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Eric Arceneaux has been called a legend by many within today’s music industry. The New Orleans native and Hurricane Katrina survivor turned down two major label record deals, in order to do things his way? And it worked! Through his popular Youtube channel (over 20 Million hits to date), Eric’s fans have witnessed his journey into becoming a full successful independent recording artist and a world-renowned vocal coach. Eric has been featured in USA Today, Singing Success Online Magazine, and Broadway Talk Radio. His students include Broadway stars, like Motown: The Musical’s Bryan Terrel Clark, Xfactor finalist David Correy, and even the Champion U.S. Olympic gymnast John Orozco. With millions of hits online, students on every continent, and thousands of CD’s sold worldwide, Eric Arceneaux is a force to be reckoned with.
Perhaps Eric’s most notable contribution to the artistic community is his voice training method, The Arceneaux Approach (AApproach). The AApproach was born of years of research that resulted in the revelation that our bodies are actually designed to sing.
I don’t like to think of voice lessons in terms of “proper” rules and techniques. What I teach is merely a systematic approach for getting out of the way of your own body; most vocal problems arise when we, as singers, try too much to control a process that really would work perfectly fine without our interference. Unfortunately, many vocalists and even voice teachers today adhere to strict dogmatic principles that they force upon their bodies, often despite a lack of positive results! Two phrases that my students hear from me every day: “Don’t try to outsmart your body; listen to it”. And, “Do LESS!”. Truly, your body can be a better teacher to you than any human being, if you just allow yourself to pay attention to what it’s showing you. Then vocal training becomes not a matter of “creating” a voice, but rather that of revealing a voice.
– Eric Arceneaux
I want to ask you: Do you have an advice for those who want to sing but don’t know where to start and they don’t dare to use their voice in a singing circumstance. Do you have any support or pep talk for them?
I would say number one: Singing takes courage and you are bearing your soul which is why people are so afraid to do it in front of other people. Most people are not afraid to speak in front of someone. but if you ask them to sing they say no. We are afraid to bare our should and be judged and we are afraid of that, but give yourself permission to be vulnerable and make yourself permission to make funny sounds and give yourself permission to not sound perfect and to sound bad. Get used to produce sound without judgement and that will free you up to refine your instrument. I think a lot of people are so afraid not being beautiful or perfect right from the start. You cannot share the clay if you do not put it on the table first. You have to be willing to let it out. A lot of people, their fear restrict them so much. Take the risk and put yourself out there.
And in regards to that, people who don’t dare to sing on stage, but they really want to but don’t know how to take that step. During my first stage experience I was going into the bathroom three times thinking I was going to through up. But I did it any way and after was it felt amazing that I did it and that I challenged that fear. Do you have any experience like that of your first on-stage-experience?
Yes I do. I auditioned in eight grade. It was my first time singing in front of people. I had auditioned for the graduation ceremony. I auditioned to have a solo for the promotional ceremony and it was in front of all my class. When I got up I was so nervous that the microphone was shaking in my hand and I tried to sing and it would barely come out…
Everybody started laughing and the teacher began laughing at me and I had tears coming from my eyes cause she was laughing so hard. I was humiliated. It wasn’t a happy ending but after that I realized that I was still alive. Yes it hurt at first but it strengthened me and each time I performed in front of others it felt a little bit easier. It is like riding a bike. You might fall and scrape your knee but you get up and keep riding. You heal and you learn the lesson from it and you are better for it.
I really believe in giving yourself permission to be vulnerable knowing that pain is temporary and embarrassment is temporary. Even if you don’t do a flawless performance you will still be OK.