Can You Really Sing?
I know a man who thought he had one of the best singing voices in the world, when he was a boy soprano he probably had and renowned so by many virtuosos. So very much devoted to music, his music library is vast, an array of all kinds of singers from classical to heavy metal, all of these singers very successful and very wealthy professionals and he thought he was as good as or even better in most cases than every one of them. The obvious conclusion same that of many if not all budding singers was “if they can do it so can I”, a logic conclusion but not so much a realistic one.
This man of course, is me…
You know yourself, there are many so called famous singers who really can't sing at all and also have the most dreadful voices, but yet they make a good living doing so and are even acclaimed as "Great Singer". That in itself should tell you what you are up against! I know hundreds of incredible musician/performers who struggle to half fill a local venue, yet the made famous musician/performers can sell out their shows in a matter of hours when their own raw singing/performance ability wouldn't even get them a job singing in local pubs. Unless you have the vast marketing support of a large music company “getting signed up”, then you will struggle, and getting signed up to a large music company is an absolute lottery and not always skills based but more "who you know"! People believe what they see, the billboards, the TV and other Media hype claiming "whoever to be whatever", and that is what sells tickets way before any consideration of a persons musical competence.
Another element you must consider is… what your ear is telling you when you sing is in fact completely different to what others hear listening to you. When I started to make recordings, I then realised that all the many years and massive costs of singing tuition left me with nothing more than a great ability to sing and with a voice not as good as I thought it was. Have your voice recorded at our studios and after hearing yourself sing on a recording, then ask yourself…
* Your voice is as good as you thought it was?
* You need to be taught how to develop your voice?
* Your singing ability is as good as you thought it was?
* You need to be taught how to sing better?
* Are you prepared to be told otherwise?
* You are as good as the best? (and remember, this is the best that you are aware of and for every one
of them, their are tens of thousands better again).
* You can be taught how to sing and sing very well, but your voice is what it is, I can only show you how
to get the best from it. Don't expect to be able to be taught to sound like someone else!
I will complete an informal appraisal after your first four lessons and lets see if you have what it takes or where I can help you to go where you want to be with your singing career! Don't give up you day job!
A Singer In The Music Business
I fully understand why people who can sing or have a good voice want to sing professionally, I did, and still do! What a great life to be able to earn a good living doing something you love doing and are good at doing; but realistically, it is a job like any other job, where only a very small percentage of people make a lucrative living! Some have a reasonable standard of living but the vast majority of professional singers just manage to exist and inevitably need to diversify into other types of work to pay their bills. Unlike any other business, you can be absolutely useless as a singer or musician and still make it big time. Like any child can paint like Picasso but could never paint like Turner, and you can pay as much if not more for a Picasso than a Turner painting… Mad, but that's the art world for you, same as millions of people can sing better than Mick Jagger but only a handful like Luciano Pavarotti yet Jagger probably makes more money as a singer than Pavarotti ever did!
We all know there are some terrible singers who have become very successful in the music business, generally the pop business; believe me the vast majority did not get where they are because of their singing ability or should I say non-singing ability, the same people would not pass the first few seconds of an audition for a classical or even jazz vocalist position. For every Robbie Williams, Britney Spears or the Noel Gallagher likes, there are hundreds' in every city throughout the world, many of them far more talented even without the high profile marketing or state-of-the-art light & sound equipment! So don't be misled into thinking that because you feel you have a better voice or can probably sing better than some of these people, that there is a career for you as a singer. Again like any other business, it takes a lot of time, dedication, commitment and good luck as well as knowing the right people to get to the top of your profession. Those that make it on a “prayer and a wing” don't survive very long.
However this is about you and what you want to do, believe me, I like many other tutors have made mistakes though generally about instrumentalists; thinking they were never going to be capable musicians and they end up, well let's say good enough! So give it your best shot, you just never know what might happen, and lets face it, there are so called singers who have made millions as professional singers who are a disgrace to the name “good singer”.
You need to be very special or gifted to make it in the entertainment industry and yes it does help immensely if you know the right people along with the many other elements requiring vast skill and experience to survive in this business. Have you all of the above and can you be taught the necessary skills to gain you the experience you will need to make it “professionally”? More importantly; are you prepared to be told otherwise?
If you feel you are special/gifted, and your main desire in life is to be a professional singer, then let me see if I can help you or at least take you to where is feasibly possible! Let us face facts, we are all good at something which is generally something we enjoy doing, so concentrate on what you enjoy doing and can do very well for your career; this may not be singing!
What Is A Good Singing Teacher?
No theories/books or “singing teachers” can transform a voice into something it will never be!
Many singers including me, wish we could sing or have a voice like Luciano Pavarotti and wish is what we will just have to continue to do.
I would bet that there are some wealthy singers out there paying unscrupulous “singing teachers” a small fortune who will be claiming that they can develop their voices to be like Luciano Pavarotti's. Bless them!
You need an honest teacher, a one that does not take money from you leading you to believe your are being taught something you're incapable of being taught.
Like any teaching profession, there are some good, some bad and to some it is just a business, a means to exist. But on the other hand there will be some dedicated teachers out there who will share their experience and knowledge with you, who will equally believe in your ability and ambition and are as committed as you are to helping you achieve your goals. You need a teacher who has had many years professional experience. Academic qualifications are of no comparison to many years practical knowledge. You need a teacher who can...
* Recognise if you have true potential and outline the logistics and realities of achieving your singing aims.
* Assess and outline your strengths & weaknesses and work with you to eliminate the faults/bad habits, if at all possible, and then develop the vocal strengths you have already been blessed with.
* Assess true determination and commitment on your part.
* Develop your voice, singing and performance ability to the full ensuring each and every step is enjoyed by you to sustain your enthusiasm to learn.
* Point you in the right direction for a professional status providing all relevant contacts and procedures.
I recommend that you observe recommendations; I suppose this is as good a bet as any or look at the testimonials or credits. Academic qualifications/certificates are fine but years of experience in this business is what really matters! Primarily, I always maintain that to learn well you need to enjoy learning and that you have a relentless desire to learn well. It is therefore crucial that you get on well with your teacher, you see your teacher as a friend, a person you look forward to seeing and working with, a lesson you look forward to attending, yet in every situation, you maintain the utmost respect for your teachers competence as your mentor.
Although all applicants wishing to develop their voices and singing & performance ability; are accepted for an induction, not all applicants will be accepted for lessons. Decisions of acceptance are made with all integrity, purely at the discretion of Mac Francis and do not in any way undermine the student's will'. Students accepted after induction are then re-appraised after their first four lessons to determine acceptance for further development tuition.
Induction ~ 1 hour ~ £10 ~ this time is spent purely to identify the students musical knowledge, singing and voice ability, expected needs and career determination/commitment, including parental support where appropriate and to get a better understanding of the tuition I can offer.
All lessons are for one hour, unless a student specifically is working to a deadline i.e. audition, competition or performance where he/she requires a longer lesson time for preparation work. Time allowed, lies solely at the discretion of Mac Francis.
Students and Unwaged ~ £15 per hour (Student visit) and £20 per hour (Tutor visit within 10 mile radius)
Professionals, Semi-professionals and waged Students ~ £25 per hour (Student visit) and £30 (Tutor visit within 10 mile radius)
It is with respect that if a student can't make it to a lesson that they notify Mac Francis as soon as possible. Although these rates are standard, concessions are available purely at the discretion of Mac Francis.
Recording ~ (Price On Application) POA.
£25 per hour studio vocal supervision by Mac Francis (if needed).
(Choose what song/s the student wishes to record and identify the students ability to sing the chosen songs and if the songs are really suited to the voice and its ability). Produce an audio CD from one song to an album of songs.
Photo shoot ~ Prepare a hard copy portfolio or to use digitally for a website (POA)
DVD Production (POA)
CV ~ Prepare a hard copy curriculum vitae or to use digitally for a website (POA)
Equipment ~ (POA)