Before starting an ARS study path, a preliminary audition is required so that I can better understand the issues in your voice and identify the resistances that block the free flow of your vocal emission. (NB.: In the ARS method we never speak of errors, but only of resistances to overcome). At the end of the audition, a personalized study plan will be agreed with you and the objectives and timing for the expected goals will be clearly indicated.
In this phase, all the fundamental theoretical aspects of the method will be explained, also by giving many practical and well memorable examples. For instance, the mechanisms used by your voice to assimilate will be explained to you. Very often, in fact, you know very well what is wrong with your singing, but you cannot get your voice to perform what you want. This happens because muscular intelligence is different from intellectual intelligence. It is therefore necessary to teach you the techniques that can help you communicate with your voice.
To do this, ARS uses an ironic and very effective image: it asks you to consider your voice as a deficient monkey (from the Latin deficere = to miss), a nice animal that has been given to you and that has its own nature, temperament and well-defined character, different from yours. The voice / monkey, having a muscular intelligence of its own, lacks (defìcit) some abilities of your intellect, such as the ability to discern between right and wrong. It has its own learning processes and limited attention span.
La “scimmia/voce” di ARS (dipinta da Mikaya Petros)ARS exploits two functions of the brain: the cognitive system and the instinctive system (see the studies of the Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman). The first is a slow system that requires concentration and consumes glucose, the second is a fast, energy-saving system that creates many approximations. Learning/assimilating will exploit the potential of both functions. For example, for a new skill to learn, the process will be: cognitive system → repetition → instinctive system.
This will change your relationship with your voice and the relationship between the teacher and the learner. In ARS there is no hierarchical teacher-student pyramid; the teacher is the one who knows skills, the learner is the one who is acquiring them.
With ARS you will learn to respect the nature of your voice and not to fear mistakes because making mistakes is the only way to progress! You will soon realize the effective synergistic way of working we have for the same cause: to train your voice/monkey!
In this phase, exactly as if we were building a house, we will start from the foundation: the diaphragmatic breathing. With just one lesson you will be able to understand it in a simple and clear way, thus clearing any doubts, false beliefs and wrong habits. You will then put the theory into practice with specific exercises, which have the characteristic of being self-assimilating: your diaphragm will work alone in elasticity and not in strength and, through repetition alone, your breath will be trained. In this way you will learn support. Parallel to breathing, and always under my supervision, you will be taught the correct posture which cannot be ignored in order to have a good vocal technique.
Once the foundations have been built, we will proceed with the construction of the accommodation of the voice. In this phase, the flow of singing will be created, which means resistances will be overcome and you will find answers to questions such as: “Where do I put the sound?”; “Why do I get the hight note just sometimes? “Why does my throat tightens; why do I struggle?”. Knowing and overcoming resistances will provide the answers. They can be of different nature: vocal (wrong sound projection, nasal voice, etc.); physical (stiff jaw, contracted tongue, incorrect posture, etc.); mental (wrong mental image of a certain passage); psychological (fear of making mistakes, not knowing how to let go, etc.).
Each resistance will be faced and overcome with examples and practical exercises: vocal exercises, visualizations and gesture-visualizations.
By overcoming the resistances, the flow will be obtained and it will connect the various vocal registers in a homogeneous way, from low to high notes, allowing an effortless and euphonic singing emission.
In this phase you will discover many things, such as that the high notes do not exist, simply because they are not causes, but the effect of something that occurs before the high note itself. In a natural way you will also find the right sound projection that will be enriched with harmonics, making your voice sound loud and round without the need to force it.
By the end of this phase, you will have completely changed your vision about vocality. You will have realized that voice and music are not vertical like steps on a ladder, but horizontal. The change of vision will include everything: legato, jumps, agility. This new vision is nothing more than the result of having finally learnt the language of your inner monkey/muscle /voice.
We will move from vocalizations to singing the first pieces. Whether you are a beginner or already in career and singing a vast repertoire, the process will be the same.
The resistances that I encounter in your arias , will be extrapolated and solved separately, through simple exercises created ad hoc. Once the solutions become instinctive you can simply reproduce the passages with great naturalness when performing the piece.
ARS considers singing a Total art form (singing and acting) and also the expression of the entirety of the Person who is singing, comprehending his/her feelings and emotions.
This is the phase where you will learn to interpret the songs both vocally and actorially.
You will reach a great confidence, until you find this dimension that I decided to call Sound Body: an entire body/person who is singing. The sense of identification with your own singing gives you the sensation of being sung by your own voice.
At this point of your training process, you will have reached the instinctive vocal flow, you will no longer think about the technique, and therefore your emotions and your artistic personality will be able to emerge. You are ready for the stage.
At the end of your study process there is always a live performance with public (in absence of health restrictions).
ARS will offer you various and simple solutions such as performances at opera circles and clubs. I will also help you to make useful videos for auditions and competitions.
By performing live you will experience not only the concept of Sound Body, but also another condition, common to actors and singers: the state of flow. It is a particular state that is created during the performative act, which I define as a dream-creative-reactive state. You will be reactive, for example, to the musical dialogue with the accompanist, but also immersed in the emotional reality of the song as in a vivid dream.
Thinking about the future, in this last phase, I will provide you with some valuable advice on starting your career or on how to manage it. I will help you with the choice of the repertoire, how to prepare your information materials, the choice of an hipotetical agent and competitions, how to prepare the concert programs and I will also give you some vocal hygiene tips so that you can keep your voice healthy over time.
In case of physio-pathological problems of the voice, I can put you in contact, if you wish, with a team of excellent professionals (speech therapists and osteopaths specialized in singers) who ARS relies on.
All phases except phases 7 and 8 can take place online.