Finding Your Voice Vocal Warm Ups for Kids
BACKGROUND Kate Hart's journey began when she was a 17 year-old singing in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Chicago and began absorbing the music of the musicians heard on the Southside. Several years later, Kate returned to Detroit to write and record her first hit song, Syncopated Love, on the Stag label. Kate packed her belongings and headed west. She began singing many musical formats from Swing to Jazz to Be-Bop to Blues to Theatre. Shortly after, Kate put together a band called the Bluestars. Playing to packed houses with such stars as Roy Orbison, Leon Russell, Bo Diddley, Etta James, Charlie Musselwhite, Joe Louis Walker, Savoy Brown, Lydia Pense, Mary Wells, Booker T & the MG's, Queen Ida, Dorothy Moore and many more. In 1990, Kate signed with the prestigious label, Biograph Records, and released her first album, 'Tonight I Want It All'. She signed a management agreement with Dick Waterman (who directed the careers of such notables as Bonnie Raitt, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Son House). Dick came out of 'managerial retirement' to work with the talented and gutsy Kate Hart. Several years later she released Queen of the Night on joerecords.com. While Kate was pursuing her solo career, in 1985 she put together an all-star revue, called 'Seattle Women' featuring some of the best blues singers in the world and took the regional festival scene by storm. Her distinctive vocals can be heard with Seattle Women on their CD's 'We Are Not Good Girls' and 'Back Porch Gossip'. Kate returned to Detroit in 2003 after touring through the area the year prior and fell in love with the area. Within the first year of establishing herself as a Detroit Native, Kate received nominations from the Detroit Music Awards for her solo pursuits and won several awards for her group Detroit Women in R&B who took the top award of the evening for 'Best Live Performance'. In their second year, the group took a record 13 Detroit Music Awards. She has produced major festivals and recording projects. Some of her pet projects include producing and performing on her own CD 'Queen of the Night', Seattle Women's 'Backporch Gossip' and 'We Are Not Good Girls' which have all been supported by national tours. Also as Executive Producer and songwriter, has released the critically acclaimed 'Lucy Mongrel' for joerecords.com. Kate has written short stories, children's books and a novel - 'We Are Not Good Girls', penning a screenplay by the same name. She went on to write several plays. Two of them Portraits in Blue and We Are Not Good Girls, enjoyed several successful runs in the past four years. In addition, Kate has written over one hundred songs and seven children's stories she is currently putting to music. Over the last ten years Kate has been involved in theater, while studying at Freehold's Studio Lab for Actors, leading her to perform in film and plays Finding Your Voice 'Giving you the tools you need to make artistic choices' Congratulations! You have taken one of the bravest steps you will ever take. You are going to find 'your voice'. There is nothing more important, profound and rewarding than finding the voice you were meant to communicate with. It improves self esteem, gives you confidence in the choices that you make and moves you closer to the organic sound that was given to you. How It Works The first voice lesson will be a basic explanation about how your voice works and the beginning of how to breathe properly. You'll learn a lot of important fundamentals and will get to know exactly what you can and can't do with your voice. After the first lesson, you and Kate will have an overview on how to proceed and what your basic issues are. The main thing is that you find your 'core' sound. Then build your stylings, nuance, artistic choices and influence on top of that. Most singers do this backwards. You will spend alot of time reversing the process. This is Kate's area of expertise, which is to help you fix what is broken so that you can continue on with the creative process. Results Most of Kate's students experience a range increase of at least an octave. In addition to range extension, there is improvement with tone control, breath control, voice strengthening, dynamics, vocal agility, and ear training. After your vocal technique is in good shape, you will be shown how to apply what you've learned to the songs you bring, working extensively with styling and learning all of the vocal techniques that make for a professional vocal performance. Goals The Goals that are to be achieved apply to all ages and levels of expertise. First of all, Ms. Hart has no agenda on what kind of music you want to sing or if you ever sing at all. What is important is that you are moving through the creative process which makes you a better person - becoming a metaphor for life. The experience of challenging yourself by learning and understanding patience while working towards your long and short term goals is profound. If you need to get ready for a recording date or audition, Kate can put together a 'fast track' approach to get you ready. Though, it is not her favorite way to work, she has done this many times which allows the students to achieve their short term goals. If you live too far to commute intensive training sessions can be arranged. There would need to be some advanced notice as schedules can fill up quickly. In addition, Kate has been hired by many recording studios to work with their singers in developing 'on the spot' technique so that their voice records at it's most optimum. If you want to put together a demo to submit to record labels, make industry contacts, find material or just obtain overall advice in the business, Kate is more than willing to help. 'What she doesn't know, she knows the people that do and will be more than happy to put you in touch with them'. This can include performance, monologue work, arrangements, songwriting, production and more. About the instructor Because Kate wasn't born with a great voice, she had to find a way by making mistakes, searching out information, almost losing her voice and through all of this, sang many different styles from Heavy Metal to Be-Bop. Because of having voice problems, Kate has learned through her own vocal coaches how to fix what's broken. Her vocal journey took Kate through classical training, somatic voice training, jazz improv and an overall study of almost every genre of music. This background not only gives her the knowledge but the gift of communication i.e. singer to singer. This kind of experience is coupled with the fact that she has been a working singer for 40 years. It is important for the singers that Ms. Hart works with to know that with all of the challenges, she is still singing and the voice continues to improve. Please go to the bio link on this site for more information about the instructor. Most of Kate's life she sang for her supper. When this is the case, she had no option but to sing which meant there were times that she didn't have a voice. When Ms. Hart finally did go to a vocal instructor kicking and screaming, she realized for the first time in her life, that singing could actually be easy. Kate explains, 'We make it hard. Our bodies were built for singing and all we have to do is get out of the way and let it happen. This experience is what motivates and gives me the desire to teach. Struggling to find my voice has really allowed me to understand what you may be going through and that gives me the dialogue that is needed so that there is clear communication'. Kate has completed hundreds of voice lessons, exploring various methods, and has attended numerous seminars including: nutrition, Alexander technique, acupressure, reflexology along with various psychological and visualization techniques. Kate continues to study, probe, inquire, explore, practice and apply. Her value as a vocal teacher is unique in that she draws equally from 40 years in the business and an unusually diverse training along with receiving formal training at HFCC, Cornish Institute and private instruction Testimonials Working with Kate has been truly instrumental in helping me discover my true voice and all that it is capable of doing. Not only is Kate a great teacher, but she is a very heartfelt person, very genuine and caring. I think that because Kate is such a warm person, she is really able to create a comfortable and nurturing environment for students, which is absolutely necessary when working with such a delicate instrument as the voice. I just wanted to let you know that what you are doing with Nolan is starting to get noticed by his teachers. As you know they are having auditions for Once on This Island at the middle school. I was talking to another teacher and apparently the drama teacher said that his audition was unbelievable because he wasn't trying to put it over the top and as a result was the top! 'Kate's approach to teaching vocals is truly progressive. She doesn't force a generic style down your throat. She gives you the 'how' and the 'why' and leaves plenty of room for your personal touch. Her methods bring out your true voice. Her instruction on vocal registers, breathing, and pitch has not only helped my singing tremendously, it has also made me a better speaker and beat boxer. As a highly successful performer, business woman, and teacher, Kate Hart will go down in history as something special. Anyone who has a chance to receive her vocal instruction should take it.' "Kate has a wonderful care free style that makes my daughter feel at ease when she sings. She is very positive and has developed my daughter's voice in safe and structured manner. She treats the voice as an instrument that needs care and finite adjustment. Kate Hart has been not only a teacher, but she is an artist. Her work with my daughter has inspired my daughter to work hard at her craft and pursue a career in singing, and she's only 12." Singing has always been a dream of mine. Two years ago I found myself at a point in my life where I was seriously thinking of pursuing singing as more than just a hobby. Unfortunately, I lacked technique. All my life, I took every opportunity to get up and sing for people and at 25 years old I realized I could only sing one to two songs without my voice giving out on me. This scared me. I didn't want to lose the ability to do something I loved without ever having the chance to really fulfill my dreams. A wonderful twist of fate brought me to Kate Hart. After my first couple of lessons we assessed that I had done some damage to my voice over the years but Kate was very reassuring and confident that I could correct the damage and improve my singing technique dramatically. Although it hasn't always been an easy road, the rewards of my work with Kate have been amazing. I look forward to my lesson every week even if I feel like I've hit a few bumps in the training because I know she will immediately make me feel at ease, address the problems I might be having and restore my confidence in myself. She has never wavered in her confidence in me and has been exceedingly patient through this process we've been involved in for the past couple of years. I cannot begin to thank her for the many ways she has improved my singing, my confidence and my life. She encouraged me to audition for a band, which was terrifying for me to say the least, but she had faith in me. Because of that, I did audition and I got the job. Now I'm out there doing what I love to do with confidence and a new voice. My dreams of pursuing singing are actually looking more like a reality and I can honestly say that wouldn't be the case if I had never crossed paths with Kate Hart. You are a great teacher! I am so thankful that I 'found' you! I've been taking lessons from Kate for nearly a year now. I've noticed a dramatic improvement in my tone and range. I've become aware of what it sounds and feels like to use head voice versus chest voice. Kate is always working on improvement herself by reading and learning new vocal techniques from other voice specialists. She passes this knowledge on to her students, which keeps everyone learning all the time. She is a great 'out of the box' thinker/teacher as well. I would highly recommend Kate to anyone who seeks voice lessons. I've enjoyed working with you tremendously. You had faith that I could improve my voice and my breathing when others tried to discourage me. And, I've learned so much from you! Even my stage presence has improved as I've become more confident. Also, thanks for not trying to change my voice, as many others, like you, find it different and even unique. Thank you also for encouraging my song writing and critiquing my efforts. In that area, I've come a long way in a short time. 'Anyone who wants to sing properly, better, longer, needs Kate Hart. Anyone with stamina issues or vocal cord damage needs Kate Hart. As contemporaries, Kate & I have had similar issues to overcome in our careers, she has been invaluable to me. She has helped me find my voice again.'