Lana Martin of Vocal Workout Singing School, the Art of Soul Singing, has now pivoted her business successfully due to online training. As a black entrepreneur woman in a fast innovation space, there has been a rise in business theft, often termed Cloning; the pandemic has transformed vocal companies, traditional private sanctuaries where secrets can be easily protected. Little castles of trade secrets. It is now simpler than ever for teachers to steal techniques and student roster data while teaching from home.
Lana Martin is at the forefront of the popular hip-hop and pop music trends, studios from NYC and LA teaching the best clients, for years. As a leader in the space, Lana was aware as the landscape had been shifting away from the traditional meaning of a vocal class, but teaching from home means it’s more difficult to keep track of who is loyal.
Black woman have been achieving amidst the pandemic, and Lana Martin is arguably the first black woman to pioneer in vocal coaching, an industry that has been traditionally closed to black women on a mass scale.
“A guide to high tech, low cost training is at the top of every google search. At the mercy of the zoom boom, the buying public wants more of a guide to distinguish quality.”
Getting serious about vocalists is no great challenge for Miss Martin and her team coaches, it is a conquered passion and a 25-year legacy.
“At this time, a tiny modern home studio is like a mecca for many of our clients,” she says.
What are the challenges facing black entrepreneur women in today’s competitive boutique entertainment space?
How does it harden the mind and soul to work through a screen?
Lana says, “Many companies are going through cloning — with employees working from home, they can steal from socials or use LinkedIn with clients and make them their own silent over-time. It’s easier than if they are in the office where some manner of oversight and use of office computers help mitigate the levers of integrity.
During the pandemic, staff have time on their hands like never before, try to save themselves a commute and begin to fantasize about doing their own company, particularly with creative retail concepts. “This Covid crisis is lonely enough, togetherness virtually is where it’s at for the new normal.”
In 2020 — many people have lost their sense of navigation, what is reasonable and makes sense to create an income in the future. “It is really clear, that the science behind the brand build, in this case vocal teaching, can lead a staff member astray when it comes to cloning or trying to emulate a leading practice filled with integrity, vocal pedagogy is a science and an art.” The science behind vocal education, is college grad material, and when staff who has all the zest but not the training fall into their own zoom practice, the results can be a mixed bag.
Vocalists can endure a number of voice injury related surgeries, when not instructed and coached with science backed techniques. Importantly, the art of vocal trained singers is an athletic one, which often indicates years of experience and know-how on the part of their coach.
The voice can get damaged, injured or worse when it comes to the Art — involved in lifting a voice to its potential. Like an athlete, the voice is a precise and delicate set of muscles, all operating in key parts of the lung-airflow connection. The vocal pedagogy has a holistic underpinning in Vocal Workout, and operates on a generous circumference of interconnectivity. Oscillating muscle folds, replete with sympathetic nervous system impulses, move the muscle groups through various well worn tracts of athletic prowess in an advanced singer, bringing their energy to a pro level of performance and skill; as an expert trainer guides the process. As that process deepens and expands, the vocal foundation of science backed skill in the trainer becomes the thing that keeps the process on track.
“You wouldn’t give a talented fellow tennis player to Serena Williams to train her in tennis,” says Miss Martin. Injury could likely be the result. Top level coaches all have an understanding of anatomy as well as the gift of coaching, to guide their clients.
The process of building global brands today has shifted the focus away from experienced quality, and to gimmick based clones, says Martin. “There has to be shift back to the fundamentals, if we want our athletes and performers to thrive, as compared with the giant successes in athletics and performing in the recent past.” The great events of our recent cultural memory demand that talented people do one better, while keeping themselves safe.
Then there is the moral component. The poaching clients way of approaching an established business, often termed diruption, is on its surface a value empty concept. Our values as a nation were built on team, strides forward, loyalty and is the backbone of our country. As many processes breakdown and some owners face grim reality, Martin and others in her field strive to keep agile, values based companies where the heart of the matter is their loyalty and expertise available in service based client focused businesses.
There are always hi-quality individuals at the core of a good company, clients who know the value that they are receiving and enjoy its benefits with gratitude for the well-being of what they receive. We are artist-coaches, all of us who have sacrificed and built a company on a good foundation. The company value and esteem that it adds to clients, they can feel it.
The aesthetic and fun that you gather when gaining access to the best in a particular skill or business, it brings around a sense of empathy and awe when it comes time for the performer to reach his stride in a successful career.
“It’s not even the same voice,” producer of Drake, Pasquale has termed it. Looking forward to more when it comes to serving vocal artists with the panache and modern science techniques that have made an impact thus far.
More about Lana:
Lana Martin’s unique vocal style is evocative of Whitney Houston and Celine Dion, while her characteristic hold of phrasing and lyric delivery is singular. A master of soul vocal performance, Martin wows audiences with her powerful tone and storytelling. Performing and having written songs for both stage and film, Martin was signed and toured extensively as a solo voice and jazz piano artist. Having begun her craft as a pro singer, Martin’s passion, exploration and talent for the human voice led to the creation of her pioneering Vocal Workout Method for radio-ready artists and the establishment of The Vocal Workout Singing School.