When Sloane Reali began her career as a vocal coach, she didn’t believe she could teach everyone to sing.
Some people have physical limitations. Some are tone deaf. Maybe singing just isn’t for everybody.
But after decades of working with all levels of performers and speakers, Ms. Reali has changed her tune.
“20 years later I’ve witnessed all kinds of amazing things I never anticipated,” said Ms. Reali.
Now, at Vocal Coaching by Sloane, Santa Barbarans can get the quality training they need in the basics of singing or tio take their performance to the next stage, no matter their skill level or experience.
But Ms. Reali doesn’t just stick to music. Her coaching can help professionals in the workplace, whether they be CEOs, teachers, doctors, authors going on book tours, and more, gain the confidence they need for speaking events, presentations, or just day-to-day life.
Ms. Reali grew up singing along to 45s with her hairbrush. But it wasn’t until she was at UCSB taking music classes that she decided to switch career paths after a woman visited and taught the same vocal coaching method Ms. Reali uses today.
“At that moment I thought I’m going to drop everything I’m doing with music and just focus on vocal coaching,” she said.
Ms. Reali likes to say she’s in the confidence business. It’s a big part of getting people to come out of their shell.
“Most people who come in do not believe that they can sing,” she said.
Those are the clients Ms. Reali loves the most; the challenges. The people who have been told they’re tone deaf, can’t hold a tune, or that they should keep their day job. Helping those clients is all about showing them what they’re capable of already, said Ms. Reali.
“That’s what I do. People come in and they don’t really believe it or they’re not sure they can get further if they have worked with other people, and I’m able to take them wherever they left off and show them how to get to the next step,” Ms. Reali said.
Not only has Ms. Reali helped the average introvert find their voice, she has overcome some serious challenges and transformed people’s lives through voice coaching.
One of her most challenging students was a trans woman whose vocal chords were damaged when her Adam’s apple was removed. Ms. Reali had never faced that problem before, but figured she had 20 years of experience to help her out.
“After 12 weeks she had her entire voice back. She had expanded her range into a new part of her voice that she had not been able to access before having the Adam’s apple removed. Really, really powerful,” Ms. Reali said.
Where in the past vocal coaching was about getting students in and keep them in as long as possible, Ms. Reali’s coaching methods have proved so successful that in one session she can show somebody that they can sing, Ms. Reali told the News-Press.
“I’ve been there. I know what it’s like not to feel heard. I know what it’s like not to have a voice. Not to feel valued. Not to feel validated. So, I see that in other people and I’m able to show them very quickly that you do have all of this in place already and this is how we can take this to the next level,” Ms. Reali said.
Ms. Reali works out of Hidden City Studios, a professional recording studio and rehearsal space in downtown Santa Barbara run by Elliot Lanam.
“I’ve done a couple of coaches and I think something that sets Sloane apart from the rest is that she just makes you feel really comfortable,” said Mr. Lanam, “There’s this insecurity that comes with singing. … You put yourself out there so much. And so to be so vulnerable and to have someone like that makes you feel comfortable and confident and makes you feel like you’ve known each other for so long, I think that’s an essential part of developing your confidence as a singer. A budding singer at that.”
Ms. Reali’s lessons are for everyone, whether you’re a UCSB student looking to try something new or a professional musician looking for some extra support and structure before going on tour. One thing that Ms. Reali has discovered to be true across all levels and goals is the importance of breathing properly.
“Everybody, whether they’re signing, whether they’re speaking, whether you’re a parent taking your kids all over the place all day, business people, young, old. Everybody. This helps everybody,” Ms. Reali said.
With proper breathing technique, clients can reduce a lot of tension and anxiety that come from modern life, she said.
“Breathing is the No. 1 one thing I have to do with clients. 95 percent of the people coming in, amateurs, beginners, professional, don’t know how to breathe correctly. I really should be marketing myself as a breathing coach,” said Ms. Reali.
Those interested can find all of the services Ms. Reali provides and book lessons at www.vocalcoachingbysloane.com. Everything starts with a one-hour session to find the client’s baseline. Vocal Coaching by Sloane will also offer online lessons, with more in the works for next year. Ms. Reali also does lessons in Santa Ynez and is looking to expand to Los Angeles.
“I’m always available, people can find me. If they’re not sure, a phone call, a complimentary consultation, if they have questions. This stuff is too awesome to not have access to it, and right now I’m still accessible so it’s a great time to reach out and have a conversation,” said Ms. Reali.