Spotlight on the Student: Kelsey

Kelsey Hughen is one of my students, she has a lovely, mellifluous voice and is a keen student. Her songs have a lot of tonal variety (so important for many genres!) and her song writing has a sweet conversational style. She is a great singer to work with and one of the funnest things we’ve experimented with has been emotional expressiveness. She had recorded this song before she started working with me, so as you can see (or hear rather) she already has plenty of skill and natural artistry!

By exploring new tone qualities and ways of expressing emotion, we have continued to add to and mix new vocal sounds and emotional gestures much the way a painter would combine colors to express an idea, emotion, or image. Her confidence and dedication to grow as a vocal artist has had incredible results. Even though I can teach lessons and see concrete results within the lessons, it’s always the student’s practice and artistic exploration in between lessons that has the biggest influence on someone’s growth as an artistic singer.  Boy, is that exciting to see! I love my job!

Here are some of Kelsey’s thought on songwriting and lessons:

“I have been singing my whole life, but it wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that my songwriting journey began. My dad introduced me to a local singer/songwriter from Austin named Katie Gosnell who introduced me to the world of songwriting and guitar-playing. Katie saw my passion for singing and my interest in performing and let me borrow one of her guitars for the summer to play around with. That was when everything started to click for me. I began playing chords and writing lyrics right away, realizing that this wasn’t simply a way for me to connect with myself, but with others as well.

‘Goodnight’ was the first full-length song I had ever written. The lyrics tell a story and express strong emotions that I’m sure almost everyone can connect with in some way.  “Goodnight” was recorded in August, 2011 in San Diego , California at my dear family friend’s studio, StudioWest.

Chris has helped me exponentially in many regards. In the short time I’ve taken lessons with him, Chris has already introduced me to the world of belting (healthfully of course) and has shown me singing techniques I had never heard of or tried before. He is also helping me explore my more dramatic side by incorporating expressiveness and emotions into my singing. I cannot thank Chris enough for the encouragement and support he’s pouring out, enabling me to grow not only as a singer, but a performer as well.”

Below is a video of Kelsey singing a song that she wrote, “Goodnight”

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