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The Shy Singer: Tips for Strutting Your Stu | VoiceCouncil Magazine

6/27/16, 5:18 PM

May 22nd, 2016 | by VoiceCouncil

The Shy Singer: Tips for Strutting Your Stuff

Is singing in public an item on your bucket list? Goldie Vigneri shares a strategy to achieve your
singing dreams.
Why is it that there are so many people who have always wanted to share their voice in
song but just cant let go of the fear they may mess up?
If we could go back to watch many of these same people as children, I bet we would find them
singing their little hearts out and not giving a care to whether they would mess up or even if
anyone liked it.
I was working with 40-year-old Medical Doctor who had been in practice for years. She came
to me just to get comfortable with singing out more in church.
Her shyness and reserved nature caused all of her singing sound to be choked off.

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The Shy Singer: Tips for Strutting Your Stu | VoiceCouncil Magazine

6/27/16, 5:18 PM

Through some of the techniques below, I was

able to distract her while she was singing she
produced unbelievably good tone and volume.
She was so surprised when she realized what
was coming out of her mouth.
Then, I asked her to work on a fun, secular, 60s
song, one she wasnt so invested in and
wouldnt have come up on the church repertoire!
Just for fun, I asked her to sing it with an angelic
This became the moment when she realized that
she could sing; she sang it with gusto in my
student revue class.

Goldie with Meghan Linsey, 1st Runner Up,

The Voice Season 8

Now, she isnt only singing out in church,

she is on the music team leading others in
Think of these ideas as trying on shoes
not everyone will work for you; just go with
the ones that fit best

1. Get Your Costume On

Most shy or reserved people are very self critical and getting them out of their own
head sometimes can be one of the most hair pulling tasks I do! But when I can get them to
become someone else for a moment, they let go of the inner critic. If I can them to listen to
what they are singing while they are having fun, without retreating back into that shell, they
can usually start being the adult with the kid spirit and just open their mouth and sing with
enjoyment (Note: it usually takes several costume sessions to achieve this).

2. Rock Out In Your Car

Yes, just let yourself sing in the safe confines of your vehicle and dont stop rocking
even when other cars surround you. You can also practice movements in front of a mirror
(unless you are being over critical of your looks!)

3. Mimic Your Favorite Singer

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The Shy Singer: Tips for Strutting Your Stu | VoiceCouncil Magazine

6/27/16, 5:18 PM

Another technique is to sing a song like your favorite singer. Sometimes if I have a
student struggling with an upper note, I will ask, how would Minnie Mouse sing that?
When they sing it the way she would, the placement of the note is right where it should
be. This idea of singing like an admired singer works in the same way as a costume
(and both ideas can be used together).

4. Use A Puppet
Another simple idea: sing via a sock. I
will sometimes use a simple sock puppet
with eyes drawn on and yarn sewn on for hair.
You might think that puppets are for children to
use but, actually, adults (often more than
children) need an object to hide behind. Using
the puppet seems to free up many of my students
to find joy in their voice

5. Speak To A Stranger

The Puppets at Work

Another exercise I have for my extremely

shy students is to ask them to strike up a
conversation with a stranger when they are standing in line or ask the check out clerk how
their day is going. This helps them escape the I just want to be invisible state of mind. At the
same time I ask them to pay attention to the placement of the strangers voice to attempt to
determine the range. This gets the student thinking less of themselves and more about music
and singing.
Of course I work with everyone in a unique way and combine individual and group work in
ways that feel safe and appropriate for each aspiring singer.
Yet, most of my students find a degree of vocal freedom in at least one of these exercises.
I think that one reason these exercises
work is because the students who come to
me are serious about wanting to fulfill a
They are even willing to embrace some
child-like qualities on the way there.
Goldie Vigneri

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The Shy Singer: Tips for Strutting Your Stu | VoiceCouncil Magazine

6/27/16, 5:18 PM

Goldie Goldsmith-Vigneri is a voice teacher/performance coach at Studio G

Performing Arts in Harrodsburg, KY. Her students range from young to
seniors. She specializes in bringing the shy singer into the spotlight. As a
result of her teaching, many now work professionally, and a large number
have won major competitions. Find out more here .

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