Friday, April 11, 2014

Continuity is the key to success in singing and music, but how do you find the balance?

Continuity is the key to success in singing, but how do you find the balance of practice, lessons, and the rest of life?

The key to success in any art is continuity, especially in music.  You fine tune that talent over and over to make it perfect.  Your muscles and your brain remember what to do to make that perfect sound and how it feels to truly make it the best it can be.  Continuing lessons on a consistent basis and regularly practicing in between lessons paves the road to success.  But how do you balance that with the rest of your life?

There are two types of singers that should be addressed:  the voice student (young high school, middle school, college or adult                                                             student) and the professional singer.

The regular pattern of practicing and always making time for lessons in a weekly schedule can sometimes seem daunting to a singing student.  The continuity of lessons is pertinent to singing success. In addition to regular lesson attendance, one must practice in between lessons what the teach assigns (both exercises and songs) to maximize improvement.  If the student merely shows up on a regular basis but does not work on the vocalise or repertoire in between, progress slows.

It sounds tough I know, but you can find ways to schedule practice time into your daily routine. Write it in your planner.  Put a reminder in your phone for the time you said you would practice.  Schedule it as a break for studying for that math test.  Promise it is the one thing you will do for yourself that day as a busy mom.

Of course life happens and you have a busy week or intense tests at school or you need to help a family member.  That is expected.  But, make regular practice a part of your normal routine and let NOT practicing be the exception to the rule.  If you can't practice one week, commit to go to your lesson and let the teacher know.  There are still things that you can do and so long as it is not a regular occurrence, most teachers appreciate the honesty and work from there.

The instability of performing for a living can also be very tough to manage.  Finding the time to practice when you have very long rehearsals everyday or are travelling.  It can be intense, but there are things you can do.  Look at the music and hear how you sing it in your head.  Map out the breaths, analyze the text, make it a part of you mentally so then you can make it a part of you physically in rehearsal. Record yourself in practice (especially when it is a good one) and listen to it again and again so you know you are remembering it and 'singing' it correctly.  Work on learning the melody of new music by listening to it.  There are things that can be done, sometimes we just have to get creative.

How does this affect the rest of our lives?  Make time for other things that are important to you too.  It is essential to have balance in your life.  Exercise, spend time with family and friends, or doing another activity you enjoy.  It is all important.  Sometimes we have to make sacrifices as a musician and cut the time with friends down a little bit, or workout for 30 minutes instead of going to that 1 hour class or playing the whole game of baseball.  Find the balance that works for you that still enables you to get in your lessons and your practice time!  Music is something you will have for the rest of your life!

There are different ways of finding balance in your life with your practice, be creative and you will figure it out!  Stay tuned next week for how you can find vocal stability and fix instabilities in vocal technique through finding physical stability.


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