FAQS

Hello, below are answers to a number of frequently asked questions (faqs) I get regularly about my background and vocal coaching.

What's my story?

When I was nine – my parents sought out a very unique and brilliant teacher/musician for me. He would become my teacher.

He was a Renaissance Man – an organist, a painter, a portrait artist, an astrologer, a television personality, an adjudicator, an authority on the Welland Ship Canal, a music director.

He taught me how to think as a musician – to ask questions that inspired thought and to be fearless about “doing the right thing” and making choices that lead to greater possibilities.

My uncles toured Canada as professional musicians and my great grandfather performed on vaudeville stages.

I studied at Western University, Rider University (Westminster Choir College), University of Western Michigan and San Diego University. Worked as a choir director, a producer, conductor and organist in many churches.  Performed regularly, taught musical theatre, vocal jazz and vocal music in public and private schools.  

Currently I’m the Artistic Director of Revv52 in my 23rd season – a unique Canadian performance group that expands the bounds of artistic performance.                                           

When you learn more – you know how much there is still to know.  I’m inspired by Tony Bennett’s approach to life and his music.  His excellence as an artist and musician are reflected in his passion to continue learning.

What makes me unique as a Vocal Coach?

I’m passionate about music – love to share what I have learned over 42 years of working with music (singers,bands, performers) – over 35,000 hours of music with singers in all styles of music.

I continue to learn about the art of teaching ,the art of vocal coaching, research on “the brain and music”, the physiology of the voice, the art of performance and technique.

I’m inspired by Tony Bennett’s approach to life and his music.  His excellence as an artist and musician is reflected in his passion to continue learning. As I learn more – I realize how much more there is still to know.

What is the difference between voice lessons and vocal coaching?

Voice Lessons primarily focus on vocal technique to increase vocal range, build vocal strength, blend smoothly between head voice and chest voice, achieve mixed voice and belt coordinations, master multiple musical and vocal styles, sing high notes with ease, and eventually achieve technical and artistic mastery.

Vocal Coaching is primarily for singers looking to prepare for auditions, for performances, or for the recording studio. Vocal Coaching sessions focus on performance strategies, stage presence, musical choices, stylistic nuances, microphone technique, and learning how to sing different musical styles. Vocal Coaching also includes accompaniment, recording accompaniment tracks, repertoire book building, audition song selection, acting coaching, and the application of vocal technique to songs.

How can I help you?

I can help you to connect to your signature sound – your sound as a singer and performer. I’ll listen to you as a singer and connect to your style of learning – a learning style that excites you to achieve even more that you expect as a singer.

Everyone has their own signature sound – it is important to find it and perform in it – to build consistency, strong performance and technique.

I offer you:

Vocal Coaching Sessions – weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi- monthly
With Brian Farrell and Associate Mariya Stokes (singer/songwriter)

Turntable Creative: For performers to “try on their song(s)” in a performance setting that is creative and inspiring and receive feedback by professionals in the industry.
With Brian Farrell and Neil MacGonigill (Manager) and Guests
Once a month on a Monday, 7pm – 9pm

Reboot Lab: For more experienced singers, band members, performers who want to know more about their craft – performance coaching and technique
With Brian Farrell with Ashwin Sood (Producer/Musician)

Workshops: Gospel Music Workshops/Summer Vocal Workshops for singers, choir members, band members.
With Brian Farrell and Guests

Why am I a Vocal Coach?

I enjoy helping people find “their voice”, eliminating fear and connecting to music and art.  I simply love what I do.

What styles of music do you work with?

As a vocal coach, I work with all styles of singing including pop, rock, country, contemporary, gospel, rhythm and blues, jazz and classical. 

Where do you work and where is your studio located?

I work on and off site with singers. When working with singers/bands in recording sessions, I work with the artist, recording engineer at the session site.  At my home studio in Calgary, I help singers establish their signature sound.  

The studio is equipped with:

  • a variety of microphones (dynamic and condenser)
  • Roland Fantom X7 Workstation keyboard
  • Korg 88 key weighted keyboard
  • Korg Kronos 61 Key workstation
  • 7’ 6’’ Yamaha CX7 grand piano
  • two acoustic guitars 

Singer/songwriters are encouraged to bring their guitars – a DI box is available to use with the system  A monitor is set up for singers to view video and their songs with lyrics/chords

Why is your Studio located in Calgary?

It’s a wonderful space – access to an excellent sound system, microphones, stereo with multiple vinyl/CD recordings, keyboards, grand piano, guitar and a creative space that is a window to a spectacular view with wildlife that appears from time to time.

It’s an escape to a very creative and stimulating space for artists, singers, bands.

What are voice coaching sessions like?

With singers, I focus on interpreting the song and making it your own, breathing and breath control, connecting through the vocal breaks, microphone technique, and musical style. 

Singers I work with have been very successful in achieving their goals as performers whether it be for auditioning, festival performances, public performances, show tours, church worship or mic calls at open mics.

How can you help inexperienced singers?

Singers who are keen to learn and approach vocal coaching with a positive approach are supported and invited to be the best singer they can be. I help singers understand the relationship of groove, story and technique to develop their signature sound.

How long will it take before I see improvements?

Singers will see immediate improvement with their overall vocal tone, placement, and vocal colour.

It’s important to be consistent in performance with one’s vocal sound which is reinforced with continued vocal coaching.

What can professional singers, band members, touring musicians or singers expect from their vocal sessions?

Professional singers can expect to find their signature sound that is consistent – on tour, in the recording studio and in single performances. My strengths include coaching stage performance and choosing songs sets for performance.

"Brian shows his students the difference between getting through the moment and living in the moment. He teaches students to seek the intent behind any piece of music, and develops a way to help his students communicate that intent through performance. His extensive academic credentials are quite notable; however it is the passion and heart that truly makes this man stand out from the rest. Together, these qualities pose an unbeatable combination that Brian portrays in such a humble and kindred spirit." ~ Lindsay Ell

Who are some singers/artists you’ve worked with?

I’m founder of Turntable Creative Class, a performance showcase for artists that manager Neil MacGonigill and I offer.  Ashwin Sood and I developed The Reboot Lab, a workshop to help musicians navigate the current business of music and hone their musical skills.

When are you available for vocal coaching sessions?

Please email or call me to schedule a vocal coaching session.

Email: brian@brianfarrell.ca

Tel: 403-608-2346