Thanks once again for the terrific comments to the last posts. It's really powerful to hear the insights from you and it’s a great learning experience for us all to understand what you have gone through and what your views are.

In this post I am going to share an email I received. It's a perfect example of what we talked about in the last post, and a perfect example of why I do what I do, and probably why you do what you do. Out of courtesy, I won't reveal the writer or the names he mentions, but bear with me and I think you'll find this very interesting.

The unfortunate flip side of becoming more public and reaching more people is that you also become a target for abuse. This is also something every successful artist unfortunately has to deal with.

If you haven’t read the previous post, please click here to read it first so this makes sense to you.

The email I received was from a gentleman who has not done my program, has not studied with me and does not know me. It reads:

I'm open to new methods and information but I'm (beyond) sceptical about your claim that you can train anyone (who isn't born with a very special gift) to develop a four octave range from a one octave range through the use of video tapes. I want you to know what I think and how your promotions come across to a real singer who's been through all the hoops, humming, exercising and vocalizations for many years. I can still at 69 years of age sing a ringing high C and (even an E) but I've kept myself in excellent physical condition and had a teacher in Toronto (long deceased)called (name removed out of courtesy) who also taught (name removed out of courtesy). I'm delighted to have been born with a very special gift, so I've never boasted about my voice. But a gift is a gift! Show me someone who could barely sing and now boasts a four octave range in perfect pitch

Now the first question is where on earth did he get the idea that I claim that anyone can develop a four octave range? I have never made such a claim, nor do I even think a four octave range is necessarily what to strive for. Most successful singers do not have or need a four octave range.

But the bigger problem is this belief of the gift. This elitist, old-school thinking of being special, of being a real singer, is exactly what has stifled the joy of singing for so many.

We sent him a polite email to clarify that I do not claim that anyone gets a four octave range from my program.

You might think a person might just leave it at that. But instead he fired back. And here's where it gets really interesting.

You might think a person might just leave it at that. But instead he fired back. And here's where it gets really interesting.

It turns out that he had not at all heard me state that anyone can get a four octave range. Instead, he had seen a video in which another person expressed the joy he had gotten from my program as he has now been able to release some of the tremendous pain he's lived with since childhood - ever since his dream of singing was crushed as a young boy by a man of authority who had told him he could never sing because he didn't have the gift. That he mentioned his increased range was a side note. The real gist of his story (which, by the way, has inspired many and has received many thanks) was apparently completely lost on our real singer friend with the gift.

But our gifted man is stuck on the four octave issue and chooses to fire back with another email. It begins with:

"Please note that your response is totally incorrect."

He then continues to proclaim his importance - just as we talked about that people who desperately try to hold on to their authority do (I used the extreme cases of Mubarak and Khaddafi as examples in my previous blog post)

"I coach a number of singers and consult with three choirs to demonstrate vocal techniques. At least 20 people have asked me about Per's claims, and I'm naturally compelled to tell them some of these claims stretch credibility far beyond its most extreme tensile strength! These claims are highly misleading and I'm surprised someone hasn't threatened legal action for false advertising I studied and sang with. (name removed out of courtesy) and I can tell you that this video is nothing but a scam!"

He then goes on ranting about his greatness and continues his accusations until he ends the email with:

"Shame on all of you!"

Evidently, he still hasn't embraced the fact that I never have made the claims he so desperately wants me to have claimed.

Now, in the event he seriously fears people will believe I create four octave ranges in everyone without the student having to do anything, I hereby proclaim publicly that this is not the case.

But the subject matter here is to understand fear. What makes him so afraid that he must write such an aggressive letter to someone he doesn't know or know anything about in the first place? Has his authority been questioned by the 20 people who have mentioned my teachings? Is he challenged because someone who was abused as a child (abused in the sense that he was led to believe that he didn't have the "gift") can experience such newfound joy of singing joy that our gifted man perhaps never has experienced. Is he afraid that repeatedly claiming who he has studied with is the only way to give him greater stature? Is he afraid his students are doing research on the Internet and are curious about other views and methods? (Every tyrant is also afraid of others receiving information and will do everything to spread disinformation). We don't know of course, and it is not for us to make a judgment.

So why am I writing this?

Because I fear that there are a tremendous amount of abused children and adults in this world who will never realize their true potential. I fear children and adults live with beliefs that they don't have a 'gift' and are therefore shut down, while being exposed to the incredibly offensive talk about 'gifts' - as if proclaimed (self-proclaimed) 'gifted' people are special in the eyes of a God while they aren't.

Luckily, the world is also filled with an enormous amount of people who have achieved tremendous success and happiness despite the adult world's attempt to push them down. These are the inspiring people who have over and over again proven that the adult world’s beliefs of talents ("gifts") was completely useless and utterly wrong.

I fear a lot of people are oppressed by people who claim authority because of who they have studied with rather than because of who they are. I fear the world will not become a better place unless we recognize why anger, jealousy and hate exists. And I fear that as a result of my own success, will I need to shield myself more and more from abusive people, and will I then become less accessible to people who want my help?

Yes, I experience fear like everyone else, and therefore I act and do what I can to create changes and improvements.

Perhaps this can inspire a desire to reflect before one lashes out at someone (especially someone you don’t know). Perhaps it can help someone who is, or has been treated badly, or had their desires stifled in some way.

Feel free to add your opinion below and, by all means, sing with freedom!

About the author 


  • The poor guy! Carrying that much baggage must really hold you back as a person. His defensiveness reveals his own insecurities.

  • Dear Per,
    I understand your feelings completely.  I am a dentist who tries every day  to care for my patients in the best way I can. I recently had a patient who became angry with us because of what his insurance company did not cover.  Although th problem was with his insurance company he chose to take out his frustrations on us.  I tried my best to salvage my relationship with him but to no avail.  I think people like this harbor a lot of anger and they feel a need to direct it at some one else.  They probably can't deal with accepting responsibility for their own problems.    By the way, I would like you to know that I purchased your videos as part of my ongoing efforts to deal with my spasmodic dysphonia.  I think your program fits in perfectly with the speach therapy and voice coaching I have been doing over the past two years.  To me, your program is worth every penny.
    Thanks and keep up the great work

  • Per,
    As usual you have chose a very interesting and important subject to address.  I myself was very introverted and surrounded by friends and family who appeared to me to be so together and so talented. Through a long journey of helpers like yourself who take the time to give confidence and teach each of us to trust our own abilities, I feel like I can look at myself and see my own worth and use it to entertain others and to have fun ultimately to enjoy life and I play auseful and an important role . 
    This fellow who wrote this is full of other fears.  He may be able to hit notes well and sing a song well but how is he helping others? Is he enjoying himself? It seems to me he needs to grow in other areas to be a whole person to learn humility and compassion.  Everyone has something to learn.
    I have come along way with your help Per and I will always be grateful. Thanks!

  • I use to sing for company when I was achild, now I won't evn sing in front of my hsband because a family member said something about my singing.
    I had aspirations to be a singer, but due to that comment I was filled with fear I never got over.
    With Per's help I am overcoming that, but have throat problems, yet to be diagnosed, hoping it isn't anything serious (more fear!) because now that my confidence is building I WANT to sing publicly again!
    Granted I probably wouldn't make American Idol, but I can sing just as good as some performers. That statement alone is one I wouldn't have felt good enough to make a while ago. So Thanks Per!!!
    That family memeber has critisized me my entire life, he is a bitter, unhappy person. sounds like the "gentleman" who wrote this letter. I hope he finds happiness, so he can encourage rather than critize!
    Keep up the positive encourage Per.
    All the best,

  • Dear Per, and readers.  Personally, I am choosing to move from fearless to fear not!  It's all about choice. Thank you for choosing to model, and teach, freedom.
    Paula Graham, Chaska, MN


  • Per, while I agree that this person seems to be venting against you based on some kind of stoic allegiance to his perception of a tradition, I feel it is perhaps more important that you as a person know for yourself what your experiential reality is. It is far less important to worry about what someone else thinks (although I understand why you may want to clear the air in terms of what he has accused you of claiming, although he isn't claiming it publicly as far as I know.)

    But to me this is key, that there is a difference between judging others and simply deciding what one wants to gravitate towards. A difference between judgment and discriminating for oneself as to what one wants in life. Like all relationships, we have to take full responsibility for ourselves otherwise there will be an energetic imbalance that will at some point rear it's ugly head. And what you are doing with your work IS going to be a challenge to the establishment to some degree, although I think you may agree that what you are doing is essentially no different from much of what already exists within the vocal tradition, albeit with perhaps a fresh approach to kinesthetic awareness. I'm sure if we looked at the 'Bel Canto' tradition (although it is such a broad and misunderstood term) we would find massage, relaxation, body awareness etc. Essentially, all singers who have found a way to develop (or by chance sang without unnecessary tensions and good coordination in the first place) will have similar abilities (from a technical standpoint at least!) On that point, I also think that your adversary is missing the point of what greatness in singing is (and of course greatness in anything.) Does Bob Dylan (to cite a well known example) have a great voice technically? Well, he can get up in his range to a point, but really his greatness (from a purely musical perspective) comes from his unique approach to phrasing, and the texture and emotion of his approach.)

    The point is, we live in a world of conformity, but in truth greatness, for me at least, is when someone comes up with a version of themselves that is a reflection of their own individuality. OK, that is not the whole story, as tradition is important. But to be limited by tradition is perhaps not so healthy (and not very cutting edge.) We have to know how to balance things in life, by letting go (physically as well as psychologically, which as you know are 2 sides to the same coin) and of course the ultimate realisation can be that there is only process, perhaps not even a separate 'person' from experience, and the concept or notion of the mind being us somehow, does not seem to be what is really happening. These rights and wrongs and goods and bads are really all overated (or more specifically, misunderstood.)

    Experience is happening to itself from this point in the space-time continuum, that is all that is really happening. And we label that experience as a ME or a YOU, the trials of separation (the "Fall of Man") from an intuitive consciousness (where thought is natural and appropriate, Self-Referral) to an intellectual consciousness (Object-referral.) Once it is understood that perception is essentially holographic, we can start to unlock from our histories and our stories and become more authentic and experience more and more Presence. Less about the past and future and more living here in present time. That of course is where all things are forged, in this moment.

    Can we ever 'know' anything? I doubt it. And so what can happen is an exploration of experience, a savouring, and an attendant humility within that apparent process. The rest is just noise.

    Yes, there are of course compromises when taking an online or video course. Yes, it can take some singers many years to develop a strong and agile voice (for some 20 years perhaps to truly find it.) There are details and subtleties that may not come into play with a course such as yours, and of course everyone is an individual with their own sometimes massively habitual tensions to work with 😀 Sometimes it can be more beneficial to have one on one sessions, but a very close 2nd is what you are offering, and in some ways, your approach is better because we are left to our own devices to discover what is required (and you certainly have done your homework in terms of giving people a positive approach.) I think a wonderful job is being done here, and really what anyone else thinks is irrelevant (and in truth this person you talk of above is merely misunderstanding what you do)…

    Having worked for many years in the music industry with many top artists, I understand intimately the trappings of success. But at some point, one has to say "I love my work, but I canna please everybody. C'est La Vie!!" "I do it because this is who I am." Otherwise, one will implicate oneself on the same level as the perceived foe.. and create the very stress that one is seeking to release.

    Bottom line is: most if not all truly great artists (and yes, at least in one sense there are great artists) follow their own way, how can it be otherwise. And you Per, are simply a guide on that journey. Isn't that a beautiful thing? Now all you need to do is create a holographic version of your course, and then we could enjoy our very own "Virtual Singing/ Life Coach."! (just think R2D2 from Star Wars!)

    Thanks for continuing your great work Per, looking forward to more (and if you feel like opening discussion of broader concepts like NLP, Advaita, Body Armoring etc. I am sure a lot of us would love to explore further with you.)



    PS sorry if this turned into a bit of an essay!

  • Thanks for your  inspiration, for you have trancended being a vocal coach to being a philosopher/teacher to anyone who comes in contact, truly walking in this life as a Christ,,generous and helpful to all. These missives haved turned into a forum for intelectual debate as people convey ther own take on the subject matter, all very interesting and lively, sorry I didn't check in more often. I have sent a couple of emails to your other  addresses and need to know if you have recieved them. They were concerning flem and/or acid reflux and if you could help me out. Also I need to know how to contact you for private vocal coachig etc… and thank you again for your great program.  Just let me know if you have recieved those or I can post  them on your blog here if this is a better way to reach you. Cheers Tad

  • Gidday Per, all the way from New Zealand.  I think your comments about Mubarak and Khaddafi confuse the argument a bit, but don't worry, you have truth and right on your side.  I have a "gifted" brother who has an amazing tenor voice.  He also has a ringing top C and I have a recording of him singing a perfect voix mixe top E, AND he has sung with English National Opera, and… and…  But who cares?  I have sat in on my brother's lessons, (he also teaches),  even had a couple, and his techniques are similar to (but not as user friendly as) yours.  You want people to get in touch with the endless possibilities of singing, just not 'doing it the proper way.'  There is no one proper way.  Caruso thought you should have such breath control that you could push a piano away from you with your ab's.  That would cut out a lot of students, wouldn't it?  What you teach, and what I love about your teaching, is that anyone can, by learning to sing, gain much self expression and joy, and tap into all sorts of creative 'add-on's'.  They may want to join a choir, audition for IDOL, or just sing Close To You to their partner without embarrassment.  AND they might become professional.  Your style of teaching trains a person to, initially, throw away the constraints of "formal" tuition, yet fit the joy of singing into their everyday lives. How far they go is their choice, but all of your warm-up's and improv's make total sense to me instead of rattling off scales ad infinitum. 
    You will never win with the "gifted" people, they will call anyone a con who does not agree with their own ways.  But you, Per, bring joy and self expression to ALL of your students, not just the gifted ones.  Congratulations!

  • Dear Per:
    Your correspondents sounds rather pompous!  I grew up with poverty, a very difficult childhood and have overcome it. I could always sing and as a young child had to 'perform' if I expected to eat.  I have continued to sing and music was a great healing gift during a difficult time.  I have never had a lesson in vocal training, it was just always somethibg I could do.  Strange that I was afraid to speak, but not to sing!  Now I sing with a small band even though I am half way through my seventies and I sing with a choir, which is a diffrent discipline. The choir makes me part of a team where I have to sing tenor…in reality I am a contralto…however, it is all good.
    It is too bad you have received such a nasty e-mail, he sounds very insecure to me.  He is way too angry!
    Thanks for your hints. I haven't enrolled in your program yet, as I do OK and have only recently started thinking about how I can do more musically.  I am having a little problem with a dry throat.
    Taske care

  • Thank you for sharing this and speaking to the issue of fear that causes people to lash out, embellish their perceptions and hide behind their labels, while absolutely insisting that others buy their version of the truth.
    Reminds me of an old saying: "Love recognizes fear, but fear cannot recognize love. " 

  • Hi Per – you've certainly seem to have the measure of this guy – or at least, I agree with everything you've said in both these posts .. !!  I'm very glad that I found YOU as a teacher, and not him .. 🙂
    My views on Fear.  Fear is learned.  Children don't have fear because they haven't been taught it, or had the personal experiences that cause it.  We teach our children that they will get hurt if they touch the hot stove, or walk out into the traffic, because we want them to survive.  So, in some instances, fear can be a healthy emotion.  We probably wouldn't be here now if our ancestors and our parents hadn't passed on the knowledge of what is life-threatening.  With that knowledge we're able to make decisions that keep us alive.
    However, fear is also one of the most negative emotions.  We no longer have to fight the Sabre-toothed Tiger for survival (sadly ..) so it appears that we fight each other instead.  We still have an inbuilt 'fight-or-flight' mechanism, but nothing to threaten us – except other humans.  The frustrations of everyday living take the place of our erstwhile animal predators.  These frustrations turn into aggression, which has nowhere to go, and is then turned inward onto members of our own species – and even sometimes onto domestic animals.
    The more enlightened the individual, the less likely is this chain-reaction.  It seems that the Ugly Email comes from someone who’s not yet very enlightened.  Perhaps we’re all part of his learning-curve, although I doubt he’ll see it that way!
    Footnote:  Per, I want to thank you with all my heart for helping me to release my fear of singing in public.  Since 'meeting' you, and joining the programme (I'm in the UK ..!) just four months ago, I've ..  become a member of the Community Choir – I'm a female tenor / contralto; been invited to join a small satellite choir (and accepted); sung a solo at the AGM party – and received much praise for my offering (Smile – Charlie Chaplin's song), and I'm having-a-go at Mozart's Requiem with an all-comer's choir which includes many members of the above groups.  YOU facilitated this.  Please don't stop or hide away!
    Warmest regards,

  • Although I haven't bought your course yet, I'm beginning to believe more and more in your ability to take someone like me, who loves to sing but knows she sucks, to someone who can sing with confidence. When I was a child, I would sing with abandon and thoroughly enjoyed it until…I heard my mother telling my aunt that I couldn't sing. What? I swear I never sang another word in front of anyone again. To say, I was surprised to hear that I couldn't carry a tune is such an understatement. Note to mothers: Don't ever tell your child that they can't do someting, especially if it's something that they naturally enjoy. But, I'm getting off track. The point is, if I hadn't heard those words out of my own mother's mouth, I probably would have continued singing, maybe got lessons, but would have definitely improved as I grew and learned (I was only about 5 or 6 at the time). In any case, the man who is so infuriated is just a miserable person. I may never be Celine Dion, but if I can sing well enough for me, I'll be happy. And, P.S., my husband actually LIKES the way I sing…so, perhaps, my mother wasn't right anyway! He's the only person I'm free enough to be myself around. LOL!

  • I would just like to say thnk you for posting this because it IS a subject of great importance.  I, myself, have been blessed with raw talent, but I am determined to continuously improve my skills.  As a coloratura Soprano, my vocal range barely goes beyond G beyond middle C.  I can hit a low "A" but that's even pushing it….lol.  when I was 16 I was asked to tour nationally with an Opera Singer, but my mother flat-out told me that I was not good enough.  Talk about blowing my self-esteem.   When I was 19 & in college (I majored in vocal performance & have done many concerts), I had an opportunity to sing/audition for Pavoratti, but my mother wouldn't let me go because she didn't want me taking my new car to Miami…(are we seeing a pattern here…go figure), needless to say I couldn't find the number of the guy I was going to carpool with until I moved out of my apartment….it was stuck in the back crevices of my trunk.  I chalked it up to not being the right time, or not meant to be.  I was always told by my parents that I wasn't good enough & my dreams of becoming a singer were either foolish or unatainable.  Thank GOD I refused the listen to them & continued to persue my dreams & aspirations.  I am my own worst critic though & strive for perfection.  It wasn't until I was in college & training with a woman who taught at the Boston Conservatory for many years, did I find out that I was a "natural, phenominal, Coloratura Soprano singer with perfect pitch in my higher registers"  ~ her words, not mine…I later went on to write a total of 53 songs including my daughter's new  Elementary School Song which they performed in front of the mayor for the first time in public & audition for Disney after performing the Candlelight Processional at Epcot on 12/12/10.  Although the audition went well, the director was not looking for someone who could sing Opera.  Oh well…but the fact of the matter was that I did it!  I got up, faced my fear of auditioning & pulled it off with flying colors.  All of my instructors have taught me how to either do scales to warm up or some mundane, repeatative vocal techniques; I still find that despite my best efforts, even as a seasoned singer, there is a lot of tension around my throat b/c I, just as millions of other singers have been taught, to tighten up & sing from the diaphragm & use proper "breath control".    Although I very easily produce my high notes I still need to work on overcoming my nerves before stepping out on stage, but have found it refreshing that you have a totally different insight & technique on how to free up compensatory stress or tension as you call it.  I would also love to develop my lower register & be able to hit a middle C without effort.  I have yet to purchase your course due to a lack of resources, however, I plan to do so in the near future & look forward to improving my skills & truly being able to sing with freedom! 
    Many thanks & blessings,

  • I come from a family where my father and my sister definitely had a gift. Somehow, I was not so lucky. I can sing, but am better in a group where I am not the focus of anything. Regardless, I sing. And I have begun singing my own music. Every gift is not the same. Some have a natural voice. Some have a natural confidence. Some, like me, write music, and try very hard to sing. Your course has enabled me to feel better about myself and the nature of my own voice. It does not have to be like anyone else to be acceptable. I just need to learn to free up the tools I was born with in order to do the best job that I am able to do. Thank you for your help, especially in realizing that my voice is my own gift and is not like anyone else's. That does not make it bad. Just different. If you listen to people on the radio, the range of accomplishment is tremendous. The range of ability is tremendous. What they all seem to have in common is confidence, and the ability to use what they have to the fullest. May we all be that successful.

  • Well, talk/write less and show how your lessons can really help to improve singing.  That would be the best way to convince sceptics.  Apart from cliches like 'enjoy freedom in singing', there are always the real challenges such as raising voice ranges, singing with power (or less power) as the situation warrants.  Show videos of real-life ordinary students before and after taking your lessons to illustrate the improvements, and this can be done without revealing the actual techniques, which obviously have to be obtained for a fee.  Have these students share a little about how they shaped up and responded to the lessons, and let the prospective student / critic out there discern on the effectiveness of what you are marketing / educating.

  • You know I was told many times as a teenager I didn't have a voice and I alwasy just went back to so many famous artists who were told they didn't have it either early in their careers. Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, The Beatles were all told they didn't have what it takes to "make it" but it didn't deter them from trying anyway. This always kept me going.
    Now I actually possess a 4 octave range with power and conviction. How? Lots if hard work.
    Determination and perseverance. Be who you are – not who people say you are.

  • Thank you for what you are doing. It's some of the most down to earh and actionable spiritual work I have seen. I'm simply amazed at how you are doing this.
    You are probably aware of the relationship between blocked throat chakras and thyroid problems and how these blocks are indemic to our culture. We have been put down from an early age and clearing it and finding out voices is pivotal to healing and growing.
    To sing with abandon is one of the greatest gifts of all and changes everything in your life. Keep up the great work.

  • Hi Mr. Briston,
    I read & look at most of your letters and video's on the net.
    I know I have not used your Singing Zone, but I really think that you are Honest about all you say and do.
    I am a pro. singer been doing it for a living for 40 years
    but even at that I am sure yhat I could use some of your video's to better myself, Maybe one day,   Take Care & Keep up the nice work.

  • I believe that we are all gifted as human beings, and all have a need to express ourselves. "But a gift is a gift" – so one cannot develop some completely new aspect of his/her personality? Chances are that if you love doing something that you got a special talent for it . I actually feel that to love something/somebody is already a gift! Only good things will happen from there on, no matter where the journey will take you. 

  • Per
    You should not just be teaching singing skills but also should be teaching lifeskills to many young  people. As a father  of 2 teenagers, I will ensure I spend time to review your posts with them as they are so accurate about life and authority and conformity. At 50 I have had a successful career but am always open to learning and new ideas and I really appreciate your latest writings as they resonate so well.  I have also enjoyed your singing program and wish I would have found you in my Twentys as I might have pursued a different career path in life. For you and others on this Blog I would like to suggest a very easy read  book I have recently come upon that is very aligned with what you are saying and the Author is a brilliant man named Seth Godin. The book is inexpensive on Kindle or Amazon and is a great read and is called "Poke The Box". I guarantee everyone will enjoy it as much as I did!
    Thanks again.
    Your Canadian fan !

  • The writer of the rude e-mail never really defines which “claims” bother him (other than the “4-octave” claim, which is never made in any of the SWF material).  What does the program actually claim?  As I read the information, SWF claims that anyone, with practice and reasonable effort, can learn to sing with less strain, to develop a greater range, and to experience the pure joy of singing – whether performing for others or strictly for one’s own pleasure.  These are very reasonable, realistic claims.  One does not need a natural talent or “gift” to learn to sing with less effort, to enjoy singing without fear, or to learn the basics of rhythm and music theory that give the singer a greater appreciation for music in general.  Music is part of every culture, part of the human psyche.  It belongs to all of us, and is not reserved for the few “chosen ones”.  When one learns to sing without fear and strain, it is a great joy – with that ability, which anyone willing to do so can develop, we can understand the refrain of the old hymn, “How can I keep from singing?”

  • Hello Per,
    I'm fairly new to the Singing Zone.  Like many, I love to sing (it is such a joyful form of expression) but I know I'm just average.Nevertheless, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and joined my church choir.  Your videos have given me a greater sense of freedom and permission, plus awareness of what I need to work on. I thoroughly enjoy the exercises and as a bonus, they have helped me get in touch with a problem I have of clenching my teeth at night.  It's actually helping me become aware of where I hold my tension and I'm working on releasing that.l   I just want you to know that your approach is very life affirming.  Mr. Ugly e-mailer sounds like a bully. He is entitled to his albeit, misinformed opinion.  As for me, I want to tell you how much I appreciate and enjoy the videos; a small investment for a much greater gain. Please  keep up your positive, gentle and honest approach.   That takes courage.  Cheers, Evelyn

  • The ugly email is a perfect example of negative irrational thoughts and the subject of your last blog.  Thanks for helping me understand that rationalizing the irrational frees us.
    I took your courses while I could and they were so helpful not only for singing but for just enjoying life.  The attitude expressed in that email is just like the negative talk we can say to ourselves.  Thanks again for showing by example how to look at that type of negativity for what it's worth.  Nothing.


  • I was a gifted soprano child singer which was discovered by one of my teachers'  when I was nine years of age whose expertise was music.  When my voice started to change close to 15 years of age, my parents' wanted me to and I also wanted myself to take singing lessons but unfortunately they couldn't afford it.  Now at 51 years of age without ever taking singing lessons, I can still sing very nicely but not like I could as a child.  I am a high tenor today but unfortunately there are jealous people who claim I sing too loud.  There are those who compliment me as well as those who do the opposite.  I like the expression that Kevin mentioned,  "Be who you are, not who people say you are".   I sing publicly and sing better solo than in a group setting, but as I mentioned above that there are those who claim I sing too loud without a microphone because they want to sing along but cannot keep up with my voice.  Even though I have not ordered any of your material due to financial reasons, I have gained a lot from what you send me by e-mail.  

  • Whether or not you claim to give your students a four-octave range, you have certainly inspired me to develop my own four-octave range without fear.  Listening to you, with a naturally deep speaking voice, hit those high rock sounds convinced me that I could reach soprano heights with a relaxed resonance, without losing the baritone end of my tenor voice.  By the way, I have found arpeggio sequences to be more helpful than scales.

  • Hi Per, with great pleasure I followed your lessons. I was also considered a gifted operasinger and worked with great welknown teachers and opera singers. Still with your new approach it opened doors and I finally found the freedom I could never find in my opera lessons. I think it says more about a person who is not open for new ideas then about the teacher who teaches them. Your lessons are also a great help to my students. Still I would like to ask you if there is something you wrote about how to deal with extreme fear for performing.

  • Thank you, Per.  Your article is certainly an eye-opener.  If I feel that another person has surpassed me or is surpassing me in success or in talent,  praise God for what that person can do.   It is not for us to try to hold onto a title of being the best or the grandest at what we do, but rather to build up and edify our neighbour, everyone around us.  And I think that when all is said and done, that counts so much more than trying to hold a place of recognition (since whatever recognition we receive is only temporary anyway)  There will always be someone to break the previous record.  
     I believe that there are people who start out at a higher level of ability than others, but the concept that God loves or favors these individuals more than the rest is utterly absurd.  God has given all of us an exceedingly high potential, and if we only knew all that we truly could do, we would never be satisfied with where we are; we would always be wanting to learn and develop the gifts (actual gifts) that God has given us to a greater extent.   I love the phrase that says:  "If you don't succeed through talent, triumph through effort."    May God bless you, Per

  • when i started your course, i had barely a two octave range due to voice damage when i was younger even though the pitch was good.  I now have a range from around 60hz to 1100hz.  some is still not smooth enough to use but is fast becoming clear and usable.  Big range is like a fast car.. its not gonna do its job if the driver is scared or self important.  However big the range, most people like a comfy ride in a comfy car with a confident driver. 
    The best part of ur course is encouraging individuality in tone etc.  And it has worked for me.  If your videos cant teach a person to sing and increase their range then nobody can, one on one or otherwise.

  • Helpersonlo Per,
    I am so sorry to hear about this abusive email you received.  It is very obviously from an insecure person, but, unfortunately, it may influence some people.  I congratulate you on your courage in posting this abuse and your reply to it.  I believe it is the best way to deal with this sort of thing.   I know from experience that there are many jealous people in this world, and if they can't match you, they will attempt to defame you in order to make themselves feel better.   However someone once said, and I believe it was eleanor Rooseveldt, "  No one can make you feel inferior without your permission".   Keep up the good work.  Many of us have benefitted fro m your ideas.

  • Hi Per. Sorry you had that email. It is so horrible when someone attacks you for doing good, especially when there is no reason for the attack. But there will always be a battle between good and evil. Your article helped me understand the behaviour of "a friend" who came to a meeting I was hosting the other day, and was rude, aggressive and disruptive, and I had no idea why. Thanks again for all you do.

  • Per, my friend, just realise that 'anyone' trying to HELP people because they LOVE to do so, will be attacked by 'SUPPRESSORS' such as the one who wrote you that email. He should be classed as an 'arrogant' 'pompous' and, even though this may sound strange, 'an afraid' person who feels threatened in the fact that if (it does by the way) your approach to singing works his self 'elevated presence' will be undermined in some way. He is of the self impression that he is 'special', well, if fact, he is, to himself, and that is important, in a way. He has just taken that 'self importance' a little too far in trying his best to put down a well meaning person such as yourself who is in this world to HELP as much as you and yours can . It is of no consequence whether or not you are gaining a 'exchange' for this (monies) as it were as this is your exchange for the work you have put in to get this method together to help others. With regards to a 'gift' well I believe (my opinion) all persons have a gift 'THE GIFT' of themselves, this being the ability to 'choose' what they do and then the 'courage' to do it without 'FEAR' of intimidation from others. This gentlemans approach seems to say that you have no 'choice' of change or right to change or think for yourself if you do not 'possess' a similar 'gift' to what he considers he has . He is a 'SUPPRESSOR' of talent even if he thinks he isnt. Because he would quite frankly 'put you down' if you did not have what he considers, the 'gift' Well Per, this is a very sad place to be, and I pity him for being in it, but there you go! 🙂 You have done and are still doing as far as I am concerned a 'sterling' job in HELPING and long may you reign. I am your friend. Billy 🙂

  • Hi Per
    You're one brave soul and I salute you for the work you're doing.
    There's an old expression in self-improvement circles . . and it seems so appropriate in the present situation.
    "When the student is ready . . the teacher will be there".
    In other words, you cannot share knowledge with a person unless and until he is open and receptive to what you have to offer.

  • Well Per, Hurt people hurt people and so we just have to shake those things off and move into our destiny. Furthermore, never let it deter us from our vision. A 4 octave range is pretty rare and I would think that this guys has some ego and control issue to sort out within himself. E.G.O. = edging God out. I have never considered myself a singer but rather more a story teller and gave up a successful career on that basis as a very young woman. Who cares about what notes you can or cannot sing? It is about being free to sing the story.
    PS loving the singingzone! All the way from Wales with blessings. Vicky x

  • As you said Per we are not here to judge anyone, but to sing with freedom and demonstrate how this method works in everybody who has realized they have the potential to do what they desire to do. 
    Thanks for all your work  and dedication . 

  • Hi Per,
    This gentleman seems to be a very insecure conceited person and I feel sorry for him because he could be so much better.  I have always had a little bit of a voice, but was insecure  and afraid to let myself go.  I sing in a church choir and was always concerned how I sounded to the congregation so I never really sang with what I call emphasis.  I also used to sing with the Chorale that supported the opera here in my city, but always held back.  However, when I went through your first videos, it gave me a completely different way of approaching my singing and the techniques of improving my voice have been very helpful.  Although I am not up to doing solos yet because of the fear factor (I believe I am overcoming that a little each day) I will be in the future and look forward to cutting loose in the future.  As for this guy who mocks you, pay him no mind as there will always be elitists who have no clue. 
    Thank you so much for your help,

  • Hi Per.  As someone who has purchased your material I guess I can speak with some authority.  Nowhere in the material I received does it categorically state anything more than "I can help you sing with more ease and freedom" or words to that effect.  I suppose a person might be able to morph that into a convoluted "I can help you reach a four octave range" if he or she were smoking the right kind of joint.
    In my case I was looking to reach back in years and recover some of what age had stolen from me – at twenty my range was about 3-1/2 octaves with a top of B on my best days – but clearly never felt I would be back to that range at my now tender age of 85.  However, I can still belt up to an F and when I feel it may not be wise to sing something outside that range I have no literary hesitation in transposing down to my comfort level.  The fact that I'm in the company of Luciano P and Placido D in doing so offers me some solace.
    Recently I sang several numbers at an event including Brimg Him Home from Les Miserables in the original key.  They didn't throw me out so I must have done ok.  Your course in vocal relaxation has helped me and I thank you for that.  So please turn the page on this egoist and move on.  The rest of us appreciate what you are doing.

  • Wow! You know, I agree with you completely. I think he might be afraid of something that he would lash out at you like this. 
    By the way, I am definitely not a gifted singer. When I started your program, I couldn't hold a note to save my life. In less than a year, I went from a non-singer to singing in church choir and playing at acoustic jam sessions once per week (to rave reviews) at my local brewery. I'm a living testament that your program not only works, but works well. 
    No, I don't have a four octave range, but you never claimed I would. I'm just me, and you've helped me to gain the confidence and comfort to sing using my own voice, and not try to be someone I'm not. 

  • Hi Per,
    This whole incident is so sad.  I will keep this man in my prayers.
    I did take your course for a few months and I loved it!  It was especially awesome for me as I had wanted to take singing lessons all my life, and if it hadn't been for your course, it probably would never have happened.(I felt sooo special while studying with you)  I was one of those that had the preconceived idea you either were born with a good voice, or you weren't.  I always LOVED to sing, but yet was never really complimented on my voice…the reason it mattered to me(in the past) was that others around me who were singing with me, got compilments…but never really me.(with a few exception).  It kind of deflated me, though I did keep singing.  I had just begun writing my own songs when i came upon your course and I really went over and over trying to decide if I should do it.  I am so happy I did.  Your positive and spiritual approach to life, in general, carries over to your teachings of music and that is the big reason I decided to take your course.  Not once did I feel you were trying to sell or claim anything  untrue, and I felt no pressure what so ever in the way you offered your course. 
    I learned so much from you, and your course offers so much more than you even say we will get.  It is so much more than singing with is feeling good about who we are as individuals and that everyone has something unique to offer.  You helped me to realize this. God Bless you and keep reaching out to all of us!  You are a true blessing!  Marie

  • Hi Per,
    Please leave this guy to his own device. You have your method and it has created a movement amongst your students and followers. They will speak up for you and justify you. The best justification is their improved singing.
    You know the people whom you've helped, the lives that's improved, the confidence that you've helped built in them.
    I love to sing. Music move me, touches me that nothing in this world has been able to do but it is not something that I freely use because of a trainer I had. Confidence is such a fragile thing.
    So Per, be confident in yourself and your method and don't allow this person to rob you of it. Please continue to help the ones that need you.

  • Unfortunately his attitude is all too common, it must be universal. I've seen it time and time again, from fellow guitar players to fellow employess in the skilled trades with how they treat new apprentices. They all jealously guard their knowledge and keep it clouded in a certain mystique that says it is not available to mere mortal men but only to chosen select few, at least that's what they want you to think. I always fought that attitude on the job and always shared everything I knew with newcomers. My thinking was hey, the more they know the easier my job will be, and I was right. Eventually I even found a couple guitar players who were generous enough with their knowledge that I was able to break through a significant barrier in my own playing. But the number # 1 secret to achieving success in any field (in my experience) is desire and persistence.Those who jealously and selfishly guard their knowledge suffer from low self esteem and are on a losers path. The surefire way to gain knowledge is to give it out freely yourself when asked. That's what I've found. As a laid off autoworker in Detroit I haven't ordered your course yet Per but I'm sold. Once I gather my pennies you'll hear from me again.

  • Hi Per,
    Please do not hold back your gift of bringing freedom of voice to the world.  Your work goes far beyond developing the ability to sing any octave.  I purchased your program not because I wanted to develop a great singing voice.  I was interested in overcoming the distraction of being influenced by others to suppress or change my unique voice.  Voice to me represents our unique purpose for being.  I am a professional speaker and your course serves as my personal mentor, coach and cheerleader to always be free to express from my heart no matter what others may say think or do.  May Peace be with you always. Thanks PER!

  • I am blessed to be a music educator, and I believe from watching hundreds, maybe thousands by now, of individuals that everyone has a voice and something to say.  With music we learn so much from the process and the cooperation and even just learning how to listen actively.  It really is a joy that all ages can experience.  Sing With Freedom accesses that human need.  Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • Hi Per, this is what we call "Tall Poppy Syndrome" in Australia.  When someone is successful, there will be people who will try to cut them down.  Am sure you will not let this bother you a bit.  Keep up the good work!
    God bless, Susan

  • Hi Per,
    A very wise man once told me "Dont make someone else's issues your own" This tidbit of advise is a good mantra to live by.
    I believe by responding to this person, has empowered him and fed into his ego, which is obiviously inflated and self deluted.
    Per, your good works have helped many people. Continue to share your life's philosophies and programs.
    Knowledge is Freedom – Keep singing everyone!
    All best,
    New York

  • Per, you've received wonderful comments and good advice – the best of which I feel is not to give any further strength to the negative but to continue in the positive, spiritually-inspired way you always have.  Through you and your spirit, we, your students, are reaching others one-by-one to inspire freedom through our lives.

  • Dear Per, what can I say. I want to be positive and I don't want to judge this guy. So therefore, I refuse to comment on his email. What I can say is this: YOUR videos, course and emails about music and life are invaluable to me. They have helped to augment my professional voice and music studies. You are a positive force for voice training,music and life in this universe. Do not let this negative email detract you. Keep going!  We need you!

  • There are always people who claim that just because they took lessons with so and so, they are thereby the most qualified singers on the planet.
    Often times, these are people who have failed to make a significant singing career for themselves,and are wound up in their own spite and frustration.
    No real singer would attack you like this–he would be happy to accept any workable method as valid.
    It is the small minds that jealously hug their credentials to themselvers, and proclaim themselves superior to any other. Let him float off on his sulky way, Per. You've done nothing wrong. 🙂

  • Per, your ways of thinking towards singing are extremely powerful.
    I have never had a singing lesson in my life, I also wasn't gifted as a child with singing. I always wanted to sing. After watching your free videos a couple of years ago, my somewhat average singing has turned into a very unique sound, my pitch is very very good – To the extent people are saying I should learn how to tune pianos. (My pitch just came from playing music for about 9 years, but it's very impressive.) My vocals sound great, and I really project when I need to. Busking in the city, I get many comments about my great voice.
    The biggest thing that hit home when I watched your free videos, was the idea of time = success. As a young boy learns to throw a ball over time, so we can learn to sing amazing.
    God bless you mate.

  • Gosh, I don't know what I get more out of: the DVD's with the only approach to singing I have ever been able to let in {and its working} or articles like these.
    The talk of the exclusive concept of the gifted had more meaning for me than could have been intended. The defensive nature of the letter writer is apparent. But the blessing in the disparaging extremist, is the ranting becomes so unpalatable, they discredit themselves.

  • At the age of 18, I became a professional singer, and I was singing naturally very well.  One might have said that I had "the gift."  However, after bearing two children and suffering spinal injuries, "the gift" went away.  I never gave up my love of singing, but I was singing very badly, and it seemed no one could help me.  I lost jobs over the poor quality of my singing.  I was insulted and ridiculed, but I never gave up.
    Finally, I met my current teacher, and we started over with the intrinsic natural sound that we make from a very young age.  It has taken 5 years of hard work and patience, but gradually the old reflex of heavy, flat tone has given way to a voice I never knew I had.  It is flexible, quite bright, and yes, because I work the extremes of range often, I do have 3 octaves and a 5th.
    I now specialize in helping the young singers who seem to be starting at a disadvantage, and I am blessed to see them grow into beautiful singers.
    I know there is much that can be learned!

  • Hi, This type of e-mail reminds me of the 'vitriolic' comments put on-line by 'the purists' regarding the wonderful Andre Reiu & his fantastic Johann Strauss Orchestra. They just don't like to see anyone making classical music popular, but why not, it should be for everyone, not just the (dare I say boring?) purists of this world.
    The same can be said about singing. It is for everyone & even though some may find it naturally easier than others, it doesn't mean that we can't all enjoy it. Our minister once said to his congregation, "God loves the crows just as much as the nightingales, so don't be afraid to make a joyful noise to the Lord."  Wise words indeed!
    I have only very recently joined the 'Sing With Freedom' course & have been doing it on-line, although I have ordered the four DVDs (still in transit). I would consider myself to be a fairly average singer – not exceptional but not awful. I wanted to get more confidence in my voice & it seems to be working already. A friend & I have auditioned to do a comedy duet (Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better) in our next concert. We belong to our local Can't Sing? Choir, formed for people who like to sing but can't read music etc. I would describe it as a 'fun choir' & we all love it (about 90 strong now!) We do some more serious pieces, such as Adiemus by Karl Jenkins but mainly stick to standards, classic pop, folk & fun songs etc – a vast range has been covered over the eighteen months since we started.
    Going back to the objecting e-mail, I think there is a fear there as well as a jealousy, because he obviously had to do everything 'the hard way' & doesn't like to think that there could be an easier & more enjoyable way of doing things. Sour grapes comes to mind.
    Keep up the good work Per. Sorry I cannot afford to continue with you beyond the four DVDs, unless I win the Lottery of course!!!
    MK (UK)

  • TThis blog really hits home for me.  I am one of those stiffled persons who mother told me that I will never be a good singer and it was childish of me to even thing about being successful at it.  I would consider this persons angry comments as fearful like you said and take them as a commpliment that you are creating in people the confidence they need to excell:)  I hope to get enough money together to get your program.  I love the information, video's and reading everyone stories are very inspirational to me and would love to explore your program:) ype your comment here…

    Gosh, if I had the money, I'd jump alll over this like ugly on a gorilla. I know my singing is only limited by a lack of information.
    Man, this is 2011!!! You know, the information age…

  • Dear Per,
    Please let this note be an encouragement.  I enjoy your emails and save them in a special computer file for further reference. I hope my computer doesn't crash!

  • Well, I have enjoyed your teaching. It certainly has helped me a great deal already. But Per, you don’t have to pull back or hide from people like this. I am sorry for this person that he has missed the idea of no matter how great you are or how great you think you are, there are are always new things to learn. Thank you, and God Bless your for sharing your gifts.

  • Per, I have all in front of me and your reply to your email was so true in the minds eye, regarding the release of the hurts we gather through our lives, and regaining the soul and our spirits to move on in our lives. I have not joined you as yet in the course as due to overcoming busy family times? I love music in its self always have played various instruments etc., I just wanted to say thanks for what you have started for everone !!! keep up the great work??

  • Thanks for standing up for us, Per,
    I will state that I got your “Sing with Freedom” course about 27 months ago. I had been taking lessons from a local teacher for about 1 1/2 years. I was making slow progress.
    When I took your course, I immediately started to make rapid improvement. A couple months later, I dabbled in karaoke (first time ever) on a cruise ship , and go some good responses. Later that week, I auditioned to be Frank Sinatra in a 10 person-stage show (amateurs from among the cruisers) , with about 800-900 people in the audience. (house band and dancers provided backup) I was mostly trying to remember the lyrics (I was a last day replacement), but, by the time I got to the third line, “I lived a life that’s full…”, I got cheers from the audience. Many gave a standing ovation at end. Later, one of the pro soloists sought me out, and told me what a great job I’d done. I’m sure I would not have had the confidence to even try it, if not for your course.
    Since then, I have successfully auditioned for our local AA baseball stadium’s National Anthem tryouts, where I got an enthusiastic response from the audience when I sang at a game. Also, many church members came to me personally, and told me how much they enjoyed my solo recently. Before your course, I never even thought about such things.

    I will attest that you never made claims of how much of an improvement in range I would get. You made singing fun, and made me see that I could affect the people who hear me in a positive way.

    Thanks, Per, and continue to drown out those arrogant people who misuse their “gift”, and keep giving the gift of “music for all”

    Paul Gallagher
    Altoona, PA

  • Gifts are valuable only to the extent to which they are willingly received. Hope and Joy are gifts. “Man is that he might have joy.” Per, you traffic in the gifts of hope and joy. Thank you. I am very sorry that the writer of the “ugly emails” has little comprehension of the real objective of your methods, and thus missing out on the value of these two gifts. Receiving and creating hope and joy are essential to a fully honored life. God bless.

  • I am sorry for such a nasty email; I don’t believe it was justified.

    There is a growing school of thought, supported by artists such as cellist Yo Yo Ma, which maintains that talent is overrated. World-renown soprano Dawn Upshaw is one who publicly states that with enough hard work and dedication, anyone CAN learn to sing. However, I don’t think that implies that any one of us can be the next Dawn Upshaw, or Thomas Hampson, or Bryn Terfel, or Placido Domingo, or Renee Fleming, or …. pick your favorite. Is it true that ANYONE can learn to sing, just like anyone can learn to read? We will never know unless we, as nation, nay as a world, teach the art of singing, like reading, to everyone. And that isn’t going to happen.

    There is a parallel school of thought that maintains that anyone can learn to have relative perfect pitch. Personally, I think it’s a strecth to say that ANYONE can learn to sing, just as it is a strech to say that anyone can develop relative perfect pitch, or play the cello like Yo Yo Ma, or swing a golf club like Tiger Woods.

    But that’s not what is important. What IS important is that we can all better ourselves in what we enjoy doing. We can always improve our game, where the desire so exists. Voice is my primary instrument, and while I have functional piano skills, I will never be a concert pianist. And goodness knows I can’t draw, which is to say nothing about my golf game, a sport I don’t even like to play!

    Another example might be swimming. Can ANYONE learn to swim? My experience a former swimming teacher is that most persons can learn to be safe, more or less, in and around water, but not everyone has strength, coordination, body type or lung capacity to learn to swim long distances in open water.

    Of course there is a bit of salesmanship in the introductory video. (Okay,maybe a lot of salesmanship!) But that’s to be expected, and it is incumbant upon the viewer to be a critical consumer. I didn’t pick up anything to the effect that the course promises to make a star out of anyone; no product or teacher can make that claim. (And any teacher who makes such a claim is in violation of the Code of Ethics as laid out by the National Association of Teachers of Singing.) I have not yet purchased the program, but I am seriously considering it for the simple reason that it appears to address the biggest challenge to the male voice: passagio. I have not yet had a voice teacher who knows how to effectively overcome that challenge. That said, I would never expect the course to be a complete replacement for a good teacher, but it certainly may offer some fresh perspectives.

    If it (the course) does help my passagio, then that’s great! If it doesn’t, then the worst I would be out would be $140 (or something like that)–less than the cost of 2 or 3 voice lessons with a private teacher. And Goodness knows that I have wasted far, far more money on lessons with a bad teacher. But that’s another subject, for another time.

  • HELLO!

    Here’s a quote by Albert Einstein: “Great Spirits Have Always Encountered Violent Opposition From Mediocre Minds.”
    I’m not accusing Mr. Ugly Email for having a mediocre mind, maybe just an overly conventional mind rather than an INNOVATIVE mind. Conventionals and innovatives seem to clash. — Do I ever know it!

  • Why is it that some people always want to put others down? Jealousy? Maybe fear you might be better than them? I think we have to learn to rise aboue it! I’ve come to a point where I will except the opinion of others, but I don’t have to take it on board. I think especially as a singer I can’t afford to let negativ comments effect me to much. If I let it seap in, it will surely effect my performance!

  • The world would be a better place to live in if it were filled with beautiful music, and not hate-filled noise!

  • Hi just sent a LONG comment and see that I missed my mail so sending it now in hopes that my comment not ??
    Therese Zumi in Sweden

  • I am an 88 year old retired pilot veteran of two wars. I took your course to improve my speaking voice for m internet TV show Ernies TV .com. It worked and the bonus was that, believe it or not, it improved my singing voice to the extent I enjoy it and have found a new hobby and plan to soon incorporate some singing into talks and shows I do for civic groups and nursing homes. I constanlty review your lessons because they are so helpful. Keep up the good work. Check out my intenet show-Ernie’s
    Best regrds
    Capt. Ernie (Ret)

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