Ever since their daughter, Lacey, was a toddler, Al and Cheryl Ritchie have known she had talent. But it wasn’t until they discovered Brett Manning that the full extent and depth of her gift began to be fully engaged.
Even Lacey noticed a difference when she first heard about Brett Manning while attending a vocal class at the GMA (Gospel Music Association) Immerse camp in Nashville. Her mother, Cheryl, was pleasantly surprised.
"On a whim, I booked one lesson with Brett right before Immerse 2010 and was excited that he recognized her talent and offered to work with her and help her find her niche," Cheryl said. “This is the reward part – when you find the people who understand the artist, their needs, and who have the expertise to provide the right direction."
For Lacey the rewards have been incredible and are still developing.
Proof Positive For Lacey
"I have been able to develop my chest voice, and I am singing more evenly throughout my range," Lacey said. "My confidence while singing has soared, even though I’ve never been accused of being shy!"
The Central Florida native has studied with several different vocal coaches over the years and is influenced by many artists she admires.
"They (vocal coaches) each had a different style," she said. "Some of my teachers include Doug Bailey, Christie Griffith, Mark Goff, and Ron Thompson. Some of my favorite artists are Paramore, One Republic, Demi Lovato, Fireflight, Flyleaf, Evanescence, Pink, Manning, and many, many others."
For Lacey, one of the things that makes Brett stand out is his hand in helping her find, and nurture her unique gift as a singer, even though she remembers being a bit intimidated before that first lesson because she was in the company of industry professionals in Music City.
"I thought the people there would act superior to me, but I was proven wrong," she said. "After a time or two at the studio, I felt like family. I loved it when Brett was showing me how to glue all my notes together. When he demonstrated it, I copied him and he said – dang, girl, you’ve got some pipes!"
For Al and Cheryl there are no regrets over choosing Brett Manning as a wise investment in their daughter’s career.
Q + A With Mom + Dad
SSTV: Were you skeptical at first about Brett Manning’s training; and, if so, what changed that? Al: Yes, I was very skeptical. What changed my mind was the apparent, serious concern Brett had for the artist and their needs. Cheryl: I am a music major and have heard a lot of different vocal lessons from different teachers, so I was not skeptical after hearing Brett’s demonstration at the Immerse camp in 2009, but was fascinated with his unique technique. Lacey was a junior in high school, so I hadn’t seriously thought about booking a lesson with him at that time, especially since we live in Central Florida."
SSTV: What are some of the changes you’ve seen in Lacey as a result of the training?
Al: Lacey has developed as a singer, but has also become more of an artist since Brett gave her the confidence to attempt writing her own songs. Cheryl: Brett has helped Lacey develop an edgier sound to her voice and has made her more aware of expressing the lyrics to impact her audience. He is helping her identify her own style and even his warm ups have helped her voice grow stronger.
SSTV: When you’ve sat in on a lesson, what do you remember most about the experience?
Al: Since I am not a musician and know nothing about technique, I found the process interesting and the sounds they were making kind of weird, but you could definitely hear the improvement as a result of it! Cheryl: What I remember most about the experience is the pure joy that Brett shows when he gets his student to do what he wants them to do. His passion for music and teaching are obvious and it’s fun to watch him do his thing!
SSTV: What have been the challenges and greatest rewards for you in supporting your daughter’s training and pursuit of a singing career?
Al: My personality has a difficult time coping with the artistic process which can seem random and not productive at times. However, the end results are thrilling, and watching your daughter’s talent grow and to see her perform makes it all worthwhile.
Cheryl: Our daughter has been singing in public since she was six years old! It has been an amazing journey shuttling her to different classes, camps and events over the years, so that she would have a place to perform and get the best training. Lacey has been involved with the Orlando Youth Opera, Circle Company Theatre (musical theatre), and the Pop Shop, a hip hop dance & performance group, which provided solo and group performances around the Orlando area. We have let her try many different genres of music and are now at the point where she has to focus on her own style and a career.
From First Lesson To Lasting Impressions
For Lacey the journey has been amazing so far and is only just beginning as she continues to discover and extend elements of an already extensive, deeply rich talent as a singer, songwriter and performer.
"The first lesson with Brett was incredible, eye opening," she said. "I became aware of all the things I was doing wrong, and now I have a way to fix them. When I did my first live performance after working with Brett a few times, I wasn’t nervous and everyone said my voice sounded more consistent."
More Moving Performances
Working with Brett has also strengthened Lacey’s resolve to make a difference in the lives of others by moving people as a performer.
"I see myself doing live performances with a band and recording albums. I want to impact others with my music in my own quirky way," she said. Lacey has some simple, direct advice for our SSTV viewers on why they should invest in Brett’s programs and products, such as a Singing Success or Mastering Mix, and consider booking a session with one of Brett Manning’s certified associates.
Reason To Invest In Products
"One, it will give you more confidence; two, it will expand your range; and three, you will learn how to use every bit of your voice," Lacey said. Her mom and dad agree with their daughter’s insights because they see her light glowing ever more brightly as Lacey continues to rise and bravely shine on the uniquely designed road to her singing success.