Develop your voice – and keep it! The movements of the vocal chords, when videotaped with a micro camera, can be likened to the movement of wings. Like flying, however, it takes great skill and control to stay in the air and the possibilities of mistakes are numerous.

The lack of a healthy relationship with your own sound, anatomy and vocal function is often the main cause of frustration and the feeling that "something isn’t quite right."


Most singers do not have the proper technique to ensure longevity. The average career span of a professional singer in opera or on Broadway is only about five to seven years. Rock / pop singers usually have the benefit of a microphone, but still they see their abilities decline drastically as the years go by. It doesn’t have to be this way.








Background

In 1972, a leading European technical university - comparable to Cambridge’s M.I.T - teamed up with a group of American researchers and top voice coaches. This collaboration lasted for over fifteen years and focused on the goal of re-examining the foundations of both modern and traditional voice training. The results were astounding - for the first time we came to understand with precision and certainty what specific exercises, including the traditional Bel Canto Training, do, why they work and why others do not. This work created a complete set of tools that allows the singer to sing with much greater efficiency, a greater range of pitch and emotion and to stay on pitch without having to think about it.

The Functional Voice Training method has produced singers whose voices have continually improved over time, enabling both perfect vocal health and a hugely extended career span.

Unlike many vocal therapy methods that provide damage control or injury recovery, Functional Voice Training focuses on building the best possible instrument, one that can musically and emotionally excite the audience and communicate with the greatest possible efficiency. The discovery of the singer formants lets us now explain and train the properties of the voice that create those magical moments when the listener feels truly touched and moved by the performance.








Training

Tim works with beginning, intermediate and advanced singers and is always glad to meet new students.

Functional Voice Training develops the singer’s relationship with his or her instrument.
This encompasses:

  • the understanding and mastery of the singer’s formant
  • muscle versus tonus building and its effect on resonance
  • efficient versus inefficient forms of support and their impact on emotion and freedom
  • inner movement and vitality versus vocal force
  • the magical moment of relief – a requirement for vocal stamina
  • synchronization and its role in communication
  • work on musical structure and song performance
  • the psychology of a successful practice ethic
  • visualization, focus, and concentration
  • the directing of internal dialogue and imagery
  • the study of peak performance








The Coach - Tim Lukas

Tim is currently the chief engineer / producer at Blink Music, a high-end record production company. A graduate of Germany’s prestigious Tonmeister program in audio engineering, he was invited to Berklee College of Music in Boston as a Fulbright Scholar, graduated with a triple major in Music Production, Piano Performance, and Composition and freelanced in world-class recording facilities before starting Blink Music.

After discovering that many of the singers he came across while at Blink weren’t producing an optimal sound during recordings, Tim became interested in fully understanding this complex instrument. Having experienced the difference between struggling and complete effortlessness and control at his primary instrument, the piano, through his studies with world-class pianists, Tim sought to find the equivalent in vocal training. After trying out many voice methods, he finally found, through Shirin Zareh, access to the Functional Voice Training in Berlin, Boston and Lichtenberg.

“Having been trained as pianist by excellent piano coaches, concert pianists and jazz greats, I started looking for teachers to help me develop my voice. That journey encompassed experiences that could easily be turned into a movie script with both comical and slapstick moments – it is mind boggling how many inefficient voice coaches there are, many of them unable to explain in detail what their exercises are supposed to accomplish and why. I went through about 15 voice coaches, many of them with hardly any progress! Finding the Functional Voice Training was a true blessing.”

“It’s all about efficiency of tone production and being able to enjoy the result! For example, for the first 15 years of my life I played piano mostly with muscular effort. Studying in masterclasses with renowned concert pianists, I was introduced to the concept of Functional Piano playing. My arms stopped hurting, by back didn’t feel heavy and I actually enjoyed playing the piano - not just on a musical level but also on a physical one. This sense of ease, efficiency and transparency is now also available for singers. I met Gisela Rohmert, one of the most charismatic and knowledgeable authorities in vocal pedagogy, in Boston and signed up for a three-year coaching program in Functional Voice Training. The impact is tremendous on my work as a producer - better singers equal better records.” Tim has coached recording artists in a variety of genres, including classical, jazz, rock, pop, blues, and soul, and has had much success in applying the FVT method in all these styles.









The Work

Tim teaches one-on-one with selected singers and artists.

“It’s great to be able to do this. In record productions I work often for many months on the same ten tracks. Working with singers once a week is very refreshing and rewarding - we both immediately hear the results!”

“I enjoy the challenge of finding out what makes the voice tick - every instrument has its own challenges. Some singers are nearly there but are missing some energy that can be directed by establishing the singer’s formant. Others don’t have enough low frequency resonance in their voice, some don’t have a working vibrato, etc etc. I have yet to find a voice that doesn’t greatly improve in the training.”

“I myself am an avid athlete, runner, windsurfer and skiier and have worked with several peak-performance coaches on fitness, nutrition and focus. Like the athlete, the musician needs to have a sense of purpose, direction, and energy as well as the ability to move beyond obstacles. And so, handling those aspects has become a part of my coaching as well.”

On record production and Functional Voice:

“I often liken the work of the recording studio to that of an airport: Let’s go over the essentials, train your wings and then take off. The musician learns to be in an independent relationship with his or her instrument. She or he has confidence because there is a real relationship with the instrument, one that allows them to perform with freedom and without fear.”

“I recommend highly that all my colleagues in record production and engineering learn more about the voice. The human voice is more often than not the main point of any record. So why is it that engineers learn all about software and compressors but generally don’t study the instrument they are supposed to record?”

“There’s hardly a record production in which I won’t apply some principles of the Functional Voice Training. Sometimes it’s just a small movement that immediately puts the singer back on pitch and saves hours usually spent on pitch correction and editing. And yes, we at Blink Music (blinkmusic.com) also have to spend hours on vocal editing but at least the singers I work with require far fewer takes.”








What Others Are Saying

"Tim is a knockout coach. I had fun in my lessons, learned to sing with a much better resonance in just six months and now perform with hardly any stage freight. He uses athlete-like coaching techniques, yet keeps his humor. I can’t recommend him highly enough."

Claudia Waubert, jazz singer, actress


"Tim’s a killer coach. I worked with him on both voice and piano. He’s on target, fast to recognize a student’s main stumbling blocks and he removes them diligently. Though he can be tough, it’s all for the better and I’m very pleased with the results."
Fay Gauthier, pop/rock singers


"Tim has a holistic approach to teaching music. Believing that all aspects of a person work in harmony, he emphasizes physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational health while teaching music. Tim shares a multitude of experiences and information that he has explored and encourages students to seek out ways to improve their vitality and overall well-being. On the musical side, his coaching style is extremely professional yet very personable. Blink Music, his production company, is a business, but Tim’s primary concern is encouraging individuals to create a fulfilling life in all areas, including music. My lesson is one of the highlights of my week!"
Jenn Jenness












129 Franklin Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
phone. 617.225.0044 fax. 617.225.0999
Email Tim at info@blinkmusic.com

Directions

Blink High End is located at 129 Franklin Street in Cambridge, MA, 02139 in the historic "Kennedy Biscuit Lofts" building. We are between MIT and Central Square, very close to the Middle East and TT the Bear’s nightclubs. We are only 10 minutes by car from the Back Bay. The studio is quite easy to find but please call if you get lost (617-225-0044) or email in advance if it is still unclear where we are.

Parking

For visits under 30 minutes you can park in the courtyard in front of our building. To get to the courtyard, drive down Sidney Street and take the third right onto a little side street (it sneaks up on you after the park, between two large brick buildings). Take an immediate right onto Brookline Place and drive to the end – straight ahead and you’ll see a large brick historic-looking building. This is where we are. Pull into the courtyard and parallel park. For visits over 30 minutes please follow the directions above to get to us; when you arrive we will give you access to free on street visitor parking. Or, if you prefer a garage, follow the direction above down Sidney Street, and when you take that right onto the side street you will see a large parking garage on the left (before Brookline Place).