Featured Instructor: Jaime Babbitt

Images of Jaime Babbitt teaching singing lessons at Singdaptive
Voice teacher/coach, author, session singer, performer and former musical director for Disney shares insights with singers through Singdaptive.

Millions of people have heard Jaime’s voice through her work as a session singer with Coca Cola, Ocean Spray, Chevrolet – and many other leading brands. She’s sung live with many A-List artists including Leon Russell and Sam Moore (from Sam & Dave), but also values her gigs at her dad’s nursing home to an equal degree!

Through her rich career experiences, Jaime has developed her approach to teaching the full spectrum of issues that confront today’s singers. These are embodied in her book, “Working With Your Voice” and in her many courses available through Singdaptive – with new lessons coming out this year.  

A vocal health lesson you learned the hard way?

Singing under extreme stress is extremely dangerous. I’m not talking about your garden-variety life stress. I’m talking about toxic, constant, eating-away-at-the-fiber-of-your-being kind of stress. I pulled through fine, but there was a moment there that I thought I’d done some damage to my cords. Thankfully, all was—and has remained—well. So if you’re under extreme stress and have to sing, I advise you to get all the help you possibly can and not try to go it alone. It takes a village, and a lot of courage.

Favorite Quote?

“Don’t tell me how you can’t do it. Tell me how you’re gonna do it.” – Don Lawrence (renowned and beloved voice teacher)

The Singdaptive Lesson you want people to see first?

Overcoming Self-Criticism – I can honestly say I’ve never met a singer who isn’t their own worst critic, myself waaay included. I don’t believe we can ever fully eradicate this aspect of our personalities, but we can witness it, breathe through it and tame it in real time…and that’s why this lesson is #1 for me.

Jaime’s lesson on overcoming self-criticism as a singer comes with actions relevant to all singers.

The easiest lesson to write for Singdaptive?

Singing When Sick https://singdaptive.com/lesson/8RA  – I have sung sick hundreds of times, and lived to tell, and needed to tell everyone how to do it! Realizing that I’d feel so much worse if I kept concentrating on how sh**ty I felt was a gamechanger. Now I’m not a dummy about self-care, but I don’t catastrophize being sick if I have a gig!

Favorite Singdaptive lesson that’s not yours?

Mark Baxter is a former vocal coach to Journey and Aerosmith – you can see his lesson for male singers here.

Mark Baxter – How Men Can Sing with Their Full Voice – which contains some extremely insightful takes on men, from a man. I’d not been able to put my finger on some of why some men may not be able to truly get to their emotionally vulnerable place until this course, so thanks, Mark!

What’s something that’s happened off-screen that didn’t make it into a Singdaptive lesson?

All my cursing, really. I spend most of my time teaching with the inner dialogue, “Please don’t say f***, please don’t say s***, please don’t say *insert bad word here*” …coursing through my thought processes. It’s not good. And it’s a hard habit to break, so I’m warning you!

A turning point in developing your vocal work?

I was utterly destroyed on my 2nd ever jingle session in NYC by a veteran who was territorial and horribly jealous of the newbies. They eviscerated me and called my talent into question in front of a roomful of other singers, two of whom are stars in their own right. This experience sent me, weeping openly, straight into the registrar’s office of the Mannes College of Music, where I took sight-singing, ear training and jazz improvisation for 2+ years. I got mad singing chops that enabled me to continue my jingle singing career with gusto…!

An inspirational message you received?

Tom Burke, Estill mentor extraordinaire (among other things), is providing me with so many inspiring tools, like: Voice training entails three disciplines: Craft, Artistry and Performance Magic. Start with the craft, move to the artistry and then…magic happens!

What are you currently working on for Singdaptive?

My newest course, “The Zen of Singing”, was a blast to create! Talking about the body/mind/spirit connection with regard to singing, with a little craft, artistry and magic thrown in, lol.

You can find course highlights and more about Jaime’s teaching and life on her Singdaptive Instructor Page

A memorable performance?

Singing at a Willie Nelson July 4th Picnic with Leon Russell and 20,000 or so adoring fans. The sheer excitement, volume and dopamine rush was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. Feeling at one with all those people, the connection was the most joyous and incredible thing. Mind you, you can sing for one person and create that feeling, too. That’s what The Zen of Singing is about, folks.

What did you wish we asked you?

  • Why does singing mean so much to those of us who define ourselves so deeply as singers? 

I think the answer is a bit different for everybody, but for me, singing has been there for me when it seemed like nothing else was. It’s been my friend, parent, lover, constant companion, teacher, professor, boss, moneymaker, shrink, bartender (those last two are the same thing, lol)…all of that and more. 

It’s been my sanctuary and aside from my health and the people I love, my voice is the thing I’m most grateful for.. Words don’t do justice to describe what it feels like to love something so completely that’s so….me. Not just a part of me, but actually me…if that makes any sense. 

You can see all of Jaime’s lessons & courses here   https://singdaptive.com/instructor/jaime-babbitt

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