Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dot Todman shares feelings on American Idol - Episode 5 - 1/27/09

I watched Idol tonight and I agree with Randy that it was just "weird." I'm truly hoping that the show gets better, because I know there are so many talented people out there who deserve a shot at getting discovered, but tonight got a little carried away - did it not? I don't blame any of the contestants.

They had some real talent on there this evening, however, they didn't show the best excerpts in my opinion. I mention Sharon Wilbur, Julissa Veloz, Joshua Ulloa, Jasmine Murray, Anne Marie Boskovich, T.K. Hash, and Michael Perrelli. I have constructive notes for every single contestant who has appeared on American Idol this season, on my website. I wish I could say more but until the show gets into the performance segments, I may hold off blogging about it. This season is going to be quite different than the past. There will be younger mentors and each week won't have themes as before, but top of the chart hits. It will be interesting to see what unfolds. Something I liked about the show in the past, was that it brought at least three generations together. The singers for the young kids, the older, more experienced mentors for the parents. My mom had no interest in the show, but when I told her Barry Manilowe was on, she was all over it!

I began directing choirs in 1984 and first taught a voice student in 1989. I went to school and studied and had to overcome my own vocal challenges. I have learned over this time, that singers are more than just the sound and tone you hear coming out of their mouth. It's the most vulnerable of all arts because singing is connected to your soul. I believe in giving constructive advice, building people, and helping them reach their vocal potential and I have seen many so called "rejects" become professional singers.

We now live in a much different world than when I was a child. With the advancement of the world wide web, there way more opportunities out there for singers to find success. American Idol is a wonderful route for some, but to all those who got discouraged, hold your head up high, believe in yourself and don't give up. I say find your true voice, get the right training and keep singing! If you need support, tools and even a reality check, then visit my website: I'm currently taking submission for my "Dot's Idols Around the World" series. You can submit an mp3 and get constructive advice from me about your song. Learn more by clicking here, and have a fabulous Idol Season!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Become Your Own Idol – Get the Inside scoop!

As the Idol Season emerges, everyone is thinking about singing – how to do it, and considering their own potential. Shows like American Idol give us a peak into the making of Superstars (along with the normal Hollywood stints, of course).

I’ve decided this year, to Blog and Vlog (video feedback) about Idol, but instead of ripping the singers apart, I’m going to be helping them! That’s right! As you can imagine, many of the more challenged singers are led to believe by the judges (before they get to Randy, Paula, Simon and Kara) that they have great potential. Then, they are given the truth, in front of millions of viewers. After getting humiliated on national television, they leave, feeling helpless. As a vocal coach, it’s easy for me to point out not just what they’re dong wrong, but what they’re doing right, and how they can in turn, learn to sing better. That is the information I will be providing for you, so – even if you’re not an Idol fan, you can still learn a few things from watching the show or not and then tuning in to my Vlog which you will find in my Members Only Section. Along with my Vlog, I am also sharing copies of my rough notes I took during the show and an audio version of some highlights every now and then. When you view my Vlog, you will see an archive of my videos from every season as well as Special Segments like “honorable mentions” and others. The cool part is that IT’S ALL FREE! Learn what you can online, and if you’re local, come to my Vocal Empowerment Workshops or sign up for private lessons!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dot's American Idol History

I've been teaching for several years, but still, every lesson I teach is another learning experience because I believe humanity is evolving, shifting and realizing there is more than just the "outer" layer of who we are. Sure, you can sing a note, you can look great, but what does your spirit feel like?

As a Vocal Empowerment Coach, I'm interested in evolving the whole package. With popular shows like American Idol that have just begun (Jan 13th) their 8th Season, we'll see what Hollywood has to say about that. It would be nice if the standards got a little higher. I used to hate that show and purposely avoided watching it, but in 2007, I was at my Dad's house, and he was watching it on his 12 x 6 foot screen TV, so I had no choice. It was the beginning of a new season. I hated each moment of Simon Cowell's scornful, abusive, destructive words. In order to keep the show entertaining, I felt like they were just exploiting people, making most of them look stupid and ignorant. They'd show the odd talented person, but knowing what I know about the industry (because I work in it and almost every day for me is similar to "Idol Auditions"), more people can actually sing, but think they can't. This show was making it look like the opposite.

Just when I was about to stop watching, something seriously changed. I saw Melinda Doolittle audition and she touched my spirit. Suddenly, I began to care, because I experienced a talent that ignited something in me when I heard her sing. I continued to watch the show because I wanted her to win. That's how I got addicted to American Idol, and now I do believe that indeed, it is one of the most brilliant shows on television. I mean—it has to be if they got me to watch!

Low and behold, during that same season, Idol Chat called me to appear as a Celebrity Vocal Coach, to give advice to the contestants on their show. I was floored and quite happy I had been watching that season. I have to admit the day it aired, I was not feeling very well at all...but one thing I tried to instill was to KNOW YOUR VOICE, which really translates into "know yourself."

That was in 2007. Now, 2 years later here we are again. Another season emerges with a whole new format—not as many auditions this year.... and now I've got a full-blown website, which is reaching out to people who want the whole package. People who know that great sound comes from something much deeper within the human soul. Because, when we sing, we are sending out our energy—bigger vibes of who we are. If our thoughts about ourselves are not positive, everyone can sense it when we sing. Oh how interesting it all is.

This year, My goal is to provide useful, constructive, EMPOWERING information for the contestants on the show, the viewers (fellow singers and future contestants) and the judges! That’s right. Like most people, I agree with the judges sometimes, and other times I don’t. At the end of the day, it’s about respect. If I see anyone get dissed badly this season, you’ll be hearing from me! My standards: give people constructive tools that will help them get better. These are human beings here, and singing is the most vulnerable of all arts. Sometimes I wonder how many people had to go to therapy after auditioning for Idol. Scariest part for the contestants after signing their life away, is that they never really know who or what they’re going to put on the show. Makes sense why it’s the most popular show on television. People want to see themselves, their friends, family...go on a journey! Well, let’s all go together this season. If you have questions—write me. I’ll do my best to answer them. You’ll get more on my website if you’re not here yet.

Not only will I be writing vlogs, but I’ve got free advice on video, audio and blogs to come. I’ll be posting a lot up on youtube, but also on my website

DOT ON YouTube!
Click Here to view Dot's Idol Vlog from last night's (Jan 13, 2009) American Idol - Season 8 - Episode 1!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

FREE Vocal Tips for Reaching Your 2009 Goals!

Dear Dot,
"I want to make 2009 a better year, but every year I fall into the same rut. January I stay on top of my game and it just goes downhill from there. How can I reach my vocal goals in 2009?"


In my last Vlog, entitled, "Beliefs About Your Voice" I spoke of identifying the limiting beliefs we have about our voice. I also taught on my Singspiration page how to "fire the inner critic" and develop "vocal gratitude." Now it's a new year. A time to let go of the things that aren't serving us, and create what we want, keeping in mind that, "no good can come out of negative thinking-only the same." It amazes me how negative people's thoughts are about their singing.

The reason why most people's New Year's resolutions don't work is because they try to unrealistically change the effect, ("I want to be a rockstar") instead of changing the cause, the inner core beliefs that enable their behavior. ("I don't feel like practicing every day because really, I don't have what it takes to be a rockstar.")

What were some of your beliefs about your voice? Did you write them down? Are you willing to take the next step and create new "inner divine" beliefs that will help you achieve your goals?

Throughout the years, I've heard everything from:

"I should be famous by now!" to "Trust me, my voice is probably one of the worst voices on the planet."

Now is a time for us to decide how our beliefs are serving us. How do they make us feel? Are they really helping us and bringing us closer to our goals? Are they really true? What kind of empowering beliefs can we replace them with in order to help us achieve our goals?

The system I created for singers works because it helps them learn how to approach each day, releasing everything they don't want to bring into the day, and thinking about what they do want to create. This is pertinent for singers to know and practice, because before a singer performs a powerful song, they must have a plan. If they haven't planned what they want to CREATE during that song, then their mind will just "default" to whatever they're used to thinking about. Many people zone out when they sing: sometimes they get self-conscious and nervous, and sometimes they deliver - exactly how they wanted to or even better! Obviously practice plays a huge role in the process. But if every time we practice, we're stressed out, and our underlying core belief is that we're no good, then we might be setting ourselves up for failure.

Wouldn't it be nice to just open the mouth to sing, and have it feel like a natural part of our amazing expression? Wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to go into "singing mode," but our voice was free and open because we are authentically free and open and have changed our limiting beliefs about our voice to empowering ones?

An experiment

1. Take one limiting belief you have about your voice and replace it with a new empowering belief. You must agree with this new belief at least 50%. (We have to be realistic here!)

Old Belief:"My voice is flat and dull sounding"
New Belief: "I sing with ease and power."

2. Don't try to change how you sing or do anything unnatural. Every morning, say your new empowering belief with a feeling of conviction, as if you embody this desired skill. Imagine what it would be like to "sing with ease and power."

3. Monitor your thoughts throughout the day if you default back to the old negative thought, kindly replace it with the new one and don't beat yourself up for being negative.

4. Reflect about what you experience daily in your vocal journal.

5. Be sure to complement your positive thinking with the right kind of vocal exercises. If you haven't bought my "Practicing with C.O.R.E. Power" CD yet,visit my website for more support.

6. Practice this for one month. In a month's time, see if anything has changed for you. Feel free to write us here at and share your experiences with us!

I've had nothing but success practicing this process and watching my students grow from it as well! Remember:

"We can only receive what we can conceive."

We sing because it is FUN! Singing is to tell a story, share our energy and hopefully take people on a journey that touches them forever. What kind of journey would you like to create for yourself?

Are you ready to ALIGN with your INNER DIVINE and REFINE in 2009?

I certainly hope so, and I will be cheering you on, providing you support and more interactive tools along the way!

May you have a happy, inspiring, productive New Year!

Sing to me soon!

Dot Todman,

Vocal Empowerment Coach

Dot's Voice Studios
Los Angeles, CA
"Empowering Voices Everywhere"

SINGERS - want to fill out a Special Goal Sheet designed by Dot for 2009? Become a member, login and click the 2009 goals link!

Related Articles:
"How to Overcome the Inner Critic"
"How to Create Inner Vocal Gratitude"