Monday, December 15, 2014

Make Your Practice More Productive

We are all in a time crunch at this time of year. So many performances, shopping to get done, social engagements, finals at school, snowstorms to weather.

How do you make the most of the time that you have to practice singing?  Take time to do a few things and you will get so much done in less time!  Try these tips.

1.  Establish a practice space and eliminate all distractions from the room (phone, tv)

2.  Get your body and mind ready.
- Stretch your neck, arms, legs.
- Do a 'rag doll' by flopping forward bending over your legs and take a few deep breaths in and out.  Release any tension through your fingertips.
- Do a 'tree pose' to extend your spine and calm you mentally.  (Make sure you do this on both sides)

3.  Follow a 5-10 minute vocal warm-up (Spend time finding 4-5 exercises that warm your voice up well quickly).

4. Isolate exactly what you are going to work on in your practice on your repertoire and focus on that 1 or 2 things.
-Are you working out your breaths, phrasing, pronunciation, interpretation?
-Focus on only 1 at a time.  If you master that, move on to another.

5. Sing through the whole of the selection you are working on.  Assess how you did.

6. Did the work you did stick?  Make notes to yourself as to what you need to work on the next day.  Is it the same or should you now work on phrasing or interpretation.  Write down a note or two and when you will practice next.

By focusing and getting right to task (that ideally is selected before you get to your practice space), you minimize messing around with non-singing tasks and can get a lot accomplished with your practice time.

If you have more time (maybe in between Christmas and New Year's?), take time to explore new things, improvisation, sing through old repertoire just because, or figure out what you want to use for your next audition.  The beauty of music is creating it and perfecting it and freedom to explore new paths our icing to the cake!

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