by GARTH THOMAS
The beautiful voice and the vocal method of Tara Simon. We caught up with the talented vocal coach to learn more about her busy schedule and upcoming new moves!
Thank you for sharing some time with our readers today, what have you been up to in 2019? So many things! Sometimes I feel like i go to bed out of breath. lol. I feel like 2019 has been a year of sowing for me. It was a very expensive year for my business, but in all good ways. I took this year to curate and hire an amazing team of people who are excellent in what they do to take my brand, my company, and my online course to a whole new level. There has been a lot of strategic planning, analyzing and growth. So far this year, I have completely restructured the entire experience of my 8 week online course called “Sing Like a Superstar”. I have grown from 35k subscribers to 300k subscribers on YT as of October 25th, 2019 and I have filmed hundreds of reaction and tutorial videos on YouTube, started a new YouTube series called Sing Better In Seconds (which is SO fun and amazing!), all while continuing the growth of Tara Simon Studios private one-on-one vocal, piano, guitar, songwriting and artist development lessons both in person at our brick and mortar in Atlanta, GA and online worldwide. I have also released my first single in 7 years since “Walk Away” I was on X Factor called “She Walks The Moon” in August of this 2019. Before the year is over, I will have also released a new 4 week course as a follow up to my 8 week course all about learning how to do amazing riffs and runs with your voice (you know, the crazy fun stuff you hear all of the divas do and you wish you could too!). I should also note that I’m a single mom to the most amazing little boy in the world. I have a rule that when I pick him up from school, work waits until he is asleep. Then I pick it back up again. I don’t want him to ever think for one moment that there is anything more important in my life than he is, and actions speak louder than words. Finding balance can be really tough, but setting important rules and boundaries has been really key for me as a mom.
Who have been your greatest musical influences?
I was heavily influenced by Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Sandi Patti, Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Christina Aguilera growing up. I love singing with soul, with a big presence and commanding the attention and emotion of an audience.
How do you keep vocalists motivated to keep improving?
By making sure they experience results! It’s like working out, right? you take that before picture and you work to change the image in that photo. The trick with singing is: it’s an intangiable art form. But I have come up with very creative and measurable ways for my artists to see AND hear marked improvement so that they not only are more motivated to continue, but they have 100% confidence and trust in the process.
Where do you seek inspiration as a writer and as a teacher?
I am an analogy freak. Ask any of my students, I use them all the time. Many of them are derived from fitness (because I’m also a health freak too). I feel that if I can get a singer to visualize what I need them to do, they will execute it. If there is no vision, its like vocally grasping in the air for something to hold onto and nothing being there for you. I also always remember what it felt like for me to try and fail, and want to understand somehting but not quite be able to. It’s easy when you teach to sometimes forget what its like to be on the other side of the table. I am constantly reminding myself of that and empathizing with where my singer is. If I can meet them there, I can walk next to them and lead them forward.
With such a busy schedule, how do you find the time to have fun, cut lose and enjoy life?
HA! Finding time and balance is constantly eluding me. I really try hard to have a “me day” one day per week. Realistically (if it even happens at all) it ends up being a “me couple of hours”… but I take what I can get. I do have one nonnegotiable each day: I work out every morning 5 days per week. It is etched into my schedule and routine and I consider that “me time” as well. Luckily, I freaking LOVE what I do, so i do consider it fun and find so much joy in it. (Which is really convenient cause I’m always working!). On the rare occasion I have a night free, you will find me salsa dancing somewhere, anywhere. I LOVE salsa dancing. Like…if I lost my voice tomorrow I would become a professional salsa dancer. (No Joke!)
When we follow our dreams in life, there are sacrifices. What do you find to be the greatest sacrifices and the greatest gifts of your career so far?
The greatest sacrifices I can easily say were the early years in starting my business up. I never set out to coach. My plan was to be a singer my whole life and that alone. I was in a bad relationship where it was up to me to “make it happen” financially, and so on top of touring, singing and songwriting, I decided to start coaching during the day. I started small in my house, then once I had so many people in and out my carpets were getting black, I rented a space from the church I was attending. Then I trained and hired my first coach to work under me. After a short time, I had more coaches working at the church with me than the church had working in the music ministry! At that point I finally got a space of my own and we have been flourishing and thriving there ever since. But none of that was easy and it took a lot of courage, a lot of risk and a lot of grit to see it all through. But out of all that sacrifice came the greatest gifts…and it keeps on giving! I have had coaches and students come to me saying how the environment and culture at TSS is special. That they feel at peace and at home here. It makes my day every single time. TSS is more than a business, it is a family. My coaches stick around just to chat or jam or work on their craft like theyre in their own living room. Students post about how excited they are about coming ot lessons and all the wonderful new things theyre learning. It’s a really special place. Hearing a singer who once sang quitely with no confidence in themselves belt out a power ballad with their arms raised never gets old, and is such a special gift. It’s what we as coaches live and breath for.