By Elisabeth Howard
“And now ladies and gentlemen, the moment you all have been waiting for. The new Ms. Senior America 2012 is . . . Ms. California, Elisabeth Howard!” I was competing as Ms. Senior California with 34 other State Queens from all over the United States.
I performed “Sempre Libera” from the opera, La Traviata. I knew I would have to muster up every bit of my Vocal Power Technique. “Sempre Libera” was the first aria I had been given by my voice teacher at age 16, just before I was accepted to The Juilliard School in 1959. And here I am at age 71!
Although I won the hearts of the judges and the audience on this day, my journey to this performance was not always an easy one. While in my Master’s Program at Juilliard, I lost my voice—every singer’s greatest fear! I was teaching a minimum of 20 hours each week, was President of the Honor Society, and with the incorrect use of my voice, I strained my voice to the point of losing it. Fearing that my voice was damaged permanently and unwilling to live with this prognosis, I did extensive research to understand the “human singing mechanism.” As a result, I went on to develop the Vocal Power Singing Technique.
My first book, Sing!, (accompanied by audio recordings), was published in 1980 and was the first of its kind to teach non-classical singing. I was a pioneer, performing everything from commercial music and rock to jazz and musical theater. I have taught my Vocal Power Technique to pop, jazz, rock, and musical theater singers, as well as to voice teachers who wanted to know how to teach non-classical singing. I have traveled all over the world teaching workshops and leading master classes in 11 countries and 37 international cities.
Winning the Ms. Senior America crown was dependent on my voice. I had to knock it out of the ball park! How did I do it?
• Vocal Colors
• Agility—for the fast and high coloratura runs
• Pitch Accuracy
• Head Voice
• Chest Voice
I used my signature technique, the Diaphragmatic Vibrato, for all my sustained tones, especially for that high, sustained D-flat at the end of the aria. That final note brought the audience to its feet with deafening applause and bravas!
And now, ladies and gentlemen I’m here to tell you that everyone can sing! Your voice is an instrument, and you learn to play it just like any other instrument. Give yourself the gift of singing! My user-friendly instructional course, Sing!, is a self-contained package, perfect for your library shelf. For the price of one vocal lesson, you receive a 144-page book and four hour-long CDs, plus, if you wish, the hour-long Born to Sing! DVD (also available separately). The Vocal Power Method will get you to a level of singing you never dreamed possible. This step-by-step, singing method will change your life forever. I can honestly say that I am proof of the pudding!
About Elisabeth Howard . . .
Elisabeth Howard is on the voice faculty of Pepperdine University. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School, and has performed extensively in opera and music theater. She has given workshops and master classes in 11 countries and serves as Director of the Vocal Power Academy in Los Angeles. Among her many illustrious clients are Sting, The Police, Priscilla Presely, and Paige O’Hara (voice of Belle in the film Beauty and the Beast.)
Ms. Howard is the author of Sing!, co-author of Power Speech , American Diction for Singers, and the Born to Sing DVD, and author of The ABC’s of Vocal Harmony, all distributed by Alfred Music Publishing Co.
Click HERE for more information on Elisabeth Howard’s publications.