Trouble with Neck Tension when you Sing?? 

I see this almost daily: singers who tighten their neck muscles in a misguided attempt to "brace for action". It's completely understandable since most times when we call upon other muscles in our bodies to perform for us, we tend to tense them up. It makes logical sense and is a knee-jerk habit except when it comes to singing, it just doesn't work! In fact, just the opposite result of what we want happens - singing gets harder, not easier!

The moment we tense our shoulders or neck, the muscles surrounding…

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Choosing the Right Song 


I’m a singing reality show fan. It started with American Idol when it first came out but now I watch whichever show happens to be on: The Voice, The X Factor, America’s Got Talent…. I’m not fussy. What I LOVE about these shows is that I get the privilege of witnessing someone’s life being irrevocably changed. Unknowns are plucked from obscurity and are given sound advice, training, a make-over and the opportunity to shine. Whether they go on to become a household name in music or not, that raw talent is…

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Reckless Singing 

I sat watching a grunge band perform last night. It was the first live performance I've watched in more than 18 months.

The music ranged from The Ramones to Nirvana to originals. Every single song was loud, high and intense and I genuinely could not relax.... all I could think was "Dear God, that young man isn't going to have any voice at all five years from now."

He fronted with all the energy one might get from chugging 6 Redbulls and being in his 20s could pogo on stage endlessly without seeming to lose…

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Seven Self-Tape Tips for Film and TV 

In this new era of social distancing, auditioning for film and tv has never been easier or more challenging. Learning how to self-tape well can make the difference between setting you up for success or condemning you to failure. For those who get extremely nervous at live auditions, self-taping is a godsend as you can do as many takes as you like before you get your best version.

Here are a few strategies to make your self-tape as good as possible and an enjoyable experience.

1) Lighting: Make sure your…

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Voice Coaching For Transitioning Students 

The voice is such an important factor in our perceptions of gender and Kelowna Voice Lab can help people who are in the process of transitioning from male to female or from female to male. KVL is an inclusive space that has always been a safe and welcoming place for all genders, ethnicities and beliefs. 

My first trans student came to Kelowna Voice Lab in 2015. They were just beginning their journey from feminine to masculine and  wanted to know how to move their speaking voice lower in their range. I first…

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Virtual Green Screen Concert 

With all live concerts cancelled in British Columbia this most unusual holiday season, we had to get creative at Kelowna Voice Lab and find a way for our vocal students and guitar students to have an opportunity to perform the holiday songs they have been working so hard on. The addition of a ring light and a green screen to the studio has made performance filming possible!

Students performed their holiday songs without the pressure of an audience and have it filmed in the comfort of the studio.

Using a…

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There is No Such Thing as "Tone Deaf"  

No matter the style, the setting or the performer, pitch is something everyone struggles with from time to time.

There are many complicated definitions of pitch as it relates to sound frequency but at its simplest definition "pitch" is defined as "the quality that makes it possible to judge sounds as "higher" and "lower" in the sense associated with musical melodies". Now that is a very broad term... "higher" and "lower" and there is a LOT of wiggle room separating one note from another. It is a difficult…

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Virtual Voice Lessons 

These are strange times to be a professional vocal coach!

With the new COVID-19 social distancing regulations, it has become clear to me that in-person singing lessons in the studio are just not safe. Kelowna Voice Lab operates in a 12x12 enclosed space and studies have shown that there is a lot of air being shared in small spaces. As we go through our vocal warm-ups and various singing exercises, there just isn't enough ventilation to ensure that no germs are being spread - 6 ft. distance or not. In the…

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I'm Learning... A self-talk habit to foster 

Sometimes my voice students become great teachers to me. In fact, there is an old saying "if you want to learn how to do something well, teach it to someone else".

I am currently teaching vocal control and awareness to a lovely teenage girl. The point of our lessons is to help her gain a better understanding of her voice and how to communicate more effectively. The other day, when we were practicing for a speech she had to give, she stumbled over some words. Immediately she said "that's okay, I'm learning".…

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Kelowna Voice Lab Welcomes Teacher Mark Wells! 

Introducing Voice Teacher Mark Wells

Here are three big secrets to great singing:

1: Great singing feels amazing. 2: Great singing belongs to everyone. 3: You can unlock the full potential in your voice if you know where to place support, openness, and freedom in your body.

If you feel nervous to sing, if you wonder how to unleash your true voice, if you're preparing for a big role or audition, or if you just want to enjoy healthy, joyful singing for the rest of your life, I'm here to help you discover…

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