Episode 28 – Wendy Parr On Finding Your Sound, Nerves And Songwriting

Hello Singists!

There’s no music this week. Sorry about that. HOWEVER, we would love to share some news with you about our upcoming workshop. It’s only one week away… the 19th September 2015. Check out our video for some more information.

Singers - Master Your High Notes! The Workshop.

This workshop is not to be missed if you want to improve your voice, be able to communicate what you want out of your voice with voice teachers and music professionals, and know how to adjust your body to release all the high notes and expand your repertoire. Visit our workshop page for ticket information and booking: http://www.thenakedvocalist.com/master-your-high-notes-for-pop-musical-theatre-singers/

Wendy Parr also has some workshops happening in Liverpool and London (UK) this October. They are for performers and artists who want to learn from an industry leader and get advice for performance, business and songwriting. It’ll be a great bunch there and you’ll certainly benefit from all the advice in the room. Find out more about the events here.


Kwaver is a cool little app that’s available through the App Store for singers who want to record short little snippets over predefined loops. Once you’ve recorded a little loop, you can fire it out to the network and allow other users to add their ideas to your feed. You can even end up with a song! Have a look at their website, or better still go and download it for free and start playing around.

On to our guest, the amazing…

Wendy Parr!

Wendy Parr Vocal Coach

Here’s Wendy’s self-penned introduction. This should impress you:

“Wendy is an Award Winning Songwriter,  one of New York City’s top voice teachers with over 24 years experience, currently a  VIP Council Member, vocal producer and singer whose passion supports the Artist’s Spirit – providing excellent technique for the purpose of authentic artistic expression, allowing clients develop and sustain their signature unique sound. She also works as the Celebrity and Industry Professional Coordinator for VocalizeU.

Founder of The Artists Circle, currently New York City, Los Angeles and Nashville, Wendy travels extensively songwriting, developing artists, vocal producing and creating inspiring workshops that create community, inspiration & motivation for artists worldwide.”

In her coaching she has worked with Regina Spektor, Sara Bareilles and had taken pop band, A Great Big World, from first lesson to Grammy win. As a songwriter she had also won awards for cowriting a song on the soundtrack for Slumdog Millionaire. Quite a CV, I think you’ll agree.

How do you find authenticity as a singer?

As Wendy sees it, there’s a fork in the road here. One is the artistry, and one is how you use the instrument that is your voice. Tuning the voice so it’s not limited and functions well will partly bring out the authentic sound of the singer. Emulation is also part of that, and singers benefit from allowing other singers to influence them. For example, it’s now popular to sound like Adele but many singers don’t know they’re doing it. Working to correct the over-emulation of other artists in a singer can help to allow the influences but still allow their authentic voice and personality to come through.

It’s important to also find out what you are really passionate about. This will drive the authenticity, and it can obviously motivate the artist by living in their biggest love and portraying that in music!

Singing advice

A quote that sprung to mind when Wendy was talking about her 9 year journey with A Great Big World

The curse of the voice – having talent but not enjoying it

We’re talking about singers who may be in the profession, and even be high profile, but openly dislike the act of performing or singing. Wendy feels there are many pieces to this puzzle, starting with how a singer can receive praise and compliments but they feel fake or disconnected. Because there’s not the connection to the material, or the experience, it’s not very fun anymore. We need to get joy back in it! The advice is to get back in the moment and reconnect to the songs. Often the disconnection to the song can be a result of singing it just to get through it, or singing it thinking of the way the original singer sang it. Even how you used to sing it. That will remove you from the purpose of singing and the emotional connection to the song. It can also potentially destroy the portrayal of the song, not to mention your enjoyment for singing. Instead, forget anything in the past and let your character and emotions come through and combine with the song. If you’re not feeling the content of the song, then we’ll essentially get 3.5mins of conflict and not cooperation.

Nerves can disconnect you too. Especially trying to not be nervous! Let them out in the first few bars of the song and let the moment, and the song, take hold and deliver whatever it is you’re delivering.

For anyone who’s interested in a pre-show meditation ritual, Wendy has a product available on her website to download and help you. http://wendy-parr.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/ready-to-rock-an-empowering-pre-show-meditation-for-singers

Tune in to the episode for more amazing advice from this insanely experienced industry professional. You can find her at her website, and through her social media links:

Keep listening and we’ll keep making! Keep in touch through our FaceBook page. We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions on this one!

Leave a Reply