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Success-What Does It Really Take?

CherieCherie Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 122
Only a few weeks into this, I realize it's going to take much more than buying a popular CD pack promising to contain all the answers to lousy singing, learning some vocal exercises and then experiencing a vocal transformation. I've tried all that with a few other vocal programs and even some instructors along the way. In a way, maybe all those attempts led me here.
My singing history began over eight years ago after my Dad passed away. Years before, I was a ballet dancer. I missed the performing and all of it so, so much but those days were over. I was grown, married with kids & an average life. I could go to zumba every week and exercise with a bunch of women to music or spend a pile of money on ballroom dance and actually compete in unGodly expensive costumes with thousands of rhinestones. I enjoyed painting. (a lot less expensive). Then a light went off and I realized, "I should be a singer!" So at 50, I thought, "You were a great dancer, you can be a singer! How hard can it be?" Since then, I've purchased books, CD's, sporadic lessons & watched countless YouTube videos. Every single time I bought a vocal program or expensive lessons with a new "vocal coach" I had childlike hopes and dreams for discovering what in the world I was doing wrong vocally. There is no question that I have improved since I first started this but overall my progress has been disappointing.
A little over a year ago when I decided to try yet another vocal method & purchase the KTVA program, I did it because, honestly, I am endlessly hopeful and I'm a dreamer. I can't believe I can't do it. To some, I may be too old, as well, but there is a little spark inside that is still burning after all these years. Everyone has a unique set of challenges. I have my own collection. They are obstacles like brick walls and I believe there is a path through them. It just has to be found.
So.... for my Christmas present more than a year ago, my grown son & husband both chipped in & got me the KTVA pro pack of CD's and DVD's. Yeah! During Christmas vacation I opened it up and wondered what magic I would find in this wonderful bundle. I began the exercises. I was pretty devoted during the next 10 days. Our vacation ended. We came back home. I returned to my day job & life's daily responsibilities resumed. I began to skip the exercises for days, then weeks and eventually months went by. It stayed on my music bookshelf with all my other CD's and vocal books.
Life went on to Jan. 2017. That's when, out of the blue, I got really sick. It turned into pancreatitis overnight & I almost died. I was in the hospital for a month. Lot's of prayers were answered. I completely recovered. I came home really weak and bummed out to say the least. I decided to make some life changes just to be safe like giving up any wine and actually all alcohol of any kind and following a very healthy diet. I retired from my day job & decided I'm going to make this singing dream come true if it's the last thing I do!
I still sing as a back-up singer in a local tribute band but we only perform 2-3 times per year. It's not even close enough to satisfy what I hope to do. 3 weeks ago something prompted me to pass over all my other vocal CD programs on that bookshelf & pull out my KTVA Christmas present program again.
I am approaching this the same way I did as a young ballet dancer so many years ago. It's basically a partnership with Ken Tamplin and KTVA. I am going to keep my promise to the program and devote my time and efforts like consistent daily focused training and this program is going to help me go from average to singing better than anyone else! I am adding in some faith on my side that this is the right training. One has to believe that their teacher is correct. I am starting out with cautious optimism which is slowly turning into belief. I have to approach it with a certain amount of trust and faith because significant results won't happen in "days". I guess, not months either. I do hope to hear stepped improvements along the way.
One part of my dream is to become a lead singer with live musicians (not backing tracks) and have weekly gigs. Somewhere in this year, I'm going to try to get a small jazz group going. My voice has to be interesting enough to make some musicians around here want to do this with me. I really hope I will be able to progress enough to get started performing regularly within 6 months. I have tons of great dresses to wear with piles of rhinestones.
When this works it may be just another success story in a string of many for Ken Tamplin. Dreams can come true at any age, right?


  • MatsyMatsy Pro Posts: 168
    I feel a lot of what you are saying. I will be 45 this year and just picked up Ken's vocal program because there is that part of me that just wants to sing. Just because we aren't 20 something anymore doesn't mean we should crawl into a corner and fade away.

    The great thing about your previous training in ballet is that you can understand the benefits of training and how nothing comes without effort. If you put in the effort, slowly but surely amazing things are possible. BTW, I also was a professional dancer haha.

    I have only been doing the program for just over a week at this point and have done the exercises daily. I can only say I am blown away by the changes that have happened - of course there will be plateau moments, that is the nature of training, but so far the change is dramatic. In fact when I listened to myself recently I was surprised it was my voice. I have recorded myself singing before and while I could always carry a tune, I was amazed at this new quality my voice has.

    From your dancing background you will recognise a good teacher when you see one, I am convinced that Ken is 100% the real deal. I have watched him one on one with students in some of his videos here and what he is able to see and hear and bring out of them - as long as they put in the work is jaw dropping. I think the best part about watching Ken, is that he doesn't let anything slide, he catches it all.

    Ultimately though it comes down to your own effort, so keep up the good work! It's not time to die yet.
  • CherieCherie Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 122
    I don't know why I didn't understand the physicality and training that comes along with singing from the beginning. I think I was negatively influenced by the comment I still hear so often, "Well, a person is either born with a great voice or not!" With that kind of widely repeated opinion (too often!) by lots of people, when a person opens their mouth for the first time at karaoke & sounds awful, then, obviously, they were not born with "it" & should give up right then and there! It's not true with dancing and I don't think it's true with singing either.
    You and me both didn't wake up one day and decide to put on some toe shoes and perform with artistry on stage executing grande jetes and triple pirouettes! It took hours and hours, hundreds of classes, iron will determination and many failed attempts. Every single blister and sore muscle was so worth it but it sure did not happen overnight!!
    I'm glad I kept persevering with this and searching to find a legitimate program and it's amazing creator in Ken Tamplin. I am also really excited that he seems to know what he is talking about and has found a way to offer a real working plan to us dreamers in our quest toward really developing our voices as singers!
    I wish for you, Matsy, very few obstacles, great effective training and success with your singing! Something tells me we just have to succeed!
  • CherieCherie Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 122
    Thank you, Bob. I love reading your posts. I know, as time moves forward, your comments will continue to inspire and motivate me to work hard and keep going! As an experienced musician, your guidance is really, really helpful. Yes, I have "adjusted" my life outlook! The thing I am after with this singing is actually a bit difficult for me to completely understand at this point. I'm not really after fame, money, adoration, applause or any of that. I do want to sing and perform. Starting out, I want to do it regularly, every week! It's one thing to sing but performance skills add a whole new level of difficulty. I need to build that experience. I think what I want the most, ultimately, is to discover artistry. I know that probably sounds really corny. I don't know how I would get it & if I could figure that out it also seems like a massive mountain. I hope, in time, my direction will, at least, just head upward toward that. That would be an amazing gift!
  • viniciusoliveiraviniciusoliveira Enrolled Posts: 303
    edited April 2017
    I think I was negatively influenced by the comment I still hear so often, "Well, a person is either born with a great voice or not!" With that kind of widely repeated opinion (too often!) by lots of people, when a person opens their mouth for the first time at karaoke & sounds awful, then, obviously, they were not born with "it" & should give up right then and there! It's not true with dancing and I don't think it's true with singing either.

    I totally agree. I wanted to be a singer since I was 12,yet I only got the guts to begin singing when I turned 20 due to how naive I was.

    I heard a lot of non-sense like that so often.
    Someone being able to sing in a Pro level without training for years is just as possible as a newborn child being able to speak 5 languages in a native level.
  • CherieCherie Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 122
    In the eighth grade I had a music teacher at school who, one day at the beginning of the school year, played a song in class, told us all to sing along to it while he walked past each of us and "evaluated" each student for singer potential. At the end of the song he stood up there & very confidently told us there was only one girl in the class who had the voice to be a singer. The rest of us were not born with the right stuff. She must have felt great. I, along with I'm sure others felt, well, not so good. I'll never forget that experience. I was really shy, trusting and very impressionable at 12! Now, I'm older, wiser & after many years I'm finally going to prove that teacher, whatever his name was, was completely ignorant and pretty full of himself.
  • viniciusoliveiraviniciusoliveira Enrolled Posts: 303
    edited April 2017
    Cherie said:

    In the eighth grade I had a music teacher at school who, one day at the beginning of the school year, played a song in class, told us all to sing along to it while he walked past each of us and "evaluated" each student for singer potential. At the end of the song he stood up there & very confidently told us there was only one girl in the class who had the voice to be a singer. The rest of us were not born with the right stuff. She must have felt great. I, along with I'm sure others felt, well, not so good. I'll never forget that experience. I was really shy, trusting and very impressionable at 12! Now, I'm older, wiser & after many years I'm finally going to prove that teacher, whatever his name was, was completely ignorant and pretty full of himself.

    I BET that girl was a relative of him and that was all made up :)
    That was utterly unprofessional,really.
    I've hear people saying that kinda thing over and over.
    Stuff like "my mom\son\daughter\cousin\best friend forever\pet\imaginary friend is the only one who can sing here! All others are trash!!"

    Truth is: the only ones who can't sing are those who can't speak. Mute people.
  • KaiEllisKaiEllis Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 215
    @Cherie So many legendary singers were told that they would never amount to much. Sheryl Crow and Rod Stewart were supposedly both kicked out of choir! I can't wait to see you become the singer you dream of being :)
  • jasondjasond Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 1
    I just turned 47 and decided to start singing again. I love that this is the first thread I hit on joining KTVA. :) There is no time, there is only now, right? And what we learn to do we learn by doing it...
  • CherieCherie Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 122
    Today a friend of mine came over and I recorded some songs. I'll put them on FB to hopefully connect with some local musicians. I want to get into a group, sing some lead and get some gigs. Since I began this program, I know I have so much to learn and develop vocally that, at times, I've wondered if I should just hide out until my voice is stronger and sing at home for the dogs. This is where it feels difficult. I know I should go out there and make all the mistakes that I expect will happen in this process. A lot is gained from actual performing experience which, as a singer, I don't have. I'll train along the way. During the recording today, I felt OK but not great the way I would like. I thought to myself, "Oh! I wish I had 2 years of KTVA training completed by now!" I want to sound more open, have a stronger chest voice and also sound like I'm using strong support. Even though I have been doing my daily vol. 1 exercises faithfully now into month 2, I'm not a vocal powerhouse.........not yet. It's not going to happen overnight and it hasn't, not yet. There is a lot of work to be done.
  • KevinGremKevinGrem Pro Posts: 217
    I am not exactly "successful" myself so perhaps I'm not really qualified to answer the question "what does it take"? But I will try anyway.

    If we're talking about achieving happiness and fulfillment, I've gotten that, and that is something that is truly invaluable. Isn't that the entire goal in life anyway? How you measure success depends on what you are really going for in life. So to answer your question, when it comes to singing, the best thing you can do is know exactly what type of voice YOU want to develop. I sing purely for pleasure. I have gotten so much joy from it and have felt so spiritually lifted and encouraged by doing it that that's really all that matters to me. I think this is what being a musician is all about. I call that a success.

    If you mean how to become professional and make a living doing it, well, I think you need to set your sights on producing a good quality full-length album. And try to do this as soon as possible, because the record industry as a whole is quickly diminishing in size and relevance these days as we get more and more into the digital age. This has both advantages and disadvantages, because on one hand, it's great that digital media allows information to be transferred so quickly and easily across the world. But on the other, theft and piracy is a big problem for the artist. Not really sure what the best advice is there. I have friends who get millions and millions of online streams and they make like $20 off it. So I don't know how you can possibly hope to get paid with that type of thing going on.
  • KaiEllisKaiEllis Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 215
    @KevinGrem The comment about people you know making so little off so many streams is fascinating and awful. Do you know where their content is streaming? Trying to understand the business better myself!
  • KevinGremKevinGrem Pro Posts: 217
    Yeah I don't really understand the business too much either. Music and money just do not go well together.
  • CherieCherie Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 122
    When I look at singing as a whole, I see it comprised of 3 major parts. One part is the artistic side. It grows with creativity, passion and love for music, life, people and the universe! Some people seem to be blessed with a lot of it, it seems, from the start. Maybe it's an inborn, heavenly gift with some. The other part is the technical and physical components of the voice. The third is the business part of music. As I follow the KTVA program, I am primarily focusing on the technical aspects. I want to strengthen my vocal ability. That's where I think my biggest weakness lies now. I've set vocal technical goals. I want to reach those goals, reset and continue to progress. That is the "success" path I am aiming to follow with this program.

    When I do the exercises, I am concentrating on the physical aspects of singing. Succeeding with those seems pretty cut and dried. If I train and strengthen my vocal muscles, learn the concepts and eventually become able to execute them with precision, then I should be able to get better tone and flexibility with my voice. I realize this accomplishment would not be the "end all" in the singing journey. To write a song and move a listener emotionally and be a true artist encompasses much more but every great ballet dancer had to spend years at the bar brutally working out day after day repeating physical exercises before they were ever able to bring an audience to tears watching them interpret the music through dance on a stage.

    I believe this technical component is critical for singing too. It's emotionless. It's hard work, strength building, repetitive muscle and body training comprising the physical components of singing. I am at the beginning of that training. I'm at the bar! If I work really hard and consistently and efficiently maybe I will be able to move along at a good pace. I hope so.

    From my years as a dancer I know that dreaming and wanting is nice but won't do much other than waste time. It's fine to feel those emotions but laying around wishing won't train my voice. Daily focused workouts will. For now, approximately, 80% of my focus is on the physical, 15% creativity and maybe 5% music business! As I fall asleep each night, I dream.
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,421
    You touched on one thing that I don't see much mention of... If you want the success, you also need to invest in becoming a good songwriter!
    There are many courses out there that can compliment the KTVA training "speedsongwriting.com" being one of them.
    To neglect this aspect is kind of like training super hard to become a top-notch racecar driver, but neglecting to install the steering wheel once you've been strapped in to the cockpit.
    Sure you can do covers; but at some point, if you want to move beyond the Chrysalids stage, you'll want and need this skill.
  • viniciusoliveiraviniciusoliveira Enrolled Posts: 303
    edited June 2017
    There are famous musiciains from every country. Some are only known in their homeland.

    Looking towards being a good musican is very different from being famous,wealthy and immortalized.

    In the 70s,Prog Rock was the thing. In the 80s,near all bands had to get "eletronic" stuff in their music,otherwise they wouldn't survive that era.
    Gentle Giant ended because they wanted to stay Prog during the 80s,so...
    I got to say becoming and staying famous has something with to do with follow the trend of your time,otherwise you'll please a very small audience.
  • CherieCherie Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 122
    edited August 2017
    Your comments brought up some interesting points. I've been changing my thinking about the direction that I want to pursue musically. I live in the central part of California. Musically, it seems that what is most popular with band followers here is typical rock, pop and dance/cover band style music.

    I sing back up in a Fleetwood Mac Tribute band. Tribute bands also generate pretty big crowds. I haven't been singing very long (about 7 yrs ago I sang my first very weak note!) A year later, I got the job in the tribute band. I have been with them ever since. It has been a good beginning musical experience for me. I sing harmonies, a bunch of oohs and ahhhs but no lead songs. I'm somewhat known to the local band followers only because I am one of the 3 original band members or maybe just as the blonde back-up singer on the side! It has been interesting and a good learning experience. The band has been successful locally. Our musicians are really good but the band never has managed to break into the next tier. We have done relatively few out of town gigs.

    As a tribute band, we are basically impersonators of the world famous artists. I have thought that perhaps in this type of band, if the lead singer doesn't have a clone type resemblance to the original artist it might, unfortunately, be the deal breaker when trying to move forward into the bigger, more competitive markets no matter how good the singing and playing. There are lots of Fleetwood Mac Tribute Bands out there and I am sure every Fleetwood Mac Tribute is compared in every way to the original band members who are all still performing! Our band keeps going though. We play around here 3-4 times/year and have a big local following.

    My personal goal has been to improve enough to eventually become a lead singer in another band with more variety. I want to sing entire songs & be able to perform every week instead of just 3-4 times per year! As I have been learning from this experience and going along these past few years, the idea of becoming a Tribute impersonator who's job it is to look and sing like an original artist is appealing to me less and less. Ideally, I would like to find a way to grow artistically with my own identity rather than be known briefly as a singer who looks & sounds like an original famous person.

    Ken T. and his many KTVA student covers have been so interesting & idea provoking to me because he doesn't do covers in a way that only mimics the original! More often, he knows how to highlight the greatness of the original songs & at the same time enhance the unique vocal qualities KTVA student. I like his own covers so much and those of his top students as well as and even better than the original iconic song! To me, that is really incredible.

    Ultimately, singing original music or singing current music my own way would be a huge step forward for me. Growing my voice and improving technically would be a great step in that direction. In the meantime, any and all singing experiences are valuable and I am grateful for all of it. I appreciate and respect my musician friends who work very hard to make a living in this business. Whether it is a tribute or a cover dance band or solo acts it's all a competitive business for singers and musicians trying to excel. Pursuing unique creative artistry & getting the available local gigs and tips don't always ride in the same vehicle.
  • viniciusoliveiraviniciusoliveira Enrolled Posts: 303
    I kind of know how you feel. At the very beginning my voice was awful so I wanted it to sound exactly like that of my favorite singer. As my vocals got less amateurish (they're still pretty far from good) ,I begun "birthing" my own voice without realizing.

    My first though of sounding just like my favorite vocalist got less and less appealing. I realized I could sound like me instead of like him. I realized that my voice can become just as good as his. Achieving his level depends on how much I dedicate,just like he and all others who sing like a pro did.

    I agree it seems fairly harder to be an original musician in all aspects.

    If you're creating a Led Zeppelin tribute band,you'll look for drummers that play like John,guitarists that shred like Page & bassists that perform like Jones.
    All of them are expecting you to sing like Plant.

    There will be waaaay more people up to this than making a brand new band,on which each member plays and composes like himself (and they all agree with you singing like yourself)... It seems just tought,expecially if you don't have a very,very regular voice.

  • CherieCherie Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 122
    edited August 2017
    Raellic, I'm wondering if perhaps there was a misunderstanding. It seemed to me that you are supportive of this program. I read that you decided to invest in the program along with lessons for a potential artist you hope to develop. I think that is great and like all of us here believe KTVA techniques and training have lots of value. Anyway, I took encouragement from your post.
    When I first bought my CD/DVD pack I actually scheduled a lesson with Ken Tamplin. Looking back, I think I could have waited until I had spent a few months on Vol. 1. esp since I was only able to have the one lesson. I should have prepared more. I got a lot of new information! Ken had to spend most of the time on the beginning initial basics as I am sure he realized that was what he had to do. I don't regret the private lesson at all. I am so happy I discovered KTVA and it was an absolute pleasure meeting Ken Tamplin. He is very sincere & very professional.
    This Spring, I finally began working on KTVA volumes on a consistent basis. The techniques I am learning from the CD's and DVD's and what I remember from that one private lesson at my beginning are the best vocal instructions I have ever received anywhere. I am not about to give up on any of it. In fact, I want to be someone who, at some point, is a testament to the truth of this vocal method. I believe it is a great vocal program. My biggest weakness is that sometimes I get a little impatient. Ken Tamplin and his wonderful moderators have addressed that as well. They emphasize that it takes time and work.
    I appreciate the support and direction I get here. All the moderators and discussions are extremely valuable resources. At some point, I want more than anything to take advantage of personalized lessons. I think it will help me a lot but once I can do that I want to be as ready as I can to make the most of every single minute of the lesson.
  • KaiEllisKaiEllis Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 215
    @Cherie I'm with you. There's gotta be no substitute for one on one time with Ken. So while I save up for one of the packages that'll let me spend a series of sessions with Ken, whether that's through Skype or in person, I'm just hitting the program and practicing alllllll the time. When I make that investment, I want to have maxed out on the basics and NEED that elite level private instruction to move forward. I can just imagine what it's like for Ken when someone schedules a private lesson and he has to explain "so you're gonna wanna keep your throat open..." Lol
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