What Does it mean to be a Singer?
- Your Body is your Instrument – overall health
- plenty of SLEEP
- EXERCISE – a singer needs strong core muscles for support and a flexible strong
diaphragm muscle for breathing. So an exercise program that includes use of balance
and moderate aerobic activity to get the heart and lungs working makes for a stronger
- REGULAR HEALTHY MEALS
- It’s difficult to sing when your blood sugar has dropped because you haven’t
eaten all day.
- It’s also difficult to sing if your stomach is really full J.
- Some foods can cause a mild allergic reaction and you will produce extra
mucus. Find out what foods those are for you.
- HYDRATION – lots of water to cleanse the system, and water plus a little
nutrition (lemon or apple juice, Gatorade) to keep hydrated. Watch coffee
and alcohol intake, as they will de-hydrate you quickly, as will air conditioning
and heating systems in buildings.
- WHEN FIGHTING A COLD – extra rest and hydration, gargle with salted warm water
2-3 times a day, inhale steam to keep your lungs clear and ease coughing. See a doctor
if needed. DON’T SING WITH A SORE THROAT OR LARYNGITIS – it’s like running
on a sprained ankle.
- BODY BALANCE – you will need to be balanced, flexible and light on your feet for good
- NO SCREAMING or YELLING – at sports games, etc. We want those vocal folds for
beautiful singing, so we don’t want to bash them on the head.
- Warmups – warmup your voice up 10-15 minutes each day that you are planning on singing.
- lip buzzes
- Start in your mid-range, then your low range, your mid-range again then your high
- Make your warm-ups progressively longer to warm up your breathing for singing
- To develop your voice, find a good voice teacher or coach in your area
- choose songs that you like and that are in your range
- listen to as many recordings as you can
- sing the melody by itself on a comfortable vowel until you know exactly where all the
notes are. Be as smooth and connected from note to note as you can.
- tap through the rhythm of the melody until you can do it without mistakes.
- practice fast songs slowly and slow songs quickly sometimes.
- practice song on just the vowels of the words
- have accompanist/teacher make a practice recording of the piano part.
- coach your songs with a teacher or voice coach
- READ the words aloud to yourself until you understand what the song is about
- If song is in a different language, find WORD-FOR-WORD TRANSLATION and write
into your music. (IPAsource.com is an excellent resource for translations and
- Learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), as it is how pronunciations are
- Find a friend who speaks the language to speak it to you, and record.
- Speak the words in the rhythm of the melody, until you can do so at the tempo of the
song without mistake.
- Do some background research on the song – you night find out something interesting.
- 5. Practicing Timeline – It takes a few months to a year, depending on how difficult the song is,
for a song to settle in your voice. This has to do with the muscle memory involved in singing.
- CHOOSE your songs at least 3 months before a competition
- LEARN all the details of notes, words and rhythm immediately
- LISTEN to recordings of other singers
- Sing phrases A CAPPELLA, listening for smoothness (legato) and accuracy
- LISTEN to and SING with recorded ACCOMPANIMENT (on-line sites/itunes/teacher)
- Work on DETAILS of the song, then sing the WHOLE song, each practice.
- TAKE A BREAK from your songs for a few weeks.
- POLISH (coach with teacher) and MEMORIZE (which should be easy at this point)
- Your MIND must understand something first before your BODY can do it.
- Your BODY will take longer to learn than your MIND – be patient.
- ENJOY yourself when you work on your music – make it fun. Otherwise you will build
tension/frustration and resentment into your body while you sing.
- A MISTAKE is only a learning moment, and you will make lots of them J
- Every audition is an opportunity to PERFORM and every performance is an AUDITION.
- Do YOUR BEST and don’t care what other people think.
- Your best tomorrow will be better than your best today 🙂
- Marieke Schuurs 2015