Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Vocal Talent Made in Heaven... So is Thunder and Lightning...

"She is talented and has a great voice!" People are exclaiming.

Does it mean automatic success in the music industry at large? Sometimes it does. But sometimes, on the contrary, it means a lot of "thunder and lightning" during what appears to be a sudden discovery, recording, performance, fairly quick success... and all of a sudden - CRASH!!!

Loss of voice, loss of tour, loss of millions of dollars and shattered dreams!!!

Now what...?

Now is the time to realize that the good voice and the good talent is only a prerequisite, but the prerequisite is not enough to sustain a long and successful vocal career. 

What seems to be lacking? You may exclaim!

The answer to this is: 

- Simply the knowledge of the proper vocal technique, which would allow the health and length of one's vocal cords and vocal box.

- Simply the understanding that anything in life is relevant and related to the science of the matter. 

One client of mine who just arrived from L.A. for his vocal training to become a recording artist, was experiencing vocal problems while just being an actor, not even a singer. I asked him whether he found me on the internet and I asked him what exactly he was searching for.

His reply was, "I had problems speaking while acting and just colloquially and I figured that there should be some kind of a science to the voice and vocal cords repair. I searched 'science for repair of vocal cords" and you came up." 

Needless to say, the method which I created and have been advocating for nearly four decades is actually called Vocal Science(TM).

If you look back even six months to a year ago, you will witness that a lot of well known artists, from Adele now, to Duran Duran's singer recently, to Canadian Simple Plan's lead singer in the recent past and even Mick Jagger himself experienced voice loss and thus, distraction to their busy schedules of recording and performances.  Should them and their managers possess more intelligence and the knowledge for that matter, they would research the "science" of a successful "vocal mechanism", which triggers the voice to work in the fullest capacity possible with positively no pain or strain on the vocal anatomy whatsoever. 

That said, a lot of pain, a lot of bleeding vocal cords (like in the case of Adele now) and a lot of money, for Christ's sake, would be saved and a lot more listeners would be pleased to see their once loved music icons on stage again, vocalizing their very best and not looking so very scared and in distress while performing blindly without, so to speak, "instruments" to rely on. 

I'm sure everybody remembers the case of JFK Jr. who, as we found out after his plane crashed, actually did not know how to read the instruments...? Therefore, during the bad weather, he had a "blind" flight and could not rely on the instruments, as he had no knowledge in that instance. So one more time again, the crash was inevitable and in his case it was truly the thunder and lightning, which ended his and his two passengers young lives. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

We're Proud of Our Past and are Presently Working Hard to Assure Even Greater Success in the Foreseeable Future

We're just about to arrive to our 28th anniversary of the originally called "The Royans School for the Musical Performing Arts" and today's named, more to the point, "The Royans Professional Vocal School".

Looking back and assessing our past, as an owner, president and master vocal coach of the company, I have to say that I'm proud of what we achieved over the last three decades. The fair amount of well known singers today in Toronto and some other cities and provinces of Canada, US and Europe, have come out of our school. At the time, we had a pretty bold statement "Beginner to Pro-Singer in 10 Hours, Guaranteed!", and at that time, in the precious past, my clients and I lived up to this statement minimum to say 150%.

The people then (in 80s and 90s) were much more "awake", much more alert, much more active - intellectually and physically - and had more desires. The immigration of those years was pretty active, especially from countries like Russia, Italy, Greece and other civilized societies, where the parents - immigrants were arriving to this land with the agenda to give their children and grandchildren the best and mainly, the best of education. They worked really hard in constructions, factories, plants and what have you and all the money made, they directed towards the betterment of their offspring.

They were picking up the phones, prior looking us up in the Yellow Pages directory and various print publications, which, needless to say, today unfortunately are non-existent. No, they did not have any access to internet yet, thus they did not waste their valuable time staring at the screen and acquiring a fair amount of radiation for that matter, not to mention they were not bombarded by a billion choices, but rather they were relying on their intuition, their common sense and the word of mouth.

Respectively, their kids were given more love, care and attention. A lot of them also had a love for music (in a real and authentic understanding of that word) and thus, wanted to achieve a goal to become somebody, or maybe even a pop or rock star. Their motives though, were by far more authentic and genuine then, they did not have one and only agenda to make "financial success" and "help their families"!!! Nothing wrong with that,  but in my opinion, it should not be the main goal. It should be the true calling for love of music and a calling from within and of their hearts and souls.

I personally loved those times and enjoyed my business of making stars by far greater than today. I'M PROUD OF WHAT I'VE DONE!

Today, I continue to "carry the torch". However, "THE TORCH" has become extremely heavy to carry, "which is nearly breaking my back" (lol). The people today are bombarded with information and can not exist, live or think without their 24/7 access to the internet. They're confused in their numerous choices and therefore, doubting everything and everyone. Today it takes quadruple energy to achieve a quarter of the result.

The economy today also dictates that it is the market for the consumer. Don't you worry, they do know about it and they interrogate me and my staff to the fullest. Finally, and with the great difficulty, "the sale" was made. Now themselves or their children are in our studios...

As it appears to be, half of them have learning disabilities, no attention span of any sort, they hardly can read and definitely cannot write without spell-check. They refuse to speak on the phone, even to discuss their appointments. They have to text or e-mail with extremely incoherent language skills, which at times is impossible to make "heads or tails" of.

When we receive the young children, and often with talent, we assume that that's exactly what they want to do - THEY WANT TO SING! When we ask them that question, if singing is their passion and perhaps may become their future profession, we're getting the answer from one of our 10-year-old student's, "No, I want to be an engineer". Go figure! It must be parents who are trying to instill in their minds that the music is not a profession and you can not rely on it (I agree that there is some truth to it). However, the child with artistic tendencies should not be discouraged from his love, passion and talent, just because the parents might think that it might not be a lucrative profession for him down the road.

Also, four years ago, I was running a workshop where I had 11 strangers and at that time future winner of Canadian Idol 2007 - Brian Melo. He "saved the cake", as the rest of them were sitting there as complete zombies and telling me during the introductory interview, that all of them (young girls primarily) wanted to become opera singers. All of the previous years, when I asked young girls who they would want to become, the answer was premeditated - Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and before that, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey. Now these parents are afraid of "Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll", so they're putting in their youngsters minds, who don't know any better, that opera is the only genre they can embark upon, as in the parent's minds, this is the safest field for their children, since these children "unfortunately" happen to have some musical talent.

So, needless to say, I saw the seeds being planted some time ago. In my opinion, now they're in the full bloom.

So, by the law of averages, given the very good beginning, from approximately 1984 - 2004, and not very satisfying present, I'm hoping that the future will be that much more fulfilling, based on experience of the past and the present. I just wish that my staff and I would not have to work so hard in our present to:



           WE   DO  BELIEVE!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Baby Boomers Age 60 and Over... What posses them to embark on the singing lessons?

For almost over twenty eight years of running my own vocal school, I've taught a lot of people of all ages, all races and all walks of life.

The older clan, sixty years of age and over, are definitely in a league of their own. Both older men and women of that class finally finding the time and desire to realize their dreams which apparently they carried  inside themselves for nearly fifty years. As I've learned over the years that a lot of them, while growing up in very poor families, outlined the goal for themselves to become rich and successful, and a lot of them were putting on the line anything and sacrificing everything; love, lust, desires of their hearts, fulfillment of their souls... and much much more.

While dreaming towards financial success they, in a manner of speaking, lost the sense of reality and with that the sense of who they actually are and what they actually really wanted out of their lives.
Apparently, now working in a very respectful firms and making a very fair living, more than anything they want to sing, to perform and to act. Along with enrolling to my classes, they concurrently enrolling into the acting classes and auditioning for the community theatres.

They finally decided to LIVE!

Some of them by now are over seventy and to their credit they came to conclusion: BETTER LATER THAN NEVER!!!

Way to go guys!

However, it is not as easy as it sounds.

Their emotions and  desires were extremely suppressed, and their spirit remained in a living coma over the number of years. Not to mention that it is not easy to teach so to speak "an old dog new tricks".

During the process of instruction and interactions they are extremeley emotional and quite impatient.

They want to turn the time back fifty years and grasp it fast and all at once.

They get upset and discouraged easily, until they understand that one thing you can not buy in this life - TIME!
But they are in fairness "getting better not older" and they do have more time on their hands than the younger population.

Therefore, it is extremely commendable that they do not want to end their life without the positive completion of it, via finally realizing their most intimate dreams- ARTISTIC DESIRES.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

X Factor - Big Applause to Simon Cowell
His Show is... Spot On Reality

I have to say that I'm not a big fan of reality TV shows, with the exception of very few, one of which was Rock Star Supernova, which possessed real singers, real music and somewhat fair judges, and the last several seasons of American Idol. Everything else I've been watching concerning music was simply a failure and almost a funny parody onto the big shows, like I mentioned above.  Evidently, they did not have  enough budget or simply a class concerning the judges and the participants.

On a parallel track now with X Factor have been running: Cover Me Canada (Canadian Show), Sing Off (American Show) and right before that, America's Got Talent. Let's analyze each of them.

"Cover Me Canada" in my opinion possesses very mediocre and boring bands with some mediocre singers who are trying to pose for the best thing since sliced bread. In my opinion, practically all of them are quite pathetic to say least.

"Sing Off" consists of some groups with the enormous amount of people on stage trying to recite some church and gospel stuff with rather strange harmonies and performance skills.

And lastly, "America's Got Talent" in my opinion definitely could compete with Cirque Du Soleil. In fact there is more circus than any other acts and almost as much as in Cirque Du Soleil itself. Go figure! To me, it's a complete bizarre and singing seems to be completely out of place. I cannot wait for "Canada's Got Talent", however, I don't "hold my breath" for anything better than what the Americans have done. Mind you, I would be very opt for a nice surprise. After all, I've given 32 years of my life to the Canadian music and entertainment business.  The "entertainment part" in a good and positive understanding of that word, however, remains to be quite in the dark until I, hopefully, acquire an anxiously awaited surprise.

And finally, A HUGE SURPRISE (in a good understanding of that word) - American X Factor, produced and judged by Simon Cowell. Way to go!!! Perfect judges panel, especially when Nicole Scherzinger took the place of Cheryl Cole. Cheryl appeared as a nice soul, but in my opinion, was not assertive enough and would not verbally add to the show.

Nicole, on the other hand, is everything the audience could wish for. She is beautiful, smart, sharp, humourous and an enormously good singer. The BEST "in my books" (trust me, to get that high recognition of singing "in my books" is not easy at all - nearly impossible).

Interestingly enough, Paula Abdul is now being announced as a choreographer and performer. Her singing career or abilities for that matter, never have been mentioned. Her new title sounds a bit odd, however, it is quite fair, in my opinion... After all, she looks as good as never before (probably taking example from Jennifer Lopez of American Idol who too was looking her absolute best and better than 10-15 years ago). Way to go girls! In any case, Paula's job is quite fulfilling. She has to entertain not only the audience, but also Simon Cowell himself. And she does it with absolute charm.

The last judge, L.A. Reid, definitely grew on me throughout the last four episodes of auditions. I never saw the side of him being very charming, yet very straight, sharp and knowledgeable person. The whole quartet of judges is definitely a winning combination.

The show itself is extremely entertaining, as I never laughed so hard in my life! The editing of very talented people versus complete weirdos and psychos who never had a check with reality in their entire existence, is absolutely brilliant! The whole show is a CLASS ACT on every level.

One more time again, my biggest applause to Simon Cowell. He himself is in a league of his own. The ten seasons of American Idol did him good and taught him a lot. He took the absolute best experience he acquired from that show and brought it to X Factor. Him and his present show, no doubts, ARE in a league of their own. I certainly cannot wait for more episodes. At the present time, it is a real treat for my heart, soul and my psyche...

"GO BIG OR NOT AT ALL". This is the credo which I live by. "GIVE THE BEST AND RECEIVE THE BEST". This is the second credo I live by. By the looks of things, Simon Cowell is on the "same boat" with me and I'M HONOURED!

There is no doubts that he will discover quite a few talents, which is always a positive outcome of any reality TV shows like that.

But needless to say, the HIGHER CLASS of the show will possess the HIGHER CLASS of the TALENT.