In the News


Singing Better Newsletter

Devoted to those fine people who are devoted to better singing.

Volume 1, Number 1

This is the first edition of our newsletter; but really your newsletter.  Send us your quality singing articles and comments...TELL THE WORLD!

Ray Miller, Editor
Phone:  888-886-9312
  Read about Sally Trice's Better Singing Choir   HearFones®, Wonderful Tool - but What do I do With Them?
They're Having Fun in CASA? Tip #1
Q & A Corner — A Real Forum For Better Singing Solutions Tip #2
A Note from Joyce — The Voice at 888-886-9312, What can we do for You? Tip #3
Heard about Nancy's Love Affair? Tip #4
Wonderful News from Washington (State, that is!) Tip #5
Ever Wonder What They'll Do Next at NEXTEP? Tip #6
How About that Singing Better Workshop, eh? Tip #7

CHOIR DIRECTOR, Sally Trice says,

"I find HearFones(tm) helpful with singers' intonation, and the rest of the choir notices the difference. They often make the singers' voices softer and sing with better fidelity and less distortion.The choir then blends better. One of my singers especially likes to use her HearFones(tm) in her vocal warm-up exercises."


Not the "Blanca" Casa, but the Contemporary A Cappella Society. Those of you who sing in more traditional styles would get a wake-up call from these guys; CASA covers the ground from Gregorian chant to street corner jazz. Pete and Ray went to their A Cappella Summit in Boston this past June and had a BALL! You should have seen the vocal percussion crew go dreamy-eyed in our HearFones(tm). Their music can range from lush to wild, but it sure is infectious.

In addition to a lot of fun, spirited singing by many groups and a super Saturday night show, there were classes and seminars on a variety of singing topics. We both learned a lot there, and Pete, who can sing a bit in Swedish, sang an old folk song with a group from Uppsala.

Whatever your kind of singing, invite one of the nearby a cappella groups to join you some night; or find out who's performing near you soon and enjoy!

Heard Rockapella sell coffee on TV?
Visit CASA at


We invite you to submit musical questions and problems to be answered by our readers. This should spawn some interesting discussion and lively debate. It could be fun and a benefit to us all.


Congratulations to those of you who have bared your voices!


"I want to thank you for bringing me this wonderful invention. For years I've been complaining about not hearing myself or my real voice . . . Now I can correct myself while my jaw and muscles are still in position. It s just wonderful . . . I love these HearFones(tm)."

Here's some real good news:

You'll find a wonderfully workable scheme for improving your ensemble's sound by practicing with less, or even no accompaniment in rehearsals. What a great idea for letting the singers hear what's going on in their rehearsals.

Dr. Leslie Guelker-Cone of Western Washington University has an earthshaking article in the September '98 Music Educators Journal. She discusses sight-singing systems, warm-up techniques and improved sound from singers who can hear their vocal production much better.

A Peek at Pete 'n Ray's Notebook

Things happen at N E X T E P, home of the HearFones(tm) folks. In each issue, we will include topics that the two us us find of musical importance and general interest. We're singers, inventors, scientists, engineers, musicologists and manufacturers. Looking at the past, present and future facts of music, we discuss a variety of interesting musical issues and problems, many of which you'd find engaging and informative. STAY TUNED!

A HearFones® Singing Better workshop

is planned for the 20th of this month at the First Parish Church in Gorham, Maine. Call us at 888-886-9312 to set up your own workshop anywhere in the New England area.


Let us pass along to you observations we have from the thousands of HearFones(tm) now out there in several countries. Lots of people are very excited about how their 'fones' can help, especially teachers and directors. Following are some of the reasons why:

1. First of all, HearFones(tm) help focus the attention on each singer's own particular vocal production, often for the first time. Ultimately, this amounts to having vocal coaches for each singer in the ensemble --- the singers themselves.

2. With attention now focussed on quality, the teacher/director can demonstrate the desired vowel sound or vocal quality for any particular spot, then ask the singers to imitate them.

3. Any singer (or all of them) may "practice his own part" while singing with the ensemble, thus improving individual quality while enhancing the group's overall presentation.

4. HearFones(tm) may be used in one-on-one sessions with the teacher to work on general vocal quality or on specific problems. Thus, singers learn to hear exactly how their own best singing sounds, and just how they achieved this improvement. In time, they learn to produce this better singing without the aid of the acoustic device; something like discarding the "training wheels."

5. While it's not necessary to outfit the whole chorus or choir with HearFones(tm) to achieve very satisfying results in quality singing, this has been done. A nearby high school chorus borrowed 32 sets of 'fones' for a recording session. One of their key soloists remarked that they really helped her hit her song with new confidence. You could sure hear the difference.

6. Although many see HearFones(tm) as a breakthrough in music education, we do not suggest that they supplant more traditional vocal training. This policy is clearly stated in the accompanying Singing Secrets booklet. However, this new product allows for the direct approach: to improve the quality of singing, improve how it sounds. And it works, often making dramatic changes in a very short time.

7. Directors find it less work for themselves to help their vocal groups sound better quicker. It seems that the responsibility for good sound and effective musical presentation is placed just where it ought to be --- on the singers. If they don't do their job of making the sounds right, what can the director do to save it?

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Find out for yourself.  HearFones® are US$38.00 each plus shipping and handling.  Call 888-886-9312.
E-mail us at, check your favorite music shop, or click here to order.


HearFones® is a registered trademark of NEXTEP Incorporated, creators of great new products designed and manufactured right here in Maine.