Singing Lessons Vancouver



Are you searching for the voice of your dreams? – Have you been trying to go at it alone with no luck? Are you starting to think the stars are just born with a gift for singing?

What if there was a way you could sing like your heroes?

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[A]sk most singers what they want and it won’t be a fast car or a mansion. It’s a lot simpler than that. They just wish they could trust their voice when they need it most. The advantages of being able to sing through your entire range consistently allow you to sing what you want, when you want. It can mean nailing that next audition or maybe you’ll have more fun singing karaoke with your friends. However, very few singers can claim to have this ability. Can you?

As you read on you will learn that there’s a way you can sing any genre of music, in any style you wish, whenever you need to. Are you ready to take the step that could change your life forever?

Let’s take a moment to be completely honest. Think about your singing. Think about your voice when you rehearse, during singing lessons and when you perform. Now, write down 2-3 things you would like to change, improve or fix with your voice.

Singers struggle with dozens of problems and most have some part of their voice they’re unhappy with. You may know something’s going wrong but just don’t know how to fix it. The exercise above may have highlighted the areas you’d like to improve. Other people have no idea how bad their problem is until it becomes more serious.

  • Do you get frustrated because you hear other singers perform and believe your voice just doesn’t go that high or you can’t sing that loud?
  • Do you feel paralyzed moments before you go on stage or enter an audition, unsure if you’ll hit all the right notes?
  • Does your confidence take a hit when you perform because you have problem areas of you voice you cannot rely on?
  • Are you worried that you can perform but it comes with the expense of hurting or losing your voice ?
  • Do you feel unsatisfied knowing you cannot tap into the voice that you know lies within you?
Professional singers face these same problems too. Adele, Florence and the Machine, John Mayer and Alicia Keys, to name a few, have cancelled a number of shows in the past couple of years because they have sustained severe vocal injuries.

You may be wondering why this problem is suddenly so common with the industry’s top singers?


In short, the music industry has undergone drastic changes recently. Artists and their record labels are not selling nearly as many albums as in the past. The burden to make up this lost income falls on the artist. There’s an expectation that this lost revenue should be made up through live shows; many more live shows. This means grueling tour schedules. Relentless performing can be tiring enough but can you imagine struggling through knowing you’ve not had the proper training to cope? Some of you may even experience this when you sing only a few songs at a local venue. It’s very unsettling.


When any singer damages their voice it’s an anxious time. It stops us doing what we love to do. How severe is the injury? Will it need surgery? Will it cause permanent damage?


Now imagine if singing was your livelihood and a doctor ordered you not to sing for months because of a vocal injury. On top of that you have a record company who has invested in you and hundreds of thousands of your loyal, adoring fans have bought tickets to see you live. You could lose millions of dollars from the canceled shows. Adele for example, is reported to have lost around $2 million as a result of cancelling 10 shows! More importantly, you have disappointed your fans and you don’t get to go on stage and perform for them which really is the whole reason you wanted that big break in the first place! Cheering fans singing along to your songs and standing ovations, that’s what you’re in this for.


So what does this all mean? Basically, it’s not good enough to just have a good voice anymore. Similarly, you can’t build a career purely on good technical singing. You need both. You need to blend them seamlessly so you can develop a unique vocal sound that is also sustainable.


Would you rather wait until you have this immense pressure on your shoulders to face your singing problems? – or does it make more sense to build a voice that can stand up to the challenge now, before your big break? Who knows, it may even be the thing that help you get the long awaited “Big Break”.

I wish I was born with a heavenly voice, no problems, perfect tone and impressive range. How much easier would everything have been, but instead reality struck. I’ve had my fair share of problems and nearly lost my voice!

However, despite all this, I still believed I had a gift inside. Much like a diamond in the rough, I believed there was something there worth nurturing. You may be in the same position right now. I know the frustration of being unfulfilled by your own voice. I’ve spent years searching for answers and I worked through many of the challenges you’re probably facing. Luckily for you this means you don’t have to waste all that time and risk your own voice as you try to sort out what works and what doesn’t! Keep reading to find out how you can overcome the singing issues you are facing once and for all.

So now we know you’re not alone – many singers, even the big names in the music industry, face the very same singing problems. This begs the question – why do so many singers find themselves in this position?

[T]he truth is there are lots of ineffective techniques and unsatisfactory teachers out there. Finding the right combination of safe, effective technique and a knowledgeable teacher who understands your voice and your dreams is far from easy. There are many reasons singers continue to struggle with their singing every day:

  • Are you protective of your voice? Are you worried that someone could interfere with your style or do more damage than good? These are legitimate concerns.
  • Maybe you are new to singing and overwhelmed by all the choices you have? How do you know which one will work for you, if at all.
  • Are you afraid to step out of your comfort zone?
  • Do you believe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Has this left you reluctantly accepting problems you wish could be fixed?
  • You may even feel there is some physical problem that’s holding you back that you can’t overcome.

Like me, you may have tried singing lessons with one, two or several singing teachers and you’re getting tired of not getting the results you were hoping for:

  • Did the lessons lack progress because the teacher didn’t understand your voice? Lots of teachers continue with the same generic vocal exercises they use with each and every student, irrelevant of your own unique challenges and goals. Not only is this boring but it’s a waste of your time and money.
  • Does it frustrate you that you’ve studied a certain technique for years but it has left gaps in your voice because your instructor only focused on strengthening one part of your voice?
  • Maybe you have taken lessons from a “singer” who could sing really well but had no idea how to teach you how to do what they do naturally. Or did they suggest exercises that only worked for their voice and not yours?
  • Isn’t it frustrating when someone’s trying to tell you what to sing, forcing you to sing their way in their style, instead of teaching you how to sing with your voice? Many teachers focus on trying to change your voice to fit their stylistic preference and fail to develop your own artistic style.
  • How infuriating is it to study with someone who won’t listen to your needs and goals? Do you feel discouraged when they can’t help you achieve your goals because they’ve not taken the time to understand them?
  • Do you feel intimidated because the teacher wants to be the star of every lesson and they always know best? Lots of teachers use language that they think is impressive without considering if their students can actually understand their instructions. This can be very patronizing. “Giving your tone more support” or “placing your tone forward” or “placing it in the mask” are all impossible things to do unless you’ve already experienced them, in which case why would you be taking singing lessons?
  • Did you feel ignored by your teacher? Did it make you feel underappreciated? Unfortunately, many people in the music business are known for their “laid back” attitude. This is often used as a way to dismiss their unreliable ways. They often neglect their responsibilities to reply in a respectful and timely manner. This really isn’t acceptable and is usually a tell-tale sign that the person doesn’t take what they do or their relationship with you seriously.

Whether you have avoided singing lessons or had a bad experience, this could be taking its toll on your vocal development.  Thankfully, there’s a better way.

How would you feel if you could sing through your entire range with one consistent tone -no breaks, no flips, no strain, and no pain –all the while with the ease of speaking?

[S]ounds unbelievable, right? It’s possible! Imagine being able to trust your voice in any song, on any note– much like you trust your speaking voice when you walk into an interview or talk at a work meeting. Have you ever wondered why singing is harder? It’s the same voice – should it really be so much harder?

  • Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk on stage and be able to turn your voice on, like  a light switch, knowing you could bring it every time?
  • How would it feel to walk in to every audition, knowing you could nail every note, every time?
  • Imagine how fun performing would be without the vocal fears that usually run over and over in your mind backstage or even the days before a performance.
  • How much better would your performance be if you could fully trust your voice and focus on performing to the audience?
  • How fantastic would you feel to come off every stage knowing you had performed your best each and every time?
  • Imagine not just hitting the right notes but having the perfect tone and quality you really want on each of those notes.

This is not a fantasy! As we’ve discussed, there are a number of hurdles for singers to overcome. This has made successful singing become somewhat of an elixir, a holy grail. It’s easy to believe that you either have it or you don’t.  The truth is, the singers we look up to and admire found the right way to sing what they want, how they want, with ease. You can too, you just need to know where to look.

The Last Singing Teacher You’ll Ever Have to Find!

[M]y name is Mark Shields and I’m a singer. I’m also a singing teacher in Vancouver. These two distinct titles often get blurred into one in the same but they’re really quite different. Most singing teachers are actually just singers. This makes it hard for them to teach and communicate a method in a variety of ways. They often lack the awareness of the numerous issues different types of students, with different voices, may be troubled with. The difference is I’ve trained to sing but I’ve also been  trained to teach.  I’m a certified teacher endorsed by Maestro Seth Riggs – singing teacher to the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Madonna. My story has taken me around the world and you can read about it at MARK’S VOCAL STUDIO.

“He is without doubt the very best vocal teacher I have ever employed.”

JACQUELINE CHADWICK – Star of Hit UK TV Show Coronation Street and Founder of the Jacqueline Chadwick Academy of Performing Arts

The key to successful singing is understanding how the voice functions. As you talk your voice works naturally, it’s subconscious. Do you think about how you are going to say every word you say? NO, it just happens! The problems appear when you sing and try to help the voice in any number of ways. It’s this interference that creates problems and prevents your voice from producing the results you’re so desperately searching for.

How can you overcome these bad habits that are holding you back?

[H]ere enters a tried and tested singing technique, The Speech Level Singing Method. It’s the preferred technique behind 120 Grammy Award Winners, four winners of the New York Metropolitan Opera Awards, numerous Star Search winners, countless Broadway stars, television personalities, and recording artists. It goes against the tradition of barking archaic commands that you’ve never heard of, let alone experienced. Instead I’ll use it to develop your whole voice, using tailored exercises selected specifically for your needs. Most importantly these are always achievable exercises. This is why you’ll see results from your first lesson. These exercises are the building blocks that create the correct co-ordination you need to sing in a way you have only dreamed of.

“Dedication to the art and science of teaching singing. – Those are the first words that come to my mind when I think of Mark. If you want a singing coach who is deeply committed to mastering the nuances of excellent teaching and who deeply cares that his students succeed, then Mark is your teacher.”

LISA HAUPERTLevel 5 Speech Level Singing Instructor and former voice instructor of LIPA (Performing arts academy co-founded by Sir Paul McCartney)

I’ve worked really hard to build my voice, through a number of issues. I understand how frustrating it can be to not have full access to the voice you know is within you. I’ve had to overcome the challenges you’ll face and I can answer the many questions you’ll have in a way that makes sense because I’ve walked in your shoes. I want to help other singers avoid the pitfalls and minefields I had to face. I’ll help you achieve results you thought were impossible by:

  • Listening to you, your voice, your concerns and frustrations. Only then can I understand you, your needs and ambitions. Then I can help you achieve your goals.
  • Using tailored vocal exercises specifically for your voice – these exercises and tools will not become stagnant. They’ll evolve as your voice develops. I’ll always focus on applying your new skills in songs as we continually build the voice of your dreams.
  • Focusing on vocal cord function – this releases the shackles created when other teachers enforce a technique tied to a specific musical genre or style. By targeting the source of your problems your stylistic choices are far greater which paves the path to your end goal, a truly unique voice that makes you stand out! This technique will not hold back, but encourage your artistic development and personal stylistic preferences. Vocal technique is often misunderstood and you can read more on  THE ROLE OF SINGING TECHNIQUE here.
  • Teaching a safe and proven technique that is recognized the world over. Artists from Michael Jackson to Julie Andrews have relied on this method to not only develop but maintain and protect their voice under the pressures of huge success. Read more about  THE SPEECH LEVEL SINGING METHOD here.

“A great many voice teachers, in their effort to teach a workable vocal technique, take away a singer’s style and the individuality that established his career in the first place. A great teacher is able to direct a singer toward a healthier, more extensive use of his voice without losing that special quality that sets him apart. Seth Riggs is such a teacher.”

MICHAEL JACKSON discussing his experience studying Speech Level Singing with creator Seth Riggs

As we discussed earlier, it’s frustrating when you try to schedule a lesson and you don’t get a response for days. Music oriented people often use the artsy-cultural side to excuse this. I hate waiting so I won’t make you wait. You deserve a quick reply!

I’ve been a student. I know how important the support of a teacher is. Whether you need: a lesson urgently, help with songwriting, advice on building a home studio or need answers to your questions I’ll be there. The fact of the matter is you need someone with the right skills but you also need someone to believe in you from the start, when you need it most. Just a few minutes ago I asked if you were ready to take the step that could change not just your voice but your life forever. Clearly, if you’ve read this article you are ready to do what it takes.  It’s a team effort and I’ll be there for you.  Are you ready to take the next step?

The Next Step – Studying with the Right Teacher

“I would, without hesitation, recommend Mark Shields to anyone seeking to make the most of their vocal skills and I can guarantee that not only will you see results but he will also train you to preserve your voice and even to undo some of the damage caused in the past through bad vocal training or habits.”

JACQUELINE CHADWICK – Star of Hit UK TV Show Coronation Street and Founder of the Jacqueline Chadwick Academy of Performing Arts

Whether it’s for fun, in a choir, for a show, in a band or you want to be the next big thing: this is a chance to MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE to sing better today but also protect the future of your singing. SCHEDULE A SINGING LESSON TODAY to start developing the voice you have envisioned for so long.

Please feel free to ask me a question. Thanks!