"In my rhythm section grooves class, I teach students to be an integral part of making music with their band, not just the person up front doing the words. That means communicating with the instruments, listening to them, and thinking about what they are doing. In the private voice lessons I teach, I train my students to sing with longevity and power no matter what their home genre. Since the skills they learn are applicable across all styles, I ask them to branch out into other styles. When they return to their home style, they see how it has been strengthened.
"To help students get their own voice out, I’ll also ask them to try breathing a different way, or holding their mouth or their head a different way. When I hear something unique to them, I’ll say, ‘Now that’s the real you. That's what I want to hear. I don’t need another Mariah.’
"It’s so important to appreciate your personal music. It will serve you well, no matter what you end up doing. But I also want my students to become fully rounded musicians, so that no matter what style is put in front of them, they can do an honorable job of singing it.
"I encourage my students to find the good in all kinds of music, and not just to broaden themselves so they can work a lot. Ray Charles once told us in Vox One that every music has its own soul—it’s our job to find that soul and bring it out in a way that respects that tradition. The more kinds of music you can enjoy and appreciate, the more compassionate and understanding of others you will become, and the more you will be a blessing in your world."