Sunday, November 29, 2009
I have been teaching vocals and producing vocal tracks and performances in Toronto for close to 30 years. And I have seen a lot of changes over the last three decades with respect to the music industry and people in general. The music industry has changed a lot recently with the advent of the Internet and this has had both positive and negative aspects. Granted, there are fewer record deals being provided by the major labels. On the other hand, artists have the facility to market their music directly via the Internet. However, people are blowing the use of the Internet out of proportion on every level possible. Not only do they market their music and singing on the Internet, but also they think that they could learn how to sing and play via the Internet. They, overall, became lazy and even to learn or achieve something they are not willing to leave their houses. Knowing that, the so called music professionals, and vocal coaches in particular, quickly realized that the market is there and, thus, created a quick fix via online lessons, CD's, DVD's and what have you, which evidently by the law of any averages will never work instead of the actual interactive communication between the student and the teacher. Moreover, those so called professionals have occupied all their time not only to create a bogus product but to optimize the traffic to their website where their product is heavily advertised. They are not concerned with the results that people will achieve from the actual so called instruction, but are more focussed on search engine optimization and online marketing. Since for all of these years I have been doing the opposite, ie. creating a product that works and delivering it on a day to day basis, I recently realized that I don't have the same response to my services that I used to - and that is with more name artists produced, more credentials and more experience. How logical is that I was asking myself and my staff. And then the ugly truth revealed itself. I was apparently in the "wrong" business in vocal coaching as opposed to an online marketing business. It has been a little disheartening to realize that unless you spend at least 40 hours per week on optimizing for Google, you cannot actually conduct your business in the manner that you were accustomed to for many years. Quite a few students of mine were exclaiming, "How come I never see your name on the Internet as much as Mr. X? Thank God I was referred to you, otherwise I would never have known about you." And that's why as long as people are occupying all their time with marketing online instead of being concerned about real results, the artists, music industry and audiences will continue to suffer and produce less and less quality music and more and more questionable businesses will thrive financially.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I am bombarded on an every day basis with people requesting online vocal lessons, instruction via telephone, CD/DVD based courses or even asked to send them a “magic pill”! They truly believe that the above list of items will solve all of their vocal problems. Just like the emails touting Weight Loss pills and inheritances from millionaires in Nigeria fill our Email Inboxes, if it sounds too far fetched to be true, then it most likely is. Though my claim to fame is accelerated vocal development and sometimes people are curious as to how results can be achieved in such a short period of time, the truth is that I offer a genuine and scientifically researched methodology that works. But, needless to say, it does require face-to-face interaction. The problem with online, phone and CD/DVD lessons is that they are not interactive, so nobody can control whether or not the person is doing the correct thing or provide any feedback. Moreover, when I instruct an artist I have to watch for his body position, his head position and his mouth shape position to say the least, not to mention that at the same time I am providing them with nothing less than very tedious syllable upon syllable instruction. Often our energies are engaged between each other, almost like we are connected by the umbilical chord. You cannot achieve this interactive and internal/external communication unless you are in each other’s presence. Granted, you probably could learn how to play guitar in a very rudimentary fashion via a CD or DVD because tangibly you have a set of strings to touch and you can just copy what you see. Nobody can touch the inside of your throat, let alone yourself. Therefore, I created a method which allows via a certain manipulation of the certain body parts to call out the sound in its entirety out of the physical body. I would never be able to commodify it in a general sense, as each person is unique and different and, therefore, the approach to each person has to be unique and different as well, however, still within the parameters of the Vocal Science technique. So the question is, “Is it worth it to do anything else?”