Music Notes ~~ Il Volo – Raising the Bar – Raising the Standards ~By Myron Heaton

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Il Volo is having an influence on the pop music world even though it is rather small
right now. However, I am confident it will grow as time goes on. How is that? It has
to do with the way they keep perfecting their art. The answer later in this article.
First let me start with this premise: the human voice is too often taken for granted and
poorly treated partly because it is an instrument inside us and not tangible like a violin
or clarinet or piano, etc. Everyone can sing and, in fact, you are doing a form of
singing when you talk. It is the same set of muscles, and you are using pitches when
you talk- just not a lot of different ones. But with all that as a given, a person is not
born with the knowledge of how to use the voice to the best of its ability. Training is
If you are given a violin or clarinet or piano and want to play it to the best of your
ability, you take lessons from a trained and degreed expert – i.e. a private teacher with
a B.A. Or Master’s degree – and learn all of the proper methods and techniques needed
to produce great quality. A singer – just as with those instruments – should take
private lessons and put those techniques to good use. You are taught by a voice
teacher (advanced is a voice coach) with a Master’s degree in vocal pedagogy ( rough
definition: the science and craft of teaching the art of singing) . Yes, anyone can sing,
and some are born with a wonderful natural instrument which they put to use with
little or no knowledge of good techniques while others take that wonderful natural
instrument and add the proper training and end up with an incredible instrument of
limitless beauty, power, grace and elegance.
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IL VOLO ‘ s place
Each of these guys at a very young age had the love and passion of singing instilled in them either by their grandpa (Gianluca and Piero) or by the family and community
they lived in (Ignazio) or both (all three). Each of these boys was blessed by God
with a magnificent natural instrument. They had parents that were smart enough and
caring enough to realize that such natural beauty deserved proper training and got
them good voice teachers. Those same parents needed to provide the support and
emotional space to allow them to grow artistically. Takes a lot of patience from the
parents some times. Then comes the contests and festivals and competitions (more
parent partnership).
Picture credits to Don Ercole andMundial
Picture credits to Don Ercole and Mundial
As the group was finally put together as Il Volo, they added a voice coach to sustain
the great work already started and, also, to teach them how to preserve and protect
those wonderful instruments. When you ruin a clarinet you go out and buy a new one
but when you ruin your voice you are done. You can’t buy a new one.
With all this work going on we, the public, have been enjoying wonderful pop music
(with a classical flair ) presented to the heights of quality and perfection. Since they
are so young and not in their 30’s or 40’s, they get more attention from all ages. The
youth thing really works in their favor so well. The result is that they have become
very popular with a wide variety of ages in the USA.
This has not escaped the attention of some well established big names. Barbra
Streisand had planned a tour in 2012 but after hearing Il Volo and seeing what their
coach has done, she decided to add a coach to her prep work for the last 4 months
prior to tour. Recently, I have read that Justin Timberlake has hired a voice coach to
expand the range and improve quality of his serious singing. He has mentioned
wanting to do a Broadway musical and that requires a well-trained voice. He very
much knows the “Il Volo sound” There has also been some talk amongst certain
female singers that they want to get a little of the “ Il Volo “ edge and clean up their
voice and their singing.
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Il Volo is not the only group with good training but they are the youngest and the best
out there right now. They are having an impact on the pop music business. Gianluca,
Ignazio and Piero have raised the bar. They have raised the standards. Let’s hope that
impact keeps growing.
Picture credit Laura Batke at The mall of America
Picture credit Laura Batke at The Mall of America
Coming soon: an article looking at two of the concerts Il Volo did during the winter

49 thoughts on “Music Notes ~~ Il Volo – Raising the Bar – Raising the Standards ~By Myron Heaton”

  1. Myron, I loved this. I knew our Guys were different and better than anyone. I just didn’t know why. Now I do! Thank you so much. How wonderful for us to have a Crew Member who has your musical knowledge. Brilliant!

    1. Being used to the work that voice teachers do here in the USA on the high school level and then on the university level I was floored when I heard the boys for the first time about four years ago. I would have expected the degree of work to be on par with the USA high school level (Gianluca was only 15 yrs. ! ! ! ! ) but what I heard was on par with late university work – like a 22 year old. And now there is even more progress.

  2. Thank you, Myron. This is a wonderful article. Really explains their magnificent voices so well. With your professional back round you understand what we don’t and explain it to us at a level we can understand! They HAVE raised the bar and will continue to do so.

  3. Thank you Myron. I always hoped younger audiences would sit up and take notice of these three very special guys. Now it looks like it may finally happen. Thank you for the very informative article. Those of us who have been enjoying their sound these past years know what an impact they have made on our lives. It’s time everyone starts to notice that.

  4. Thank you very much for this article Mr. Heaton. It’s really cool to hear a professional like you speak of them in such terms. We, the Il Volovers, will love them no matter what, but its so great to see their fanbase growing, and I love the fact that other artists are finally starting to take notice of the talent that is in their midst.

  5. Thank-you Myron for your article. Reading it explains some of the attributes singers have and how they must ,with proper coaching, protect their voices. Glad to see some established singers are taking note of Il Volo’s coaching and are following suit. These young men have a sparkling future and will only get better and better.

  6. Thanks, Myron. This really points out why I can’t get into all the newer pop music out there. A lot of it starts to sound so over produced to me, and the same! Il Volo is so different, and that’s why I love them so much. Music in its purest form.

    1. You know one great example of sound quality that is not over-produced is the Christmas show where Il Volo sings “Blue Christmas” a capella – just the mics. Pure sound. Pure quality sound and it is in tune – AMEN ! So many of the current crop would not dare that.

      1. Love that recording of Blue Christmas by Our Guys!

        And did y’all notice the reaction of the hosts on
        Il Volo in Suelta la Sopa (search YouTube)
        after IL VOLO sang a capella El Triste? (at 7:45 minutes on the 15-minute version). I especially noticed how the male host was awe-struck!

        Thank you, Kelly and Myron!
        ~ Jeanine D.

  7. What an interesting article. From the first time I heard Il Volo, I heard magic. It’s been a process but I do believe they are a force in perfecting the way we regard music. When I hear them sing, I hear greatness. Thank you Myron Heaton for your special words..

  8. When I first heard Il Volo four or five years ago, I was elated to find a group of young men, boys actually, that were singing in a pop/clasasical way. Finally, hope for the younger generation to learn and enjoy better music than has been battering our ears for years. Thank you, Myron, for a wonderful and informative article.

  9. Myron, this is brilliant! It makes me grow in appreciation of them and the hard work they have put into being where they are today. It is no easy job . we look at them and only see the superficial, we don’t see the tears and sweat, the sleepless nights, the co-ordination and all the interaction that has to go on with producers and crew, not to mention the numerous flights with jet lag, different languages,having to learn different languages and sing in them, different customs in each new country.
    It’s easy for us to be impatient about when the new album will come out, but I think we can now appreciate how much work has to go on behind the scenes which we do not see.
    Thanks for enlightening us so that we can better appreciate what a gem they are

  10. Myron—-You have done this blog a great service by explaining the human voice and the reasons for the overwhelming beauty of The Boys’ voices. Thank the dear Lord they had the guidance of parents, voice coach, manager, producers, etc., who did not exploit them, but who took the time and care to nurture their talents.

    To me. the whole Il Volo experience seems like a miracle, and I can’t imagine my life without their voices and their music. Someone has made spot-on choices of songs for their repertoire—Each one of them is a rare jewel of delight!

    Thank you, Myron, and PLEASE give us more of your musical wisdom. I always look forward to everything you write.

    1. Helen it is always great to read what you share with us. Thank you very much for your kind comments. Keep writing and sharing that wisdom.

  11. Thank you so much for your wonderful article, Myron. We Ilvolovers all know how special these 3 young men are! We now have a better understanding of the hard work & effort they have chosen to endure to follow their dream! Helps that they are so young!! After the Gibson concert at the M & G, they seemed to have as much energy as they had when they first appeared on stage! I am so thankful to PBS for their first Special! They have brought so much joy to so many lives with the magic of their amazing voices & charming personalities! I so enjoy your articles!

  12. Thanks, Myron!!! You are certainly in tune with how dedicated these guys, their families, their teachers and managers have been!!! We are SO blessed to be alive when they are sharing their talent!!!! GREAT ARTICLE!!!!!!!

  13. Thank you, Myron! We all knew greatness when we heard it. Now we understand some of the “why”!

  14. Myron, yet another big Thank You for the informative article. I was so enthralled with Il Volo when they were just young boys, and have watched them grow, like every other Crew member. Your article explains to us how they have grown their voices, which get better and better every time I hear them (if that’s possible!). I cried the first time I saw them on PBS because they were so young and SO talented, and I still cry every time I see/hear them, because they are maturing so beautifully both physically and professionally. As it’s been stated above, it is hard work for them and their parents, and we are thankful that the entire Il Volo team looks out for our guys. They are so “Special” to so many people around the world.

    It’s so nice to get the “insider” information that you provide from a musical standpoint. Hope to hear more from you in the future.

  15. Thank you so much, Myron, for your highly educated insights, as well as your encouragement that others are being inspired, encouraged (whatever the term) to value their voice, their instrument, and to acknowledge through their actions that IL VOLO has raised the bar. I love the story about Barbra Streisand! A great inside tidbit that adds to my already astronomical awe of Our Boys.

    And I would add that IL VOLO has raised the bar in some other ways which are also a dramatic aspect of their magnificence as people and performers:

    ~ their OPEN-HEARTEDNESS to each other, to their families, their managers and team, their mentors and fellow performers, and their fans:
    …The Ambrosia of Love flows through IL VOLO!
    …We feel their warmth as we witness hand on heart, hugs, kisses, arms around, birthday songs and hugs, a glow in their eyes that feels like a forever-in-our-hearts angel’s touch!

    ~ their AUTHENTICITY:
    …Just think about how each of our IL VOLO brothers responded in their own unique and very real way to winning their first Latin Grammy! (Like me, I’m sure you’re re-playing the movie in your mind. We’ve enjoyed each nuance over and over!)

    ~ their COURAGE, DEDICATION, and transparency; moving beyond vulnerability:
    …It was no small decision to sing in areas of the world where unrest makes just being there unpredictable.
    …It takes moral courage to speak out for their Venezuelan brothers and sisters, to be their voice.
    …They exude a certain kind of centered bravery to speak their truths, whether about God, angels, family, or their dreams. So many let their fears of others’ opinions inhibit their lives or their expression. Not our guys! Which brings to mind Ignazio’s Radio City Music Hall tribute to his IL VOLO brothers!

    ~ their HUMILITY:
    …How many times has our IL VOLO given credit and thanks to God, to their families, their fans, their team, the producer who put their voices together, to each other? I remember how awed I was on the “IL VOLO Takes Flight” PBS Special at Gianluca’s answer to one of the San Francisco PBS interviewers’ questions. She asked, “How were you able to learn to sing at such a young age?” Gianluca replied, “…This is a gift from God maybe….” And Gian’s interviewer, totally in the spirit of this magnificent young man, responded, “I think it is. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.” I’ve got tears in my eyes right now remembering this moment!

    ~ their sweet, fun, HUMOR and PLAYFULNESS:
    …Always love and joy comes through.
    …Their humor and play is warmly woven into their IL VOLO expression: being goof-balls, playing pranks, joking around, playing soccer on stage, doing 1-handed push-ups while singing, sitting on the loveseat when stage hands are trying to remove it, using self-re-lighting birthday candles, you name it!

    …Following their dreams
    …Sharing their emotions, their Italy through their music with people of all ages all over the woooorld! 😉
    …Valuing their management team, who put the dreams of three young guys above money and business. Thanks, Barbara Vitali, for your tweet on October 13, 2013 “Dreams brew fresh daily”!

    I dream of a world where everyone has IL VOLO fever, seeking to be and express their true selves, their God-given gifts, with Love, Integrity, and Joy!

    Thank you, Ignazio, Piero, and Gianluca for bringing to this planet the very best anyone could offer: your true selves! You truly embody “the Synergy of Love”!
    ~ Jeanine DuBois, Compassion’s Doorway

    P.S. And thank you, ragazzi, for your countless hours of dedication, effort, and refinement that has brought your voices to the amazing heights Myron spoke of. Your music transports me to a world greater than I knew was possible!

    1. Jeanine, I always love following your site and thank you for your comments here as well.

    2. That was such a detailed account of Il Volo… They are so different from any other singing group in the world because of all the qualities you outlined above… It was a very heartfelt read and I enjoyed every word and I have felt the same way about Il Volo and their qualities as a group and as individuals… I think all of us fans of these boys feel as you do, and you just put into words what we feel in our hearts each time we hear them sing…
      THank you

      1. Thank you so much, Jeanette! We truly share this heart-felt experience of IL VOLO!

        And I want to say, Jeanette, that ever since I read your personal sharing (back in March) about your husband’s passing and your experience with IL VOLO, I have wished to communicate with you. Your story touched my heart so deeply. (Doggone. I’m in tears again! The tears are for the gratitude of my life transformed through IL VOLO.)

        My husband died when I was just 44 years old, quite a few years back. What a blessing IL VOLO would have been to me then (when I was grieving and finding my way to a new life experience), as IL VOLO is to me now.

        If ever you are open to communicating, you can click my screen name, which goes to my web site and my contact page.

        Peace and joy to you,
        ~ Jeanine DuBois, Compassion’s Doorway

      2. I just learned what that little Icon was in front of my name, please forgive me for not answering sooner, I just realized a new way to communicate on this blog site… I will be happy to communicate with you privately… Thank you so much for the invitation… It means a lot to me…

      3. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. What an interesting “handle” you have there. Please write more when you wish.

      4. ImJustaGiglio you have probably figured out by now comes from my last name… I was born Jeannette Giglio and decided to make that my email address and use that moniker here…

      5. Hi, Jeannette (sorry I missed an N before),

        Thank you so much for your lovely response!

        In my case, when you feel ready to contact me privately, click on the jrd1776 (not my photo) to get to my web page, and then scroll down to where it says Contact and click on that.

        All the best!
        ~ Jeanine, Compassion’s Doorway

      1. Aw, Maryjane, thank you!

        I always feel your spirit in your sharing. Thank you!

        Some day… it would be lovely to meet!
        ~ Jeanine DuBois, Compassion’s Doorway

  16. Jeanine, Jeanine, Jeanine, only you could take apart their entire musical life and put all the pieces together again for us. What a way with words! What a beautiful piece! Together with Myron’s lessons on their musical ability I am once again grateful you both have helped to make this site what it is! Here we learn and rejoice. Thank you both. Thank you Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero for the many hours of bliss you continue to give us all.

    1. Thank you, Marie!

      Once I got started, I couldn’t stop with just a couple of Our Boys’ many phenomenal contributions which so magnificently accompany their musical gifts.

      As many have said on this wonderful IL VOLO Sharing-the-Love home, and as Myron so aptly addressed here, their families have contributed so very much to the astounding young men and vocal artists that they have already become and to their careers that are golden Star-Bursts of vitality and majesty!

      Love and awe to our Love-filled Flight Crew Board, to all our sister and brother contributors, to Our Boys’ amazing, dedicated families, and to the Lifters of Our Hearts and Lives, Gianluca, Ignazio, and Piero!

      ~ Jeanine DuBois, Compassion’s Doorway

  17. Thank you Mr. Heaton for the article on the voices of Our Guys, Ms. DuBois for your beautiful summary of the virtues of Our Angels, all the members of the Flight Crew Board for this space where we can share our love of Our Boys, and thank you Piero, Ignazio, Gianluca, their families, and their entire team for the joy and love they are helping spread around the world.

    1. You’re welcome, Miss Isabel.

      We are so blessed to have you here among us, sharing the Love. Your youthful spirit matches and enlivens ours! Your gratitude as you expressed above communicates to me a beautiful vision for our world.

      God bless, and thank you!
      ~ Jeanine DuBois, Compassion’s Doorway

  18. Thank you Myron for your detailed account of the importance of professionally training a voice … So many people love to sing, and this kind of information can help them enjoy their gift ….

    The way you detailed our our three young men of Il Volo and their family’s sacrifice to help them be where they are today was spot on… They would not be in the spotlight if there families did not support their dream… Their dream would not have come to international success without the support of the great team behind them… Their team gave them the tools, encouragement, voice coaches and slowly introduced them to us… Il Volo in an interview in the last few weeks, said that it took two years to put the first album together…That is because their team did not just throw them out there to make money… They took the time to teach them how to save their voices, how to do an intelligent interview.. And how to be sincere to the audience… Their training in all areas of being front and center in the spotlight, and their family being by their side have made them the success they are today…

    I always appreciate you giving us your professional opinion of Il Volo… You have in the past shared interesting information on each member and what we can hear in each voice… Thank you Myron for all you share with this group…

    Jeannette Giglio

    1. They have a good team working for them – mostly. When the Italian team combined with some Americans that wanted in on the pie then things got rough back in early 2011. But they needed the Americans to get a good chance in the American system. Being able to record at Lion’s Gate Studio in Santa Monica or the Bridge (as studio) or in the Capitol records facility (the famous landmark where Sinatra and Streisand recorded). However, it was and from what I understand, still is a rough marriage. Of course, that will never some out in an interview and it should not.

      1. Very interesting to know things like this… Nothing runs smoothly in the world of entertainment… I do feel however that Barbara and Michele seem to truly care for our boys and probably run interference from the negative stuff that comes with being in this entertainment industry… I agree that negative information should stay private and Il Volo does a great job of that… Their interview with are always positive and charming… Thank you Myron…

  19. Thank you so much, Myron for your informative article. The first time my husband and I saw them on their first PBS special, we knew they were very special! They bring such joy into people’s lives! Thank God for these wonderful young men and their supporting families!!! The whole world has been truly blessed by these young men! I pray the good Lord will continue to watch over them for many, many years to come!!!!

  20. Myron, thank you for this article. I did not consider the human voice as a musical instrument. The first time I heard Il Volo on that PBS special, I knew they were special. When I listened to their CD I pretended that I was listening to orchestra music since I did not understand the lyrics [eventually I did get translations via goggle]. After reading your article, this makes sense. Without being aware of it I did consider their voices as beautiful instruments blending well with the orchestra. These 3 instruments are getting better every time we hear them, thanks to all the preparation and the support that you pointed out..
    This site is just fabulous, we share our love for these very talented young men and we get free music lessons as well. Thanks again Myron.
    Jeanine , thanks for your article as well, so beautiful and I agree.

  21. You’re welcome, Victoria! We can certainly say we’re all “on the same page” here where we share our love of IL VOLO! And thank you for your lovely comments that I’ve enjoyed reading in the past!

    Speaking of learning from Myron, I remember something you said, Myron, in a comment back on November 20, 2013. You wrote, “When you watch Gianluca in normal standing position you may notice that he tends to push back on his right foot (on his tip-toe) every now and then when the musical phrase is needing more control or power and that is a reflex of pulling those same muscles tighter. He does not need to do it but it has become a security action for him….”

    I just realized that I haven’t seen Gianluca push back on his right foot for a while now. I wonder if he read your comment, Myron, and realized he didn’t need that security action. Either way, interesting to notice that change.

    Warm wishes!
    ~ Jeanine DuBois, Compassion’s Doorway

    1. re: Gianluca’s right foot. I have not noticed it as much either. One thing that comes to mind: he has been a rather slender (some would say “skinny” ) boy up until recently when he has begun to fill in nicely. When you are that skinny and are trying to summons every muscle for that tremendous breath control then it makes sense to take a stance that helps. The other two guys also have a very solid stance when they are standing and even when they sit, they sit up tall and don’t slouch. The only time I recall bad posture was during the Christmas special singing Silent Night and the other guys were on the park bench and they had Gianluca sitting on the floor with his feet crossed and propped up. what a strange position in which (you could see on his face) he was NOT comfortable singing. The rest of that concert was excellent.

      1. Thanks for the update on Gianluca and posture, Myron!

        Sounds like the working out they are doing serves them in many ways, including the muscle strength to hold those incredible notes in a way that makes it look easy.

        Holding the faith for IL VOLO in Las Vegas!
        ~ Jeanine DuBois, Compassion’s Doorway

  22. Thank you so much for this article. It encourages me to know that with all this proper training at young age shows that Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio are going to be around for a long, long, time and will be mentors vocally to many aspiring singers

  23. thank you so much for this article, It is encouraging to know that with the awesome training Gianluca, Ignazio & Piero have had since early teens, they will be around for a long, long time and end up being mentors and inspiration to aspiring singers probably not even born yet!

  24. I love the part in this article where Myron Heaton writes that IL Volo singers “are the youngest and the Best out there ,right now”! That’s so wonderfull to know! I feel the same way as Victoria does, on this site “we get free music lessons” ! Very gratefull to Myron Heaton, everyone.

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