A History of Vocal Fitness Training™
The Singer as Athlete
Vocal fitness is a goal of voice teachers because they understand that singing is an athletic activity, as muscles are being moved, stretched, conditioned, and strengthened. Voice teachers are not generally considered personal trainers (as commonly understood), however they do train muscle movement to encourage better strength, stamina and flexibility. The main difference is that the muscles engaged for singing are much smaller than those larger groups you would train at the gym.
Vocal Fitness for Singers
Singers of all styles and experience need to take care that they have a voice that is well-trained so that it can manage the vocal demands placed on it. Approaching vocal training from a fitness standpoint helps students to realize that the results of proper vocal exercise is not a hit or miss proposition, but a complete retooling of muscle memory and vocal habits.
The Vocal Fitness Training Studio
Jane named her voice studio to Vocal Fitness Training, LLC to reflect the focus on the progressive muscle training of the vocal instrument. In order to assure that every student was learning basic exercises and concepts, she developed a simple checklist of critical vocal exercises every voice student should know. As time went on, she expanded it into a curriculum that provides a consistent learning environment for all of her students. She continued to tweak the curriculum, which became the basis of her first book of vocal fitness training, Sing! 20 Singing Lessons to Improve Your Voice.
Audio Practicing Tracks
Most of Jane’s students were coming from the commercial contemporary music arena, including musical theater, pop, rock, jazz, etc. Many of these singers had no formal instrument training, so Jane started recording the vocal exercises and burning CDs for her students to use for their practicing. This was a huge help to them as it encouraged them to develop a habit of consistent practicing. As the curriculum expanded, Jane set up a student website to give her students access to a greater number of tracks than could be burned onto a CD.
Vocal Fitness Training’s Practice Plans
No singer can improve their voice without practicing their vocal exercises. To assist with her students with scheduling their practice sessions, Jane developed a large resource of Practice Plans. She developed them based on her experience with her personal trainer, who gave Jane a list of exercises to do in the gym each week to guide her training. In the same way, Vocal Fitness Training’s Practice Plans give the voice student guidance by assigning them a set of vocal exercises to do each day of the week. Most of the plans are reflective of the lesson the student is learning, in order to reinforce those concepts.