Marvin Gayramon on fine-tuning voices & dreams

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The First Melodies

Marvin Gayramon was born and raised during the late 1970s in Butuan City. At the beginning of it all, the harmonic melody didn’t really flow in his veins. However, discovering his mother’s cassette tapes was enough for him to start singing. Aside from that, the powerful voices of the old school singers such as Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, and Ogie Alcasid influenced him further.

 

Keeping It Close To The Heart

In his early years, he fell in love with the sounds of Rico Puno and the likes. During high school, his interests shifted and he grew fonder of the classics like the Kundiman (traditional Filipino love songs). However, no matter how hard he tried back then, he wasn’t able to replicate those tones. After graduating from Agusan National High School (ANHS), he was left at the crossroads of studying either Mass Communication or Music. Ultimately, he chose the path of melodies, tunes, and songs in the hopes of being able to recreate tones from his favorite genre. He realized that music made him happier, enabled him to better express his feelings, and touch the lives of others.

 

Fine Tuning The Instruments

Thus, he decided to learn it theoretically. This was when his singing slowly transformed into his career. Upon entering the College of Music in UP Diliman, Marvin felt out of place. Most of his batchmates came from music schools and already had a solid foundation on music theory. Nevertheless, he saw this as a challenge to thrive.

Soon though, he started working part-time. Alongside his studies, he found himself falling in love with theatre music and performing. He also tried his luck in contests, mostly classics. Eventually, Marvin toured around the United States with his voice and was given the opportunity to work for the pioneering team in the musical theatre in Hong Kong Disneyland, leaving his studies hanging.

However, after his contract ended, he went home and decided to continue his studies. “I owe it to myself to finish,” he recalls. And although he was initially penalized for his extended absence, the Philippine Women’s University offered to credit all his units and provide him with a full scholarship. He notes that to this day, this remains to be his greatest achievement as it has led him to become the teacher he is. Moreover, he has also finished his Masters and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Voice.

 

Professional Voice Coaching Journey

At the start of his professional journey, Marvin really didn’t intend to teach music. Back then, he would much rather have continued performing. Still, over time, he learned to love training his pupils and empowering them to reach their full potential.

Since then, Marvin soon founded the Aesthetics Voice Studio (AVS). While it was first established in 1995 in Butuan City, it has also planted roots here in CDO in 2016 after following the suggestion of one of his students, Atty. Samantha Tan. Without a set age limit, he finds himself teaching a minimum of 70 and 20 students at each location, respectively. You may recognize some of them as The Voice PH Season 2 Champion Jason Dy, Tawag ng Tanghalan Year 3 Champion Elaine Duran, And Bolt of Talent 2017’s Grand Winner Lance Busa.

 

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Marvin with his former student Jason Dy during the documentary series, #NoFilter. (Screenshot/Youtube)

 

He’s often recommended for his intensive training sessions which last for two weeks then end with a recital as a culminating activity. His students also note that while he’s a strict mentor, it’s in “a tough-love kinda way.” As of the moment, Marvin has already filled enough students for his ongoing training sessions. However, interested participants may keep a close eye on the Aesthetics Voice Studio Facebook page for future updates.

 

Final words

According to Marvin, to truly become a great singer, you have to learn how to affect your audience’s emotions. Personally, he doesn’t mind training individuals who may not be well-versed in the technical aspects of singing. Instead, he’s on the lookout for students who know how to powerfully convey messages using their voices. “It’s a skill kasi. Singing is not just the voice, it’s the whole voice, the whole being,” he emphasizes.

Moreover, he hopes to remind everyone that one of the most important things to keep close to your heart when you’re pursuing music is to be teachable. “Just do the lessons and endure the lessons, keep on doing the lessons until you are independent enough to find your own voice—to find your own sound.”

 

How often do you encounter passionate mentors who inspire you to embody your best self? Have you had the great fortune to train under one? Let us know!

(With reports by Blayce Malaya)