March 7, 2022


Aly Carrigan

The voice is a very complicated instrument, it’s not just a couple small little cords in your throat that do all the work, it’s your entire body working together to produce sound. Breath, posture, resonance, it’s all interconnecting and all necessary for singing your best without straining your instrument. Because I believe in a whole body approach to singing, there are certain methods that may be considered… different, to most. For instance, it is not strange for my students to leave a lesson having had a full workout session: squats, wall sits, push ups, yoga poses, all of these things are fair game because they all help with engaging muscles and helping the body work together to sing. Of course, my lessons are tailored to each student, so if there’s anything they’re not comfortable with or unable to do, I have many different variations I can use to engage the same muscles without anyone feeling uncomfortable.

Breath is another thing that I focus on acutely in every lesson. Without proper breath, we can’t support our voice, which leads to strained cords and difficulties down the road. Everyone who’s ever had a singing lesson has always heard how important proper breathing is, and my lessons are no exception. We work a lot on how to breathe, where to breathe from, and especially how breathing can inform the feeling and expression of a piece of music.

With a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Alberta and a diploma from the New York Film Academy’s Professional Conservatory of Musical Theatre, I have learned almost the entirety of the vocal range from opera to pop/rock. No matter the style though, the basics are always the same, so even if you’re not sure what you want to sing yet or you’re just looking for something generic, I’ve got you covered!

I also stress the importance of acting in my lessons; it is impossible to sing anything without any expression whatsoever because that’s what music is, it’s raw emotion. Think of every performance you’ve ever seen that moved you, it was never flat and without feeling. So even if you’re not a musical theatre major looking to find the juicy acting notes of every beat in a song, we’ll still cover simple things like how a piece of music makes you feel and why, and how that emotion can inform and improve your singing.

I could honestly go on for pages about the complexity and excitement that is singing, but the bottom line is I am here to help my students learn, grow, and have fun. Whether you’re looking to practice audition pieces, pick up some music theory, or just wanting to get the basics, I am here to help however you need. I always make sure that each lesson is made for each student, because everyone learns differently; I’ve had many singing teachers in my time, and I’ve learned a bounty of different ways to teach so that I’m never without a new tool to help a student through whatever block they are experiencing. The most important thing to remember is that this sort of learning is a process. You’re not going to be Lady Gaga or Cecilia Bartoli overnight. But I can promise you that with practice and dedication, these techniques I’ve learned and used over my own singing career DO work. And in time you’ll be making your own music with your own unique sound, and you’ll be doing it healthily so you can sing for many years to come!

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