, Placido Domingo, and Bebe Winans just to name a few. She’s featured on major soundtracks such as That Thing You Do, The Out Of Towners, South Park, Dinosaur, The Guardian, and Hairspray. National TV commercials (McDonalds, Big Lots and Eckrich) love her voice as well. Josie has toured with Don Henley, Kenny Loggins and currently touring as a featured artist with the world renowned, all female, all-star jazz and R&B band “Jazz in Pink”.

MENTIONS:

SINGING LESSONS:

  1. It’s really important to keep good, strong relationships. It’s everything. 
  2. Stay inspired. Don’t just put something out because you haven’t put anything out in a couple of months. Quality over quantity. 
  3. There really is no formula to getting work. It’s about relationships.
  4. The secret to joy is gratefulness.  

Thanks for listening!

Subscribe & review on Apple Podcasts, join the Facebook community, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Special thanks to Josie for joining us this week!