Domenic Panuccio, author of Daily Thought Seeds, book acknowledgment published 2020, says of working with Brian Gilbertson -
"Brian Gilbertson - your own effortless and pure, loving connection to divine wisdom helped give me strength, confidence and belief in myself. You are one of the most inspirational and genuine souls I could ever know."
"I have learnt so much more from you in 2 sessions than I did in 3 years with other teachers." Emily South Australia.
“I wanted a top notch expert. Someone renowned for getting results. I asked around for a few months and finally found the guy. Now this man was truly unique! He was an amazing fellow with a equally amazing track record. In fact you can read about him here. His name is Brian Gilbertson, and he had quite a spiritual approach to teaching vocals. ... His voice was simply stunning, and he had a way with words as well. I took lessons with Brian. I had a great time and I learnt quite a bit about the voice. He used many visualization methods, helping the sound to flow through me.“ Brett Manning, Singing Success, describing Geoffrey Williams commentary on which are the very best vocal lessons on the net. USA
"You are the most articulate person I've read when it comes to trying to explain the difficult task of singing properly. I've been to two voice teachers, both of whom frustrated me to no end ... and I finally gave up. I really admire your tips and the fact that you so willingly share your talents and knowledge with everybody. Thanks very much," Matt McLeod, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
"I had thought that the art of teaching singing was forgotten until I read your lessons on the computer. God bless you. I sang when I was a young girl and managed to maintain my voice until 70 because of a teacher such as you who taught me many years ago."
"Hi Brian, I just want to say, THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for your advice & suggestions. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help. I can understand how people speak so highly of you and look up to you. Thank you for the reassurance and confidence I have gained back because of your knowledge, experience and understanding.
I have listened to some of your demo's and I absolutely love how you sing. You have an incredibly "beautiful" voice. You sound so graceful and sing with such ease. "Music to my Ears". Thanks! Sylvia.
"Dear Mr. Gilbertson, I agree that every singer has an unknown quality in their voice. ...... I have all but quit singing and done the exercises only--for weeks--and my voice has changed dramatically! There is a sound there I never knew existed! Thanks for the great advice. Hearing it from someone else besides my instructor makes such a big difference. I'm amazed at how much I understand now! Sincerely," Rebecca
"...Brian, You are the coolest man ! I just came on board here a few days ago and have learned a ton , your vocal info and insight is by far and above the best I have found on the internet. You are too kind to pass this along to us . (!) " Ted .... Arizona US
"Dear Brian, I just wanted to let you know that when scooting about the 'net looking for singing tips recently, I came across your site. I can't tell you how lucky I feel to have done so! It's pure gold! I'm a 29-year-old music theatre baritone, and have trained classically for the last four years .... having performed roles such as Javert in Les Mis, Jud in Oklahoma and Emile in South Pacific. I'm currently rehearsing for Annie, in which I'll play Warbucks. Trying to sort out the seemingly perennial problems associated with 'the top' led me to look around the 'net to see what I could find - and sure enough, there was your site!
I've been working on the breathing technique tips you've detailed, esp when coming to a big note or a high phrase. When running towards a big note, I imagine that I'm just standing around, waiting for a bus or something , so as to put 'singing' out of my mind. Sure enough, with normal, relaxed breathing, the note comes out brighter, rounder and of a richer quality I could scarcely have thought myself capable of until trying your techniques. It's absolutely magic!
It's a slow grind of course, changing years of habit, so I do slip back into 'singing' mode fairly regularly without even realising it. If I do suddenly find myself in 'singing' mode during a particular performance, I'm switching to 'plan B' ie) convincing myself that I'm quite bored with the song, so start breathing in the 'bored' way you suggested between phrases. This does help, but I like to look at as a last resort, as it's not really a patch on your 'non singing' approach to singing. Still, it is handy to have a back up in case things go wrong.
I can't thank you enough for putting your site together! I'll certainly be visiting it each week! Cheers again," Kindest regards, Peter
"Dear Brian, My name is Robert ..... I am a Tenor, Lyric, Countertenor actually. I have not sung in many years. I have recently gotten back to sing and have used some of your tips to re-introduce my voice. I have been auditioning for a professional barbershop group here in my home town and so far have passed 2 of the 3 auditions. Thank you for your help. I was a voice major at Humboldt State University in California 20 years ago. I wish you had been my coach then, I would have gone so much farther." Sincerely Rob
"Dear Mr. Gilbertson, My name is Andreas, I come from Athens, Greece. I sing Greek Church Music (Byzantine Music). I have been in choirs and I have helped chanters by singing some easier melodies or by keeping the base line of the melody (called isokratima). Recently, I have changed my attitude. I am not trying anymore; I am chanting. One of my priorities is to get closer to people who help my voice in any way, technical, practical or psychological. I feel proud to say that you have dramatically influenced my voice (not to mention my will and my attitude). I wish to thank you for your valuable help, which I have received through your tips for singing in the last couple of years. For me the journey just begins. Respectfully, Andreas..."
"It is great to see how generous you are in providing singing tips and handy hints. This, to me, shows your own personal vocal security, -not something which all singers possess. I missed out on meeting you after one of the performances of "Turn of the Screw." Anyway, keep up your good work and hope to meet you face to face sometime. Saw you on TV too."
"Dear Brian, Thank you for making your amazing wisdom on singing available to the public in this way. I received vocal training according to the 6000 year old Indian tradition. As a person who has received over ten years of intensive and intermittent personal training under the Guru-Shishya parampara (teacher-pupil) tradition of the culture I come from, I have personally discovered and experienced most of what you are revealing through your tips on singing. I am the richer for it because, under our tradition, the training is based on 'hearing' only (and without any attempt to 'analyse' ). My guru, who has a divine voice and amazing vocal skills (acrobatic skills at that), only corrects mistakes of his pupils by him 'correctly' singing over and over again until we get it right. Most of us are usually able to expand our range to three saptaks (octaves) and improve diction through effective breath control, as essential for raaga singing following this method. Words like diaphragm, clavicular or other forms of breathing are never mentioned. As a person trained in the sciences, I am now able to understand the scientific basis of the traditional training I have received, though not necessarily improve on it because of the more melodic and rhythmic approach we aim for, rather than striving to 'hit' high notes. (In fact , developing the bass and baritone (in your terminology) end of the range is more important for singing some of the ragas since, on higher scales they generate different emotions). I have found your comments extremely insightful and they make lot of sense. Thank you for your website.
"First of all thank you for your marvelous site. It is full of such good advice and tips." Flora
"I am a fan of yours and of your website. I check it as often as I can, since I discovered it." El Ghali
"I really like the new format--the opportunity to read the whole discussion is illuminating! The tenor's questions about high notes & your replies were especially helpful to me --it feels risky to let go, open up,& really let that high sound out -- but when I do , it sound good!" Jack-Colleen Gilbert
"I really enjoy some of the physical to mental relations you make in your singing tips. Keep it up!" Matthew Holter, Director of Choirs
"Thanks so much, you've really made my day. I have rehearsal in 2 hours and you just gave me a big push. Can't tell you how much I appreciate it. The bored thing was a great idea ... really helped me breath without even thinking about it. In any case, thanks again, and I'll definitely continue to frequent your site. Take care!"..Matt from Canada
"Mr. Gilbertson, This past week in my voice lesson is when I first tried the falling/catching exercise with my voice teacher. It was very hard to trust the teacher to catch me so I ended up falling up against the wall, but it really produced a freeing sensation in my voice I have never felt because I am famous for regressing back into singing with my throat and inhibiting the air flow and sound. The sound was just so much fuller and the sensation was so much into my forehead and I had forgotten what that felt like. My voice soared! It was neat that you wrote about that particular singing tip this week. Also, I have tried just going down into a squat (not a deep one) as I'm going into a tough spot where I tend to lean into the throat. It has helped a lot. Thanks again for the great and timely tips!" Rebecca
"As always, I can't thank you enough for maintaining your website. Your wisdom and insights are an inspiration. No matter which tip I'm working with at any given time, the voice just seems to take to it like a duck to water"...Peter, New South Wales, Australia
"I recently came across your site while searching for singing tips. Thanks for putting up such a great site, and for taking the time to share your knowledge with us all." Neil, Australia
"Thanks for your continued tips - I keep them in a folder for myself and they are always great to look forward to! No longer having time & money for lessons, I keep teaching myself and your tips are the central input I use!
As have read them over the past couple of years I am getting a stronger sense of the things that you would have singers strive for - I wonder if you ever feel that you are repeating yourself...I hope not because each new angle is always helpful!"
"I just wanted to say the photographic negative (20/4/03) idea has been very very good for me! The idea of feeling vibration/energy/activity all around the outer surface of my head has drawn several threads of technique together. I have eagerly extended that active area down the neck, shoulders and arms, making palpable the idea of singing with the whole body, and of being sung rather than singing myself. Thank you!" Tony New Zealand
"Hello Brian - great to hear from you! As luck would have it, I'm just refreshing my memory of a couple of your tips at the moment - one from 2000 re listening to the silence, and a more recent one, about not being so concerned with the sound one makes, rather being aware of the air moving into the bones of the face. I'm finding combining these two ideas is really helping the sound at the moment. I've also just been cast as the Pirate King! Woo hoo! Peter, NSW Australia
"I am a singer-songwriter from India and a regular visitor of your site. I have been also taking advice from you and want to say thank you very - very much for your help." Anurag, Singer songwriter, India
"Hi Brian...I wrote you several weeks ago about my teacher and her un-natural way of breathing. Well, I have been reading everything you have to say about breath and I am singing SO much better now. I decided that her way was not working for me and even though I still study with her, your ideas work better for me. She is also pleased with my progress. Thanks so much!"
"Brian, I love your site. I was always embarrassed that it was so easy for me to sing, but that's what it's all about, isn't it? I can see that I've been making things complex, where they really are simple and natural. Thank you." Megeath, Scottsdale Az
"You have a great website. It is very generous of you to give such great tips FREE!...surely a sign of a great artist and a teacher who teaches because he cares about his students and considers music a gift. Thanks!!!
I have read all your tips and have been trying some of them. Typically I have been plagued with my throat tightening, not having sufficient volume/strength and getting breaks. The thinking higher (ie above hard palate and imaging the roundness of vowels) certainly provides immediate - freedom, - volume - strength, - and eliminates the breaks in my mid range ie middle E and this helps me from being stuck and therefore I want to practice and experiment more...YEAH!!" Sneha, India
"I must add my thanks and appreciation to your growing list, having just found your website and singing tips. I find the analogies you use and the exercises oh so very useful. I have just tried out the ball squeezing exercise which helped me to understand the feeling of the face/mask (which up to now has been largely more miss than hit!) Much of your advice is similar in tone to that of my teacher who is also concentrating on telling me when the sound outside is good while my job is to understand what I am thinking and feeling when the sound changes between good, bad and indifferent. Well done and please keep up the great website." Carol Eades
"Thank you for the response. It is extremely good of you to take the time to answer all the emails you receive, I'm sure they must pore in every day! Yes, your response did help me understand much better. It's nice to know someone with your classical background is familiar with Robert Plant. He's one of my all time favorite singers. Thank you once again for all the knowledge you've shared with me and everyone else, you have an incredible gift for teaching!" Sincerely, Mark
"Nobody could verbalize what the voice does better than you. My teacher will love this. THANKS for affirming the emotional basis of voice." Jenna, Ohio
"Thank you so much for your website. I only ran across it today. By coincidence, I read the tip about singing above the upper teeth, having just learned this sensation within the last two weeks. Now I truly know what it means to sing into the masque (previously, I had been directing my sound more toward the hard palette thinking that was the sensation I was after). Thanks for the confirmation!" Janelle
"Heya Brian, I've only recently started taking up singing (from October 2002) as myself and a few friends have formed a band, and I'd just like to say thanks for the time and effort you put into running your site. Even though I am something of a singing novice, many of your tips have helped me to progress quickly (and yes, I have a weekly lesson from a vocal tutor). I know you receive plenty of emails so there is no need to reply to this one; I just thought you'd like to know that you have one more grateful admirer." -- Matt
Wow. I actually understood what you were trying to explain this week. Naturally when I was a beginning voice student I would've said you had a few screws loose. However, trying this has really produced a different feeling for me. Courage and fear are what I definitely struggle with every time I sing. Thanks for the neat explanation. My ability to sing has really improved after reading and practicing your tips!" Sincerely, Rebecca
"I have only recently come across your web site and I have found it to be extremely informative and helpful. Especially the part where you have to rely on your imagination more than any other function to sing. I have always had a problem trying to reach the head voice without a break in the register. Your suggestion of visualizing the voice floating on top of the air overcame that problem." Brian
"I'm finding myself getting better at singing. Now I think I sound really good and others do and that's thanks to you for your tips. Thank you for your help... Kevin
"Riding the Dolly" Hello Brian, I have been reading your tips for some time now & this one is the best!!! Thank you for your wonderful website. I look forward to each new tip!" Cordially, Colleen
"Thankyou for your prompt response to my enquirers regarding the Estill method. I went to the rehearsal room tonight and decided to focus less on what was happening inside and who I wanted to sound like. Instead I just opened up with the joy of what I was doing. And I kept your fantastic image of an open topped triangle in my mind. My voice and I mean MY voice came out smaller and lighter than I am used to but my top range just soared up and up. The notes were always there but it never felt like this. It felt real, free and open. As a Baritone low F to High Ab I have always tried to get that rich dark sound but still have access to the top G,s etc. I realise now that I must have sounded like a fraud. Sorry I'm rambling. Many thanks for your site and the advice within." Gary
"Dear Brian, thankyou so much for your considered reply to my question regarding tongue position and singing. Your answer was very intriguing to me, as my teacher also studied in Italy, and advocates the method which you describe, which has left me with a voice that travels totally on air and has no register changes, for which I am most grateful." Rhiannon
"Hello Brian, You have a great website. It is very generous of you to give such great tips FREE!...surely a sign of a great artist and a teacher who teaches because he cares about his students and considers music a gift. Thanks!!!" Sneha.
"While trying to determine the difference between a lyric and dramatic coloratura, I stumbled on your site. All I can say is "What a wonderful breath of fresh air!" I thoroughly enjoyed reading your singing advice. Brought back memories of many things I struggled with. At one point I became so paranoid about breathing, my whole body would tense up and my ribs would hurt. How totally unnatural! I even had a time where I was singing nasally which started to sound shrill because my vocal teacher told me to sing in the nose and bring the sound forward. I really was tied up obsessing about vocal faults. Consequently, my voice became tight in every way. So I gave up singing for 4 years after leaving college aside from singing in a few weddings and church events. But the phantom will not leave me and so I'm starting to sing again. I totally concur with your advice to concentrate on thoughts rather than singing. I find that when I let my emotions explode the music comes to life. My body relaxes and the music soars. I also find that when I really get the song in my ears many of the vocal problems disappear. (Instead of reaching for notes, my body knows where they should be mentally and puts them there.) Now, I try to focus on the music's power before isolating diction to work on."
"After reading last week's singing tip I began to "investigate" and experiment using your visual and mental instruction. How amazing it is to be able to use words and descriptions to learn by! My breathing became even more deep into my body and I could really feel a sensation of openness. This site continues to amaze me.....thank you, thank you, thank you! Don't worry about replying, I know how busy you are...just wanted you to know that I get a lot from your instruction. Sincerely......"
I wanted to say thank you SO much for your site..I learned a ton on it!!!" Love, Holland :) from North Carolina, USA
"Thanks for the reassurance of the basic tools of character one needs in learning. Sincerely."
"Hello, thank-you for the great singing tips they have helped me a lot."
"Thank you for your very interesting website and useful (and kind) advice to aspiring singers."
"Brian...thanks so much for providing a weekly tip and for answering my questions. I appreciate your work so much!
GOD BLESS!!!! KEEP THE FLOWING SOUL ALIVE. RESPECT TO U."
"Congratulations on the first anniversary of singing tips. I've found them to be invaluable and easy to understand and implement."
"OH MY GOSH, A LIGHT BULB JUST WENT OFF IN MY HEAD!! You explain everything so well, it's exciting to learn this way."
"...came across your site a little while back and am very impressed! Thanks for your generosity in sharing stuff about singing."
"Hello,my name is Mark and I am a singer from Kentucky(USA) and I want to thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge with the rest of the world. I have been singing for a few years and took private lessons from a classical voice teacher. Your insights have been so helpful in giving me a better understanding of the concepts she teaches.
"Even though I am slightly confused, I can tell a difference!!!!!! I sound more on tune, and I really wanted to thank you for that!!!!! I guess I just need some work on "not trying as hard." But I really wanted to thank you for that!!! I would have never guessed that it was because I was trying TOO HARD!!!!!!!!!"