Acting in Plays, Singing/Please help me!

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Question
Hello,

am a freshman in high school and need some advice on how to make my voice broader, vibrato better, and my tone sharper. I am pursuing big dreams and have tried vibrato for weeks and still have not gotten the hang of it. Do you have any advice on how to make that beautiful vibrato as I do on my flute? Also, I have a pretty small range of notes before I go into my falsetto voice, how to I make my overall range broader? As for my final question, my tone. I have recorded myself a few times and have noticed my voice often cracking or straining. This must be fixed, and I need your help. I hope that I haven't taken up too much of your time or thought. Thank you for all tht you do and stand for!

Sincerely,
Bethany Eribarne

Answer
Hi, Bethany —

Thank you for the question and for your support.

Day One of our first and private Master Class will be about me identifying where and how you are straining and to demonstrate the solutions.

I believe what you mean by "making the voice broader" is to expand your current vocal range. Most singers are capable of two octaves. On what note does your voice crack?

Vibrato is totally natural. It does not work like your flute. The reason you have no vibrato is because you are holding onto tension. Once you let go of that tension, the vibrato is free to work. My job is to show you how to free that tension throughout your vocal range.

You've been singing a certain way for a long time. Now you've accumulated a long list of bad habits in your vocal technique and you can name them. When you play back what you have just recorded, you can hear the strain.

Signs of strain can be evidenced in the pitch, volume, and duration of a note or phrase. Perhaps you can also hear hesitation, such as the lack of volume and support behind a climactic note—the "money note", especially when it happens more than once in the song. And the one after that.

If your dream is to sustain a living as a singer, then you have to be able to deliver a certain product in a reasonably predictable way — day after day, month after month and, hopefully, year after year. My job is to teach you how to exercise your voice in order to develop and maintain your performance-ready vocal chops.

Again, the core of the problem in all of your stated concerns is about tension.

The process of releasing tension and, thus, acquiring a wider range and control over your vibrato—includes learning how to sing basic scales throughout your vocal range. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate a completely balanced range, i.e., no breaks no cracks—over the stretch of two octaves and according to your vocal category, i.e., soprano, mezzo soprano, etc.

That takes time and a commitment to daily practice.

If you are interested in doing a lesson on Skype, let me know.

I am a vocal coach to working singers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm also an entertainment critic for HuffingtonPost.com – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield and Classical music reviewer for Examiner.com – http://www.examiner.com/user/4557381/articles. Let me know when you're ready to come to San Francisco for some vocal coaching.

Check out my web site: http://FabulousFilmSongs.com

See my interview with popular TV host, David Perry, on "Ten Percent":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKeeTYTYMAI

Below are links to my articles and youtubes on the San Francisco Bay Area entertainment and cultural scene:

THE GREAT GATSBY—F. Scott Fitzgerald Classic goes Three Dimensional
http://www.examiner.com/review/the-great-gatsby-f-scott-fitzgerald-classic-goes-

Christopher Wheeldon's 'Cinderella'—A Smash Hit for the Season Finale at SF Ballet
http://www.examiner.com/review/christopher-wheeldon-s-cinderella-a-smash-hit-for

'FILLY BROWN' — An Extraordinary Film from Youssef Delara and Michael D. Olmos
http://www.examiner.com/review/filly-brown-an-extraordinary-film-from-youssef-de

TINSEL TARTS IN A HOT COMA—Extended through June 29th at The Hypnodrome
http://www.examiner.com/review/tinsel-tarts-a-hot-coma-extended-through-june-29t

Nonsemble 6 presents Schoenberg's 'Pierrot Lunaire' – in corsets
http://www.examiner.com/article/nonsemble-6-presents-schoenberg-s-pierrot-lunair

'Onegin' – A Must-See at San Francisco Ballet, Final Performances 3/26—28
http://www.examiner.com/review/onegin-a-must-see-at-san-francisco-ballet-final-p

Tenor Noah Stewart Debuts with Berkeley Symphony in World Premiere of New Work by Steven Stucky
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/noah-stewart_b_2899344.html

Marnie Breckenridege, A Modern Soprano for Contemporary Opera
http://www.examiner.com/article/marnie-breckenridge-a-modern-soprano-for-contemp

A Profile of Choreographer John Neumeier and his "Nijinsky"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/profile-choreographer-john-neumei

Peggy Cummins Honored at San Francisco's Noir City Film Festival
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/noir-city-film-festival_b_2569333

In Conversation with Peter Gallagher – Coming to the Venetian Room
http://www.examiner.com/article/in-conversation-with-peter-gallagher-coming-sund

Melody Moore steps into Tosca — Opening Night at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/tosca-san-francisco-opera_b_21965

'Moby-Dick' opens at San Francisco Opera: A Conversation with Composer Jake Heggie
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/moby-dick-san-francisco-opera_b_1

'Drama Queens' – A Conversation with Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/drama-queens-a-conversation_b_214

Vasily Petrenko, BRIT Male Artist of the Year, Conducts SF Symphony, 10/5–6
http://www.examiner.com/node/53741556

Marco Vratogna Is Sensational as Rigoletto at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/marco-vratogna-is-sensati_b_19070

A conversation with Joshua Bell, featured guest artist at opening of SF Symphony, 9/19
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-conversation-with-joshu_b_18824

Jazz vocalist Nicole Henry makes San Francisco debut
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/jazz-vocalist-nicole-henr_b_18536

Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford duke it out at The Castro Theatre's 90th Anniversary
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/norma-shearer-and-joan-cr_b_17750

The Wizard of Oz Meets the San Francisco Symphony
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/wizard-of-oz-san-fran-symphony_b_

Samuel Ramey is Leo the Great in San Francisco Opera's 'Attila'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/samuel-ramey-attila_b_1586131.htm

'Victor Herbert, Collected Songs' – A Great CD
http://www.examiner.com/review/victor-herbert-collected-songs-a-great-cd-for-mem

Tom Judson Is Making It Big In San Francisco
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/tom-judson-cabaret_b_1498594.html

A Look at Gennadi Nedvigin, Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/gennadi-nedvigi-ballet_b_1427319.

Organist Christopher Houlihan Makes A Powerful Debut at Davies Symphony Hall
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/christopher-houlihan_b_1398351.ht

RICHARD WINSOR – An Interview With the Star of 'Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake in 3D'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/richard-winsor-swan-lake_b_135148

DEANNA DURBIN – The Leading Lady of NOIR CITY, Wednesday at The Castro Theatre
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166623

KRISTIN CLAYTON– A Conversation with "The Diva" of Teatro ZinZanni
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=166029

CAMERON CARPENTER – An Interview with Seán Martinfield
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=24462

A Conversation with Elza van den Heever
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=99268

CUBAN BALLET – An Interview with Octavio Roca
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=86049

A Look At "Giselle" with Ballerina Lorena Feijóo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33-a6Oa-0j4

ZUILL BAILEY – A Conversation
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=58241

Best regards,
Sean Martinfield

Acting in Plays, Singing

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Sean Martinfield

Expertise

I am a professional vocal coach in San Francisco. I have published over 3300 responses related to vocal training - particularly as it relates to Musical Theatre, Pop/Standard, and Opera. I have 30 years of experience as a personal trainer to working singers and actors in the San Francisco Bay Area. I sang professionally for 20 years and know what it means to live the life of a musician. I can determine your voice category, i.e., Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto, Alto Belter, etc., and how to broaden and strengthen your range. Need an audition song for a Broadway Musical? I can assist you with your song selections and help you build an audition portfolio that demonstrates your vocal category and meets the requirements specified in the audition notice. I have created a vocal methodology, "The Belter`s Method". It will enable those in Cabaret and Musical Theatre to practice more efficiently because it focuses on the vocal demands of professional performers and will keep you performance-ready. If what you want is a better voice and more control over your career moves and choices, contact me at: BroadwayBelters@yahoo.com I am also a music and cultural critic for HuffingtonPost.com and Examiner.com. I interview internationally recognized musicians, singers, dancers, and recording artists -- particularly those who are now appearing or scheduled to perform in San Francisco.

Experience

As a vocal coach, I work primarily with singers and actors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. My students range from absolute beginners to working professionals, from kids to senior citizens. The vast majority of my clients come to me through recommendation. I know how to identify any singer's vocal category, i.e., soprano, tenor, alto, baritone, etc. I know how to muscle-up every singer's vocal range and to expand it beyond conventional definitions. I have developed a vocal methodology for those who want to know how to belt, THE BELTER'S METHOD. There are a number of major components to my work as a vocal coach. The first is to identify the client's vocal category and to strengthen and maximize the vocal range accordingly. Then it's about teaching a reliable vocal workout that will enable the client to gain better control of their musicianship. That includes scale work to expand the vocal range and to improve placement, breath control, and diction. Then we work on material for the audition portfolio, the immediate job or assignment, a recording session, etc. My task to is to better equip singers and actors who are hoping to or relying upon their performance skills and vocal endurance to maintain a career in the Performing Arts. My clients regularly appear in cabarets and musical productions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Some have worked in New York and gone on National Tours. For more information, Contact me at: Broadwaybelters@yahoo.com

Publications
HuffingtonPost.com Examiner.com FabulousFilmSongs.com SanFranciscoSentinel.com

Education/Credentials
San Francisco State University – BA in Theatre Arts; graduate work in Theatre, Philosophy, and Comparative Reiligion. Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley – Graduate work in Ethics

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