I am a classically-trained singer who was told for many years that belting would ruin my voice. After my dream European-opera career did not work out, I started getting hired to sing legitimate musical theatre — around this same time, I was also starting to teach private voice lessons.
Wanting to stay on top of the latest trends, I sought out a belting voice teacher, and started going down the path of no return! Belting felt very freeing and terrifying at the same time: “I can spread my mouth when I sing?” “No vibrato?” “Add in more chest voice?” By playing around with this style, I learned even more about my instrument, which even helped to inform how I approach other forms of singing.
In 2018, I was lucky enough to be a part of the National Association of Teachers of Singing’s (NATS) NYC Chapter Mentorship Program, where I worked with the phenomenal Mary Saunders-Barton and solidified a belt teaching style that I utilize today, working with my musical theatre students each week. I take the time to figure out what works in my own voice and reframe it so the student is able to understand and repeat on their own.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” way to belting and I think that’s why I love singing and teaching it so much. It’s a fun puzzle to decide what colors the voice can make. When everything is aligned, belting can feel like you are doing no work. If you do feel like you are working hard to make sounds: stop, reset, and reassess.