What it Means to Be A Singer

What Does it mean to be a Singer?

  1. Your Body is your Instrument – overall health
  2. plenty of SLEEP
  3. 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


  2. It’s difficult to sing when your blood sugar has dropped because you haven’t

eaten all day.

  1. It’s also difficult to sing if your stomach is really full J.
  2. Some foods can cause a mild allergic reaction and you will produce extra

mucus.  Find out what foods those are for you.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. BODY BALANCE – you will need to be balanced, flexible and light on your feet for good


  1. 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.

  1. Warmups – warmup your voice up 10-15 minutes each day that you are planning on singing.
  2. sirens/glides
  3. lip buzzes
  4. Start in your mid-range, then your low range, your mid-range again then your high


  1. Make your warm-ups progressively longer to warm up your breathing for singing
  2. To develop your voice, find a good voice teacher or coach in your area
  3. Songs
  4. choose songs that you like and that are in your range
  5. listen to as many recordings as you can
  6. 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.

  1. tap through the rhythm of the melody until you can do it without mistakes.
  2. practice fast songs slowly and slow songs quickly sometimes.
  3. practice song on just the vowels of the words
  4. have accompanist/teacher make a practice recording of the piano part.
  5. coach your songs with a teacher or voice coach
  6. Text
  7. READ the words aloud to yourself until you understand what the song is about
  8. 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


  1. Learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), as it is how pronunciations are

written out.

  1. Find a friend who speaks the language to speak it to you, and record.
  2. Speak the words in the rhythm of the melody, until you can do so at the tempo of the

song without mistake.

  1. Do some background research on the song – you night find out something interesting.
  1. 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.

  1. CHOOSE your songs at least 3 months before a competition
  2. LEARN all the details of notes, words and rhythm immediately
  3. LISTEN to recordings of other singers
  4. Sing phrases A CAPPELLA, listening for smoothness (legato) and accuracy
  5. LISTEN to and SING with recorded ACCOMPANIMENT (on-line sites/itunes/teacher)
  6. Work on DETAILS of the song, then sing the WHOLE song, each practice.
  7. TAKE A BREAK from your songs for a few weeks.
  8. POLISH (coach with teacher) and MEMORIZE (which should be easy at this point)
  9. Attitude
  10. Your MIND must understand something first before your BODY can do it.
  11. Your BODY will take longer to learn than your MIND – be patient.
  12. 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.

  1. A MISTAKE is only a learning moment, and you will make lots of them J
  2. Every audition is an opportunity to PERFORM and every performance is an AUDITION.
  3. Do YOUR BEST and don’t care what other people think.
  4. Your best tomorrow will be better than your best today 🙂
  1. Marieke Schuurs 2015

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