I remember that throughout Drama School all I was taught was the Estill Model. It was presented like this was THE way. When really there’s so much more out there. The more experience I gain, the more I realise there’s more than one way of doing things.
When a friend introduced me to Brett Manning (who is a top Vocal Coach in Nashville) I was blown away by just how different his teachings were. It was practically the opposite to everything I had been taught in the UK. My belief system was radically shifted. Had I believed there was ‘one vocal technique to rule them all’ I wouldn’t have even listened to what Brett Manning and other coaches had to say.
I started working with more Vocal Coaches in New York, Nashville and LA and telling them about my previous training with the Estill Model. They knew about it but said 90% of singers who they train have never even heard of it. And they told me why they disagreed with parts of it. It just shows that the vocal technique of the country isn’t ‘truth’ but merely a form of culture that is very different in every country you go to. But like culture, you always believe that the views of you and your country are ‘truth’. That is, until you venture out.
But i’m so glad that I try to continue being a lifelong learner and incredibly open minded.
I am grateful to have worked with Vocal Coaches of so many different vocal techniques and perspectives. My approach now is to pull together all the different perspectives I have learnt over the years, and I believe that’s the number 1 reason that I achieve great results for my clients.
So the takeaways here are to devote yourself to continued learning. Explore parts of singing techniques that have worked for others from different countries and choose those parts which work best for you.
If somethings not working and you aren’t seeing results within a few weeks or months. Change.
It just might be that the Vocal technique you are clinging onto isn’t the right one for you.
21st February 2019
Christopher David Mitchell