Working in legal aspects of the insurance industry, before judges, peers and prospects, I found my voice changing, and not for the better, over the course of many years. This started to change my demeanor and I felt I was becoming less effective as a speaker. A friend suggested I take voice lessons, singing lessons, and referred me to Robert Robinson at RHRVoice. I confess I was at first skeptical of what practicing singing and voice exercises could accomplish for me, if anything. I shouldn't have doubted. Within the first month of weekly lessons, my wife and colleagues noticed the difference. Robert utilizes the Garcia Marchessi method, with which I was totally unfamiliar, not surprising since I did not know there WERE methods of teaching voice and singing. Robert taught me to find my own voice, my true voice, and in the process gave me a much broader vocal range than I could ever have anticipated. Along with the change, my demeanor returned to that of the successful executive. The results have truly been astonishing, and I have Robert's training to thank for the positive changes.
Antoine Gilbert Brown
Lloyds of London
With no singing background and a semblance of intuition I found myself for the first time in Robert’ studio to face the question of why, of goals. Mine were two-fold - the first was to sing an entire song, if only to myself, walking down a street as I imagined it then. The second was to become a better emotional resonator. The first, as I realize now, is a question of license while the second is a matter of technique. We made a deal and I undertook to become a “two cavity resonator”. It started for me with matching pitches.
Singing is making people feel things. The GM technique which Robert employs addresses this idea directly through the control of the harmonic structure of your voice. It happens gradually, this mapping of feeling something, to resonating, to inducing that feeling in others. At one level it is the mechanics of airflow and laryngal position, on another it is the muscle memory of emotion.
That first goal however, that of license, is harder to describe. I did sing songs to myself, to a casting director, and to audiences. It goes deeper than that though - I choose to sing in front of people - not from a place of talent but because it is what I want. It’s been a jumping off point to new and strange adventures.
This process is both a technical and emotional one and Robert’s skill, awareness, and constant support are invaluable. It is truly a partnership to get to these places and you would be hard-pressed to find a more capable lead.
When I was I kid I sang in the school choir for many years. In my late teens I toured all over New England with a college male a cappella group. In my twenties I studied opera with a vocal coach who performed next to Placido Domingo. In my thirties I was the lead vocalist in a rock band that regularly played in front of hundreds, and sometimes thousands of people. Then in my forties I met Robert Robinson and realized that I had no idea how to sing. My random and fortuitous cold call to Robert's studio one day was the beginning of a journey, that I'm still on, in which I have been able to realize my vocal potential in a way that I could never have imagined. For the 99.999% of us on the planet earth for whom singing with a combination of powerful resonance and a warm tone throughout a three octave range does not come naturally, the Garcia Marchesi vocal technique is an effective discipline for developing a muscle memory in your body that will bring out the best in your voice. The technique is intuitive and the training can take place in 20-30 minute chunks of time which is often all I have. Robert reinforces the technique with an honest diagnosis of my issues, customized remedies, opportunities to apply what I've learned in music that I love to sing, and with stretch goals in the form of live performances. For me the progress was very visible within a year. My range increased substantially and I could more seamlessly shift support for my voice between the head and the chest in a way that I never could before. I even got to where I could sing with a cold. Robert's dedication matches the effort of his students. He is clearly motivated to see his students overcome their anxieties, make progress and ultimately perform. He understands that vocal training is often a two steps forward/one step back affair and always manages to get me back on track. The thoughtful combination of vocal training, group workshops and performance opportunities results in an energetic and unique culture in Robert's studio that goes well beyond singing lessons. It feels great to be part of that culture.
I first contacted Robert 3 years ago to improve my voice and stage presence for karaoke performances, but what I gained from his teaching ended up being so much more than I anticipated. As part of my job, I am often asked to join meetings with senior leaders to represent my bosses. I frequently avoided these opportunities from lack of confidence and general stage freight. Through the GM technique, my voice became richer and more robust and my presentations more effective. It allows me to communicate my points better and really get a message through to a room of executives.
All of the unique vocal workouts improved my speaking voice in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Now when I open my mouth to sing or speak, the audience is way more engaged and my message resonates with the audience long after the presentation is over. This is in large part due to my work with Robert.
It was as if Robert reads my mind at times—he was able to tell me exactly what I needed to hear when I needed to hear it in order to get to the next level in my singing. Overall, I’m blown away by how much what I approached as a hobby ended up enriching my career. Managing my crippling stage fright and improving my engagement with the audience, whether it be executives in tech or karaoke regulars, has allowed me to pursue amazing press opportunities like panel discussions and press interviews for Inc. Magazine and Refinery 29. I enthusiastically recommend lessons from Robert for anyone who wants to improve their presentation skills, more easily connect with an audience and wants to leave a positive lasting impression with a group of people.
Executive Assistant to the co-founders of Dropbox