One of our most popular blog articles is Belting 101: How to Help Your Students Use Their Full Voice by Erin Guinup. This article is chock-full of helpful and practical information not only for understanding what belting is, but also for learning how to safely teach it to your students. It includes many helpful exercises as well as references to different styles of singing.
But if you try some of these exercises on your own, how can you be sure that you’re getting the right sound or producing the tone correctly? We thought it might be helpful if we got together with Erin in person for further explanation and actual vocal examples of the exercises and vocal styles.
In our video above, Erin explains the differences between the production of tone in a classical/legit style, a mixed voice style, and a belting style. Not only that, she performs Broadway excerpts of each style so that you can really get a sense of the different sounds and tones that she is able to produce.
She goes on to work with Theresa, a student she has never worked with before, and helps her to sing through some of the exercises included in her article to find her first “belt.” You actually get to observe Theresa, a traditionally trained vocal student, adapt to Erin’s exercises and achieve success. Since most choral directors have received traditional vocal training as part of their education, observing this mini voice lesson can really help bring clarity and understanding to these exercises.
Perhaps you’re wondering why you should take the time to learn these vocal techniques. As Erin notes, belting technique is extremely useful for pop and show music, but it’s also used in many different styles of world music. Therefore, it can be just as useful in a choral classroom or private voice lesson as it is in musical theatre.
Basically, belting is a style of singing that your students hear on a regular basis in the music they choose to listen to, and many students want to be able to produce a similar tone to what they hear. A proper understanding of these basic principles and techniques can help you teach safe belt singing to your students and help them preserve their voices through their developmental years.
Thank you, Erin, for taking the time to demonstrate these exercises and techniques!
Here are some resources to help practice belting:
0:06 Introducing Erin Guinup
0:52 What is vocal belting?
1:20 Demonstrating and discussing belting
2:35 Classical/legit sound
3:48 Overthinking the technique
4:44 Demonstrating how to start with a new student
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