Sticking to the Program for Great Results

Hello all of you beautiful singers/teachers of singing. I hope all of you who celebrate Mother's Day had the chance to spend time with your mom, and if you didn't see her in person, called her to let her know how much you appreciate her. Moms are the foundational rocks of families and we should all say a collective "Thank you Mom!' to these special women in our lives.

I was thinking about how fast time goes by, as this is the time of year that many of my high school students are finishing up their last weeks of study with me before going off to college, university or conservatory. It is always a bitter sweet time of year as many of these students have been studying voice with me for many years.

One of these students holds a very special place in my heart because she was one of the first pre-teens I ever taught, and her name is Cinya Khan.

Her father, Mark Khan, called me up just over 9 years ago, and after introducing himself said, "Would you consider teaching my 9 year old daughter? I'm not sure if she is singing correctly and my wife and I want to make sure she doesn't hurt her voice because she sings almost non-stop all day long!"

Mr. Khan sent me a video of Cinya in a school talent show singing "Hey Soul Sister" by Train as she accompanied herself on guitar. The guitar was almost as big and she was, and I was immediately impressed by her tone, sense of rhythm and pitch. She was definitely singing by the seat of her pants without much technique, but the basic voice was there, and I immediately called Mr. Khan up and told him I would be honored to teach his daughter.

After a couple of years in voice lessons with me, we felt Cinya was ready to start recording some demos in a recording studio, which we filmed for YouTube. The recording engineer in those first sessions, Max Caselnova, was blown away by Cinya's maturity, musicality, phrasing, pitch, and sense of self, which belied her 11 years.

One of the my goals as her voice teacher was to make sure that she understood the importance of daily vocal workouts, and to always warm up before she started to sing songs. By the age of 14 her voice was starting to mature into a rich alto with a warm lower register, and a free, open upper register that could easily sail to high Eb 6.

When we were developing my instructional program "Let Your Voice Soar", I knew instantly that Cinya must be one of the four singers to demonstrate the exercises in the video portion of the program. The program has sold to singers all around the world since the release almost 5 years ago, and to this day singers who have purchased the program write me to ask "How is Cinya doing?"

Cinya's dad Mark is my graphic design artist, and he has created almost every single piece of art work associated with Voice Soaring Studios for 9 years. Several years ago Mark and I began encouraging Cinya to start writing her own songs. Reluctant at first, she soon became a prolific song writer and has written many songs over the last 4 years, any of which could be on the radio.

Cinya has remained consistent in vocal studies with me, and with a lot of encouragement from her family, friends, and us at Voice Soaring Studios, has developed into an artist that I know you will be hearing about for decades to come.

She recently became one of 12 finalists to win the National YoungArts Foundation Competition in Miami, Florida. Cinya was also accepted into the Berklee Conservatory of Music in Boston and will be headed there this Fall. We are beyond proud of our girl Cinya for not only having so many amazing accomplishments in her 18 years of life, but also for sticking to the program here at Voice Soaring Studios!

Check out her performance at the Young Arts Competition this year singing her original song "Finger Freedom".

Jeffrey Stanfill