Before taking singing lessons, I sang, but I never considered myself a singer. The reason I sang is because I’m a guitarist and songwriter – so who else was going to sing my songs? I was skeptical you could learn to sing in the same way you could learn to play the guitar. You were either born a good singer, or you weren’t. I was even further skeptical that you could learn to sing online, a process that does not involve a high paid vocal coach watching and adjusting your every note.
However, with my folk duo booking more and more shows, I figured it was time for me to step up and take this “singing thing” seriously. So I bought Aaron Anastasia’s online course The Superior Singing Method and made a vow to the universe that I would stick it through until the end, 6 days a week for 8 weeks straight. I was surprisingly thrilled by the results – here is how the singing lessons went down:
The Superior Singing Method
As a previous non-believer, I now admit that you absolutely can learn to sing through online singing lessons. Aaron’s 8 week singing lesson course felt a little like learning a physical instrument, say guitar, where your hand positions can be literally explained, but also a lot like Yoga, or meditation. Singing is consciously shaping and releasing your breath to form certain frequencies – so no matter how you learn to sing there’s going to be a great deal of abstract internal understanding that needs to and will happen along your journey.
The Superior Singing Method (SSM), is designed to slowly build up your voice and ingrain good singing habits. In the first week, you’ll only do one or two exercises a day. You may feel like nothing is happening, or be a bit confused – but push on. I begin feeling, hearing, and believing in results at the end of week 2 and had another significant breakthrough around week 7.
Learn To Sing
Note: I have since also completed Christina Aguilera’s Masterclass in singing. You can check out my review of that course here or the course trailer here.
Pt. 1 Technique
Each day Aaron gives a video introduction of a new exercise along with a piano track to guide you. The short videos explain the new exercise’s purpose and how/where you will feel it in your body. While Aaron’s descriptions are fantastic, at times when an exercise was first introduced I was confused and convinced I was doing it wrong, perhaps even causing more harm than good, but as I continued to do it everyday my body and muscles began to intuitively perform correctly. From a listener’s perspective, I comically butchered most exercises the first day they were introduced, but now I could perform nearly all of them in my sleep.
So yes, my singing technique did improve and because of that alone, I believe an outsider would consider my current voice 2x better than the voice I had before the 8 week program – but the improvements go deeper than that.
Pt. 2 Confidence
Confidence is a HUGE part of singing – and I know that’s cliché, but it’s cliché because it’s true. If you don’t feel confident and comfortable – the audience feels that. Purchasing the SSM and deciding to stick to its relatively demanding schedule, made me feel confident. Here is why:
By dedicating time and effort into singing lessons I convinced myself that I was taking singing seriously. Now when doubt crept into my head “What makes you think you can sing?” I could at least answer it with, “Well, I’m taking steps every day, and following a system to get better— so back off alright!”
Simply having an answer to your doubting voice is more than half the battle.
So now that it’s all over, I would consider myself a 2.5X better singer than I was 8 weeks ago. That’s huge. Imagine going to an open mic and deeming one performer more than twice as good as the other. Honestly, that improvement made the money I spent on SSM one of the better investments of my life. Which brings me to price…
The price of The Superior Singing Method (48+ lessons) is less than or equal to the price of one private singing lesson. On top of that, Aaron is a voice coach to big name acts – something you likely won’t find in your hometown.
It’s true, you are buying a lesson pack – made for the masses – rather than something specifically tailored to where you are and what you need at the moment – but what you need most is to start. To jump in, figure some of it out on your own, prove to yourself that you are dedicated and then worry about finding the “perfect fit.” In fact, by taking this course before private lessons you’ll learn enough to evaluate different voice coaches and find the “even more perfect fit” when the time is right.
Doubts and Downsides
Most importantly – you have to do the exercises. I know that sounds silly, but buying the SSM isn’t going to improve your singing unless you do it. So whatever promises or pacts you have to make with friends, lovers, bandmates, or the universe to garner the self-discipline to complete these lessons – do it.
Me, I know if I give myself a little slack – I’ll break – so I promised never to miss a day (there is 1 day of built in rest each week). I did these exercises at guest houses, in hotel rooms in Mexico when I had a stomach bug, at odd hours etc. Which leads too…
Singing Lessons Are Weird
At times you’ll feel and appear crazy. Most of these exercises are loud, weird and annoying. Roommates and neighbors may look at you funny. You can explain it to them – and they’ll likely respect your desire to improve, or you can just not care what they think, because that’s another good lesson to learn as a performer.
Another thing, you may get a little over confident/excited about your new voice, and show up to a party, have a few drinks, and then get wayyyyy to into singing Justin Bieber songs… anyway….
So now that it’s all over, I would consider myself a 2.5X better singer than I was 8 weeks ago. That’s huge. Imagine going to an open mic and deeming one performer more than twice as good as the other. Honestly, that improvement made the money I spent on SSM one of the better investments of my life.
Thanks for reading!