Well, I suppose when you're reading this section, you want to know where I’m from, why I do what I do, what my background is in teaching…and why I’m a so-called “qualified expert.”
I have to admit, I had another BIO I was going to put here, but it just didn’t resonate anymore: “From Toronto, Canada this singer, songwriter, certified teacher...blah, blah...” While it’s all true, I wanted to personalize it a little more.
But, if you like traditional, shorter bios – go ahead, click here to read! You may also click here to read my resume. Find the non-traditional bio below in my own words:
HOW I BECAME A TEACHER
For whatever reason (maybe because I was very bossy at a young age and possessed leadership skills), I was put in the role of teaching at the tender age of 14. My peers listened to me and I gained confidence in what I was doing. I directed, wrote music and felt unstoppable, motivated and fulfilled. I went on to get three degrees and a Teaching Certificate (mainly because I kept changing my mind about what the perfect major would be! Hahaha!). I performed like a fanatic and traveled North America in some pretty fun groups and bands, TV, musicals, etc. However, I also used to stutter as a kid. I fell flat on my face I got back up. I used to hate my voice and could not understand why people said they liked it. I didn't really have much of a relationship with my voice yet...but I knew one thing - I just LOVED to sing. Singing was like therapy for me growing up. It allowed me to express how I felt and feel heard - even if no one was listening.
WHAT MY VOCAL JOURNEY TAUGHT ME
I used to be horrified to sing in front of people when I was younger – I was very, very shy, but my outgoing brother could sing and play guitar in front of everybody. My mom encouraged me to sing because I did have a natural gift, but I had no idea at that time what it was. Even though I knew how to hit notes, and learned a ton from my mom (a lovely jazz singer herself), at age 13, I knew nothing about vocal anatomy, the authentic connection, and true expression. But for whatever reason – people were moved by my voice, and they came to me. People listened because they thought that since I knew how to sing, I could teach...but could I?
Even though I got all that experience and earned all of those degrees (and was actually teaching voice off and on during that time) – looking back, I realize that I was only at the very beginning of my own vocal journey. What I will call the FOUNDATION stage. I didn’t really know my voice yet or why it made people cry sometimes. I just knew I had something (sometimes I would even question what it was) and I could help people to sing, but I would get sick a lot of the time and even lose my voice. My body was not happy with me. I hadn’t yet learned how to listen to it and connect authentically.
It was the life experience in University and beyond that gave me more wisdom than I could learn from books. I hadn’t quite processed it yet – but, I had self-discipline and I had earned the right to teach. I felt qualified and I cared a lot about people. The more I taught, however, the more responsible I felt to really give people useful tools, and I really wanted to help everybody find their true voice. Like many other teachers, I thought it was as simple as taking the drills I had learned and teaching them to other people.
REALIZING MY NATURAL GIFT
Determined to develop the BEST TECHNIQUE in the world, and find my own voice as well, I delved into VOCAL TECHNIQUE in a whole new way – reading books, watching videos, studying with world renowned coaches and attending workshops, seminars – you name it. I wanted to learn everything I could sink my teeth into! One day I realized that the greatest of all teachers were my students. Just when I thought I had “the perfect technique” figured out and had my lesson plan all ready, I would meet a student whose voice challenged my scientific knowledge, leading me to develop something new that worked for them. This happened all the time, but one day I actually realized it was happening. Funny thing was, being able to help them was not hard for me. It was natural. Then I had to begin to look at what I was actually doing naturally that made people keep coming back, and how were they getting results so quickly!
I started to not worry so much about lesson plans, and to listen more carefully to my students. They told me things like, “Your teaching has changed my life.” Or, “I am so much more confident as a singer now, it’s just easier,” or “I never even liked my voice until I met you – now I’m doing things I never thought I could.” This was music to my ears! But, at the same time, it was a humbling, transformational experience to find that teaching “voice” was connected way more to an EMOTIONAL source than a physical one. All my years of schooling never taught me that, yet I had always known deep down. In turn, I felt more of a responsibility to listen to my own intuition and BECOME what I was teaching. Was my voice up to par? Was I APPLYING what I was teaching? Was I CONNECTED AUTHENTICALLY?
This is where I have to condense. I’ll just say here: I had a very serious Near-Death Experience in September of 2007 that literally forced me to "wake up" and HEAL. Not just my body, but learning how to rebuild it meant gaining mastery over my limiting beliefs and choosing what I wanted my body to feel like and how I wanted it to perform. It dawned on me that singers have to do the same thing, and this is where, through healing myself, I was able to take my students to a whole new level, which I termed, Vocal Empowerment.
FOR OTHER VOCAL TEACHERS
I know there are many of you out there who probably can relate to what I said above. You teach because you know vocal techniques, you want to help people who come to you, and it seems like what you’re doing works. I’m sure it does. Everybody has different ways of teaching and things that work for them. My challenge to all teachers, including MYSELF, is to keep growing and include what life teaches me into my craft. For example, I could not really help people to resonate in a deep way, or even gain vibrato, before I knew how to do so myself. I also could not help people effectively work through their emotional blocks to singing until I overcame my own. Once you find your own system that works, get deeper into it and know your instrument. Know Yourself. Knowing yourself is the first important step in knowing how to help others.
HOW C.O.R.E VOCAL POWER® CAME TO BE
I had developed many tools for helping people physically and psychologically master singing. As I did this, I began crafting the formula that could apply to EVERYBODY who wanted to learn how to sing. I realized It had to be integrative, because if your singing is going to be authentic then you have to make it a natural part of you. You don’t go into “singing” mode, you just sing. I realized that in order to sing, there has to be a level of EMPOWERMENT and permission of letting go felt from inside, or it’s not going to be a very pleasing experience. Then I began to wonder, "How do I teach Empowerment?" I realized it is a choice. All I could do is hold that vibration and provide the tools in a safe environment for others to do the same.
Importantly, I APPLIED my tools to see what worked for me and what didn’t. For example, LIP TRILLS were probably the best drill I learned – at age 13, but over time, I realized WHY they were important, and HOW I could do them better based on my voice and energy.
So, now after teaching, experiencing, growing, and continuing to apply what I know on a daily basis, I am happy to report that I enjoy a fun life of teaching vocal empowerment to amazing people. From singers, actors, teachers, children, teens and moms, to businessmen and everything in between! I love my work and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I think it’s the best job in the world, because every day, I learn something new and get to see the light turn on in people’s souls as they reach their own level of VOCAL MASTERY one moment at a time!
My Mission is simple – to empower voices – EVERYWHERE, one heart at a time! To me, this means just giving people the right tools to reach their fullest potential. When your VOICE is EMPOWERED, YOU are empowered! What else could be more important?