Shifting Styles and Stages

By Kyley Klass

Kyley KlassAct I is ending, the spotlight is only on me, and I can feel the eyes of hundreds waiting for the most epic moment of the show.

Every musical theatre performance I was a part of had this same iconic moment that, for me, was the most exciting and the most terrifying. That was because every night was a new gamble with this big moment having a different ending each time. Sometimes my voice would come through. Other times, I wanted to leave the theatre without anyone seeing my face.

Wishing, Waiting, and Training

I always wished there was a foolproof method or recipe that I could rely on each night to prevent this uncertainty within my own performance. When I was nineteen years old in a musical theatre conservatory, I had finally found it – Estill Voice Training. Through this training, I learned that my voice was just like any other instrument with many different parts that I could learn to control individually.

What?!? How could I have spent so much money and time on lessons mimicking and hoping for the best, when there was a vocal technique available the whole time that would finally teach me using scientific information?

I immediately jumped into the training, and within a couple of months, I could control each part of my instrument fairly well. My performances from that moment on had a solid foundation. I relied on this control to help me receive the same standing ovation outcome each night. Estill Voice Training changed my life quickly, effectively, and efficiently. I have never looked back.

A New Stage

Towards the end of college, I was given the opportunity to audition for the dueling piano bar, Howl at the Moon. Let me just say, popular music is very different from musical theatre! I had spent my whole life training and singing musical theatre. How was I going to shift styles, covering artists from Janis Joplin to Beyoncé, and make it through six-hour shows four nights/week?

Kyley KlassWell, when you have learned how to maneuver your instrument in a way to fit all types of models and molds, it makes shifts in style (and my job) quite a bit easier. Putting in the time and work with Estill Voice Training has allowed me to belt, croon, country twang, hit high and low notes, “straight tone”, and so much more! This was an especially important skill at the piano bar, or anywhere else that has an audience expecting a certain kind of show. Thanks to American Idol culture, the crowd wants to hear renditions of their favorite songs performed similar to  – or even better than! – the original singers. Could I pull off a huge Christina Aguilera power ballad in a light, legit falsetto? No way. Luckily, I can use my Estill Voice Training to change my voice quality and stay true to the style of each song.

Singing Smarter

My favorite part about Estill Voice Training is that the brainwork remains in the studio and does not have to be carried on to the stage. If I correctly learn how to move and use my instrument at its highest caliber in the studio and in my practice, I can stop thinking about it come show time and create a true performance. No more guessing if I’ll hit the notes or if I can sing a certain song or style. I know that my training and my voice give me control that I can trust and a successful outcome each time!

About the Author

Kyley Klass
Kyley Klass is a Pittsburgh, PA native who has performed regionally since the age of 8. She received her BFA in Musical Theatre from ‪Point Park‬ University. Kyley has been seen most recently on the stages at Howl at the Moon, The Pittsburgh Playhouse, and Carnegie Hall.
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