Vocal coach Valerie Morehouse will have you looking at voice differently

Vocal coach extraordinaire Valerie Morehouse is shown with actor Keegan Allen of “Pretty Little Liars” fame. Contributed Photo

by Benjamin Marcus

Valerie Morehouse is a much-prized vocal coach to stars she cannot publicly identify. A gifted singer herself, Morehouse’s career was detoured by vocal cord nodes when she was young, so she understands the panic that sets in when platinum-selling singers or Oscar-nominated actors succumb to physical/mental stress, illness, and/or lack of training/discipline that deforms crooners into croakers.

In her new book, “A Better Voice: Straight From the Entertainment Industry Frontlines,” Morehouse details all the ways she has taken raw talent and instructed them in how to eat, drink, breathe, sleep, exercise, and warm up those body parts that produce dulcet tones.

Working out of Studio City, Morehouse has improved a wide range of singers from country to opera, teaching them how to use that valuable square footage between chest, throat and lips. In the book you will learn about SPA, Five Tone Ah, arpeggios, vibrato, and the Three Chambers of the Voice — Chest, Mid and Head: an entire glossary of terms that produce musical notes from human vocal cords.

A busy mother of twin boys, Morehouse is sometimes practically kidnapped by singers who need emotional/physical support behind the scenes, to endure the stresses of touring and performing in front of millions on TV, on social media, and live.

Put some lemon in your water, Manuka honey in your tea. Morehouse is detailed in her techniques, but Hollywood-discrete in not naming the singers and actors she has worked with, using musical symbols like ♫♬🎜🎝♭♮♯ as avatars — leaving the reader to guess who she is talking about.

But that’s part of the fun of this book. Who is the naturally blessed country singer Valerie had to ask to remove a wad of dip from his lip before practicing scales?

Well, how did she get here? A California girl born in Glendale, Morehouse moved to England with her family. Living in Surrey, her musical talent began to emerge.

“The funny thing is no one in my family on either side can sing or plays an instrument,” Morehouse said. “I cannot figure out where my talent to sing came from.”

That talent showed itself back in Huntington Beach in the ’80s, and that propelled her singing all the leading roles in high school musicals: Crystal in “Little Shop of Horrors,” Maria in “The Sound of Music,” and Reno Sweeney in “Anything Goes.”

She earned a music scholarship to Chapman University and was one of the first freshmen to earn a slot with the Chamber singers.

“I performed with them on tours across California each year,” Morehouse said. “We had many concerts and I sang Mozart’s Requiem with the LA Honor Choir conducted by Dr Willliam Hall. [It] was a life-changing experience.”

After college, Morehouse took a job with Madonna’s Maverick Records and saw all sides of the music business. She continued to sing but developed vocal nodes, which affected and almost negated her singing. Morehouse read vocal pathology books, lived in Japan for a summer because she thought the humidity might help. Research and consulting led to self care, and launched her toward her future.

“My sights of being a contemporary singing star ended at 28 for good as I knew I was meant to teach and heal singers and anyone that had vocal issues,” she said. “If I was going to abandon a career I had wanted my entire life, then I was going to be one of the most sought after teachers in the world. This was my goal at 28 and here I am now.”

Here she is now, with a long list of successes. Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” is not an homage to Morehouse, but other artists sing her praises throughout the book: Jay Demarcus and Gary LeVox from Rascal Flatts, Jeff Bridges, Sia, Noah Cyrus, Joe Buck, Debbie Gibson, Sam Smith, and a couple dozen other artists whose voices are their living.

Morehouse’s book is a behind-the-scenes and down-the-throat detailing of a world most people — and even a lot of singers — take for granted: Using the voice and the body as an athletic instrument, one that needs to be trained, nurtured, cared for, warmed up, exercised, and improved. Morehouse’s teaching is an alchemy of physiological, spiritual, psychological, artistical, technological and many other -cals. She works with sensitive artists who are blessed/cursed with a very sensitive instrument — their voices — and from her book we learn just how much care it takes to keep that instrument tuned, especially these days in a world of social media and grueling, worldwide tours.

“Social media has changed everything — sometimes not for the better,” Morehouse said. “Damage is a common thread with these artists: Some physically, some emotionally, and/or both. Tik Tok stars getting management and some cases record deals ONLY because they have a song that went viral. They have no experience, sub-par voices, and I’m left scrambling to get them up to speed.”

Auto-tune, social media, AI: Change is a constant, but Morehouse is keeping up with it, behind the scenes in recording studios, in the wings of live performances, standing behind artists enduring grueling world tours and the pressures of creativity, fame, money in this warp-speed world.

You won’t look at the voice the same.

The book is available on Amazon and you will be intrigued.

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In her new book, “A Better Voice: Straight From the Entertainment Industry Frontlines,” vocal coach Valeries Morehouse details the habits needed to maintain a person’s voice. Contributed Photo

For more information for budding singers:
Valerie@valeriemorehouse.com – email
Valeriemorehouse.com – website
Officialvalmorehouse – Instagram