Many people say they are "tone deaf," but in actuality, less than 2% of the population is truly tone deaf! Singing correct notes or pitches has more to do with building muscle memory and advantageous brain neural pathways, than hearing. Because she is an expert, Dot has even been able to help hearing impaired singers sound great!
It doesn't matter if you're given the most amazing vocal drills in the world–if you don't know how to overcome self-imposed limitations, and use your instrument to your advantage, you will never find success. Dot trains her students to overcome their vocal challenges, and integrate the mental, emotional and physical muscle memory they specifically need, which results in a free, powerful voice. Students are given individualized exercises and a System
to increase their innate Musical Intelligence and vocal ability on a daily basis.
WHAT PART OF YOUR BRAIN DO YOU USE WHEN YOU SING?
Are you left-brained or right-brained?
Which direction do YOU see the spinning lady spinning? Clockwise? Counter-clockwise? Each direction correlates with our immediate and present brain-hemisphere usage.
If she is spinning clockwise, it is believed that you are using right-brain dominance.
If she is spinning counter-clockwise, you are using left-brain dominance.
For many, she will spin back and forth at any given time. What does this all mean for singers?
Note from Dot about Logical ("left brained") vs Intuitive ("Right Brained") Singers:
Does our perception affect how well we sing?
Most people know that those who are so-called "right-brained" are creative, and those who are "left-brained" are analytical. Initially, logic had me believe that those who were more right-brained would have an easier time singing.
I know there’s a bit of "controversy" over the spinning lady and whether it is just an optical illusion, or if it really has an effect on how we actually use our brain at that given moment. Initially, for my own entertainment, I had the spinning lady as a screen saver on my computer, and started noticing some unexpected but significant findings during vocal lessons. These interesting findings turned into a study using hundreds of subjects ages five through sixty seven over the course of four years. About ninety percent of students who filled out the right brain/left brain questionnaire in advance, saw the spinning lady in the same direction that the questionnaire indicated. Therefore initially, I believed that if a student saw the lady spinning to the right, they were more right-brained (intuitive/creative) and therefore, were probably wired for singing. Along with their written questionnaire, there was plenty of evidence that seemed to show this at first, but just when I was about to draw my own scientific conclusion, I would encounter a new student who tested as left-brained, saw the lady spinning to the left, and could sing just fine with no drawbacks. (This was more rare, but they do exist). Then there were those who really struggled with their voice, and oftentimes they would see the lady spinning to the left, suggesting they were more left-brained (logical). But there were also challenged right-brained singers as well. If the "right-brained way" was the "right" way, then why were some right-brained singers having such a hard time and some left-brained singers having an easy time?
Then there were those who saw the lady flipping from one side to another. I noticed that these people who supposedly had a more "balanced mind" actually were those who suffered from vocal "glitches." For example, they would be singing a song, and suddenly they would hit a bad note out of nowhere! Then I started noticing that many of these singers played guitar and or another musical instrument and similar things would happen for them. I then began to wonder if gender, age and other factors played a role in how our brain is wired when we sing. Every day, through my research, I got deeper and deeper into finding out what the successful singers were doing, versus those who really struggled, beyond vocal coordination.
After hundreds of recorded reports and analysis over 10 years, here is my conclusion:
Your perception plays a huge role in how you sing. There are people who operate from more of an intuitive place, ("right brain") and those who operate from a more logical place ("left brain"). Those who operate from the logical place, while trying to sing have the hardest time because they do not trust their voice and they're trying to do it backwards: They want the results before they put trust in their voice. The intuitive singer who has self-compassion is more prone to taking the chance and letting go before they see results, which allows them to tap into what I call "Musical Intelligence;" The part of them that already knows how to sing.
I believe the spinning lady is connected to part of your brain activity, but this is oversimplified. There is way more to understanding brain activity than that, when it comes to singing. For example, people who saw the lady going from side to side don't necessarily have a more balanced mind than the others. It means they can see both sides of the coin and they are more perceptive. However, when it comes to singing, they often need to create more new neural pathways than people who only see it one way! It's not about how many ways we see it, it's the ease and flexibility and faith we have in ourselves as we operate our instrument that will make or break us.
We need both sides of our brain to sing - the intuitive (right) and the logical (left), but a person's brain needs to find it's own unique balance to sing from an empowered place. Everybody is different. It depends on their inner dialogue, energy, attitude and genetics, to name a few. This goes back to their relationship to themselves, and how much balance is in their inner world. I'm not just after "quick fixes" as a vocal coach–I want my singers to have longevity. I want them to become naturally empowered artists, so they can survive in the business and thrive as human beings.
I decided to take my teaching to a whole new level. I figured out a system that includes these components - how to make the mind more powerful, how to make the soul more powerful, and how to make the voice more powerful. I call it "CORE Vocal Power," because I'm getting to the root or CORE of every problem that arises. I help singers, actors, and speakers get to their CORE (inner) and create a safe, powerful space there. As a result the VOCAL POWER (outer) naturally emerges!
I help each individual singer get out of their head and into their CORE! I get singers to re-wire themselves so they can surrender to the PRESENT MOMENT and tap in! The gateway to being PRESENT is an individual process that involves the right kind of awareness and daily practice.
In summary, I learned that we don’t always use only one "side" of our brain when we sing from an empowered place. We need to find the balance and cooperation between both sides to work in favor with our voice. I created C.O.R.E. Vocal Power® to balance both sides of the brain, allowing the creative singers to find more structure and groundedness in their approach and the more logical singers to gain presence and intuitive freedom, the highest state to be in, creating a solid foundation to sing from.
WATCH DOT WORK WITH BOTH SIDES OF THE BRAIN TO CORRECT PITCH ISSUES AT A WORKSHOP
Interestingly, a couple of years after Dot discovered how the use of the brain affected singers, she came across this at the Conscious Life Expo...