Cheryl Porter is a vocal coach. But Ms. Porter is far from just any vocal coach. She’s a teacher who has transformed the lives of her students in quite a literal way.
Porter’s teaching tactics and wealth of knowledge and experience transforms her students’ voices right before our eyes – like in this incredible video you’re about to see.
Porter, born and raised in the southside of Chicago, always had an intense love for all things music, especially opera. In fact, she was offered a full vocal scholarship at Northern Illinois University’s School of Music, where she graduated.
After her success at school, Porter wanted to deepen and broaden her study of opera, so she picked up and moved to Vincenzo, Italy in 1990. Since then, she’s become “The No. 1 Vocal Coach in Italy“.
When Porter first moved to Italy, she was surprised to see such a love for American music. She was expecting only classical and opera.
“It was just such a shock for me because I thought that in Italy, it was mostly classical music,” Porter told PRI. “I came to Italy to further my studies in Puccini, Verdi, and Rossini and I never knew that there was so much love for American music, gospel, jazz, soul and R&B.”
Now, Porter teaches students all over the world, not just Italy. She loves seeing her younger students have such a passion for music already at such a young age.
“Some of them are like, ‘OK well, I want to sing like Frank Sinatra, I want to be like Beyoncé, I want to sing like Christina Aguilera, I want to sing like Alicia Keys’ and I love it,” Porter said. “It is incredible because these kids at 7 years old and they have passion and they have so much drive.”
Besides transforming the voices of her students, Porter also encourages her students to learn about the history and context of each song they sing.
“Music is culture,” Porter explained. “Music is history and if you teach a song about ‘Respect’ and Aretha Franklin, you have to know where that comes from. You have to know something about the civil rights movement. You have to know something about human rights.”
The respected vocal coach went on to explain that learning “the original way” of how performers sing their song is important. However, once those techniques are developed, it’s time to take on their own style and transform those popular songs in their own unique way.
“It’s not easy,” she explains. “[Some singers] think, ‘Well, who am I to have my own version of Aretha Franklin? Who am I to change a Beyoncé song?’ But that’s the way music works. I always tell my students ‘Put your spice on this, put some salt and pepper on it.’”
And in the video below, you can see Porter in action as she teaches a workshop in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Porter carefully walks a student through various singing techniques – in the head, a mix, and in the chest. Who knew that there were so many different ways to sing?! But as you watch – the student completely changes her singing style and her confidence begins to beam!
If singing is something you’ve always considered, but have been afraid to try, Porter has some words for you.
“If you want to [sing] professionally or if it’s just your passion and you just love singing or do you like singing in the car or in the shower, there’s something special about the human voice and there’s something special about people who have the gift of singing.”
Watch this student’s already incredible voice be taken to new heights thanks to Porter’s amazing teaching abilities. The full video is below.
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Source: Cheryl Porter Vocal Coach