Hydrogen Peroxide

As a vocal coach, I am constantly battling vocal fatigue due to the daily stress I place on my voice. Typically, I am able to teach 30-40 hours a week without much issue. But recently, I started feeling excessive soreness in my throat with no apparent explanation as to why. I spent three weeks trying a long list of natural …

Immerse

I recently had the honor of serving as a judge at the Gospel Music Association’s annual “Immerse Conference.” Every year, the most talented up-and-coming gospel and CCM writers, singers, and artists converge on Nashville for this conference. My role was to offer critique for those who were competing and to help decide the competition’s winners. This was my second year …

Finding Your Sound

Artists are always trying to find their sound and trying to write the perfect song. And there’s no debate; great songs are necessary. But it’s a mistake to think that writing one will automatically make you a great artist. Great artists can make any song sound good, and can use any great song to create a truly magical experience. But …

Resistance

Resistance is a beast. It’s the death of creativity and even the desire to be creative. It’s detrimental to your relationships and your enjoyment of your favorite things. It is the path more traveled. It’s the fear that people won’t like you, respect you, approve of you, or admire you. It’s the killer of truly innovative and world-changing art. It’s …

Jeff’s Mostly All-Natural Get-Well Regimen

I hate getting sick. And yesterday I had to cancel half of my lessons because, while I may be feeling decent enough to go to work, my voice is suffering from congestion and whatever else this winter season is putting me through. Many of you are likely battling illness, as well. But what is the best way to deal with …

Can Society Exist Without Creativity?

I attended a wedding a few years back where I met a non-creative, recent-college graduate who was quite impressed with himself. He stated to our little group- consisting of my wife (a graphic designer), his girlfriend (an aspiring opera singer), and myself (a professional musician and vocal coach)- that of all the professions in the world, it is the creative …

The Voice of Marcus Mumford

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a taping of the TV show, “CMT Crossroads.” For those of you that don’t know, Crossroads is a TV series that brings together two artists- typically one country and one non-country- for a single concert. They play one set, consisting of a combination of each artist’s songs. Past episodes have included pairings such …

The Voice of Marcus Mumford

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a taping of the TV show, “CMT Crossroads.” For those of you that don’t know, Crossroads is a TV series that brings together two artists- typically one country and one non-country- for a single concert. They play one set, consisting of a combination of each artist’s songs. Past episodes have included pairings such …

The Million Dollar Racehorse

Imagine you just purchased a million-dollar racehorse. Your plan is to take him to the Kentucky Derby where he is expected to win it all. You build him an immaculate stable and rent the best track for him to train in, where there are no potholes or rocks- no chance of him injuring his hooves or his legs. You feed …

Talent Matters

I’ve heard it said that it no longer requires talent to be a successful artist in today’s music industry. I couldn’t disagree more. That judgment is made, I believe, based on an extremely small sample size of artists: those that carry the brand of “Top-40.” An individual may hear Britney Spears on the radio and think to themselves, “Why is …