I often have students asking me how they can sing like Ariana Grande. I can surely understand why they would want to sound like she does, because she has a beautiful and remarkable voice. Her speaking voice and her are laugh are filled with music. I just finished listening to YouTube posts of her singing from the age of eight until the present. While she was born with an unusual amount of vocal talent, she works hard to develop, train, and grow with it as she matures. If you listen to early recordings, you can tell when she started training with a vocal coach because her voice became less strained, more free and filled with emotion. She began taking lessons at the age of thirteen, which is a great age to begin training! Girls go through vocal changes during puberty too, so unless a singer is really singing with bad form, it is usually a good idea to let the voice develop naturally until the child has gone through puberty.
Ariana trains with a vocal coach who helps her warm up her voice and care for it before and after her performances. You will find this to be a common practice among the elite singers of the world. They realize that just like dancers and other athletes, singers use the muscles of the body in an athletic manner and so they must do boring things like warm-up and stretch the voice in order to sing the songs they need to sing without hurting their voices. Just like a ballerina can’t just start out on point, singers must train to reach their fullest potential.
To sing like Ariana, it is very important to set the voice from the top down, so you will find her doing many lip trills, starting high, sliding down through the range and then back up to her highest whistle tone. This exercise opens and connects her entire vocal range without putting any strain at all on her voice, allowing for free, relaxed singing. It also opens the pathway to free singing throughout the registers of the voice without having to make big shifts while moving low to high or high to low. This exercise will help remove limiters, obstacles, tension, and anything that stands in the way of your best singing. Try doing lips trills every morning before you speak or sing, and then periodically throughout your day, and you will experience unbelievable freedom in your singing!
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