What is Belt?
Of all the voice qualities, Belt is the one that seems the least understood, and surrounded by the most mystique.
Ironically, Belt is possibly the most natural way of using the voice, as it's what children are doing every day in the school playground - without losing or damaging their voices!
Confusion comes from the fact that the term 'to belt' literally means 'to shout or yell'. While there are some similarities between yelling and Belt quality, it's not just shouting! Neither is it 'Chest Voice' pushed higher!
Next time your music director or choir leader asks you to 'belt it out' make sure to find out if they mean 'belt' or 'Belt' - with all due respect, they may not know the precise difference!
Can anyone Belt?
Absolutely! Understanding the precise vocal set-up opens up a whole new world of repertoire. No matter what your previous training, you can learn to Belt, by isolating the correct components of the voice and learning to control them.
A song would rarely be Belted from beginning to end, but in every theatre song there comes a moment when nothing else will do - the audience will accept nothing less! Put simply, if you want to sing in Musical Theatre, you have to know how to Belt!
Physiologically, the defining characteristic of Belt is the opened Crico-Thyroid space. This happens as a result of shortening and thickening the Vocal Folds, giving a much longer closed phase, resulting in a larger subglottic pressure. The larynx is raised to shorten the vocal tract. This, combined with a high degree of Anchoring effort and a narrowing of the AryEpiglottic Sphincter (AES or epilarynx) gives the bright, edgy sound you hear in Musical Theatre.
The above is a very precise anatomical description of Belt. If it doesn't make much sense to you at this stage, don't worry! Estill Voice Training™ is taught via individual Figures for Voice™ that are designed to give you full, independent control over the structures of your voice such as the Cricoid, Thyroid, AES and Anchoring mentioned above.
These Figures are then combined to make distinct Voice Qualities such as Belt. Andy would ensure you have mastered each of the Figures before encouraging you to Belt.
Is Belt dangerous?
Produced properly, Belt poses no risks. It's a high energy method of singing, so if the perfect conditions are not maintained, it could be harmful for the voice. But the same could be said for Opera quality, so Belt is no more dangerous than Classical singing.
Whatever style you want to sing in, it's vitally important that you know exactly how to use the voice to its best effect, without causing undue tension and strain. That's why Certified Master Teachers of Estill Voice Training™ spend years understanding how to teach each unique style - and how to change between them.
Learn to Belt
Andy is a professional vocal coach, not a school teacher or piano teacher doing a few singing lessons in their spare time. Unlike a lot of voice teachers, Andy does not insist on long-term tuition, where students have to attend regular lessons, repeating the same exercises until their voice improves. You can attend as often as you like, but there's no compulsion to attend every week or every fortnight. In fact, many students only book sessions every 4 to 6 weeks.
Estill Voice Training™ is known for producing quick results. Quite often, Andy finds that long-standing problems can be fixed in the first few lessons. At your first session, Andy will give you an assessment of your abilities and draw up a plan that ensures you get to where you want to be, as quickly as possible.
If you're ready to take your voice to the next level, book a lesson with Andy today (see bottom of page).
Andy runs his studio from St Helens, so is ideally located for students in the Liverpool, Merseyside, Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire areas. Please check out the separate pages for students from Liverpool, Merseyside, Warrington, Widnes / Runcorn, Wigan, Cheshire, Lancashire and North Wales.
Singing lessons - costs and times
£50 for 1 hour
Monday: 1000 - 1930
Tuesday: 1000 - 1930
Wednesday: 1000 - 1830
Thursday: 1000 - 1830
Friday: 1000 - 1500
Book your singing lesson now!
To book your first singing lesson with Andy, you need to pay in advance.
Please note that waiting times can be up to 4 weeks, depending on the time slot you require. If you have an urgent requirement, please contact Andy before paying your deposit.
Simply click on the link below and follow the Paypal instructions (NB each 60 minute session costs £50). Once you've paid, Andy will contact you to arrange a suitable time for your lesson.
If you don't have a Paypal account, please contact Andy for alternative ways to pay.
Please note: Clients must give a minimum of 48 hours' notice should they need cancel a lesson. Giving less than 48 hours' notice will mean the full cost of that lesson will be charged. Additionally, if a client forgets a scheduled lesson or is late (regardless of reason, including illness) the full cost of the lesson will still be charged.