Saturday, January 14, 2012

Meet Chuck

If I could go stand in the lines in heaven again, the very first line I would stand in would the talents line and I would ask for the ability to sing.  It’s one of the talents that I wish I possessed.  Music is so powerful!  Whenever I hear someone with a beautiful, powerful voice, I get the chills. 

As you probably well know, I don’t sing, at least not in front of people. I love blasting the radio in the car and singing along just as much as the next guy but ONLY when I’m all alone.  I like to sing really loud in the car… and I pretend that I’m really good.  ;)

There’s even been a blog post or two where I mention my inability to sing.  Not that I can find them when I need them but they’re here… somewhere.

And then…

I got an email from Chuck.  It basically said, Hi, I’m Chuck and I can help you!  (in a nutshell)

This is Chuck!  (I meant to get a picture of him during the lesson but I spaced it.  This is his business card.)

voice 2

He’s my new voice coach/singing teacher.  He has agreed to help A and I discover our singing voicesOur first lesson was Saturday. 

You may be asking why I chose A to come along with me over the other girls.  As much as K and H would love to have taken this opportunity, A is the one with a true passion for singing.  She sings all. the. time!!  She’s also got quite the talent for it.  Anyone that hears her makes a comment about it. 

We weren’t sure what to expect for our very first lesson.  I was worried that he would be scared off by my inability to ‘carry a tune in a bucket’.  I must say that I was extremely nervous in the days and hours leading up to this first meeting. 

Luckily, after introducing ourselves Chuck invited A to go first.  PHEW!  He had her demonstrate her range.  He played the notes and had her sing along as he started with the low-ish notes and kept creeping higher and higher.  I think he was somewhat impressed with her range, as was I!


He then did some things that A thought was pretty fun.  He turned her into a BRAT!  No joke, he told her to act as if she were being a brat and tell her siblings ‘NO’ (they were hypothetically touching her stuff).  She was to be LOUD and BRATTY!  He played different notes for her to say ‘NO’ to and then had her start saying ‘Na’… as in “Na na na na na na!”  You know when you were a kid and you’d say ‘Na na na na na na!  You can’t catch me!”  She also had a few other sounds to make to teach her to recognize her natural voice vs. falsetto.

A had fun with it.  She even got the sassy hip swing goin’.  Though she didn’t really let him know how much fun she was having with it.  I could tell, I’m her mom.  Moms just know these things.  Plus, the fact that she came home and was practicing her best “Na na na na na na’s” kind of gave her away. 

Chuck taught her how the vocal cords work and how to open them and how to use her normal speaking voice to sing. 

Then she got to the fun part.  She got to sing a real song!  He had her sing “Reflection” from Disney’s Mulan.  Mind you, this is her first time ever singing it and she’s only seen Mulan a time or two so she doesn’t know the words or the tune. 

Tell me that microphone isn’t awesome!  It reminds me of the movie Annie.  Don’t ask, I’m weird.

Then it was my turn… YIKES! 

I was extremely embarrassed at first to do my scales and show my range.  But right away he made me feel better by telling me that I have a very good ear and surprisingly (for me) I was on pitch! 

REALLY?  Me?  Hmm, I never would have guessed.

That gave me just the boost of confidence that I needed to continue.  He taught me to use my speaking voice instead of going into a falsetto.  I think I’ve always fallen into that trap of thinking where you think your speaking voice and your singing voice have to be different. 

Guess what, they should be one in the same!  Who knew?  And if you did know, why didn’t you ever tell me?  Rude! 

Speaking IS singing… Singing IS speaking.  We speak in notes.  We’re not monotone.  Why not sing with that same speaking voice? 

He taught me how. 

After letting him know that country is my favorite style of music, he had me sing Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood.  I’m no Carrie, that’s for sure, but it was fun to sing into that microphone doodad thing. 

At the end of our session, he handed each of us a cd of the sessions so we could take them home and practice.  How cool is that?  A’s cd was in before dinner tonight.  She couldn’t wait to share what she had learned with her sisters.  All three of them were Naying, No-ing, and Na na na – ing. 

A is excited for next week.  As we left the studio she said, “That was so fun!” 

I agree.  We can’t wait to see what else Chuck has in store for us.  I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes each week.

If you are in the market for a voice coach or singing instructor I recommend giving him a call!  You can visit his website, Sing Utah or give him a call (phone # is on the business card pic above).  He’s super nice and he sure makes it a lot of fun.  

Tell him Brooke sent you!

P.S.  I know you’re completely disappointed (NOT!) that there are no pics or videos of me.  Sorry about that!  ;)  Maybe next week…..

P.P.S.  Here’s a video of A singing Beautiful Savior (well, part of it anyway) just before our lesson.  She’s trying really hard and I think it’s great but I think it’s even better when she’s not trying so hard.  I kind of put her on the spot for this.




Meet Chuck said...

[...] Chuck January 15, 2012 By Chuck R. Gilmore Leave a Comment Meet Chuck. Filed Under: Voice Lessons Tagged With: Voice [...]

Deveri said...

Um, Hello!! You do know that Chuck Gilmore is really famous in the Utah world of singing, right?!? I can't believe you get to have lessons with him. Speech Level Singing is what David Archuleta and many others use. So move over David, here comes Brooke! Loved your post, as always.

Brooke said...

Deveri, somehow I did not realize that Chuck was so well known. I suppose I might have known that if I had known anything about the singing world. My girls are very much into it though and even talk about doing plays and such so maybe once we learn a little more we'll let them try out. That would be fun!
As for the David Archuletta thing... That's right! Here I come! ;)