Friday, December 19, 2014

Congratulations Mary Kutter! Winner of my 4th Annual Songwriting Contest

Thank you to all who entered our contest.
I hope you will try again next year. Renee

Mary Kutter for her song "Glory Be To God"
Mary wins a Free voice lesson with Renee!

Click here to listen to the winning song & our two honorable mentions.

I had the list down to three songs and had trouble deciding the winner. My assistant gives me the lyrics without names so that the judging can be fair. Therefore I was unaware that Mary Kutter had submitted two songs, both of which made it to the top three. Mary not only won the contest, but she is also one of two honorable mentions! Good job Mary!
The two honorable memntions are: Mary Kutter (again) for "I Wanna Ring" & Mark & Joe Mannherz for "Another Christmas." Both can be heard on my website.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Christy Sutherland wins Christian Country Female Vocalist of the Year!

 Congratulations to Associate Teacher Christy Sutherland winner of  the 2014 The Diamond Awards...(SGN Scoops Fan Awards) for Christian Country Female Vocalist of the Year!!!!

This is the fourth year in a row that Christy has taken home this coveted award. We are proud of you!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Road to Nashville with Renee Grant-Williams

 This past Saturday the first reality-based episode of "Road to Nashville" debuted. 

In this eight minute YouTube television show you’ll watch these young singers meet in my studio for the first time to check out the talent pool and how they feel they rank within the group.

You will see some great shots of my voice studio when I evaluate their performance and remind them of the hard work we may have to do in the short six weeks leading up to their debut concert at Margaretville on Broadway, downtown Nashville.
Join me each week as these singers work toward reaching their goal to become country singers.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Let’s Use Our Indoor Voices, Shall We?

Below is an amusing response to my blog article Voice Damage Need Not Sideline Football Fans
By: Mark Williams, Jr

This is unbelievable. Renee Grant-Williams, a voice expert—where was this major when I was in school? I had to settle for taste management—compiled a list of “to-don’ts” regarding protecting your voice against strain and apparent long-term damage—inflicting chaos brought onto the lungs of sports fans who perpetually yell and scream during games.

“Whenever anyone yells repeatedly, it puts severe friction and pressure on their vocal cords. An enthusiastic fan risks becoming hoarse, losing their voice or even developing nodes” says Grant-Williams.

I’m sorry for interrupting, Ms. Grant-Williams…but can you possibly explain what the hell “nodes” are?

"Nodes are like calluses, they form on the vocal cords to protect them for strain. However, nodes get in the way and keep the vocal cords from fitting together cleanly, causing the voice to become hoarse and unpredictable. Over time, these nodes may require surgery."

Ok, that’s what I thought.

So our resident voice expert details a list of suggestions to protect that golden voice of yours. (West coast fans notwithstanding):

"1. Dress appropriately. Layering clothing so the layers can be removed or added as needed. Fans attending the game should take a warm scarf to protect the throat."

 We prefer the removing of layers, thank you. 

"2. Drink plenty of fluids. Limit beverages that dehydrate, such as alcohol and caffeinated drinks."
Ah yes, what is a sporting event without
the irresponsible consumption of green tea?

"3. Eat smart. Eat a good balance of protein and carbohydrates. Limit the intake of salty foods like salted nuts and chips."

How can you even utter the ords "eat smart" when referring
to ballgame habits? Maybe YOU should lay off the nuts.

"4. When expressing support for your team breathe low and support the yelling by contracting your lower abdominal muscles. Do not scream from the throat."

This is a sporting event, not a church or Lamaze class. Apparently,
you haven't been doing much screaming lately. It's good for the soul.

Fortunately, you can contact voice guru Renee Grant-Williams at 615-244-3280. I strongly advise everyone to call up when you have a moment and just scream extremely loud and obnoxiously. Then set up an appointment for voice cleansing.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I can’t believe I missed "National Cheeseburger Day" last week! But, since the cheeseburger is as American as apple pie I think we have the right to celebrate cheeseburgers any time we choose.  

There are two things most people know about me. One, I teach voice lessons and two, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cheeseburgers. I have a cheeseburger collection that’s been featured on several television shows like the Food Network, (In the Bun), Tennessee Crossroads, Fox and even Taste of Home magazine. My students take it as a challenge to find one I don’t already have. In fact, I got a pair of Cheeseburger bobby pins just last week to add to my collection.

Even though I’m a week late in celebrating “official” Cheeseburger Day I thought you might enjoy watching a YouTube video where I join Susan Watson on Tennessee Crossroads as she checks out my collection. 

Bon appetit!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Wizard of Sales

My good friend, speaker, author, musician, marketing guru, and father of triplets Jeff Slutsky (StreetFighter Marketing enjoys creating parodies for the speaking world. I thought you might enjoy a small sample of his re-creation The Wizard of Sales. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Voice Damage Need Not Sideline Football Fans

Football games sometimes result in terrible injuries – and they’re not always on the field.  Injuries can take place inside the throats of screaming fans at the stadium, in sports bars, or even at home watching TV with friends.  According to leading voice expert Renee Grant-Williams, sustained yelling can brutally tear up a fan’s vocal cords resulting in damage that may persist long after football season is over. 

“Whenever anyone yells repeatedly, it puts severe friction and pressure on their vocal cords.  An enthusiastic fan risks becoming hoarse, losing their voice or even developing nodes,” says Grant-Williams.  “Nodes are like calluses, they form on the vocal cords to help protect them from strain.  However, nodes get in the way and keep the vocal cords from fitting together cleanly, causing the voice to become hoarse and unpredictable.  Over time, these nodes may require surgery.”

Grant-Williams offers several suggestions for voice protection during football games:

1) Dress appropriately.  Layer clothing so the layers can be removed or added as needed.  Fans attending the game should take a warm scarf to protect the throat.

2) Drink plenty of fluids.  Limit beverages that dehydrate, such as alcohol and caffeinated drinks.

3) Eat smart.  Eat a good balance of protein and carbohydrates.  Limit the intake of salty foods like salted nuts and chips.
4) When expressing support for your team, breathe low and support the yelling by contracting your lower abdominal muscles.  Do not scream from the throat.

“Just as in football, the best defense for the voice is a good offense,” says Grant-Williams.  “Don’t wait until the damage is done to take precautions.  Even though it is normal to be enthusiastic during a sports event, think twice before yelling too much.”
This link will take you to an amusing response to this blog article. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Working with Rosie Baker on NBC's Three Wishes

In 2005 I was lucky enough to be chosen by NBC's Three Wishes and Amy Grant to work with featured guest winner Rosie Baker from Toronto, South Dakota. Rosie dreamed of becoming a country singer. 

She and I worked several weeks at my downtown Nashville voice studio and when she was ready she recorded the song, "The Higher Up The Mountain" written by Nashville legendary songwriter Tom Shapiro and produced at the Sound Emporium recording studio by renowned producer Garth Fundis. I hope you enjoy this walk in the past. Renee

Nashville voice teacher Renee Grant-Williams will help you
hit better high notes and increase your vocal range.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Are Dairy Products Screwing Up Your Voice? By Wade Sutton 'Rocket to the Stars'

Are Dairy Products Screwing Up Your Voice?
By: Wade Sutton-Rocket to The Stars

If you sing, you have probably experienced that feeling of sticky mucus accumulating in your throat. It is annoying, uncomfortable, and can be a real pain in the ass if you are getting ready to walk out onto a stage for a performance. It leaves you wanting to clear your throat with a powerful “AHEM” and, in combination with something like seasonal allergies, can be the source of major stress for any singer wanting to show off their vocal capabilities.

But what if I told you that there is a good possibility that you are making the problem even worse due to your diet? In our “what is good for you today will be bad for you tomorrow” world, dairy products have had their fair share of criticism, including some that have been launched from within the music industry. So, in true Rocket to the Stars fashion, I went looking for answers...

...Meet Renee Grant-Williams...

A native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania now living in Nashville, celebrity voice instructor Renee Grant-Williams has a list of clients that reads like a “Who's Who” of the current music industry. She has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including Miley Cyrus, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Christina Aguilera, Keith Urban, and Huey Lewis. She has been quoted or reviewed by major publications such as the New York Times and Cosmopolitan and has made television appearances on all four major US networks, as well as CNN, BBC, and MTV. She is also the author of Voice Power:  Using Your Voice to Captivate, Persuade, and Command Attention.

...What is "casein"?...

Casein has become the source of quite a bit of controversy over the past few years. Grant-Williams described it as a protein found in dairy products that contributes to the creation and formation of mucus that can find its way to a singer's vocal chords. Casein, which has a molecular structure similar to that of gluten, is also used independently as a binding agent in a number of processed foods and is sold in various protein powder forms used by many fitness enthusiasts. Some people are allergic to casein. Others, while not allergic, are still sensitive to the effects of casein and don't even know it.

“Casein amplifies the thickening of the mucus on the chords,” she explains. “A lot of people are allergic to casein but most of those people don't realize it because they don't notice the symptoms on a daily basis.”

And for those of you living in or near cities infamous for environmental allergies (looking at YOU Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee), casein can become even more of an issue. According to Grant-Williams, a diet high in fatty dairy products can double the severity of your allergy symptoms, including the accumulation of the mucus on the vocal chords, making singing properly extremely difficult and/or uncomfortable.

The controversial protein has drawn criticism from more than just vocal instructors and singers. Some studies have attempted to link casein proteins to the development of cancer cells. In fact a well-known book, The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, argues that casein promotes the growth of cancer cells in all stages of cancer development. The findings in Campbell's book were based loosely on the China-Cornell-Oxford Project, a 20-year study for which Campbell served as a director.

..Trying to avoid the mucus build-up...

Avoiding consumption of casein is extremely difficult for some people. Research shows that casein makes up approximately 80% of the proteins found in cow milk, which is then used in the creation of several other dairy-based products. The protein is found in higher quantities in dairy products with greater amounts of fat.

“Sour cream is high in fat,” explained Grant-Williams. “The same goes for ice cream. Pizza is something singers should stay away from because it typically has heavy, fatty cheese in addition to toppings that are usually high in salt.”

Grant-Williams also mentioned that casein is less prevalent in yogurt and low-fat milk because both products have lower fat contents, but she did emphasize that the protein is still present in those products. There are some alternatives to which vocalists can turn, including the common choices of both soy- and almond-based milks, which are absent of both casein and lactose.

 “I also tell my students to drink water in abundance,” says Grant-Williams. “I also recommend they drink fruit juice.”

If you find it too difficult to give up dairy products entirely, Grant-Williams suggests not consuming them for an entire day leading up to a performance. She feels that allows enough time for them to disappear from the body.

...A vocal exercise to combat the mucus...

Nearly every vocalist has experienced the feeling in the throat that comes with a heavy build-up of mucus on the vocal chords. Most voice instructors tell their students to try to avoid clearing their throats with the common “AHEM” because it can actually make the problem even worse. So what do you do if you are getting ready to perform and you can feel the mucus build-up at a higher than normal level? Renee Grant-Williams has a technique she refers to as “Three Stutters, Three Swirls” which she demonstrates in this special video she made for Rocket to the Stars...

While more and more singers are starting to catch on to the idea of reducing or eliminating fatty dairy products from their daily diets, it is important to remember that casein is also used in a lot of processed foods. So, even if you do cut back on dairy products in an effort to combat that music build-up affecting your voice, the problem will still be present if your diet continues to include those processed foods (which also tend to have a high fat content).

Monday, June 9, 2014

New YouTube series "Singin' in the Honky Tonks"

I'm starting a new YouTube series "Singin' in the Honky Tonks." Tyler Bailey and I talk about his job at most likely the most famous honky tonk in the world, "Tootsie's Orchid Lounge," in Nashville Tennessee. Country greats Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline among others got their starts at Tootsie's.

Singin' in a honky tonk can be a challenge even for the most seasoned singer, but it's also a great place for an up-and-coming singer to get their feet wet. It's important for you to keep one thing in mind if you want to try singing in honky tonks, you will not be hired to entertain, you will be hired for one reason and one reason only, to sell beer. If you can't do that, stay off the stage!

John Taylor one of the owners of Tootsie's has sent dozens of his performers to me for vocal training. Greg Humphries, Producer, Tootsies' Orchid Lounge urges his singers, "If you want to be a good singer call one of these other guys on your list. If you wanna be Elvis, call Renee."

I hope you enjoy this new series. Here's the first installment.


Learn to sing and hit better high notes with Nashville's #1 vocal coach Renee Grant-Williams

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My best friend Brian Bullard: "A MUSICAL DREAM" Anyone Can Whistle

This is my very best long-time friend in the whole world. Brian Bullard. For more than 30 years we've made it a point to get together at least  once a year. We've traveled  all over the States and Europe together (even Malta and Crete!)..Check out the YouTube video of him singing "Anyone Can Whistle" by Sondheim. That's what I mean  when I say "SING THE  WORDS! He lives and teaches in Milan Italy now. I miss him every day.  Renee

A note from my friend Lee Kernaghan, (Australian Man of the Year)

This note is from my good friend and student Lee Kernaghan and I wanted to share it with you.

 Dearest Renee,

How good it is to hear from you. I am currently flying over the outback on my way to start a tour in South Australia. You know I think about you so often, come to think of it just about every time I sing!!…You have helped me so much and I have only just scraped the surface of all you have to offer. All is going well out here and I hope you will be making another visit in the not too distant future…the seafood is as good as ever in fact I had some cold prawns with lemon juice at a party in Sydney recently and I think they were the best I’ve ever had.

You are probably hearing from young up and coming Australian artists every now and then. I try and send the ones with potential your way whenever possible. I recently took on a mentorship role for Toyota Starmaker. It is the biggest country music star search in Australia. I won it many years ago so to did another one of your students Keith Urban. The 2014 winner is Jared Porter and if it’s ok with you I will give him you
r contact details so he can set up a lesson when he travels to Nashville in June. There is another young country boy Damian Agius who I think could benefit greatly from your tuition. He’s only 19 but with the right songs  and a few more years under his belt I think he can do very well.

Well my plane is on descent into Adelaide. Sending my best and lots of love from me and Robby.
Lee x

Thursday, May 15, 2014

What Style of Music is Right for You?

One of my Twitter friends asked me, “How do you know which style of music suits your voice?” The answer is not as easy as one might think and it’s not all about the voice. I certainly could not answer in the 140 limited Twitter characters. So, I thought I’d write this short blog article to answer the question.

You need to think about what kind of music you like to listen to. If you want to be a professional singer you need to sing music you like, because if you do become successful, you’ll be singing it for a very long time.

You need to make sure you can actually sing the kind of music you like. If you like hard rock, but you can’t seem to get that gravely screaming thing to work, hard rock may not be right for you. If you want to be a pop singer, be sure you can hit and hold the high notes with ease. Do you have an accent? A deep southern drawl may work well for singing country music but could be a disaster on the Broadway stage.

What kind of stage performance might your chosen genre require? Could you imagine Haley Williams of Paramore standing at the microphone and simply swaying as she belts it out? Or George Strait making moves like Miley Cyrus? Do you have what it takes to get out there and really involve yourself with an audience or are you somewhat more reserved? It’s really more about knowing who you are.

When you figure out who you are then you’ll know the kind of music that is right for you. Almost everything I’ve listed can be changed. If you want to sing pop music you might want to work with a vocal coach to learn how to hit long high notes. If you don’t move well on stage but want to rock out, get a performance coach or take dance lessons. And, as far as distinctive clothing it only requires a trip to the shopping mall.

But, keep in mind whomever you choose to emulate make sure you choose to be true to yourself.

One last thing, as you grow older, who you are may change and there is no reason why you can’t reinvent yourself time and time again. Madonna does it!

Happy hunting

Monday, May 12, 2014

Renee mentoring on Nickelodeon's new "Road to Nashville" Web TV Series

Nashville based production company, Seek First Productions, has partnered with Awesomeness TV Network to produce the groundbreaking new music based docu-reality webseries, "Road to Nashville.” Filmed on location within music city itself, RTN follows the story of five talented young musicians with big personalities and bigger dreams. They will encounter big stars, stages, crowds, and drama, as they pursue their careers within the rewarding, but unforgiving, music industry. Renowned vocal coach Renee Grant-Williams, whose work is probably best displayed in artists such as Miley Cyrus, Christina Aguilera, Jason Aldean, and Tim McGraw, will be featured as a recurring mentor for each of the show's primary characters.
The first episode is scheduled to air October 18th on Awesomeness TV's online network.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Vocal Master Class Goes Out With A Bang!

Last Saturday (May 3) I presented my 12th and final Vocal Master Class and I have to say it went out with a Bang! I think the overall talent level this year was amazing and attendees came from as far away as California, Florida Virginia and England. We had everything from country singers, to pop, R&B and rap.

The panel discuss was two-fold. Bernard Porter founder of PCG Nashville and I discussed “Shameless Self Promotions.” Then we were joined by. Mark Lambert, (producer, manager, musician) and Krystal & Allison Steel, (2Steel Girls, The Voice, Team Blake Sheldon), discussed harmonies, duos.

I’m sad to see the Master Class end, but I have some other exciting things hiding in the wings that I can’t wait to share with you. Many thanks to all those who have made the Master Class a success.

Friday, April 4, 2014

CMA Close Up featuring Renee Grant-Williams

W My Voice Coach | Renee Grant-Williams | Singing lessons, Voice lessons, Private voice lessons, Private singing lessons, voice training, sing lessons and more with singing coach, vocal coaches, voice teacher, and the best vocal coach in Nashville.


CMA Cloe-Up

By Bob Doerschuk

CMA CloseUp
Country Music Association's primary publication

Many singers, in Country Music and other genres, grew up thinking that all they had to do before starting their show is make sure their clothes are on and their teeth are brushed.

Those who manage to get a career underway learn quickly that there’s much more to it than that. CMA members can read in the April/May 2014 issue of CMA Close Up how several young Country performers get ready to hit the stage each night. But in this exclusive video, renowned vocal couch Renee Grant-Williams makes it clear why warming up the voice is essential.

Her words carry weight in our business. Tim McGraw affirms that “Renee has changed by whole approach. Her teaching has given me a lot more confidence in my singing ability.” “In short,” adds Rodney Crowell, “I’m a much better singer for having studied with Renee.” Many others, from Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney to Brenda Lee and Carrie Underwood, would similarly testify, based on personal experience.

      On Saturday, May 3, Grant-Williams will lead a vocal master class in Nashville,-“Beyond the Basics: Shortcuts for Savvy Singers.”  To learn more, and to also check out her DVD instructions on warming up and other topics, visit

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