Answer to a belter's prayer

Answer to a Belter’s Prayer

Barbra Streisand was my voice teacher.  Well… not literally.

Back then it was ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ - now it’s ‘Defying Gravity’; the belter’s dream. Sing along, and belt your heart out.

Even after having done a featured role on Broadway (at 14 – without a mic) and studying with the singing teachers ‘to the stars’, belting that D (today’s version – F, G…) eluded me – it wasn’t consistent or reliable. Teachers would tell me that I had a great instrument and offered some tips and exercises, but there was nothing substantive or specific – nothing that had a ‘cause and effect’ result. Just more scales.

Enter Ron Clairmont. Within 7 minutes of my first lesson I had more specific feedback and information than I knew what to do with; observations about my tight tongue, my neck tension, my elevated larynx.  My elevated …WHAT?
   
“Do you mean I can work on individual anatomical parts to improve my singing? There is something that I can DO to make specific changes in my voice?”

That was the moment that changed my life - the moment of ecstatic relief that singing was not just ‘magic’. That meant I could DO something; that I might have some control, some input regarding my ‘talent’. Then I can learn to do it BETTER, then I can FIX what I don’t like!!

Fast forward a few dream roles in regional theatres, some television roles and  1st National Tour of Les Miserables, to an Off-Bwy show that ran longer than anyone had anticipated; hence the need for additional income. With Ron’s blessing I began to teach, and from then on life was not the same. Fulfillment.  The exchange between teacher and student was deeply satisfying and in many ways more thrilling than being on stage. Ultimately there was no contest.

Thus began the journey into studies of anatomy-based vocal pedagogy and vocal health. Hundreds of hours of workshops, courses, internships in medical offices – specialized training that had begun with Ron. The rest, as they say, is history.

And back to the Streisand thread – When I eventually booked the coveted role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, I worked on the material with Ron before rehearsals began, of course.  At some point during tech week between the 10 songs and 18 costume changes, a startling moment of awareness came; it occurred to me that through the entire Funny Girl experience, I never once worried about my voice.

I remember the shiver that went up my spine; this is what I want to give to others.

That is my story.

Barbra Streisand was my voice teacher.  

Well...not literally.

Back then it was ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ - now it’s ‘Defying Gravity’; the belter’s dream. Sing along, and belt your heart out.

Even after having done a featured role on Broadway at 14 (without a mic) and studying with the singing teachers to the stars, belting that D5 (today’s equivalent to F5, G5…) eluded me; it wasn’t consistent or reliable. Teachers would say that I had a great instrument and offered some tips and exercises, but there was nothing substantive or specific-nothing that had a ‘cause & effect’ result.  Just more scales.
                                     
Enter Ron Clairmont. Within minutes of my first lesson I had more specific feedback and information than I knew what to do with; observations about my tight tongue, my pillars, neck tension, my elevated larynx.  My elevated …WHAT?
 
“Do you mean that there’s a way to work on distinct anatomical structures and muscles to improve my singing?”

That was the moment that changed my life-the thrilling moment of relief in the realization that singing was not simply ‘magic’; that I can make direct efforts  in developing  that elusive thing called ‘natural talent’.  Nothing vague or mysterious – cause and effect, work and improve!

Fast forward a few dream roles in regional theatres, some television roles and the 1st National Tour of Les Miserables, to an Off-Broadway show that ran longer than anyone had anticipated; hence the need for additional income. With Ron’s blessing I began to teach, and from then on life was not the same. Fulfillment. The exchange between teacher and student was deeply satisfying and held richer meaning for me than being on stage. Ultimately, there was no contest.

Thus began the journey into studies of anatomy-based vocal pedagogy and vocal health. Hundreds of hours of workshops, courses, internships in medical offices – specialized training that had begun with Ron’s innovative teaching approach. The rest, as they say, is history.

And back to the Streisand thread –
When I eventually booked the coveted role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, I worked on the material with Ron before rehearsals began, of course.  At some point during tech week between the 10 songs and 18 costume changes, a startling moment of awareness came; it occurred to me that through the entire Funny Girl experience, I never once worried about my voice.

I remember the shiver that went up my spine;  this is what I want to give to others.

26 years later, I live for the moments in students’ lessons when the real magic happens; when something that one minute, one week or one month ago was just ‘information’, has now become integrated into the singer’s voice and is theirs. The exchange between teacher and student, between audience and artist have been, to me, life’s ineffable gift. Having been on the receiving end of that gift many, many times has shaped my life. Passing it along to others is my bliss.

Thank you!

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Use this form to get in touch with Lisa about lessons and coaching.

(212) 724-3470

lisa@lisarochelle.com

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