Voice & Songwriting Lessons with Cris Law
I help you find your voice and rediscover your love of music.
“How was your week?”
“Where do you feel the tension or discomfort in your body?”
This could sound like the beginning of a therapy session, but this is how I start my voice lessons. Over several years of taking voice lessons, I realized that the typical/ traditional approach of doing the same repetitive, standardized drills and warmups felt mechanical and uninspired. The heart and soul of why I loved music became lost in the repetition and rigor.
As I gained experience as a performer, music director, concert creator, accompanist, and recording artist, I learned to listen to the needs of each student, thoughtfully tailor the lesson for their needs, and I saw better results. Instead of conducting lessons with just standard European classical training techniques, I realized early on that I had to do away with rigid, formal, conventions. Being holistic and organic is the key, by the end of the lesson, my students would feel uplifted, relaxed, centered, and energized.
For some it was cathartic and life changing.
I was inspired by one of my voice teachers and mentor, Karen Clark, and her use of the Feldenkrais method. I wanted my students to find their voice through the freedom of internal, subtle movements and to develop a sense of their own body awareness.
Often we forget how we hold our emotional and physical selves day-to-day, and where we localize tension and stress. It could be hunched shoulders while working at our desks, a tight chest from shallow breathing while working through a deadline, or talking impatiently.
It’s hard to find inspiration to sing freely when our voices are literally and figuratively trapped by the stress from our lives.
I use body awareness warm-ups and vocal techniques as needed, but I tailor them to each student, and only when necessary. Just as each athlete stretches differently for how their body feels that day and for what sport they’re playing, each singer only needs to exercise their voice for a way that is tailored for their needs.
Many of my students used to love singing years ago, in a church choir or in school, but the responsibilities of everyday life overshadowed their love of music.
I help them rediscover what it feels like to be centered, grounded and find their truest, most authentic voice.
I work with a diverse range of students… from the doctor who learned that she can connect to her patients with her love of singing… to the overworked high school teacher who sings to take a moment to pause, reflect, and reconnect with her own needs… to the veteran professional singer who feels like they’ve lost their spark.
Songwriting – nowadays we have lots of our minds. It is incredibly gratifying to be able to release and process your emotions in the form of songwriting. I would help you with your ideas and give you the tools needed to organize and edit them into a fun, memorable, and singable song! For example, Edie is one of my voice and songwriting students and she wanted to express her need to ignore the noise of the world and find the calm and silence the she needed – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb7x59joFgI
Watching my students learn to love music again is one of my greatest passions in life, and reminds me of my own discovery of this art form.
Book your first private lesson and let’s start your journey to finding your inner voice.