Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Choral Singing vs. Solo Singing- When is it GOOD to sing in a choir and when would it be better for you to focus on solo singing? Part 1 of 3

Singing in a choir, it is how most of us first get started in singing.  What a wonderful thing to do for the beginner singer.  If you are under the age of 18, love singing along with the radio, and want to do more singing, please join a choir in addition to singing for fun on your own!

Why does singing in a choir help the young singer?

- It develops your ear and helps you to listen carefully.

- It helps you stay in tune with other singers.

- You learn to sing based on how it feels.

- It works on your self-esteem in a group setting.  You have more confidence in your singing in a comfortable environment. 

- It is fun to sing new and different repertoire.

- It is a great first step to develeping your individual singing voice.

There are of course many extra benefits to singing in a choir, both academically and developmentally.

"Children Who Sing Have Greater Academic Success and Life Skills.."

Studies of students’ grades and surveys of parents reveal that, children become more self-confident, shown more self-discipline and improved their memory since joining a choir.  It is an excellent tool to get a singer started on the right path vocally and has many extra benefits.

As a result of singing in a choir, students have:

- Better academic performance

- More self-confidence

- Improved memory skills

- Increased self-discipline and study habits

- Better participants in group activities

- Better emotional expression and better emotional management

- Increased social skills, civic involvement, volunteerism, philanthropy and support of other art forms later in life.

When is it time to add individual voice lessons?  When is it better to focus on your solo singing and do less choral singing?  Check in next week for advice on when to spend more time on SOLO singing?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How is Your New Year's Resolution to Sing Better? Are you Eating Better, Exercising, and Doing a Practice Log?

Check in on your New Year's Singing Resolution!

It is hard to start new habits and even with the best intentions, we fall into old habits about now (it has been a month since we made those resolutions!) It never hurts to have a place to check in to keep yourself motivated. Sign up to receive this blog and let it help you re-group. Let regular information and reminders help you stay on track.

Taking Care of Your Instrument- Take Care of Your Body

You are What You Eat and Drink

Are you eating well?  Drinking Water?  Have you added a balance of cardiovascular exercise and time for your mind and body?  You can do it, just have patience with yourself.  Make it a part of your weekly calendar to plan out exercise time and log how much water you drink in a day.

If you already have started working on adding more water, better eating habits and more water, do these things make you feel better and therefore sing better?  Share your successes.  Studies show that regular time spent on these physical and mental issues vastly improve singing quality and beauty!

For more tips on taking care of your singing voice visit

How Are Your Practice Sessions? 

Practice that has disciplined perimeters is very effective.  Set goals for each session and don't allow distractions.  Does that help you focus your attention when you practice?

Have you developed a practice log?  Does it improve the quality of your practicing?  What tips can you share or what will help you to get back on track with these goals?  For some basic practice tips, read my blog January 2013 or visit

Many practice logs can be downloaded to help you to get organized.  Try or

Happy Singing!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Effective and Efficient Practice for Voice Lessons and Singing Success

Effective and Efficient Practice for Voice Lessons and Singing Success

1. Establish a time and place to practice daily.  Write it in your planner or schedule it on your phone.

2. Pick 2 goals for each of your practice sessions.  For Example
a) Master the notes and rhythms of a new piece. 
b) Add language of the piece separate from the music (Speak the Italian)

3. Turn off all electronic distractions:  Ringer and Alerts on Phones, Computer.  Make sure you have Water and Quiet.

4. Warm up using the vocalize given to you by your teacher and others that you know help you warm-up well.

5. Focus on ONE goal of your practice at a time in both vocalize and repertoire work.

6. Keep a Practice Log: Write down any techniques, warm-ups, musical phrases that really work for you that day.  Diligence with noting what works well for you will help you and your teacher.

7. Cool down with a song that sits well in your voice.

8. On the successive days of practice, read your notes of the previous day. 

9. Build upon your successes and continue working on the things you need to spend more time on.

10. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Take Care of Your Body and Your Instrument

Take Care of Your Body and Your Instrument

You are your instrument, so take care of it well.  Health, how you eat, how you sleep, and how you handle stress all have an impact on your singing voice.  We all know this, but it is hard to keep ourselves focused on what we need to do to take care of ourselves.  Try to simplify if you can to make these 4 goals attainable.

1. You are What You Eat (and Drink)!

Eat a well-balanced diet and drink lots of water and liquids without caffeine.  Pay attention to your body and it's response to certain foods.  Do you sing well after you eat a small, bland, carbohydrate rich meal?  Do you do better with just eating a banana and a glass of water?  Stay away from spicy or acidic foods before singing if you know you have mild reflux.  Avoid dairy before practice if you tend to have extra mucus afterwards that interferes with your singing. 

2. Sleep is a Wonderful Thing!

A well-rested singer is a strong singer.  We all know that the more sleep we get, the better we function in general.  It is IMPERATIVE for a singer to get sleep to rest the body, vocal cords, mind, and to fight off infections such as colds that we come into contact with in everyday life.  It really is a key element in staying healthy.

3. Moderate Exercise Makes your Body Function at Maximum Capacity for Singing!

Find a balance of cardiovascular activity and mind and body exercise (yoga or pilates) that you enjoy so that you can stick with it.  The cardiovascular exercise helps you use your air efficiently while singing and give you the strength and stamina for practice and performances.  Yoga and Pilates help balance the mind and stress a singer encounters while working the inner core muscles and deep breathing used while singing.

4. Pay Attention to Your Body and What it is Saying!

Are you run down or feel like it takes you a long time to get your voice warmed-up?  Do you feel like you are catching a cold? Get some extra Zzz's and drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables.

Are you full of energy and singing well?  If so, keep doing what you are doing- it works for you!  We all must find our own balance of what keeps us physically and mentally healthy for our best singing.

Take some time and tune in to what your body says on a daily basis. 

What works for you?  Please share your thoughts.  What have you noticed change by following these 4 things?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Is Your or Your Student's New Year's Resolution to Sing Better? What are the 2 Most Important Things?

Ah, tis the season of making New Year's Resolutions!  Is yours (or your student's) to improve your singing voice?  Make this a resolution you can keep!  (Part 1 of 3)

How can you successfully keep your New Year's Resolution to Sing to the Best of Your Ability? 

First get lessons with a qualified voice teacher whose opinion you value!  Many voice teachers teach many of the same concepts but all in slightly different ways.  Find a teacher whose teaching methods you can relate to and who understands how you learn.  Look within yourself and find what is important to you as a singer and musician.  Work together to establish singing goals and a solid foundation for practicing, learning music, and ultimately performing.  Consistent if small steps are the key to achieving your goals.  Take a moment and establish a routine.

What Next?  2 other things are ESSENTIAL and you must take charge!

1. Take Care of Your Body and Your Health

2. Practice Effectively and Efficiently

Follow the advice and suggestions of your teacher, but ultimately YOU must discipline yourself to take care of your body and practice regularly. 

What are the most important things you can do to take care of your health for singing?  (Part 2 of 3)What are the best tips for practicing?  (Part 3 of 3).

Let me know some of your ideas and stay tuned for ways to make your Resolution Stick!