To continue our discussion on the juicy topic of “belt,” Alexa is joined by voice teacher and trainer of musical theatre and CCM, Amanda Flynn. Amanda has performed in shows like “Wicked” and “Mamma Mia” and has held the position of Production Vocal Coach for “The Lightning Thief” and “Be More Chill” on Broadway. She is the author of “So You Want to Sing Musical Theatre,” the updated and expanded edition, and is here to chat about mastering belt in musical theatre.
- When discussing belting, it’s essential to remember that it doesn’t originate from Western classical singing. It’s a form of sound production found worldwide, particularly in indigenous music traditions. Belting gained popularity in popular music through black female blues artists who incorporated this technique to intensify the emotional impact of their voices.
- When we apply Western classical principles to belting, many aspects don’t align, leading to confusion among singers who realise that what they’ve been trained on doesn’t quite fit this distinct vocal style.
- Mastering belt with laryngeal and acoustic registration involves controlling vocal folds, optimising resonance, and blending chest and head voice for a powerful and emotionally charged performance.
- Remember, if it sounds like a belt and works for a song then it’s good. If you’re getting the sound you want, don’t overthink it.
‘Belt is the most common and popular musical expression we have’
‘Belting is complex, it’s not simple and straightforward’
‘They said you were belting out a sound because it’s this big pop of a sound, almost like a punch’
‘One of the top questions I’m asked is what is belting, but we never ask a classical singer what classical is’
- Instagram & Tik Tok: @amandaflynnie
Sign up for one of Amanda’s classes, here: amanda-s-school-a64e.thinkific.com
Get your copy of Amanda’s book on Amazon
Relevant Links & Mentions:
- Artists mentioned: Ma Rainey; Ida Cox; Bessie Smith; Ethel Merman;
- Musical Theatre shows mentioned: Wicked; Oklahoma! Annie Get Your Gun; Jagged Little Pill; Six; Lizzie; Little Women; Anastasia
- Rob Rokicki: robrokicki.com
- Singing Teachers Talk Podcast – Ep.101 How to Belt with John Henny
- Singing Teachers Talk Podcast – Ep.118 Mastering Mix Voice and Belt with Gemma Sugrue
- Voice Study Centre: voicestudycentre.com
- Acoustic Comparison of Lower and Higher Belt Ranges in Professional Broadway Actresses by Amanda Flynn, Jared Trudeau & Aaron M. Johnson: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30409455
- Voce Vista: vocevista.com
- So You Want to Sing Musical Theatre (updated and extended edition) by Amanda Flynn
- Mary Saunders Barton: belcantocanbelto.com
- Cross-Training in the Voice Studio: A Balancing Act by Mary Saunders Barton and Norman Spivey
- New York Singing Teacher Organisation: nyst.org
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ABOUT THE GUEST
Amanda is a voice teacher specialising in musical theatre and CCM singing. She coached Broadway performers and served as a vocal consultant at Two River Theatre. She aids injured singers and holds an MM in Vocal Performance and multiple vocal certificates. An active researcher, Amanda authored “So You Want to Sing Musical Theatre.” She’s a Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Head at Pace University.