Jim Hudak, who's rendered over 3,000 performances as a solo piano instrumentalist over the past 15 years, is taking singing lessons. A reach? A departure? Not necessarily. "Actually, I've studied voice from several teachers in the past," Hudak confides. "But it's been awhile. With upcoming recordings planned that will include vocals, I wanted to get a fresh perspective and give myself a chance to sing as well as I possibly can." Richard Jennings, whose Richard Jennings Voice Studio is located in Berkeley, CA, is providing the vocal instruction for Hudak's singing renaissance. Jennings has taught voice in major universities and worked with singers on several record labels and Tony Award winning theatres. He favors the Bel Canto vocal technique, which Hudak is familiar with. "I studied Bel Canto with a great teacher in Pittsburgh, PA named Paula Signorino for over two years," Hudak points out. "What Richard presents in the way of how to approach singing rings true and familiar to what Paula taught. That helps to make the process more comfortable for me. Like in anything else, a good teacher makes all the difference." Hudak credits Frank Dorritie, the department chair for the Recording Arts program at Los Medanos College, for pointing out the importance of good vocal technique. "When I was going through the Recording Arts program a few years ago, one of the classes I really enjoyed was a class called 'Record Producing' that Frank taught. I remember he said that one of the tough responsibilities of a record producer is to advise prospective clients that if necessary, voice lessons might be in order. In my case, since I haven't sung too much over the past 15 years, I could hear the rustiness in my vocals, and decided that singing lessons would be a good investment." Saying he can already hear and feel a difference for the better in his singing, Hudak plans to continue with his voice lessons until his improved technique becomes automatic and natural. In the end, good singing is about breathing, feeling relaxed, and applying good technique in order to make the voice as warm and resonant as possible.

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Jim Hudak

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