An interview with The Voice Forum
April 19 2017
"Pleased to post an interview with Stav German, independent voice teacher from Israel. She will introduce us to Complete Vocal Technique (CVT) that's known primarily in Europe. Disclaimer: The Voice Forum does not endorse any one specific "technique." But it's always interesting to hear what people are doing all over the world."
#fellowshipofthelarynx #voiceteacher #singingvoice
TVF: Please tell us about your vocal training and performance history.
Stav: I am a singer, songwriter and a CVT voice teacher currently from Israel. I was raised in a musical family with a composer for a mother so I was singing since I remember myself. I was encouraged to sing , play some instruments, dance and perform. So my environment helped me build my confidence. I was considered a prodigy in my area until my adolescence years. My voice was reduced into barely an octave and I kept losing it. The years after were a struggle and after 9 years of voice lessons and a diploma from Rimon School of music (cooperating with Berklee) nothing came easy to me. I still had to struggle for intonation and vocal health. I sang jazz, folk, Israeli classics and my mother’s complex compositions. I was performing as a back up singer with some Indie musicians in TelAviv and with my own songs. Then I discovered CVT (Complete Vocal Technique) and everything changed: I finally could develop my singing and sing the way I wanted instead of what my troubles allowed me to do. I could help my singers rich faster and more accurate results. I could finally sing Rock! I was the manager and singer in the Indie- Rock band “Malinka” and a part of the Indie-pop duo Stav & Roni. Now I hold a diploma from Complete Vocal Institute as the first out of two Authorized CVT teachers in Israel. I teach private lessons for professional and beginner singers in all genres (from Opera to heavy Metal) and cooperating with Beit Zvi- an acting school with a big emphasis on Musicals. I teach workshops in Tel Aviv such as introduction to CVT and extreme singing with vocal effects. I was a guest lecturer in the VIP’s VocalizeU in L.A in July 2016 on behalf of the teachers and voice specialists. Currently I am working on a first solo album and waiting to relocate to New York.
Stav: Complete vocal Technique was developed by Cathrine Sadolin from Denmark and now is the largest singing facility for pro and
Please tell us about CVT.TV: semi pro singers in Europe. It comply with an advanced research that try to include all genres and sounds the human voice can make in a healthy manner. The technique offers concrete tools to specific vocal issues, as well as tools for personal development according to the singer's personal taste. All authorized teachers are very qualified and able to teach singers in all levels and from all musical backgrounds, as well as all learning types. In the USA there are only two teachers right now, and some few in their training to become authorized (very thorough program for 3 years).
Stav: I teach all genres according to the singer’s purpose and personal taste. I believe we are all capable of producing the many different sounds the human voice can produce. It is a matter of taste, will
If you teach singing, what is your teaching philosophy? What genre(s) of singing do you teach?TVF:and environment that prevents us from doing so. I have the responsibility to know how to produce and teach all human sounds (Opera, high and low notes, whistle, belting, distortion, growling, screaming, etc.) in a healthy manner. I believe that it is merely an issue of a correct technique and I offer the many possibilities to my singers and let them chose and decide and develop their own sound and artistic mark.
TVF: Do you believe that anyone can learn to sing (barring any major medical disabilities)?
Stav: Definitely! It is no secret now how the voice works. We can use that knowledge and pedagogical tools to help anyone improve and learn. How far the person will get is a matter of practice and personality. But everybody can.
TVF: In your experience, what are some of the most common pitfalls in vocal training?
Stav: Working too hard and fearing sounds and failure. We tend to fear the “ugly” and unacceptable sounds that many times are the shortest and simplest ways to reach our wanted sound and musical goal. It goes the same as to volume. In my teaching I allow mistakes and experimentation and that by itself let the singer improve and find the technical and psychological way that helps them the most. Singing is fun if we let it be :)
Stav: Awareness and logical understanding of the voice
How will understanding the voice production mechanism make someone a better singer? Or a worse singer? TVF:are great for many singers. It is like someone switched the lights after a long time you’ve been searching in the dark. It did wonders for me as well. It helps to understand the craft from different perspectives and develop learning skills that are wicker (such as logical and visual for the very kinesthetic and imaginative type) and for the logical and visual singers, it finally explains vocal training in a way they can relate to. I think it can be confusing when the knowledge is not being taught in a thorough enough way. I’ve seen it happen to some colleagues- they did not give time and space to thoroughly explore the new knowledge they received and it massed up their technique. With singers I teach, I am careful and explain just as much as they want and can process. It usually helps. If not I ask them to “throw it away”.
Stav: Practice with the right teacher for the singer, developing musicality and musicianship and letting
What does it take to become a good singer in your opinion?TVF: ourself explore and really soul search what it means to sing and how we feel about it- it is a journey. It is art. Letting ourself commit and truly search will let us become good singers.
TVF: What do you think about current vocal training programs in the academia? What would you like to see changed/improved?
Stav: I do not know how it is in the USA. I would love to see more updated research and a more curious and cautious approach to the pillar stones of vocal research and pedagogy. I would love to see a positive enabling environment from the teachers side
TVF: What are some of the difficulties that young singers or emerging singers face in the performing world?
Stav: Critic and negativity. And the instant approach reality T.V let into our profession.
Stav: Not anymore. Good technique is priceless… I do shower in the morning to allow hot
Do you have your own voice care regimen? TVF: steams help mucous disappear faster, and keep my body in shape for the strong support muscles.
TVF: How do you take care of your voice on the road?
Stav: I keep hydrated (especially in airplanes) and have a back exercises routine that does not require special equipment. I eat vegan and balanced as much as I can, sleep enough and avoid alcohol.
Stav: No… although I wish to,
Do you still take lessons on a regular basis? TVF: but I don't have more experienced CVT teachers around me. Instead my colleagues and I sometimes meet, “nerd out” and help each other in specific issues.
TVF: What advice do you have for child singers and their parents?
Stav: Allow them! Everything- even the ugly and out of tune sounds; Expose them to many different singers and musical styles- they still don't know what they like and can be influenced by many possibilities; Praise them and help them build their confidence and sing a lot- that is how their body learns and develop. Help them develop their kinesthetic sensations and awareness- this is their private monitor to help them avoid pain and damage. That is what will also be their guiding point in unprofessional situations (poor sound system etc.). And of course learning an instrument is not mandatory but priceless for a singer, even if they don't show improvement in the first couple of years.
TVF: What advice do you have for young singers?
Stav: Allow yourself to try different things- with your voice and with your performance, in different singing groups and musical genres. Practice and listen to your body and sensations- IT SHOULD NEVER HURT
What advice do you have TVF: for aging singers?
Stav: Keep your body in shape- the inhalation and exhalation muscles are important to maintain your vocal abilities and keep your voice healthy. They are related to the muscles in your back, loin, abdomen and rib cage.
Stav: Practicing until the wanted sound and
What is/are the requisite(s) for a singer of any level?TVF: techniqueis implied into the muscle memory, until it is natural and the singer does not need to think and prepare for it to work- that it can now serve the greater purpose: emotions and expression.
TVF: What career options do singers have if they can’t have a major career?
Stav: They can still sing in semi professional groups such as a local band, choirs, community theater and singing groups, ceremonies, etc. They can upload a home made video every once in while. Today it is easier then ever to record an independent single or E.P. Never stop creating, there are so many musicians out there that will be a great match for your talent and individual needs.
TVF: Do you have a vocal pet peeve and why?
Stav: Auto tune! I love the warm natural sound of the voice with all of it’s frequencies. Auto tune flatness it into a point I just can’t listen anymore…
TVF: Do you have a myth you wish dispel about singing?
Stav: That certain sounds are dangerous or can be performed only by some (growling, screaming, belting etc.): That is just not true and proven by research. With the correct technique and guidance we can all sing them- If I can anyone can…
TVF: Do you have a project you wish to talk about?
Stav: I am available for workshops and cooperations across the country and across the world and would love to get that going :)
TVF: Who are your favorite singers/performers?
Stav: Past: Freddie Mercury, Jeff Buckley, Ella Fitzgerald. Present: Fiona Apple, Maria Joao, Villagers, Muze, Regina Spektor.
TVF: What sparks “joy” for you as a person?
Stav: My love- my husband, my family and family dog, creating and composing and teaching- I truly love it! But singing- this is the most fulfilling and meaningful thing in the world for me and with out it I’m lost.
An interview with The Voice Forum
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