If I’ve heard that statement once, I’ve heard it at least 100 times….With the busy schedules and lifestyles we keep these days, it is often a challenge to get your students to practice. Something that I started doing with my students, children, teens and adults, is just asking for six minutes a day. Now granted, only six minutes a day is not what I really want, but if they will sit down for six minutes, sometimes it will turn into 10 or 15 or even 20 minutes. Yay! Now if they only do the six minutes a day between lessons, at least they have given about 36 – 40 minutes to practicing…that is better than 0 minutes.
Confidence is one of the most important skills to have in you corner in order to offer your best presentation vocally. If you lack confidence, it is going to affect everything you endeavor to do. A lack of confidence will cause you to be tentative as you breathe, and we know that the power in our singing us fueled by proper breathing. What are some things that you can do to develop the confidence you need in order to be that singer that appears sure of themselves and gives a strong presentation of the songs they are singing? Here are some things to consider:
1. Review/learn proper breathing techniques for a vocalist in order for your breathing to be constant and consistent for supporting your singing voice. Always take the time to do exercises in breathing and breath control before you sing. This prepares your breathing mechanism for the strenuous physical activity that singing can be and it can also aid in calming any anxiety you may be experiencing.
2. Body alignment is vital; make certain that your posture is in correct alignment so that your legs, hips, back and tummy are supporting you.
3. Vocal projection through a mouth that is open wide, gives strength to your tone. Make sure that you utilize all of the muscle groups in your breathing apparatus for sustained support.
4. A proper warm up is imperative for your voice to be at it’s best and to help avoid vocal injury. Do some simple stretches of the neck and shoulders to remove any tension your body may have. This tension can transfer into the voice as well as your attitude.
5. Drink plenty of water before and during singing. This is the best liquid for anyone using his or her voice as a singer or speaker. You should always refrain from milk and dairy foods, which will interfere with the freedom of the vocal mechanism to function at peak proficiency. Also, vocalist should avoid caffeine and alcohol as well which will dry the vocal chords and interfere with singing.
6. If singing in front of others makes you nervous and uncomfortable, find as many opportunities to sing in front of others. It can be scary at first, but the more that you do it, the better you will become at to controlling you fear and anxiety. Always endeavor to breathe properly. Ask for feedback from those who listen on things that they observe and use that feedback to make improvements on how you present yourself. You can also work on building your level of confidence on your own without observers; make an effort to overcome any fear you may have by singing stronger and fuller and being more bold and creative with song stylings without the pressure of people observing you. Workout vocally in the privacy of your own home and see yourself succeeding! This kind of practice will begin to go with you into public.
In conclusion, always seek opportunities to sing…don’t avoid them. Instead of running from the challenge of singing, face it with a positive “I Can Do It” attitude, and take the risk and seize every opportunity to develop the gift of song in your heart. Most individuals sing because they choose to – not because they are made to!! You need to encourage yourself to enjoy sharing your voice with people, rather than let nerves rob you of the joy of the experience.
During a recent lesson with a student I noticed that as we were beginning the lesson that the spark that was usually there seemed to be missing from my student. We took a few minutes of the lesson to talk about life, music, goals and what they were hoping to see from their time in studying voice/music. Through this discussion we discovered several things that we want to pass along to you.
-Do not get lost in the mechanics. In other words, sometimes you just need to sing.
-Do not loose sight of what you are taking lessons for…personal growth? Enrichment? Auditions? Career development?
-Do not let the opinions of others deter you from striving to grow and better yourself…smile and keep on going!
-Do not let the joy of music and song slip away as you plug away at the details of study…keep the song in your heart!
-Above all, keep it a fun activity and not an obligation!
Time spent in the studio and personal practice are all a part of the journey, a snap-shot if you will of the bigger picture. Remember that all of the hours spent practicing and receiving instruction are molding and shaping you into the artist/musician that your heart is set on being. No matter where that journey may ultimately take you, it is for you, your joy, your fulfillment and what you purpose to use that gift for in they future.
Keep that Song in your Heart!
Well, spring has officially arrived and the evidence of “New” is all around! New growth on trees, beautiful plants and flowers in bloom and pollen adrift in the air. With the arrival of spring there is often a desire to get out and “do,” get-up and “go.” Does that describe you? Maybe this is the time to get plugged-in to taking those music lessons you have always thought about….singing? Playing the piano? Learning to play the guitar? Or is it just learning how to read music? Then Heart and Voice Studio has just what you need for your “get-up and go” urges!
Why not give me a call and find out what Heart and Voice Studio has in store for you. Who knows? Maybe this time next year when spring is about to be sprung, you can bring it in with a song in your heart! I look forward to hearing from you!
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- Assist anyone who is looking to improve the tonal quality and strength of their singing or speaking voice while reducing vocal tension and voice fatigue
- Facilitate singers of any level, age or style who seek to improve breath support, diction, range, tone quality, and ease of singing.
- Teach and equip individuals with basic musical understandings in theory, keyboard skills with scales and chords
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