Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Singing? The Passion of Singing.

Why Singing? 
Singing is an art form that is an extension of yourself.  It is a means of self expression and creation of beauty so enjoy it!

Sing for yourself, sing for the school choir, sing for your church, sing for karaoke, audition for American Idol or the Glee Club.  Above all do it for yourself and find someone you trust and whose opinion you value to help you make the most of the instrument that was given to you!

Understanding and appreciating art is so helpful when it comes to processing the hard stuff in the world.  Music is a safe place to let out emotions.  An outlet for times you feel powerless and it can be invaluable in your emotional survival.  Art can be such a powerful tool for children to express themselves.    Jennifer Nettles, Sugarland

Extra Reasons to Take Voice Lessons

·                    Increases attention span
·                    Increase focus on task at hand
·                    Improved reading capabilities (both music and reading comprehension)
·                    Analysis of literary content
·                    Value of connection between math and real life experiences
·                    Self confidence and courage
·                    Improve communication skills
·                    Improve breath control (asthma)
·                    More awareness of mind and body connection
·                    Awareness of physical body and taking care of your body
·                    An emotional outlet

For more reasons to take music lessons, visit

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How do you make the most of your practice time for your voice lessons?

Okay, so you are taking voice lessons and you are wondering:
How do I make sure I am making the most of my practice time?

How Long Should I Take Voice Lessons? 

Singing, just like any other instrument, benefits from regular practice and dedication to a craft.  Piano lessons develop muscular coordination in your hands while singing lessons develop muscular coordination in your whole body.  Your body must become in sync with itself!  Sometimes this takes a little while of dedicated practice and it is different for everyone.

We are all different but you get out what you put in to your voice lessons.  Disciplined practice on a regular basis yeilds the best and quickest results.  We all have individual instruments with different starting points, but as a general rule, at least 6 months of dedicated weekly lessons will give you a solid basis.  It is best to keep taking weekly lessons to make sure that you continue to progress vocally.  If after many years of lessons you absolutely must take a break, keep practicing on your own and check in regularly with a trusted voice teacher.  Persistence and consistency is key to singing beautifully.  (See Blog Post The Personal Touch of Private Voice Lessons).

How Do I Know I Am Making the Most of Your Practice Time?  How do you know you are not 'just singing'?

* Voice teachers craft warm-ups (vocalise) for a reason. Always start practice with the warm-ups from your previous lessons as well as a few favorites you know line up your voice well.

* Make sure you have a clear, focused practice space.  Once you have started practicing, do your best to  not answer your phone, text, talk to anyone.  It is your private singing and practice time; stay on task.

* Practice songs with a focus on what your teacher recommended in you lesson in addition to learning new pitches.
            - It is helpful to pinpoint 2 or 3 things you should work on during the week in practice and put it into your own words.  i.e. Breath Control (use your laughing muscles) and Breathe only where you have breath marks!  I do this with each of my students in every lesson.

* Pay attention to what is happening with your voice in the moment.  Make a note of it in both your warm-ups and repertoire.  Write down questions for your teacher to take to your next lesson.

* End your practice time by singing a song that is well set in your voice.  This way you 'warm-down' and know if your practice of the day follow good technique for your vocal development.  It is always fun to end your practice time by just singing something you love!

**  The more active your brain is when practicing, the more you will get out of your practice time and the quicker you will obtain your singing goals!

Happy Singing!