Singing Fundamentals from Dede Wyland

Dede WylandI’ve been fortunate enough to take singing lessons from Dede Wyland at music camps in two different years. Both times, after absorbing as much as could in five days, I came home energized and excited, only to find a few weeks later that some of the exercises and tips had faded from my mind. I needed a refresher course.

Now, thanks to a video series she has launched, I can refresh my memory any time it needs refreshing (which is often).

The Fundamentals of Singing, a 13-part program, covers everything that helps vocalists maximize their ability, from posture and breathing to projection, expression, and hitting those challenging high notes. Most of the videos are in the three-to-five minute range, so you can listen to one or two at a time and do the exercises no matter how busy you are with all the things that get in the way of music. And you can go back at any time during your subscription.

I imagine the video lessons work well even if you haven’t had class time or lessons with Dede or another vocal instructor. But I find them extremely helpful after having put in some classroom hours. The video can’t correct you or offer suggestions the way Dede can when you’re nervously singing in front of her.

But if you can’t take advantage of one on one time in her suburban D.C. teaching studio, this is the next best thing, for sure. The four lessons on breathing and breath support alone are worth the price of admission. I don’t want to give away any of her secrets, but I find that when I pay attention to her breathing instructions, the other parts of singing automatically improve. I project more, I don’t cut off lines and I have an easier time being able to focus on expressing myself instead of worrying if I can get through the line without a quick gasp.

Dede primarily sings bluegrass, Americana, and a bit of country, but the video instructions apply across multiple genres. If you’re at all wondering if she’s the right instructor for you, check out her rendition of Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold) from her Keep the Light On CD. That’s the best one-stop example I know of her range and her expression. You can also hear her excel in 1980s recordings from Tony Trischka and Skyline, of which she was a founding member.


Now if only she would add a lesson in yodeling!

More information about the video series, including pricing, is available at her website

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About the Author

David Morris

David Morris, an award-winning songwriter and journalist, has written for Bluegrass Today since its inception. He joined its predecessor, The Bluegrass Blog, in 2010. His 40-year career in journalism included more than 13 years with The Associated Press, a stint as chief White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, and several top editing jobs in Washington, D.C. He is a life member of IBMA and the DC Bluegrass Union. He and co-writers won the bluegrass category in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2015.