Acting in Plays, Singing/Vocal range

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Question
Hello

I am having a hard time trying to understand my voice. I've had singing classes for two years now and I am a soprano.
But I study classical music, which means I only use my head voice. And I can hit pretty high notes, such as A and bB (not the central ones, one octave higher)

But now I've been trying to sing some musical theatre songs and I can't even reach the middle B properly because my chest voice has the smallest vocal range.

What am I? What can I do to increase my vocal range? And why does this happen?

Thank you

Answer
Hi, Mafalda --

Thank you for the question. As a professional singer, I appreciate your concerns.

But after two years of Classical vocal instruction – you should know that sopranos don’t confine their sense of placement to what you refer to as your “head voice”.

If you were to come to me for a vocal coaching session – and if we determined that you are a true Soprano – it’s because I pulled a High C out of you right then and there.

Two years have gone by and all of you’ve got is High A or Bb?

Find another teacher. You are wasting your time and, more importantly, your money.

The problems you describe are totally fixable. But it has to happen during an actual exchange between the coach and the client. Consider doing a lesson on Skype.

I am a vocal coach to working singers in the San Francisco Bay Area. When you want to make an appointment, contact me at:  BroadwayBelters@yahoo.com.

I am also published on:
HuffingtonPost.com -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield
Examiner.com -- http://www.examiner.com/classical-music-in-san-francisco/sean-martinfield
FabulousFilmSongs.com -- http://www.fabulousfilmsongs.com

Below are links to my recent articles, interviews, and YouTubes:

On Jeanette MacDonald: Why should we care?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fBUoaBdBAc

Filmmaker Judy Irving – On ‘Pelican Dreams’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/filmmaker-judy-irving-on-_b_60648

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo – A Stunning Debut in ‘Partenope’ at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/countertenor-anthony-roth_b_60444

A Conversation with Bass-Baritone Philippe Sly
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-conversation-with-bassb_b_59947

Steve Wilson on 'The Making of Gone with the Wind'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/steve-wilson-on-the-makin_b_59237

‘Susannah’ at San Francisco Opera – Final Performance, 9/21
http://www.examiner.com/review/susannah-at-san-francisco-opera-final-performance

The Alloy Orchestra Meets ‘Son of the Sheik’ at San Francisco’s Silent Film Festival
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/the-alloy-orchestra-meets_b_58380

Bass-Baritone Christian Van Horn – A Busy Season at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/bassbaritone-christian-va_b_58212

Sondra Radvanovsky and Jamie Barton Shine in New Production of 'Norma' at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/sondra-radvanovsky-and-jamie-bart

In Tune with Tenor George Komsky – at the Napa Valley Opera House, 9/7
http://www.examiner.com/article/in-tune-with-tenor-george-komsky-at-napa-valley-

“Veda Pierce” – Lounge Lizard or High Toned Viper?
http://www.fabulousfilmsongs.com/veda-pierce-lounge-lizard-or-high-toned-viper/

‘The Women’ – Classic Hollywood at the Napa Valley Opera House, 7/29
http://www.examiner.com/article/the-women-classic-hollywood-at-the-napa-valley-o

Julie Adams and Thomas Gunther – On ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’
http://www.examiner.com/article/julie-adams-and-thomas-gunther-on-a-streetcar-na

A Profile of Soprano Tony Arnold – Guest Artist at Santa Fe Chamber Festival 2014
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-profile-of-soprano-tony-arnold_

A Conversation with Pianist Stewart Goodyear
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-conversation-with-piani_3_b_556

Tenor Stuart Skelton on Peter Grimes
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/tenor-stuart-skelton-on-p_b_55087

Alexandra Silber and Cheyenne Jackson in New Recording of West Side Story
http://www.examiner.com/review/alexandra-silber-and-cheyenne-jackson-shine-new-r

A Conversation with Dmitri Hvorostovsky – This Week at Davies Hall
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-conversation-with-dmitr_b_53539

Jeffrey Biegel Is Rainbow High on New CD: Life According To Chopin: Chopin's Greatest Piano Solos
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/jeffrey-biegel-is-rainbow_b_53113

JEANETTE MacDONALD and The Great American Songbook, Pt. 1 — Close encounters with “Dinah” and “Some of These Days”
http://www.fabulousfilmsongs.com/jeanette-macdonald-and-the-great-american-songb

A Conversation with Mario Frangoulis – International Tenor Debuts in San Francisco, April 4th
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-conversation-with-mario_b_50660

Anita Monga – Talking with the Artistic Director of the SF Silent Film Festival
http://www.examiner.com/article/anita-monga-talking-with-the-artistic-director-o

NOIR CITY 12 – ‘It’s A Bitter Little World’ – Talking with Producer Eddie Muller
http://www.examiner.com/article/noir-city-12-it-s-a-bitter-little-world-talking-

Ricardo Bustamante – Profile of A Ballet Master at San Francisco Ballet
http://www.fabulousfilmsongs.com/category/the-pink-section-entertainment-calenda

A Fabulous Debut at Davies Symphony Hall for Natalie Dessay 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-fabulous-debut-at-davie_b_49813

Program 3 at San Francisco Ballet – Heartaches by the number
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/program-3-at-san-francisco-ballet

A Conversation with Organist Paul Jacobs - This Week at Davies Hall
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/paul-jacobs_b_4772776.html

Zuill Bailey Triumphs in New Recording of Benjamin Britten’s Cello Symphony and Sonata
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/zuill-bailey-triumphs-in-_b_46339

SY SMITH – Just the Thought of You
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/sy-smith-its-just-the-tho_b_45871

A Conversation with Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall Jazz Band
http://www.examiner.com/article/a-conversation-with-ben-jaffe-of-preservation-ha

A Conversation with Lucas Meachem - San Francisco Opera’s Barber of Seville
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-conversation-with-lucas_b_43078

GREG FEDDERLY – A Comprimario Tenor Extraordinaire
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/greg-fedderly_b_4118424.html

A Conversation with Soprano Alexandra Silber – This week at Feinstein’s, 10/11-12
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-conversation-with-sopra_b_40462

Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne—A Daring World Premiere at San Francisco Opera
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/tobias-pickers-dolores-cl_b_39775

Introducing Cheyenne Jackson and Alexandra Silber as San Francisco Symphony’s Tony & Maria in “West Side Story”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/introducing-cheyenne-jackson-and-

THE GERSHWINS AND ME – A Conversation with Michael Feinstein
http://www.examiner.com/article/the-gershwins-and-me-a-conversation-with-michael

A Conversation with Ted Neeley, Hollywood’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/a-conversation-with-ted-n_b_37863

Nathan Gunn Is ‘Yeshua’ in San Francisco Opera’s “The Gospel of Mary Magdalene”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sean-martinfield/nathan-gunn-on-becoming-y_b_34884

Natalie Dessay on ‘Becoming Traviata’—French Soprano bids ‘Adieu’ to opera stage
http://www.examiner.com/review/natalie-dessay-on-becoming-traviata-french-sopran

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

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

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

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

Best regards,
Sean Martinfield
Broadwaybelters@yahoo.com

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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