‘Old School’ advice to singers

Weekly Teaching Tip – July 16, 2012 by Leigh McRae

Last week here in Australia the first season of ‘The Voice’ concluded.  Since the day after that show I have been inundated with enquiries from new prospective students, and a few older ones coming forward with a view to participating in the show next year. Here are a few positive facts: they are seeking out a voice teacher/ coach, they have an objective or goal, they are willing to make an appointment and most likely follow through on what I ask them to do. All these things are good. However, when I ask them one simple question almost all of the prospective students paused and most couldn’t give me an answer. That question later.

In singing there are a lot of perceptions that singing is easier, or more difficult than it once was. Some think it is easier to establish a career via social media or via a reality television show, or not. Here is the most common aspect regarding the skills required to continue on regardless of the fickle public. Your voice must function in a consistent and reliable way. Do not be fooled by someone singing on a television show (in some cases for less than 30 minutes in total throughout the entire season) that you can build a sustainable vocal career this way.

My advice for long lasting results:

1) Get going today on a systematic approach towards the health and strengthening of your voice by adopting a sensible vocal exercise regime

2) Become a dedicated practicer that schedules their rehearsal and practice time

3) Sing anything and everything privately, but NOT everything and anything in public

4) Find a great coach or mentor, that is someone that you will be accountable to and that will hold you responsible to follow through on what MUST be done.

That my friends is antique advice from the ‘OLD SCHOOL’  and I have never seen it fail! By all means enter as many things as you wish. By adhering to the above advice you will at the very least be better skilled and equipped with your voice be more confident as well.

Finally to that ‘question’ that I asked,  ‘What will you do if you don’t win?’ I’ll leave for you to ponder.

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