Hello everyone!

My name is Sophia and I'm in the UK. It's very nice to be here. :)

I'm not sure if there are many people like me here, who haven't really thought about singing as a career or goal before. It was always something I liked the idea of being able to do, and I've always sung along to music, but I assumed it wasn't something I was born to be able to do properly, and so never thought more about it.

I started singing late in 2014 when I joined a weekly evening class for beginners, which ran for about three months. I wanted to do something that would be good for my mental health, as I had been living with quite bad anxiety and panic attacks for several years by then, and I needed something that would give me joy again. I remember the first time the group sang, and it immediately made me cry, although I hid it. I think maybe I had some issues to do with feeling like I didn't have permission to vocalise. That emotional response eased off over the next few weeks, and I felt much better for attending the classes.

I started looking on YouTube for singing videos during that class, and have been doing warmups and trying to learn since then. I was feeling very lost however, and it was clear I lacked understanding at a very basic level of how to use my voice. My speaking voice always felt very weak and my throat would hurt after a couple of minutes of talking, and I didn't even know if I was using chest voice at all. I suspected not.

I found the KTVA videos in January, and pretty much bought the course immediately after seeing some of Gabriela's demonstrations. I am so glad I did. I have been watching the videos repeatedly since then, and when I began to feel physically up to singing a few days ago (I still have trouble coping with panic attacks, but I am getting better), I started the workouts, and have been working through Volume 1 every day this week. The course makes sense to me, and I have complete trust in it. I feel happy.

I love rock music, and I'm looking forward to being able to sing all those amazing songs I've grown up with. :)

Alyona and all the other women -- you are wonderful and inspiring. Thank you!


  • TommyMTommyM Pro Posts: 270
    Hiya Sophia, welcome on board!

    It's great to get to hear a bit more about you and where you're coming from, so thank you for sharing. You've got at great attitude for this and I have no doubt at all, even purely based on that, that you'll see improvement and growth without issue. The fact you're doing this daily and are happy to talk about it is inspiring, so even by just sharing your story you're helping others.

    As someone with anxiety-related mental health issues too, thanks to singing I'm more confident performing in front of a crowd of strangers than I am standing amongst them in a social setting. It's weird, we can kinda compartmentalize our anxiety in some cases while it remains wild and untamed in others. I think a few of us on here have mental health problems too so it's great that we can share in this part of things, support each other and generally offer understanding when it comes to difficulties like these.

    In my opinion, you've found the golden ticket with KTVA. I've been singing for most of my life and never truly understood my voice or how to use it properly until finding Ken's stuff on YouTube. There are some good vocal coaches on YouTube, don't get me wrong, but none of them, in my experience, come up to scratch, especially on rock vocals.

    All the best and I look forward to hearing more!
  • Thank you so much. It means a lot, and I really appreciate your kind words. :)

    I am very sorry to hear that you have these issues to deal with too, but I'm also glad that you've found singing makes such a difference for you. Your confidence in it certainly comes across in the songs of yours I've heard so far. It's something I remember thinking when listening, that you were at a point where you seemed fearless. I'm really pleased for you! :)
  • themavthemav 2.0 PRO Posts: 6
    Singing is a great way to release nervous energy, regardless of where that nervous energy comes from (stress, depression, etc.) I'm really inspired and encouraged by the KTVA program. When I see Ken's positive attitude and hear him sing, I simply think, 'yeah, I want what he's got, so I'm going to do what he's telling me to do'.

    Just a quick word of encouragement from another new comer. I've been in music as an instrumentalist (and not so great vocalist) for many years. It's never too late and whatever brought you to singing doesn't make you fit in any less. Let's do this together and become great singers! :-) Cheers!
  • Thank you very much, @themav! :) I've been learning guitar and bass for a few years, and music has always been a source of happiness and excitement. I've definitely found what you said to be the case, that singing is a great way to release nervous energy. I think it's partly to do with breathing correctly, and how that makes everything in your body fall into a more natural position compared to the tense way it can be, and partly because expressing yourself is just such a joyful thing. :) I hope you have a wonderful time with the course!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 2,111
    edited April 2018

    You can make it a positive or a negative.
    It's all in how you choose to look at something. A lot of nervous situations can be turned around if you choose to decide that those feelings are excitement instead of nervousness. (A trick I learned in an acting class)

    Peace, Tony
  • TommyMTommyM Pro Posts: 270
    @videoace With all due respect, nervousness, excitement and anxiety are wildly different beasts and the sleight of mind you're talking about, while useful in a conventional setting for low-impact emotional states, doesn't work for the levels of anxiety that Sophia's talking about. What you're describing is a massive oversimplification of something found in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) called "state shifts"; even then the application of the technique varies massively depending on the various sensory modalities favoured by the individual. On the acting angle, I believe that Stanislavski was a great advocate of controlling internal states so as to find the motivation of the character, so translating that to a psychological approach would basically be "Fake it till you make it".

    This, with regards to deeply rooted mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, is unhelpful. I completely get what you're saying and I agree that it's useful in the correct context, but I wanted to comment and clarify on this in the context of Sophia's condition. If you're trying to work on self-confidence, minor anxieties and nervousness in social situations, etc, then sure it'll be beneficial if done properly; faking it till it become natural is a big part of many self-improvement systems but it requires absolute sincerity, otherwise we can easily programme delusion.

    Obviously this is a massively complex topic with multiple levels and variables involved. As someone with more than my fair share of mental health issues, I've spent 20+ years exploring, studying and experimenting with techniques from everyone from Carl Jung to Robert Anton Wilson. I studied NLP for about 10 years and found it to be nothing more than another self-help system couched in faux-science and badly researched psychological textbooks. Don't get me wrong, there are lots of useful parts to it, but it's also full of fakes and quacks who're trying to make a quick buck from others misery, so my position on it has changed drastically over the years.

    Apologies, this went on longer than anticipated but it's a subject I'm fiercely passionate about and there's already too many quick-fixes being offered elsewhere without seeing it on here too. Think about it in the context of KTVA: Would you tell someone who's struggling with the passagio to just change to head voice, just like you're suggesting someone just change their emotional state? Like singing, doing that sort of emotional switcheroo takes a LOT of work and practice, and repeated failures as you try to effectively reprogramme your entirely mindbody complex. Furthermore, state shifts necessitate a change in ones nervous system, which typically results in a depressive phase as the organism resets and changes the chemical output in response to the stimuli.

    I'll shut up now...I'm rambling again...hahaha!
  • @videoace Thank you. I do appreciate that your reaction to my post was essentially, 'I am going to try to help'. :)
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 2,111
    I try to stay on the positive side, and always pass it along. My intentions were not to diminish anybody's anxiety, or stress. It was purely positive motivation.

    Sorry if I offended anybody.

    Peace, Tony
  • TommyMTommyM Pro Posts: 270
    Apologies, Tony, I didn't mean for my reply to come off as anything more than an attempt to clarify based on my own experience. Like I said, I agree with your suggestion and it's something that can work, however it's that distinction between what we could maybe call surface level anxiety and deep rooted anxiety that I wanted to be clear on.

    Positive motivation is massively important, as is the totally cliched "positive mental attitude" stuff when it's done properly, so please don't construe my replies as being overly defensive or offended. I promise you, it's not the case; it's just a subject that's close to my heart as it could've ruined my life, so I tend to get quite passionate about it. It isn't helped by the fact that I write like some grumpy, dessicated scholar from the 1920's though...hahaha!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 2,111
    It's all good Tommy. Sometimes my fingers type without thinking, or my way of putting things can make me sound arrogant, or cocky, but I assure you that's not the case. In my younger days I also suffered from panic attacks to where I had to make visits to the ER almost weekly. It was horrible. Luckily I don't experience that anymore.

    I actually try to stay away from posts where medical conditions are present because I'm definitely not qualified to give advise. I just need to think more before I hit that post button.

  • TommyMTommyM Pro Posts: 270
    I think you and I share similar tendencies when it comes to our replies, mate. Hahaha! We just say what we say and then deal with it afterwards. As long as you know that I have huge respect for you artistically and personally, and that I think you're a good guy and a great contributor on here, than I'm happy with that.

    It's hard to convey things at times via written word, as you know, but I'm glad we can talk civilly and respectfully about topics like this.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 2,111
    We're all in the same boat trying to accomplish the same things, and opinions will differ. Learning from the differences is key. I may think I know a lot, but so do other people, probably more than me especially when it comes to singing ha ha.

Sign In or Register to comment.