Occasionally I will get to work with singers from a young age. In this case, I started working with singer/songwriter, Carrie Haber, from when she was 17 years old. It has been very exciting to see her grow and develop not only vocally but as an artist. To me, she has ‘what it takes’ to succeed as a singer and an artist. We don’t know where her journey will take her but with her work ethic, understanding of how the industry works, resilience and talent I can only see her forging a music career in some form or another. I spoke to her to find out what her current take is on her voice, singing lessons and career.
What do you use your singing voice for?
To perform my original songs to a live audience as well as to record and sell my music.
How long have you been taking voice lessons for?
Roughly 8 – 9 years
And How often?
I started off with an intensive course of lessons while being at the studio. Then lessons were spread out to check on whether I was practicing correctly. Now I’ve been having a lesson a week for the past 3 years.
Why do you take voice lessons?
To remind myself not to pull when reaching certain notes with a certain vocal texture. To keep my voice steady through the nerves. To sustain a smooth connection between bridges and to control my volume without effort.
Has anyone noticed a difference?
Oh yes! The voice I had 8 years ago cannot compare the voice I’ve got now. The most evident of all the improvements is to do with vocal stamina. I don’t feel tired after gigs and I can sing some very tough songs that in the past would have left me voiceless. I also have much more trust in my voice which helps to approach the stage a lot more calmly. This trust is key to allowing the vocal bridges to blend together smoothly. All in all my voice sounds much more mature.
Do you have a favourite vocal exercise?
‘foo’ is one of the excercises I find most comfortable. It always feels easier reaching notes on ‘foo’.
How has having voice lessons helped your performance and/or your career?
Something that used to concern me a lot was how I would be able to perform several nights in a row if I keep losing my voice after a gig. I used to get really stressed about that and it sometimes in itself caused hoarseness. But now that I know my voice so well I am confident and approach my performances eagerly. I don’t get stressed about the risk of losing my voice because I know how unlikely it is now.
As for being in a studio, I need much less time to record the perfect take. I also don’t need too many breaks. First of all it saves me money, and secondly, it inspires respect and a better relationship with the producer.
What vocal advice would you give someone who is considering singing as a career?
Start by understanding your voice through vocal lessons. Once you know how your voice works its a lot easier to make the necessary adjustments towards a better technique. Always wait to reach this stage before recording because you’ll just want to go back and record it again when you hear the difference in your voice.