No one INVENTED belting. No one “owns” belting. There are many ways to belt, just like there are many ways to sing classical literature. It is not one thing. It does have some consistencies across many styles and many voices.
Let’s establish up front what is known and largely agreed upon by our voice scientists regarding belting.
1) high subglottic pressure
2) low transglottal airflow
3) elevated larynx
4) long closed quotient
5) spread vowels
This translates to:
1) A lot of air in the lungs when you begin to make sound — it’s loud.
2) Not much air going out when you are singing in a belt sound.
3) The larynx rises as you rise if you do not shift gears to a lighter production. Training can counter this.
4) The vocal folds remain closed for longer in each cycle of vibration. This is measured by Electro-Glottogram or
EGG. (see slide) This is microscopic movement or milliseconds of vibratory movement.
5) Vowels are in a smile with the jaw down and mouth wide open.
How one gets this to happen is the problem. Teachers of singing have developed all sorts of approaches and methods to get the throat to respond with what we could call a belt sound. Some people are natural belters as children — they do not need to strain to make this sound, it comes to them naturally. Those people may still benefit from training in order to complement what they do on their own. It is never necessary or even recommended to maneuver the larynx deliberately or to do anything specific with the vocal folds. The throat needs to learn to make the sounds needed in any vocal quality spontaneously if the emotional expression in the music is to be conveyed freely and authentically. Because belting involves more activity in the system it is more likely to cause vocal fold health issues but it is not automatically harmful. Choices regarding belting depend on a singer’s individual instrument (are you a flute, a clarinet or a tuba?), on repertoire (are you doing a rock song, a gospel piece or a country tune in a theatrical production, a concert, or a large arena?) and on habit (have you been belting since you were a child or have you just learned recently?) Can you sing other kinds of sounds (belt when you want to and not when you don’t want to) in a variety of musical styles?
Limits and boundaries are necessary. All human beings are capable of making all sounds that human beings make but we self-select at an early age based on what we hear, how we use our voices in speech and song, what we sing, whether or not we are trained, and what we choose to sing. A big power belter is not going to also have success singing Bel Canto opera long-term in a career. It would have happened by now if it were possible. Opera singers sound odd in rock music and rock singers don’t sing opera very effectively. That’s not an accident. Regardless of the philosophy of singing one uses or accepts, terminology made up by individual singing teachers is useful only to those who are students of those teachers. Universal terminology, based as much as possible on traditional understanding of vocal pedagogy from 200 years past, on current voice science (which is always changing) and on music marketplace words is optimal. Consensus on these words makes everything easier. It is possible for us to talk to each other uniformly and to the related voice disciplines (voice research, voice medicine, and speech language pathology) intelligently. Dissent will always exist. Respectful, compassionate discourse is necessary as are various points of view. Any point of view can be valid as long as it is not conveyed as the “best”, “only”, “most important”, “most correct,” and as long as it makes sense in terms of what we know about how the vocal folds, the vocal tract and the body operate. Your voice cannot really be disconnected from your body except perhaps in discussion. All parts work together and awareness of that coordination is useful to all singers.
- There are many kinds of belting. It can be described as loud, bright, brassy, powerful, projecting, intense, wide-open, deep, full, and impressive.
- Not usually thought of as being “beautiful”, soothing, calming, tranquil, peaceful, laid- back, easy, gentle or sweet.
- Belting that is sung, not shouted, is musical, often has vibrato, is pitch accurate and can be controlled.• A good belter can get softer although sometimes a soft sound will be slightly breathy.
- Rock belting adds the ingredients of noise into the sound and might be more risky to vocal fold behavior. This is personal and depends on many factors.
- Belting should be connected to emotional expression but this is not always the case.
- People who produce belting by deliberate squeezing or manipulating the throat or the vocal folds may not be able to also sing freely without re-training.
- Holding a loud belted note for a long time is relatively easy, as the sound does not allow for high air flow (breath) to move cross the vocal folds. Belting produces a long “closed quotient.”
- Belting does best when the lungs are full of air (high sub-glottic pressure).
- The type of voice and body the singer has makes a difference in how loud, how high and how comfortable the belting is. The instrument itself matters.
- Natural belters (who can start out as children) can take their belting up quite high without undue stress if they learn to do so gradually (over years)
- No one person, method, approach, or philosophy is the explanation of “belting”. It is as diversified as any other sound singers make and can be found in many cultures, languages, musical styles, time periods and expressions.
What is Somatic VoiceworkTM The LoVetri Method?
Somatic VoiceworkTM The LoVetri Method is an organized method of vocal training for Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) styles, (those styles that used to be called “non-classical) based upon somatic (physical) awareness and aural discernment. The training is presented in three Levels that must be done in sequence.
Level I is called “Basic Application” and includes the following: Introduction to functional principles of voice science and medicine. There will be a vocal health lecture by a nationally recognized Speech Language Pathologist specializing in care of the professional voice. The main objective of that lecture is to instruct teachers how to keep the voice healthy for speech and singing. Level I also addresses terminology, and its appropriate use; and the attitude, intention and appropriateness of the interaction between student and teacher. Level I states that the teacher must have a clear intention for the vocal exercise when it is given. The teacher must know (a) either what is missing and needs to be added or (b) what is wrong and needs to be corrected, such that the student’s singing will somehow improve. It rests on vocal function, vocal health and on traditional pedagogy, but it is also meant to help singers be marketable.
Level II is called “Advanced Application.” The main objective of Level II is understanding how to use vocal exercises functionally, and is largely devoted to exploring how singing exercises work….what they do and why. It further examines aural perception as applied to singers of various ability levels and style choices, and how training must integrate small details in each session into the larger goals of the vocalist over time. It enhances the teacher’s ability to evaluate the students in terms of vocal behavior and aptitude. In Level II, the teacher acquires greater skill in choosing exercises that are appropriate and adjusting them to meet the students’ needs efficiently. There is also greater exploration of the many CCM styles and the related vocal issues that impact them, separately from health. This level gives parameters for age-related groups of singers, and addresses lesson protocol and progress. There will be a presentation by a bodywork specialist, with different disciplines each year. We have featured medical massage, Pilates, Chiropractic and Movement therapy. In 2020 we will have BodyMapping® presented by Dr. Jan Prokop.
Level III addresses “Repertoire, Problem Solving and Voice Medicine.” It features a noted music theater expert from New York City, typically a Broadway Music Director/Conductor, who will conduct a master class in audition skills with chosen participants. This level also may include lectures by experts on jazz or gospel, rock or blues or folk music. This Level includes a 3-hour medical lecture by a nationally recognized laryngologist or Speech Pathologist specializing in the professional voice. Each year we have a new expert.
Level III also touches upon specific performance skills for any style, and provides an excellent and quick approach to teach pitch matching for those with that issue. It promotes interdisciplinary interchange, i.e., the need for fellowship with Speech Language Pathologists and Medical Doctors. It also supports the idea that teachers should acquire the ability to read, understand and possibly even undertake voice science research which would be of interest to those in all voice disciplines. It goes into all aspects of Level II in greater depth. There are optional evening courses as well. Several people have tried to imitate the course and materials, but this is the original CCM training. The course Levels are available for CEU credit in the United States.
We offer special extended sessions for graduates of Level II and III which this year include “Soul Ingredients®” a certification course in the method of Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin addressing gospel and R&B. This course runs concurrently with the Levels and fills quickly. Early registration is recommended. This year there is a reduced course fee for new participants and a steep discount for reviewers. No hotel, no plane tickets, no meals, no car rental. Stay home and join us from the comfort of your favorite chair. The full three-tier program is informative, friendly and fun. There is a warm atmosphere and an openhearted approach to developing vocal artistry. In close cooperation with Baldwin Wallace University’s Conservatory, in the Community Arts School the entire program will be given on Zoom. Registration is open now. To date, over 3,700 people from all voice disciplines have attended at least one Level of Somatic VoiceworkTM and people from 43 states and 15 foreign countries have attended the courses in various locations throughout the USA, in Vancouver, Canada, in Toowoomba, Australia and in Rio and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Please go to: www.somaticvoicework.com or www.bw.edu/lovetri or call +1-440-826-2365 for more information.
What Is Underneath and Behind Somatic VoiceworkTM, The LoVetri Method?
Somatic VoiceworkTM seeks to bring the voice, the person, the emotions and the mind together. It seeks to illuminate the path of vocal artistry by conveying objective information about vocal production based on what is currently known and understood in medicine and science. It supports inter-disciplinary exchange. It is an open system. All premises are subject to improvement and personal adaptation. It honors and respects the styles of music called Contemporary Commercial (CCM) and believes that all styles of music have value and worth. Somatic VoiceworkTM rests on respect for the body and allows it to take its time adapting to various stimuli while new responses emerge. It works with compassion, allowing artists to face difficulties, overcome issues and recover abilities even in the face of a diagnosis of pathology or damage. It treats every singer, young or old, famous or unknown, talented or talent-not-yet-tapped, the same. It allows teachers to say, with perfect integrity, “I don’t know. Let me ask.” It recognizes posture and breathing, physical coordination and kinesthetic conditioning, aural acuity and visual feedback and asks only that singers address all aspects of singing function through reasonable, consistent and sustained training and practice. Somatic VoiceworkTM teaches “whole people” not larynges or throats or vocal folds, not time slots (the Tuesday noon tenor, “what’s his name” or the “A5 soprano with the wobbly middle voice, Something-or-other Smith”). It incorporates physical, emotional and personal stressors as being factors in living an artistic life and does not diminish singers for having to address these things while training and/or performing. It recognizes that we are not mental health professionals but we are all human beings and that life can sometimes be messy but it is always worthwhile. It teaches careful use of language and its impact on students and taking full responsibility for the learning process as the flawed but passionate people we all are.
Somatic VoiceworkTM is for those who want to dig deep. It is for those who are not looking for the “10 quickest tips so you can be on American Idol” or the “12 best ways to get really great high notes by next week”. It is not concerned with helping people get tenure, being smarter than people who want to squeeze the throat, position the larynx, vibrate the vocal folds on purpose or with proving that all voices should sing the same way in every circumstance. Somatic VoiceworkTM is simple and complicated. It is easy to understand but takes a long time to master. It is available to anyone who wants to investigate it but can only be completely assimilated by those who use the concepts on their own voices over time in many ways. It is up to each individual how much or little the concepts in Somatic VoiceworkTM matter in their own lives but, as teachers, in order to be both ethical and appropriate, it is imperative that teachers know about all voices, and all musical styles, not just their own or the ones they sing.
Somatic VoiceworkTM is a method of vocal pedagogy that grew out of the life of Jeannette Louise LoVetri, known as Jeanie to her friends and colleagues. It is the result of decades of singing; training for singing; study, scientific and personal investigation, experimentation of myriad disciplines and philosophies; and thousands of hours spent teaching singing voice lessons for 49 years. She shares the work with an open heart hoping that it will be valuable to others and perhaps help them avoid difficulty, struggle, sadness, frustration and self-doubt, all of which she had to endure to learn what is in the course. It is not presented as “the way” or “the best way” just one way. She invites you to make it your way, if that would be of use to you.
A Somatic VoiceworkTM LoVetri Method Online Course
Belting: Techniques, Problem Solving,
Exercises, and Repertoire
June, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2002
6:00 — 8:00 pm EDST (NY Time)
Week I June 8: Efficient Belting
How do you start with a beginner who wants to belt but hasn’t? What’s a good way to launch the process with kids and teens or with adults? This session will demonstrate actual lessons with two students online. Q&A at the end.
Week II June 15: Addressing Functional Issues
What happens when a singer arrives with incorrect habits that are interfering with belt vocal function or vocal health? How do you develop new vocal responses using exercises that re-balance function? Volunteer singers will be seen online.
Week III June 22: Working With Repertoire
Each style of music calling for a belt quality has different parameters and each vocalist has to balance personal comfort with stylistic demands. How is that accomplished? Volunteers will work with belt songs during the session online.
Week IV June 30: Crossover — Safely Changing Musical Gears
If you want to keep what you have but add belting, or if you are already a belter but would like to learn to sing in other sound qualities and repertoire, how do you do that? What exercises will get you there and back again? Online volunteers will be taken from the participants.
Dates: Monday June 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Cost: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, discounted rates are being offered:
For Somatic VoiceworkTM Graduates of at least Level I: $150
For those yet to complete any Somatic VoiceworkTM Certification: $200
In addition: Please note that participants for The History, Origins, & Applications of the Belt Voice receive a $30 USD discount off the course by entering the discount code: belt30
All courses are recorded and archived so participants can complete the course at their own leisure; participants are not required to complete the course in real time. Recordings will not be posted publicly and are used solely for the educational purposes of people involved in the online classes. Videos are posted within 48 hours of each week’s class wrapping.
Important note, the email associated with your PayPal account is the one you will receive all correspondence for the course. Be sure to check that email address for course details. If you have registered and are experiencing difficulties accessing course information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Refund Policy: Please note, due to the nature of this work, we cannot provide Refunds under any circumstances. All payments under this Agreement will be irrevocable, non-refundable, and non-creditable.
To register, copy-paste the link below in your web browser:
BONUS FREE SESSION: Applying Somatic VoiceworkTM The LoVetri Method
Sunday, May 17, 4:00 – 6:00 EDST (NY Time)
This session will be an opportunity to see Somatic VoiceworkTM in action. Jeanie will work with teachers while they teach their own students, guiding them with suggestions as they proceed. Topics covered will include working with kids/teens and addressing specific areas of interest the teachers select. Somatic VoiceworkTM was the first course in Contemporary Commercial Music but it encompasses classical training and has become one of the world’s leading current vocal pedagogy methods. Over the last 18 years teachers have reported that their studios have grown after attending the course Levels. All participants are encouraged to submit questions or ideas throughout the course.
Jeanie LoVetri is Artist-In-Residence at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory in the Community Arts School. She is recognized as a world leader in voice for contemporary styles and as a pioneer in the field. She is on the Advisory Board of the Voice Foundation, is a member of The American Academy of Teachers of Singing, and has received the Van Lawrence Award From NATS and The Voice Foundation. From NYSTA she was recipient of a Lifetime Award for contributions to the field, and received a citation from Estudos de Voz in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from Dr .Mara Behlau, SLP. She has been twice a Master Teacher for NATS in their Internship Program. She has taught throughout the USA and Canada, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Germany, England, Sweden, The Netherlands, Spain, and Denmark. Her students have been leads on Broadway since 1980, and have appeared at major venues throughout the world. Those not in the NY time zone will be able to watch after the fact by email email@example.com with the subject line, “Applying Somatic Voicework” To register, copy-paste the link below in a web browser: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMvdOCqrzgpHtVFH7CUCpTRL0Gd0R3kEZbs