I think you should know something about me
before you begin using these exercises.
In my 35 years teaching in my New York City studio I trained hundreds of professionals to sing. I have worked with people from 10 to 80. I have proven to the so called tone deaf that their condition is all in the mind. I have shown pop and rock performers how to sing without damage and fatigue. I have shown the shy how to focus and free themselves from self doubt. I have shown Broadway performers how to survive eight shows a week.
As a member of the Actor's Equity union, I performed leading roles in musicals including "Irma La Deuce", "My Fair Lady", "Oliver", "South Pacific", "Carousel", "The king and I" and "1776". I also performed in straight plays including "Dark of the Moon", "The Rain Maker", "No Place to be Somebody" and "Mc Beth'. My operatic roles include 'Ford in "Falstaff", Count Almaviva in "The Marriage of Figaro", Tarquinius in "The Rape of Lucretia" and Papagano in 'The Magic Flute". Early on I realized, however, that I really didn't like being told that I had to be here and there. Touring was not my cup of tea. I had a young wife and two children and the gipsy life just wouldn't work. I had already began helping other performers with their vocal problems and soon realized that I had found my true calling. One thing led to another and for the next 35 years I worked with performers from Broadway, Opera, Jazz and the Pop world.
Much of my work involved working with actors and dancers who had come to
realize that they couldn't survive in the theatre world without being able
to sing. Stephanie Pope came to me as a young dancer. Being
an Alvin Alley student dancer, she understood hard work. She has since gone on to a fine Broadway
and film career. Our work together enabled Greta Martin
to enjoy a nice career including 3 Broadway Shows. Another hard working student, Cynda Williams, a wonderful
legit soprano as well as pop
singer, started a movie career playing the female lead as a jazz singer in
Spike Lee's first movie, "Mo Better Blues". I helped actor, Daren Kelly
develop a powerful baritone voice which enabled him to land his first Broadway
in "Woman of the Year". Susan Mansur made her Broadway debut in
"The Best Little Whore House in Texas" Fleur Phillips, an
extraordinarily hard worker, mastered a dozen different voices as understudy to
the lead in the short lived Broadway production of "Little Voice".
Mirla Christi made a living for years in the Broadway production of Miss Saigon. David Wasson has
done the same with "Man of La Mancha". Like wise, Bill
who spent 10 years on Broadway and in national companies of Camelot.
Many others, like Fred Major, Melanie
Lerner, Marcial Gonzales, and Bill Wendt have had fine careers touring and/or performing in
Along with vocal health issues, I did quite a bit of work helping performers maintain their vocal health when they were asked to perform in an unhealthy manner. Marci Harrell, a fine lyric coloratura soprano played Mimi in the Broadway production of "Rent" for several years. This show destroyed many young talents. (One girl shredded her vocal chords belting.) Her music director wanted her to "glottal" her attacks and her voice was beginning to show ware. We got her through the show until she left to do the supper difficult role of Cunegonde in Candide. A role many opera singers shy away from. I have also worked with a pop and rock singers, again helping them to survive the vocal strain their musical style require. Michael Hill,(Click for Michael Hill's Blues Mob web site.) was one who really seemed to understand what needed to be done in order to maintain his vocal health and has gone on to record 5 great CDs and tour the world.
" Special thanks to Richard Hilty, Vox Coach Extraordinaire,
for invaluable vocal science" quote by Michael Hill
from the CD jacket "New York State of Blues"
Michael Hill's Blues Mob
I have also worked with many individuals over the years who weren't interested in being professionals but who wanted to enjoy singing. One example is Arthur Kirson, who came to me as close to tone deaf as any one could be. Arthur was a high school teacher. He wanted a second life as a cabaret singer. Arthur worked and learned that his tone deaf problems were mostly mental. A classic case of someone trying so hard he missed completely. Eventually Arthur developed a workable voice and actually lived his dream becoming a well known cabaret performer, singing in most of the cabaret venues in Manhattan as well as the rest of the country.
How did these performers achieve their goals? They learned to understand their voice. Simply put, they learned how to put together the head voice, the chest voice, and breath support. Above all, these experienced professionals learned it takes time to build and develop a good, healthy singing voice.
"Hi Richard, I just want to let you know that I am now
practicing with your DVD. For the first time I could do my
singing practice for the day without feeling any pain or
strain in my throat...thanks once again for the DVD."