What Makes Me Different?

As a vocalist I’m sure this question rears its head a few times a year; maybe even more for some people. I think this is a very good sign though. We are all creative beings. Creativity thrives in the most unique ways and atmospheres, and often catapults us into uncharted territories. That’s where YOUR difference lies.  In a world of 7 billion people you’ll never find two individuals who are 100% alike; not in thought processes, emotional make up, and even singing. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me. So, when you think of that, why would anyone want to imitate when they can authentically create?


Being unique is not only a gift, but also a great way to add color to this world of music. If everyone had the same sound, the same groove, and the same style, we’d have a seriously boring musical experience. We’d tire quickly and quite frankly, we’d probably give up music altogether. Music is designed to be fun! It’s designed to challenge us. It makes us feel good, cry, laugh, dance, relax, and the list goes on and on!! It touches us all in a way that not even language barriers can prevent the emotional messages from cutting through.


Think about that question again…what makes me different? I bet I could help you to have a different perspective on the answer. I think that vocal tone, range, quality, style, etc., ALL play a major part in what makes YOU different. As a vocalist your influences play a major role in that as well. What types of music do you listen to? Are you a songwriter? What types of music make you feel good?  These questions will help you on your journey of discovery.


It’s always great to pull from music that is already known and to study other artists, but don’t get lost in their sound. Learn from them and develop your own sound. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Study all types of genres of music. The best thing that you can do for your sound is to allow it to grow freely. Open up your ear to new things and different genres, and be open to where this takes you. Embrace your difference. Be uniquely YOU.

Posted on March 17, 2016 .

Your Creative Flavor

As creative minds I believe there is one very important question that we MUST ask ourselves: “Where do I fit in?” –Ametria Dock


There is room for all creativity. Whether you are a vocalist, a painter, a dancer, or a writer, you have a place in the creative world. Your individuality makes for a very open and expressive art form; whatever that may look like for you. The trouble that I see on a daily basis is misplaced creativity within art forms. Let me explain what I mean by “misplaced creativity.” 


Too often I come across creative minds that don’t quite know or even understand where they fit in. They may be really good at a lot of things and may even say that they “like to do” a lot of things. But is it enough to “like to do” a lot of things? I’m reminded of this common figure of speech, “jack of all trades, master of none.” We spend a lot of our time and energy on “many things” rather than finding out our strengths and maximizing on those things.


I do realize that this may present itself as a hard or impossible feat. We feel like in order to be successful we have to be able to do and be good at a lot of things. So, with that being said, we find ourselves exerting our creative juices into lanes that we don’t belong in. We may find really good painters trying to be vocalists, or really good vocalists trying to be actors. Now I’m not saying that you can’t be both things. What I’m saying is, figure out what your best creative qualities are and dive full force into them.


When you are operating in your creative strengths you flow much more freely. Time seems to pass by quickly when you are doing what creatively comes natural to you. When you’re doing what creatively makes sense to you, you experience a freedom that is unmatched, and when you are creatively free, you can be uniquely you and be ok with that. When you are free in your creativity, comparison is no longer the thief of your joy. You can just be…


So again, I want you to ask yourself this question: “Where do I fit in?” Your answer should be, “I fit in with my own creative flavor.”



Posted on August 7, 2015 .

Singing: A Teachable Talent?

“I began singing musical scales to my nine year old when she was just two years old -- even though she was clearly unable to sing them along with me. Shortly after her third birthday, she was still uncertain about the scales but began humming in the background as I sang, slowly, becoming more familiar with the sound of her singing voice. At the age of four, she could sing the scales correctly and by age five she had them memorized. As a nine year old, she can sing them on cue.”


Whether an individual can be taught to sing or not, as well as how early or late in life one can learn or improve their vocal talent is an age-old question. While I do recognize that there are people who seem to have an innate plug-in for musical excellence, I also happen to believe that singing is a talent that can be learned and cultivated over time through repetition, influence, and memory.


As an example, reading is a skill that children learn by practicing with their parents, teachers and other adult influences who take the time to strengthen their fundamental understanding of phonetics. The younger a child is when he or she begins seeing and hearing literature, the better the child’s chances are at becoming a stronger reader earlier on in life. The path to becoming a good singer is similar in that it calls for using habit-forming repetition to strengthens one’s memory over time.


Just as with many other skills, singing can become more difficult to learn as an individual grows older. If a person is learning to sing later in life, it is important to be persistent and tenacious in all efforts to develop their craft; our patience grows thinner with age. In some instances, individuals who have an incredible knack for singing (but have never received vocal training) may reach a peak of what their natural ability will allow and will need to seek expert training to experience a higher level of musical excellence from their voices. Regardless of skill level, training is always relevant and applicable for any singer.


Teaching is a strong form of influence, which is also another critical factor while in the initial evolution of one’s inner ear. It’s important to think of vocal development as a journey and not a destination; a great singer will never stop learning new techniques, approaches, and styles. For many, absorbing the influence of one genre alone has been enough to blossom a brilliant voice. However, limited exposure usually equals limited opportunities, no matter how fantastic those opportunities may be. An individual who is interested in maximizing his or her potential as a singer should ingest a multi-genre fusion of music on a regular basis (performed by both male and female vocalists) to expand and diversify their vocal creativity.


Posted on May 16, 2015 .