Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Many people ask me, "Is there hope for me? I mean, can you really teach me to sing? Isn't singing just a natural gift that some people are born with?"

Well, it's true that there are those lucky ones among us, who seem to just have a natural gift to belt it out at a young age. Most of us compare ourselves to this natural talent, and tell ourselves, "I'm not a singer." But deep down, we know we all want to sing! If you're reading this, there's a pretty good chance that you have the desire to sing at a deeper level. Do you think that desire might be there for a reason?

It's very important that you do not judge your voice prematurely. The voice takes time for most of us to develop and deserves the right kind of attention. Over the past 20 years, I have taught hundreds of people of all levels how to sing. Here are a few empowering facts I learned along the way:

Fact #1: Every person on this planet who can speak was born with the ability to sing, because singing is sustained speech over a range of notes.

Fact #2:
Most people do not know how to listen to their own voice in a way that will help them sing better.

Fact #3:
The voice carries the beliefs, feelings and energy of the singer to it's listeners.

These facts are explored on my website and in up-and-coming blogs, but to answer your question, yes, singing is a natural gift everybody is born with, but the truth is, most people have a hard time getting out of the way of their voice and allowing themselves to sing naturally.

This is because of Fact #2. Let's briefly explore this fact.

The first step to breaking into reality about your voice, is to get a voice recorder. (Even if it's just from your cell phone--at least you'll get an idea of how you sound. This is how I first learned to realistically appreciate my voice.)

Don't listen to yourself while you sing.
Your brain will interfere and make it harder to be present. Enjoy the experience of singing. Your recorder can be your ears after the fact. Decide that you're going to listen objectively with awareness. That means you will exercise observation without judgment or emotional attachment. It's pretty hard for most people to do, but if you're up for it, here's how:

Record yourself speaking the alphabet or anything you have memorized. When you listen back, does it sound like you or is it somehow different? Be informed that what you hear from the recorder is most likely closer to the sound of your real voice, than what you hear while you sing. We do not hear ourselves the way we truly sound because we are connected to our voice!

Keep in mind that singing is sustained speech over a range of notes, so it should feel as natural as your speaking voice. Find something you like about your voice and write it down.

Try humming and just enjoying how that feels. Notice how your nasal, mouth and chest cavities buzz. This is how to experience your voice from the inside.

Record yourself humming solid, relaxed "mmmmmm" sounds. What does the color of your voice sound like? Is it rich, full, deep, nasal-like and bright, light and breathy, scratchy? This is what your true voice sounds like sustained (held out). To learn more about how to resonate, and get drills that connect your voice to your body with power, get my Practicing with C.O.R.E. Power CD.

Next, record yourself singing along with your favorite artist and listen back to both of you. Does it sound like you are singing the same notes as your favorite artist? Does your voice align with theirs? Did you take a different approach to make it sound different than your voice?

Finally, record yourself singing the same song alone, without the music, and then listen back. Does it sound as good as it did when you were singing along with your favorite artist? Better? The same? Are you starting and ending on the same note as they did? Does it have the same flow, timing, ease and feel?
As you answer these questions, be kind to yourself and remember that singing is a process. Your voice is connected to your soul, which gets its feelings from ideas in the mind, so it's important to always remember that singing is supposed to be FUN! If you're still not sure about how you sound, ask a trusted professional, but remember, your voice is always growing, expanding and changing, just as you are.

There are many levels of listening to the voice that I teach singers to explore, and as you become more familiar with your voice and learn to identify what you like about it, you will come to realize and improve your natural gift. Yes, there is hope for you: ANYONE CAN SING with the right attitude, energy, commitment and formula.

Be sure to read the information provided on my website for more details about how to know your voice.

HAVE A FABULOUS THANKSGIVING and remember during this season of gratitude, that you have been given a natural gift. If you're still needing a support system, purchase my "Practicing with C.O.R.E. Power" CD, or visit my website for free VIDEOS, MP3's and MORE.


Dot Todman,
Vocal Empowerment Coach
Dot's Voice Studios
Los Angeles, CA
"Empowering Voices Everywhere"

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Time to Let it Go - And CREATE

Well, we now have a new President who will reside in the White House in January. While the year ends, a new beginning emerges. I most certainly hope each of us can take the time and energy to uphold the shift that is taking place. I think we've all felt it over the past several months. Whether we've wanted to quit our job because we know deep down we have something more to offer the world, maybe it was a breakup, or feeling a desire to move to another dwelling and start anew. Or it could just be a sense of restlessness and discomfort; a need to grow and become more. Many of my students, including myself, this year, have made some serious life-changing SHIFTS. Our new President is the result of a shift in the collective consciousness of this Nation, and an outward reflection of what many of us have been feeling and experiencing inwardly for a long while. Change. Whether or not we voted for Obama, each of us knows that in this change lies a great responsibility. The responsibility is for us to live up to our own expectation of ourselves with ease, grace and joy.

As you all know, my motto includes the words, "Mind, Soul, Voice," because as creative people, we are not only reflecting what our thoughts are through our sound, but our voice holds the energy vibration of our thoughts when we sing and speak, whether we realize it or not. That means we're always giving off vibes and creating our own realities.

My last article, now featured on my Singspiration Page, is about breathing. Why? Because more recently, America has been holding it's breathing during a weak economy and the election season. Now we can let it go - and CREATE. Breath is where it all begins. Conscious breathing creates the right kind of pathway for sound to emerge. Many of you have experienced HUGE SHIFTS in your own sound in ways you did not expect as you've connected to your Spirit through the power of Breath of Awareness. You've realized that singing is deeply tied to the way you think and feel and even experienced the healing power of breath and vocalizing. If you haven't read the article or seen the videos yet and feel like you'd like to deepen your vocal experience, I invite you to do this.

Our vocal journey has been and continues to be a process. All I can do is provide you with helpful tools and a system that makes it so much easier to tap into what you already have. Now is the time, more than ever to discover this inner power and use it! While the economy is struggling, I'm creating an affordable opportunity for you to get these tools, because I know they are important. They will allow you to not only connect to your own voice in a deeper, more powerful authentic way, but also to your life.

Dot Todman

Vocal Empowerment Coach
Dot's Voice Studios