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Acting for Singers

Singing Made Easy/Acting Skills for Singers
by Kyle Zook

The “Singing Made Easy” course and materials are the result of author Marcia McCarry’s 45 years of direct experience as a professional voice trainer as well as a student of the Suzuki Piano Method.  In 1983, a fateful trip to Japan to study with Dr. Haruko Kataoka, and a subsequent meeting with the renowned master Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and his wife planted the seed of Marcia’s idea to translate this method of learning music to voice training. The essential ingredient in Dr. Suzuki’s method is listening by ear; adapting this method to teach singers is a natural extension of this process.

For many years, Marcia searched for the perfect training materials, and steadily became convinced that creating her own materials was the only solution.  With the experience gained from teaching over 4000 students of all ages along with the guidance of the Suzuki Piano Method, Marcia has crafted a five-level course that can train any singer to learn in the comfort of their own home.

Carefully compiled and organized over a period of seven years, the Singing Made Easy materials were created with the help of many people, including Mrs. Suzuki.  As Marcia expresses, “by putting the emphasis on singing with a beautiful tone, stressing relaxation in every lesson, and offering progressively difficult materials, I could train singers from the very beginning in exactly the way they should be taught.”

This method of teaching music is ideal for homeschoolers, since the materials are adapted for home study.  Each level of the Singing Made Easy course comes with its own Vocal Exercise CD, enabling students to grasp the right lyrics and melodies for the compositions they are learning.  After the songs are learned, the CDs can also provide accompaniment for singers as well.

In levels I-III, there are coloring sheets to help stimulate the interest of younger singers.  As singers progress, there are more challenging compositions to learn and each song is carefully selected to create a progression for maturing voices.  Each song has a teaching point, with the music in large print with chords for accompanying pianos or guitars.  What’s the best part of Singing Made Easy?  Perhaps it is the amazingly affordable price!

Even if you don’t go on to become a professional singer, everyone can benefit from being able to learn to sing.  Breathing exercises may even help overcome asthma!  Singing in public is also a great self-esteem builder, and joining a choir is a great social activity, particularly for homeschoolers concerned with socialization.  Many homeschoolers meet friends they keep for life through participation in choirs.  Learning music can also help children focus on other academic subjects, improving overall retention in all subjects.

Homeschoolers may also be interested in another offering by Marcia McCarry, the Acting for Singers DVD/VHS.  Many great singers have been turned down for parts in musicals, even though they have had exceptional voices, simply because they ignored the importance of performance techniques.  A great performance can catapult an adequate singer into super stardom, and these techniques can be learned.  Marcia and Josefine Stark, a Professional Performance Coach, developed a method of teaching these techniques to singers to help them stand out from the crowd.  If your child is entertaining a career in the field of performing arts, this program will really help them get an edge on the competition.

There are also a number of other products besides the Singing Made Easy and Acting for Singers on Marcia McCarry’s web site, so to find out more you can visit her at - K.Z. ■

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