Top vocal coach Kim Chandler reveals her favourite singing-related books, YouTube tutorials and gadgets.
Kim Chandler is a session singer and vocal coach with a glittering client list that includes Paul Young, Oliver Sykes and Sam Fender.
When Kim recently appeared on our podcast, Singing Teachers Talk (listen to the episode here), we couldn’t resist asking for her recommendations on teaching tools. Here’s a list of five of her favourites.
1 Ultimate Vocal Voyage: The Definitive Method for Unleashing the Rock, Pop or Soul Singer Within You
Swedish singing voice specialist Daniel Zangger Borch serves up a smorgasbord of useful tips and vocal exercises in this book. He covers everything from warm-ups and vocal health to voice disorders, anatomy and performance skills.
“It’s a fantastic book,” Kim says. “It contains really great exercises. In fact, one of my all-time favourite vocal exercises is one of his.”
This nifty device, designed by a former flight attendant, guards against the dreaded dehydration experienced by many long haulers. The HumidiFlyer is a filtered mask that traps the expired moisture from your breath. When you breathe in, that moisture is then used to humidify the dry cabin air.
“It’s a very elegant solution for recycling your breath moisture back to you,” Kim says. “It also gives you at least some protection from airborne contaminants on a flight.”
It’s not just Kim who is a fan. Top athletes (including the All Blacks rugby team), opera singers and Hollywood stars are HumidiFlyer users too.
Elizabeth Ann Benson interviewed 26 top CCM pedagogues (including Kim) in the process of creating this book. Readers can benefit from the collective wisdom of renowned vocal coaches, including Seth Riggs, Trineice Robinson-Martin and Jeanette LoVetri, on subjects such as teaching methods, vocal techniques and improvisation.
4 Fun Vocal Exercises for Improvisation by John Fluker
As the title suggests, this is a collection of vocal exercises by singer and pianist John Fluker, who has worked with Gladys Knight and Dionne Warwick. The exercises are available on Amazon Music.
“I love John Fluker’s Fun Vocal Exercises for Improvisation,” Kim says. “It was [vocal coach] Jono McNeil that put me on to him. He [John Fluker] has just got the most exquisite black gospel voice, and he sings these sumptuously gorgeous and lush riffs.”
5 Breaking Down the Riffs
If you haven’t watched Natalie Weiss’s viral hit Breaking Down the Riffs on YouTube, what are you waiting for? The sought-after vocal coach and singer (who features on The Greatest Showman soundtrack) has built a massive following with her YT series. In each episode, Natalie and a special guest (usually a Broadway performer) break a well-known riff down into segments which they then work through progressively.
But wait, there’s more…
Kim is no slouch in the teaching resources department herself. She recently published, via Compton Publishing, an informative A2-sized curriculum poster (which would look great on a teaching studio wall). The poster serves as a quick reference guide and summarises the main points for structuring content in a CCM singing lesson. Kim is also the creator of Funky’n’Fun, a vocal training series for beginners through to the seasoned pros. You can find an abridged version of this programme, Funky Fundamentals for Pop Singing, on musicgurus.com.