After surveying the top traits of effective teachers, a number of key traits or qualities kept coming up over and over. These qualities transcend culture, skill level, and even subject matter or discipline. When you think of those teachers and coaches that have had the greatest impact on you, many of these same qualities and skills will likely come to mind.
Whether it was high school or kindergarten, youth soccer or college intramural basketball, piano or band, art or algebra, the teachers that have the greatest impact inspire and encourage both self-discipline and a desire to get better, wiser or stronger. The best teachers always find a way to motivate a student, no matter how demanding or seemingly impossible the situation, or how inexperienced or poorly trained the student may be.
Brett Manning and his associates strive for excellence in themselves as they teach and coach. Each has a passion and love for singing that is only exceeded by their passion and love for bringing out the full potential in those they teach.
For Brett, teaching is an extension of his passion for learning. He and his associates are constantly engaged in research and open exploration of new concepts and approaches that further sharpen and refine already effective tools and methods that are a part of Singing Success, Mastering Mix, and other program offerings.
Brett and each of his associates bring another valuable quality to each student with their experience as performers and in other areas of the entertainment industry. So, you get insider information that can help you develop some business savvy while strengthening and refining your vocal chops.
Brett also understands the importance of maintaining a relaxed but intense environment when teaching. An effective teacher is one who freely engages in humor, has genuine care and concern for the student’s trials and triumphs, but is also unshakably serious about the work at hand and holding students to the fire so that the refining process is engaged.
The best teachers also have strong listening skills. Brett takes that skill much deeper as he helps his associates and students heighten their self-awareness and their ability to identify and address key issues that need to be worked on to become stronger singers, better performers, and more confident in the pursuit of all aspects of singing success.
Brett has an uncanny ability to identify problems, bad habits, and potential strengths just by listening to someone speak for a few moments.
“It’s as if I’m able to see with my ears down into their throat,” he has said on many occasions.
The diagnostic skills of Brett’s associates have been enhanced by his teaching and are further refined through study and hands on experience with students.
Many of Brett Manning’s certified associates arrive at his studio with years of training, performance experience, and exposure to a variety of voice training techniques that have some value. Some have been vocal coaches or teachers for several years.
BMA vocal coach Sharon Rowntree is a prime example of someone whose day to day life has been inspired, encouraged, and shaped by performing as a singer while also teaching others to sing better. Sharon teaches at her home studio in Sanctuary Cove on Australia’s Gold Coast in Queensland. The popular entertainer stars in her tribute to legendary singer, Dusty Springfield and other dynamic diva’s of the 1960’s.
“Brett is so creative with his approach it has definitely freed my teaching up,” Sharon shared. “ You focus on the sound you can make, and you don’t get hung up on trying to sing. When you concentrate on sounding like something or someone, you just get all messed up. You use the wrong muscles and lose the feeling and soul in your sound.”
But her journey to Brett’s door, and exploring his methods, took a few years as she experienced a variety of teachers and training that helped her to grow as a performer and teacher.
“At 19 years I was on stage, working in theatre restaurants, and getting paid to sing, and I’ve been singing ever since,” Sharon said. “I then spent the rest of my life working out how to perfect my craft. I started my studies with various teachers at the age of 16. They were all really helpful at that time in my career, but no one could help me sing those high notes easily. I knew that pushing my way through the notes wasn’t the way to go or going really airy wasn’t a great sound either. So, I spent the next years with several teachers. Looking back I am surprised on how long I persisted with some teachers waiting for that improvement to come, but I suppose we become accustomed to waiting and not challenging our progress.”
For Sharon almost 15 years flew by as she was still searching for that freedom in her voice where she could manage movement through high notes naturally with consistency. But the time did come, and it introduced her to a teacher whose training helped her to grow. This training became those stepping stones that would lead to Brett’s door.
“I heard a young girl sing at a talent quest I was in,” she said. “I was amazed at how high she could sing and with such ease. I asked her who her teacher was, and she said to me, Leigh McRae.”
McRae was teaching at the highest level for her training background at a company based in L.A. and Sharon immediately started lessons.
“I stayed with Leigh for around five years, and I thought that my search was over,” Sharon remembers. “Leigh helped me on my new journey of vocal freedom. At last I felt like I was actually progressing and improving more rapidly than I had experienced before. I was so amazed at his approach, I asked Leigh if he would train me as a teacher. I wanted other singers to experience what I had been searching for all my life.”
The Passion To Teach
Sharon then joined the LA organization, serving as a member for eight years, teaching at their second highest level. But there was another step up for Sharon to take.
“At this point, I was teaching and performing, a very happy combination, but several of my students had enrolled in a singing program, Singing Success Online (SSO),” she said. “Eventually, I had to start listening and reviewing some of Brett’s lessons, to understand what they were asking me about. That became the start of my journey to study with Brett. I started researching SSO, and I found everything to be very helpful. I decided then to leave the LA organization and head off the Nashville to meet Brett and learn all I could from him and his associates.”
Find Your Fit + Fix
Sharon reflected on the impact that teachers have had on her, along with the impact she hopes to have on others. She has some sound advice for those looking for the right coach or teacher to help them achieve their full potential and singing success.
“One of the most important things as a singing student is to find a teacher who will help you with your journey,” she said. “The good ones all have something to add that you take with you and include in your skill set as a singer. I think that the better teachers all have something to give; and that, as a student, you need to review your earlier lessons, evaluate if you are still improving, and then make a decision as to what to do next. I believe there is no one teacher that is everything to everyone.”
The Bigger Picture
Sharon fully believes that a student must draw from several resources to get a well-rounded, broader and deeper perspective on singing, performing, and all aspects of one’s professional and personal journey through life.
“Looking back, I reflect on the people who appreciate how the student feels,” she said. “It is a very personal thing to bare your soul through music, and it affects different people in different ways. You must find a teacher, with that empathy to understand how you feel, including the nerves, and the elation of sharing music with others. They will help you reach back into your experiences and share them through song.”
Teams Of Teachers
Sharon also sees value in connecting and sharing with other teachers and her fellow Brett Manning associates. This helps to refine skills and to keep learning and growing. She also recognizes potential perks that can come by team teaching.
“I have taught with other teachers, and it can work well if you understand the other teacher you are with,” she said. “For a team to work, you must be able to accept the other teacher’s opinion and focus on the student, setting aside your own ego and working on what works best for the student. There is no time to argue a point or defend an opinion, only move forward with the student. It requires people who are not afraid to have their opinion squashed, or squash the opinions of the other teacher. This brainstorming approach can also force innovation and expose creativity that you never thought would be found; and then turn out to be a very emotionally charged and exciting session, and make accelerated progress.”
One of the added incentives for singers to get on board with Brett Manning and his associates is that brainstorming element where new ideas, fresh approaches, and efforts to refine and improve what works is strongly encouraged. And, of course, there are programs like Singing Success, Mastering Mix, and SSO.
“Brett also offers products and resources,” Sharon said. “I learn something new everyday just by going over the online lessons, such as Mastering Vibrato, Jesse Nemitz’s Top 7 Secrets of the Super-High Mix Voice…the list goes on.”
If you would like more info about booking vocal lessons with Sharon Rowntree, just call (615) 866-1030, (888) 269-7758 or email Keith at [email protected] for more information on bookings. You, as a student, are the primary investment and resource for your singing success. Brett Manning and his associates and programs will help you achieve your fullest potential as you continue to learn and grow.