COMMON QUESTIONS

These are some of the most common questions people ask about singing, the learn-to-sing process and Songkraft.  

What is Songkraft?

“Songkraft” is a holistic voice and performance excellence training program.  Coaching is done in person (IP) at the Songkraft studio for people living in the Edmonton area.  Online (OL) coaching is done using Zoom video conferencing software set up expressly to facilitate higher-quality music streaming.  Songkraft has students from all across Canada.

Having experienced the benefits of online coaching during the pandemic, several local people living in the Edmonton area elected to continue receiving their coaching online.  There’s no difference in the outcome expectation of either program.  

What is Singease?

“Singease” is the vocal technique authored by Tim Mallandaine.  There is a page on this website dedicated to Singease.   

Who can sing?

Anyone can sing.  Only a tiny percentage, less than one percent, of the population is incapable of singing well.  People who adamantly state that they can’t or don’t sing can often be heard doing so in their car or shower.

Who can become an exceptional singer?

Research has very clearly shown that talent is a myth.  As Daniel Coyle wrote in his book “The Talent Code,” you’ll need a good coach, ignited passion for what you are doing and regular deep practice.  

Why do so many people only sing in the shower or car?

Many people are self-critical to the point of limiting themselves in public.  They are usually overly concerned with how their voice sounds and what someone else might think.  

The spectrum of great-sounding voices is so broad that the sound isn’t a significant consideration.  It’s all about the feel, how the voice is used, and ‘not’ how it sounds.  For example, consider the difference between the voices of Whitney Houston, Rod Stewart and Leonard Cohen.  Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder ... and, in this case, the listener’s ears, not the singer’s.  

Great singers are known for their capacity to render songs.  Therefore, all sounds have the potential to render something special.   

Why do only a few people choose to learn more about how to sing? 

There’s a considerable lack of awareness of its profound physical, mental and emotional benefits, and many are listed on the home page of this website.  

Far too many people buy into the talent myth and believe that they can’t sing and miss out on all the good that singing offers.  Many others think that it’s not a serious or worthy pursuit.   This, in turn, means that people often find it hard to make the necessary investment in themselves, believing that coaching costs would be a waste of their money.  They'd likely change their minds if they listened more closely to people who choose to get involved.

What can be done about performance fear and anxiety?

Fear and anxiety can be so constant that they are often perceived as unavoidable.  That’s simply not true.  With learning, fearful and anxious responses change and become the energy that fuels ignited performance.  Songkraft supports singers in discovering the natural ease and the skills, range and endurance required of today’s professionals.  Through explorative processes, inclusive of all styles of music, singers find and take advantage of their total vocal capacity.  To do so means learning to think in ways that effectively address all negative emotions.  The fact is that it doesn’t sound good if it doesn’t feel good.  The key is in learning how to make it feel good.  

Who should sing?

Everyone should.  The physical, mental and emotional wellness benefits alone are reason enough.   

Should advanced singers have a coach? 

Every singer should have a coach to facilitate their continued growth and vocal health.  That is particularly true for professionals interested in maintaining their instrument through the rigorous demands of a performance career.  Joan Sutherland, mid-professional career, accepted coaching from her conductor husband Richard Bonynge and, as a result, became the world’s premiere Coloratura soprano.  

Do singers have to write their own songs?

A Google search will reveal that there are a lot of great singers who aren’t outstanding songwriters.  However, writing songs is a beautiful experience, and it isn't hard.  While it takes a lot to become a great songwriter, to write a good song, you only need to be willing to try it, write a few words and make up a melody.  Some melodies have been written using only a very few notes.  “Happy Birthday To You” has been a traditional song in English-speaking homes for over a century, and Guinness list’s it as the most recognized song in the English language.  It’s a great example of how something simple can catch on with many people.  

All Songkraft performers are encouraged to create their own songs.  That might include writing lyrics, singing a melody and then partnering with a musician who can help put them to music.  Singers who work this way are called top writers, which means they write the melody and lyrics.  There are many ways to put music together, and excellent references and resources for beginners are available online.  Find a co-writer, start a duo, join a band, and jam away.  Whatever works, works.

How do you start a career?

Do things in the right order.  A ‘finished’ voice attracts attention, and so does an unfinished voice, but the wrong kind of attention.  Being able to sing like Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Lauren Allred, Christina Aguilera, Josh Groban, or any of a hundred others would undoubtedly give you a leg up.  Work until you know you have something to offer, and then start to show up to present what you’ve worked hard to create.  If you work until you are comfortable on the same stage as any previously named performers or your favourite artist, doors will undoubtedly open faster.  By the time you can do so, you’ll know what to do and where to go next.