In a search for new ideas, fresh material, and to deepen their commitment to their respective music, Marnie and Oliver, two artists based in Hamburg, Germany, decided to take a little motivational road trip.
They thought that Music City – Nashville would be the perfect place for sharpening their musical skills and exploring new ideas as artists.
“Without having any contacts here in the United States
, we booked a flight and an apartment, packed our bags, and came here for three months,” Oliver said.
First Contact With Brett
On their very first day in Nashville they ended up walking through an area of the city known as Music Row, without actually knowing that Music Row existed.
“Marnie recognized the sign in front of the Brett Manning Studio, and because she was in search for a singing coach anyway, we decided to take the chance and walked in there, and that’s where it all began for us,” he said.
“We decided to buy the whole CD/DVD collection of Singing Success and Mastering Mix; and we later also added the Top 7 Vocal Exercises programs,” he said. “Both of us are mainly taught by Shelby Rollins, probably the best vocal coach alive. Marnie also had lessons with Brett Manning and Leigh Nash.”
Oliver has also been taking weekly lessons with Paul Allen, resident guitar instructor at Brett Manning Studios.
The duo has already noticed a powerful, positive impact that Brett’s teaching methods has on their singing.
“Marnie has already attained a whole vocal education in Germany and has worked with a lot of different vocal teachers,” Oliver said. “Unfortunately it’s not easy to find the right coach for you; and therefore, it has always been hard for her to develop trust in a certain technique. Here at Brett Manning Studios this has been different from the beginning on.”
Super Coach Shelby
They have been especially impressed by their sessions with Shelby Rollins, noting that she recognizes specific details of the voice and technique that need attention, and then instantly has the appropriate exercises to work on that will generate positive results.
“Shelby understands perfectly not to give you just any kind of exercise you’re supposed to copy as exact as possible; but – and this might be the most important thing – she explains to you precisely how an exercise should feel like and what it is aimed at,” he said. “This is so important because this is the only way you could know what details to pay attention to when practicing at home. I also had a couple of vocal teachers in Germany, but I never figured out how to solve certain problems I had. As early as one month after my first lesson with Shelby, I had the feeling of having much more control over the break between my chest voice and head voice, and I was able to increase my vocal range.”
Voice More Relaxed – Stronger
Both Marnie and Oliver have noticed that their singing feels so much more relaxed now and their voices are healthier and stronger that ever. They can also use their voices more effectively, with greater control.
“As a singer I feel much more self-assured than before, and I know better how my voice works and where its present limits are,” Marnie said. “This gives me a better feeling on stage from the very beginning. It just feels as if there’s more freedom for the voice now.”
Oliver echoes Marnie’s feelings and notes that his confidence and control are a far cry from his first experience singing in front of an audience with his school band called Beyond The Sun.
“It was awful, and I felt very uncomfortable,” he recalled. “I’d played guitar for about two months and had written some of my own songs that we presented in the assembly hall of our school. It was a strange feeling to have everybody’s eyes staring at you. Looking back, I must say that it is important for me to have started at zero and gain more and more experience over the years. Sometimes it’s really important to do things wrong so you can learn from those mistakes and be better prepared for the future.”
Back in Hamburg, Germany the two have built a music studio. Marnie originally started out pursuing a career as an actress but switched to her career, discovering that she felt more at home with singing and with music, studying at SoYa (Studio of Young Artists).
Oliver started taking musical lessons very early, beginning with the piano. At age 15, he received a guitar as a Christmas gift. That led to lessons in classical and electric guitar, music theory, aural training, as well as training in a recording studio. He is a graduate of the Hamburg School of Music, a partner school of L.A.’s Musicians Institute.
As for career goals, Oliver said they both dream of being big rock stars but already earn a living with their music.
“This year we founded our own studio in Hamburg called Klanghorizont (literally “soundhorizon”) which also serves us as a luxury rehearsal room for our bands,” he said. “Marnie has a talent for organization and leads several commercial projects like our big event band reecover and her angels choir Engelsgleich (literally “angelically”).”
Marnie is also chief of a promotion agency called Eventhorizon (literally “eventhorizon”) which focuses on developing musical campaigns in big shopping malls.
Oliver is an independent producer for pop, rock, and metal music and occasionally works on projects for commercials and short films.
“I also work as a docent and teacher for electric guitar and as a web designer for musicians and artists,” he said. “And, we both try to push our own bands as best as possible. Marnie sings and writes songs for her band Another You, where I also play guitar. My own band is called Between Curtains. Who knows, maybe someday we might be big rock stars after all!”
Thoughts On Nashville
The two have found Nashville to be a fun, friendly place to visit and hone their craft as singers and musicians. They have been struck by the number of accomplished musicians they keep meeting in Nashville. They have found it to be a bit intimidating at times but always inspiring.
Oliver, who has been teaching guitar in Germany for the past two years, has also enjoyed his weekly guitar sessions with Paul, and talked about its impact his playing and teaching skills.
“As time goes by the role an instrumental teacher plays in relation to your progress with the instrument changes a lot,” Oliver said. “In the beginning months of starting an instrument, it is mostly important for a teacher to show basic techniques, correct posture and teach the first licks and riffs to the student. Later on, a guitar coach should be more a source of inspiration and motivation. Paul fulfills this role in a very special way. He not only shows you how it’s possible for a 28-year old guy to play in the absolute top-league, but also shows you how to stay a nice, funny and steady person. He gave me lots of suggestions to try new things or work on old stuff and perfect it. I can’t remember the last time I practiced about seven hours daily.”
Follow Up Plan
The bottom line for both Marnie and Oliver is the quality experience they have enjoyed in Nashville at Brett Manning Studios and through the purchase of three of his signature products. They look forward to building on the professional support and guidance they received in Music City.
“In the lessons with Shelby, Paul, Brett, and Leigh, we instantly felt ourselves in good hands, a feeling you can unfortunately enjoy with only a very few coaches,” Oliver said. “I’m sure we will have Skype lessons as soon as we’re back in Germany.”
The bottom line is that Brett’s teaching methodology works. It quickly generates results that will last as long as you stay committed to your continued growth and development.
Consider your visit to Nashville and Brett Manning Studios in the upcoming year. Invest in skype sessions with a number of his certified associates worldwide.
Use the forums at singingsuccess.tv and the video clips as tools to help you become a better singer, speaker, performer, and communicator.
Your success is determined by the connections you make to help you better relate to your audience. Make a commitment to connect with Brett’s teaching through investing in his products such as Mastering Mix, Singing Success, or Mastering Harmony.
The stronger your commitment and investment, the greater the rewards that will come as you pursue the full potential of your true singing success.