I have been teaching for over a decade and I can always tell when a client comes to their lesson having practiced. Their voices are usually stronger, more balanced, and way more equipped for challenging song phrases. If you haven’t been a consistent with your practice, don’t even sweat it, don’t make time for ‘practice guilt.’ Instead just get right back into it. But, how exactly should we practice? Is there a method to getting this ‘right’?
This is the beauty of having your lesson recording. When listening back, try not to focus on how you sound in the lesson recording, and focus more on what the exercises feel like as you sing along. If you like to take notes, jot down some of the coaching tips I give you as you’re singing. Or make a mental note of what coaching points are always repeated, chances are those are habitual patterns that need to be worked on.
Here are some tips to help get you started on a more regular focused practice.
1) Pick 3-4 days at the start of your week and schedule in your practice times (no less than 3 days per week) – yes actually type or write this into your schedule, the time in which you are going to be practicing
2) Aim for 20-45 minutes of practice – with periods of rest – this may increase to one hour as you advance – always make time for short increments of vocal rest during your practice – straw work and sips of water etc.
3) Don’t go straight to your songs without working through the scales – scales are going to help you progress better in the songs
4) Listen and sing along with the recorded sequence of exercises:
5) Listen to the song(s) you are learning – active listening is paying close attention to the melody, follow along with the sheet music or lyrics, what is the singer doing, where does the song go?
6) Practice along with the singer – if you don’t have the correct melody, go back and listen to it again, if there is a riff that you need to learn, practice it slower – do you have precision and clarity on each melody note (approach notes and ‘not so important notes’ too!)
7) Having trouble on that one note? – take out the lyrics, and practice along with the vowel consonant combinations assigned (more details will be given in the application portion of the lesson)
8) Practice phrase by phrase, slowly – over and over again (3-5 minute increments)
9) Write down what came up for you that was challenging and bring that into your next session (you can also bring your practice journal in to share your progress)
10) Remember to have fun! The process of training is exciting and should be enlightening! Your voice will get stronger and more balanced and you will be able to sing more challenging material. Do not rush the process. Aim for progress vs perfection! It may not feel like you’re getting anywhere, but just keep going.
11) Change is good – if it doesn’t feel different from what you’re used to doing, chances are you aren’t making progress. Use this practice time to build better habits and better muscle memory which is going to feel different from how you approached singing before.
Remember, it’s not about perfection, it’s about consistency. You’ll be surprised where it takes you.
Now more than ever we need to restore a sense of hope in our lives. A few of my clients got “together, but apart” and sang their hearts out in this rendition of a classic! Enjoy! Featuring: Zenia Marshall, Giles Fernandes, Bea Armstrong, Israel De Real, May Guimaraes, Achilles Tang, Stefanie Joyce, and Rani Reddy. (Original song by Johnny Nash)
It sometimes takes a while before we feel warmed-up enough to sing those challenging notes in a song. This mini vocal workout will not only warm-up your voice, it will help you discover the three different areas of the voice: bottom, middle and top. It features functional exercises that building vocal strength and balance. In a private voice lesson, you will be assigned exercises that are customized to your voice. The exercises featured in this video, are more general exercises and will help you get a sample of what’s to come! You’ll need a straw for this one.
Looking for a vocal workout for a male singer or low voices? Click here.
Got to document my discussion with osteopath Jennie Morton on training singers who dance and dancers who sing. Jennie is a pioneer in Performing Arts Medicine. A former professional dancer/singer/actor, now works as an Osteopath in LA, she uses an integrative approach to managing physical and emotional challenges in her work with performers.
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Jennie is a pioneer in Performing Arts Medicine. A former professional dancer/singer/actor, now works as an Osteopath in LA, she uses an integrative approach to managing physical and emotional challenges in her work with performers. Movement on stage got you feeling winded? There ARE strategies you can take to make your breath management more strategic during performance. Were you taught to pull your stomach in when performing? What did that do to your singing? Have you thought of choreographing where to breathe? Comment below with your thoughts! ⤵️ #singeractordancer #dancers #musicaltheatre #singing #danceandsing #vocaltechnique #vocalhealth #music #voice #vocalcoach #la #osteopathy #performingartsmedicine #performingarts
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Giles has been singing for 9 years and training with me for 10 months. He practices every day and had countless gigs over the holidays. He finally had a realization recently.
Have a listen to the video below.
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Giles has been singing for 9 years and training with me for 10 months. He practices every day and had countless gigs over the holidays. He finally had a realization recently. If you are consistent with your training and practice, then you are going to build consistency in your voice. If you want to change your voice for the better, it starts with daily focused practice. (and that doesn't mean practicing and wearing your voice out for 2 hours, more on that later…)🤪 So how do you hit those high notes? You have to build the right muscle memory and the only way to build muscle memory is through specific tools. And the tools have to be catered to your specific tendencies as a vocalist. So that's why you need a vocal coach to help guide you to mastering those high notes.😎 Keep training, keep practicing, keep having breakthroughs.🤩 Love ya!🤓
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It’s the end of a fantastic year and as we head into the holiday season, let’s make some time to reflect on our vocal health and what changes we can make for 2020! Join the discussion! Please let us know your questions ahead of time, or jump on the live chat with us! Click here to watch our facebook live at the Surrey Voice Clinic alongside Sherri Zelazny, Surrey Voice Clinic Clinical Director.
Thank you to all who attended our Singing After Vocal Injury webinar!
Thanks again to Sherri Zelazny from the Surrey Voice Clinic for co-presenting with me on such an interesting topic.