1.  Yes, I teach Bel Canto....

Bel Canto is a word that seems to have adopted many different approaches within itself as a means toward singing.  It is a widely-overused term, almost becoming a generic substitute for "singing with good tone."  Many people who teach voice say they are trained in the Bel Canto technique, and thus, they also claim to teach the Bel Canto technique. The problem, so it seems, is that they in fact do not, based on the fact that they do not promote the practice of inhaling the voice.  I met someone myself who insisted very earnestly that she learned, used and taught the Bel Canto technique, but was undergoing treatment for nodes. If she was actually using the technique, the development of nodes would be absolutely impossible.  A friend of mine who went right to Italy (ironically the "home" of Bel Canto) to learn the technique met a number of teachers who swore up and down that they taught Bel Canto - and I'm sure they genuinely believed that they did. Well.... he returned to Canada to continue his studies.

2.  Drop your jaw and shape your vowels clearly...

Many of the techniques used today involve the old "drop your jaw, exaggerate the vowels with your your lips, etc." ideals, which are actually counter-productive to singing. There are no funny shapes with the mouth, no dropping your jaw half way to your lap, etc.  Try this: make an "Ah" sound while opening your mouth real wide, and drop your jaw as far as you can. Where do you feel the most tension? Your throat, you say? Hmmmm.....  Never mind the fact that making funny exaggerated vowel faces looks pretty hilarious.  After decades of promoting these ideals, it is now hard to find a teacher that does not teach like that.  They will, however, claim to be using and teaching the Bel Canto technique.

3.  Push with your diaphragm...

Like the "drop your jaw" fallacy above, the notion of pushing the sound out using your diaphragm is also part of what has become standard and conventional vocal training.  First, any kind of squeezing motion, by definition, results in tension.  Tension is bad.  Second, as soon as you are pushing your sound out of your body, you lose a lot of the control you would otherwise have over the rate at which air passes through your vocal cords.  This results in an overall lack of control of the voice, and a tonal quality lacking in resonance that is closer to yelling than singing.

4.  Random "good for a laugh" techniques and suggestions....

... the singer should feel as if she were “pushing out the baby,” or for a man, that he were undergoing difficult defecation... singing high notes should be like a “constipated push,” or that the buttocks should contract and “crack the walnut.”... female students should “sing with their vaginas open.”... singing while holding up the other end of the instructor's grand piano....It involves practicing with doing this weird thing with your lips and going from the bottom of your range to the top like a siren. Search it up on youtube....

 

Stunning...