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Afraid your fa-la-las are falling flat this season? Not so, says BYU professor

"I’m here to tell everyone they are talented,” says Clayne Robison

Are your fa-la-la-la-las falling a little flat this season? Think you can’t sing? Think again, insists Brigham Young University professor of voice Clayne Robison.

“I’m shaking the tree of the paradigm that only talented people can sing,” Robison says. “As a singing teacher, I’m here to tell everyone they are talented.”

With BYU Broadcasting’s recent release of the DVD “Beautiful Singing: Not Just for the Chosen,” Robison demonstrates just how passionate and intent he is in teaching anyone who is willing to learn to sing beautifully. The DVD features Robison teaching students during a four-day summer workshop he appropriately terms “Vocal Beauty Boot Camp.”

The DVD, which complements Robison’s book “Beautiful Singing: ‘Mind Warp’ Moments,” outlines seven interactions he finds necessary for beautiful singing. Using science, technology and passion, Robison said his heart has turned to helping anyone learn to sing beautifully—especially those who don’t feel they can.

“With all the scientific information available, there is no reason for people to not learn how to sing now,” he says.

According to the September/October issue of Journal of Singing, “‘Beautiful Singing: Not Just for the Chosen’ shows a dedicated teacher, instructing with passion, patience, and persistence, and exhibiting an unwavering belief in each student’s potential.”

One of the key elements of Robison’s method of teaching captured on the DVD is the element of group singing lessons. Those attending the “boot camp,” which included voice students and teachers of various ages, would take turns singing in front of the group with Robison next to them poking, prodding and adjusting. All the while they were recorded and broadcast on a screen in front of them to see how they looked while singing.

In fact, students attending the “boot camp” are required to purchase the DVD and watch it prior to the workshop so they will be more fully prepared for the experience. Robison said he uses the DVD constantly throughout the workshop as well.

Robison explained that the group singing method is revolutionary because most voice lessons are solely a one-on-one experience between teacher and student. In fact, graduate music students use the group method as they teach voice and have noticed significant improvements from their students.

“There are things that happen in this group learning experience that allow them to watch each other and learn from each other,” Robison said. He added that the DVD allows people to watch other everyday people learn how to sing properly and beautifully.

Most importantly, the group lessons allow participants to express honest opinions to one another and create bonds of closeness.

The DVD and boot camp idea have hit home with music teachers throughout the world, and Robison stays busy mailing copies of the DVD in response to the many requests he receives.

Robison, however, doesn’t claim all the glory. He attributes the success of the group lessons and the boot camp to the entire BYU music faculty.

“I’m just the one making it accessible to the everyday Joe,” he said.

For more information about “Beautiful Singing,” contact Clayne Robison, (801) 422-3110.

Writer: Brian Rust

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