Announcement: VOXUS, A Team Building Experience

Ever since we’ve been Circle Singing, we’ve been consistently reminded of the way in which singing and specifically improvised singing can positively impact people’s lives. That’s why we are so excited to now offer VOXUS, an improvised team building experience around singing. The VOXUS experience is available to any group who wants to find a way to better connect to themselves and each other. We are so excited and confident in this new offering and can’t wait for participants to take away what we know it can offer. Check out voxusexperience.com to learn more!

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Listen: Davin sings Make You Feel My Love

  • Listen: Missy Wise sings Moments in the Woods

  • Announcement: Chicago Circle Singing at Davin Youngs Voice

  •  

    I’d love to share with you a brief story that will lead to an announcement about a new offering at Davin Youngs Voice.

    In 2014, I began a singing and teaching journey. It was an unexpected journey of discovery, that got kicked off by the incomparable Jeanie LoVetri. For the last couple of years, I’ve been working with Jeanie and Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method to uncover my authentic voice. As a result I have become better equipped to help the singers I work with to do the same. I’ve put in a LOT of work and much of it has been not only physically, but emotionally challenging. That being said, it has paid off. I feel I am singing better than I ever have and I am routinely pleased with the sound I make. This is different than in the past. Further, I’m more proud than ever of the teaching and coaching I am able offer. I routinely hear voices and changed and I feel well equipped to help them do that. 

    I’m not saying any of this to brag, but in hopes that you’ll see this as an important part of my journey, which has taken another exciting and unexpected path. A path I hope you might join me on.

    After a good chunk of time singing mostly in private and studying to help find improvement in my instrument, I decided it was time to really explore in a more public way. I heard over a year ago of CIRCLESONGS, a workshop led by Bobby McFerrin around improvised singing and I knew immediately I needed to go. What better way to explore this voice I had worked so hard to change than to put myself in a setting where there were no mistakes. I have spent many years improvising with bands or instruments, but the thought of improvising with just voices was both terrifying and exhilarating.

    In August, I made my way to the Omega Institute to participate and the experience was pretty much exactly what I’d hoped it to be. For the first couple of days whenever the entire group would gather (180+ singers) to improvise in a circle, I’d find myself in tears… often not able to sing. How beautiful the human voice is! What a privilege to participate in singing together. Once the feelings of overwhelming emotion became a bit less, I was able to spend a full week just singing. Singing in a safe space that faciliated play and exploration as well as growth in the human experience. I made great friends from all over the world and found myself feeling especially full, in a soul sort of way. See, I was reminded once again that when we share our voice, we share ourselves. It’s an undeniably wonderful feeling and one I am quite addicted to.

    In light of that addiction, I came back to Chicago with the bug. For years clients have asked for gatherings around singing, but I’ve never known quite what we would sing together as a group. Folk songs? Hymns? What would everyone be down with. But, now I know! We’ll make our own songs, in the form of a circle. This happens all over the world. Why not in Chicago? So, I got 13 singers together to test the experience out. We were led by the stupendous Alison Wedding who happens to have spent years doing this kind of thing and actually teaches it at Berklee. I asked the singers if it would be ok to record the experience so that we could show others what it was like. It’s a hard thing to capture, spontaneous singing, but ultimately the experience was so wonderful and magical, how could we miss it!

    The video above is exactly that. A brief glimpse into Circle Singing and something that I hope will become a monthly gathering space for ALL singers who want to share their voice. Look, the singers in the video… they’re pretty great. But, the beauty of this singing is that you don’t have to be. All you have to do is be willing to use your voice and I guarantee you’ll find value in the experience. Further, if you’re like me and you’ve been working on your voice… why not take the chance to explore! These gatherings will be just that. No mistakes. Only opportunities to use your voice. Your BEAUTIFUL voice!

    I hope you’ll watch the video and feel welcome. You can learn more about what we’re doing and sign up HERE. You also don’t have to sign up. You can show up. Last minute. That is welcome too. The point is, I’m looking forward to hanging and singing with you.

    Davin

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    Announcement: Meet our new studio assistant, Taylor Snooks

     

    We’d like you to meet our new Studio Assistant, Taylor Snooks! Taylor is a gifted musical theatre singer and has been a very committed client at Davin Youngs Voice. We are so excited to expand her relationship with our business. She’ll be helping us with all the nitty gritty stuff, and quite frankly, keeping us on top of the really important stuff. We thought it would be fun for you to get to know her a bit better, so here is a quick interview…

    Davin: “Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? Where’d you go to school. That kind of stuff.”

    Taylor: “Hi Everyone! My name is Taylor Snooks and I currently live in Alsip, Illinois which borders the city on the south side! I went to Marist High School in the city and then went on to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. I considered just about every major under the sun until finally landing on Political Science, with minors in Psych and Spanish. I don’t really know where that degree with the nice price tag fits into my life yet, but I guess I’ll find that out one day. After graduating from WMU last year, I moved back home and have been working as a Nanny, and now studio assistant as well! smile emoticon

    Davin: “So, you’ve been taking singing lessons at Davin Youngs Voice. Tell us about you and singing?”

    Taylor: “For starters, music has always been a huge part of my life. I spend almost every waking moment listening to it. I have always loved singing, and participated in school and church choir when I was younger. Then, sports became the focus in my life. My family was very sports-oriented growing up, so singing took a back seat. I was good at sports, but I wasn’t in love with them like I was singing. The second I had a moment to myself, or was home alone I would belt out whatever tune was in my head. And that tune was almost always of the Broadway genre (probably whatever Sutton Foster was doing at the time).

    After high school I was done with sports but I continued on as a closet singer, fan-girling over the latest Broadway cast album. I realized that when I sang, my throat would hurt to an unusual degree. I sought out a voice teacher in Michigan who I worked with for about a year on and off. It was great and I found myself making progress, but I had to move back home. Then after a bit of research… I found @Davin Youngs Voice! Working with you and Missy has really changed me as a singer. I figured out that the way I had been singing was not doing my throat any favors. Before coming here, I had no idea the many technical aspects to singing. Realizing this made my lessons a difficult process but a fantastic one. I’m unlocking parts of my voice I never knew existed! It’s the greatest feeling in the world, finding my sound, truly. So for now, I’m continuing to work on the never ending journey that is my voice and continuing to love it.”

    Davin: “What are your aspirations as a singer?”

    Taylor: “I am a hardcore Broadway fan-girl so musical theater is somewhere I would love to be. That kind of music just elicits a very strong emotional response with me, especially Broadway singers like Kelli O’Hara! I almost always cry when I hear her sing! It’s just so amazing to be able to hear a story through a song and connect with it, and my dream is to be able to give that gift to someone through my own voice.”

    Davin: “What about working for Davin Youngs Voice? Can you tell us why you might want a job like this and what you think you bring to the table?”

    Taylor: “Besides the fact that I get to work for the most talented singers (seriously guys it’s not fair), I wanted this job because I love being around music and like-minded people. Everything about it is great, from the location, the Fine Arts Building, the two studios, etc.

    I also love what you do here and I’ve had such an amazing and beneficial experience, I plan to help out as much as I possibly can so you can continue to give those experiences to a lot of other people!”

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    Practicing Singing: Trusting the process and the art of sticking to it

     

    As someone who teaches singing, you’ll often hear me touting the benefits of patience and trusting the process. “There are no quick fixes in singing.” I’ll say. Or, “I know this is frustrating now, but it will pay off in the long run.” “I can’t give you a specific timeline on this.” All of which, I know to be true through honest to goodness experience. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.

    That doesn’t make it easy. Not for you and especially not for me. Despite my ease in preaching on the subject matter, I find patience with the process very difficult. I want a quick fix, too. I’d like to be able to clearly give instruction, have understanding, and voila. Lalala!

    But, it’s not quite like that and when you preach patience to singers, you couldn’t be saying anything more annoying.  “Shouldn’t this be natural?”, they’ll say. “I’ve already been doing this for a year!” or “Umm, my audition is tomorrow.”

    I know, I know, don’t forget, I’m a singer, too. But, my timing and your timing are not the same timing as that of your voice. Friends, understanding this may just be the key to finding your quickest route to sustainable success.

    Am I saying I know some sort of formula? No, not really but I have observed that those who have success the most quickly are simply not afraid of the process and willing to stick it out. It’s an art, really… and one I’m not always skilled in. Why? Because sticking out the process can be long, complicated, and vulnerable.

    Yea, some people move more quickly than others at certain things, but ask anyone who is good at something you admire about the process of getting there. You’ll find stories of struggle and the wisdom that comes with time.

    What about natural ability? Sure, that factors in to the process, but I can tell you I’ve come across many naturally gifted singers who struggle to learn.  Additionally, I’ve worked with many very beginning, uncoordinated singers who end up making quick and amazing process. There is more at play than what comes naturally.

    Recently I had a week full of breakthrough teaching moments. Maybe it was something with the moon or just the mysterious way things can all of the sudden fall into place, but three different singers who have studied with me for quite some time had surprise moments of success. Two of these singers have worked with me for over two years and have had real moments of doubt along the way, and if you want the truth, I have too. I’ve never doubted their abilities, but I’ve certainly doubted my role in the process. “Maybe I’m on the wrong path?” I’d silently think. “Maybe I’m not the right fit as a teacher?” or “There has to be something I’m missing?” All of these questions have plagued me, and I have felt inadequate along the way. But, despite those feelings of doubt, I’ve made a practice of staying positive, highlighting small victories and being honest about what seemed to not work at the time.

    As for the singers? Well, they’ve stuck to it; coming to sessions routinely, trusting what I say and celebrating incremental improvements. They’ve had doubt, too, but they’ve accepted it as a component of growth, whether they felt like it or not. It’s been hard, but then all of the sudden… something happens! The mind clicks. The body shows up. The works pays off and sounds come out that are new and unexpected and exhilarating.

    It’s admirable and valuable!

    Friends, this is formula AND process. As we work to find more coordination in your body to create a more beautiful sound and improve your singing voice, we must all trust that if we are truly open to change, along the way we’ll feel frustration and doubt. But, if we do what we know how to do, stick it out (and this is the hard part) for an undetermined amount of time, we will find change in the right time! We will find ourselves better than where we began. Isn’t that what we all want?

    Sure, we can get your ready for your audition tomorrow and we might even get your body to really show up in your very first session, but if you want something significant and long-lasting, are you ready to stick to it?

    I am, because despite my doubts, I’ve seen it play out and I know it’s worth it.

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    Announcement: Intro to singing through improvisation with Alison Wedding

     

    July 15, 2015


    Two workshops in August? Yep! And they are both new and exciting. You know, when you get new talent around you get inspired by new ideas and that is exactly what is happening having Alison in our midst. See, Alison is terrific improvisor and actually teaches a class on it at Berklee where she is on faculty. In addition, she has learned from one of the best in the biz, actually taking over the class from Rhiannon.  Which got me thinking… what if we used improvisation as a tool to explore the singing voice from a technique perspective. The cool thing about improvisation is that lack of inhibition required to participate in it and if singers were able to use that while learning about vocal function, or how their voice works, what might come about? Well friends, we’re going to find out and I couldn’t be more excited. Seriously, you won’t find this unique experience anywhere else.

    So, regardless of whether you are an absolute beginning singer or someone with a lot of experience using your voice, I guarentee you’ll take away a fun singing experience with useful info on how to use your voice with more freedom and beauty. Not sure? Give it a try and find out! 

     

    CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
    Limit 15 participants

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    Announcement: Musical Theatre Audition Workshop with Missy Wise

     

    July 8, 2015

     

    Hey Musical Theatre peeps,it’s the middle of the summer and although we want you to travel, enjoy and relax, we also want you to be ready for the upcoming audition season! Hot off her stint as musical director for Jesus Christ Superstar at Stage Center, our resident musical theatre expert, Missy Wise will be offering this fun and useful workshop to prep you for the audition process. Whether you’re experienced in the game and looking to brush off the cob webs, or totally new to it all, this workshop will give you the opportunity to get up and do your thing! Not only that, but you’ll get feedback and tips to improve on important elements like, talking to your accompanist, walking in the room, finding the perfect cut, etc. The workshop will be limited to 9 participants and feature helpful and supportive individual attention.

    This is a not-to-miss opportunity and we hope you’ll join us!

    CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

     

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    Announcement: Meet our new voice associate, Alison Wedding


  • June 24, 2015


    With new space comes new opportunity! That’s why I couldn’t be more surprised and excited to have someone like Alison Wedding show up in my life. Alison and I have a mutual acquaintance through Somatic Voicework™, The LoVetri Method who thought we should meet up since she was going to be relocating from NYC. I had a feeling before we met that we were going to jive and wouldn’t you know I was right. An amazing singer, singer-songwriter and teacher, Alison and I immediately connected through our passion for singing, teaching and sharing that with others in a way that feels humble and authentic. 

    Here’s the thing: there are many great singing teachers out in the world, but I am really interested in working with people who are not only great teachers but great people! I want to work with people that are fun to hang with and who can connect with our clients with humility. Not only that, they have to be great singers! I want to work with people who practice what they preach. 

    Alison checks all of these boxes and that’s why I’m so excited to now be able to make her teaching available to you alongside me and Missy

    You can hear one of Alison’s original tunes in the video above and you can also head to her about page to learn more about her and find more links. 

    We’ve also got her sessions times already posted to CLICK HERE to head to our calendar. From there, click the “Choose Your Teacher” button on the left. Then schedule a session!



     

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    Announcement: Open MIC | House - June 22, 5:30 - 8:30pm

     


    June 2015


    ​Hi! It’s been a while. Sorry about that, but hopefully when you read this post you’ll understand what we’ve been up to.

    In short, we’ve been working on getting our second studio space ready. We kind of outgrew studio 540, but rather than getting rid of it, we decided to add a second space (Studio 632) in the Fine Arts Building at 410 South Michigan Avenue. This studio will first and foremost accomodate spill over teaching traffic, but to also create space for more workshops, events, performances etc. We couldn’t be more thrilled with how things turned out. At 840 square feet (formerly a dance studio) our new space is tucked away quietly on the 6th floor with seating for 50! We’ve done our best to outfit it with all the things friends and family of Davin Youngs Voice might need to use it for rehearsals, performances, auditions etc. You can learn more about the specs HERE.

    In the meantime, we hope you’ll come hang out with us on Monday evening, June 22 between 5:30 and 8:30pmThis will be an Open house but also an OPEN MIC! We’ll have food and drink, but also a piano player and a whole bunch of songs. Everyone is welcome, so please plan to come by and check out the new space.

    Here are some more pics to get a feel for what it is like…
     







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