Steve Childs, Founder
Hello, my name is Stephen J. Childs and I am the founder and head instructor for VirtualVoiceLessons.Net. I just wanted to spend some time letting you know a little bit more about myself and about my decade long dream that has now become an exciting reality. You know, ever since I started training voice professionally in 1991, I had always envisioned a day when perhaps I could give voice lessons directly into peoples homes through their personal computers. The idea of it was so intriguing to me. I mean, the thought of reaching people all over globe, people who I would never have any other way to share my knowledge, drove me to forge ahead through the dark ages of early internet technology to today's growing virtual world.
When I started out as a young singer, there were really not too many choices when it came to finding a good voice teacher. Lessons were either held at the local church or the towns run-down music store. You kinda got what you could get. And unfortunately most of those types of trainers were classical singers, who really didn't understand the rock/pop style of singing that I was shooting for. So, twice a week I would have my Dad drive me to the train station after school where I would travel from Warminster, PA to Philadelphia and take lessons with one of the only contemporary voice teachers in the city. Oddly enough his name was Harold Singer. He was an older man roughly in his late 60s still trying to hold on to his youth by dressing in far too stylish clothes for his age (and sporting an obvious toupee.) He used to scare me to death during every lesson for years. I remembered how strangely hard this man was with me, never letting a mistake go without ridicule, never complimenting any progress.
But I do now believe that Harold, in his old school way, was trying to push me harder because he didn't want me to be like everyone else he had trained. He didn't want me to pursue voice because it was cool or would get me girls or money or what not. That it was not just a love of the idea of singing (as so many students of voice are). He actually wanted me to love the act of singing itself, which ultimately made me want to share its truths with everyone I would meet.
Harold also gave me a wonderful gift of insight. I have had many teachers prior to him but he was the first to make the contemporary style of singing equal to or even better than the highly esteemed operatic style of singing which I was used to and wanted so desperately to get away from. He was my first contemporary teacher and he made me proud of the style of singing that I was into for its complexities and underlining beauty.
For the last ten years or so I have kept detailed journals outlining the techniques that were proving successful, waiting for the day technology would catch up with my vision. The vision was to bring the best of voice training to any student in the privacy of their own home, anywhere in the world. In other words, to make lessons affordable, obtainable, convenient and comfortable. And most importantly, make them work.
For over a decade I have owned the Musically Speaking Vocal Science and Performance Studio in Blackwood, NJ, where I have trained singing to an average of 60 students per week, some of which have gone through our internship program and are now successful voice instructors as well. I have also recorded and produced countless bands and solo artists who are professionals in the business and I am myself an internationally touring singer. All of this gained knowledge and experience has given me the tools to help anyone who has a desire to be a truly talented singer reach their goal. And now, since we are in the computer age, voice training is about to fulfill more dreams than ever before by combining a proven system of voice training with technology.
We all love to sing. Just ride down the road one day and look at the cars left or right of you and you will most likely wind up seeing someone singing in their car. This is why most people admire good singers and hold them up in an almost heroic display. Because we all love singing. Or at least the idea of singing. We put posters on the walls of our favorite artists and bands (which always have the singer in the middle and more towards the front.) or we wear their image on a t-shirt or key chain.
To be able to touch someone's heart through your own voice may be one of the oldest and sought after dreams in history. And now it is lying in front of you through a glowing computer screen. I hope you have a wonderful experience learning about one of the greatest gifts man was ever given. The gift of voice!
Thank You and God Bless,
Stephen J. Childs
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