Tell me about your vocal “Most Wanted” list. That’s a list of those things you most want to have happen with your singing in 2011.
Let’s set the stage with these thoughts:
1. By definition, a good singer is a good communicator in song, using whatever styles or genres he or she chooses and can relate to.
2. To be improving one’s singing skills means the singer must be increasing in technical skill and musical knowledge.
3. Increasing these skills and knowledge take planning and effort. It doesn’t just happen because you want it to.
None of the above points are rocket science, but they are necessary reminders to most of us because, it’s easy to settle into a rut of mediocrity or even fear regarding how far we can go as singers.
The Good News
The good news is that based on many years of teaching (technique) and coaching (interpretation/expression) singers, I know you can be better. Even the most accomplished singer can always learn more. If you’re an average singer, you haven’t even approached your range, agility, stamina and expression potential. My students range from beginners to professional touring artists and university professors, and they all have this in common: Every single one has areas in which they can grow, and that’s exactly what they’re looking for. Is that what you are looking for?
If You’re Ready, Put it in Motion
1. Believe in your heart that you can become a better singer this year. Do you believe in the power of prayer? The use it. Ask God to help you be consistent and maximize your gifts. He won’t do the work for you, and you certainly can’t do His part, but the combination is unbeatable.
2. Take realistic baby steps that will allow you to measure your progress.
3. Schedule your time. Get out your calendar right now and schedule some times to work on your “Most Wanted” list. That should include planning what resources you will use (Vocal Coach material, local voice class or personal training etc). Remember: If it’s not reflected in your calendar and/or checkbook it’s probably not very high on your priority list.
4. Create a self-challenge. Most of us know what our areas of weakness are without having to ask anyone else. Begin your list. The top of your “Vocal Most Wanted” list will read something like this: Schedule and keep vocal training appointments.
5. Take advantage of free resources like the Ten Steps to Better Breathing for Singers and the free Enhance Your Worship page. Also, remember that, to make searching easy, all the Vocal Coach Blogs are categorized by topic.
6. Get some feedback. At some point you are going to want outside feedback and direction. Some easy forms include using a mirror or video camera to keep an eye on posture and expression. Next is using a video camera, web cam or even iPhone to record some of your singing. There is nothing quite as honest as a recording. I also suggest playing it back for a neutral source who will give you honest input.
7. Schedule an Online Vocal Coach Session. Having a two-way video/audio session using Skype is easy and inexpensive. All you need is a computer with webcam and microphone (or mic/headset) which most newer computers come with. Spending 45 minutes with me Online can give you the feedback you need to keep you on track in your practicing, as well as challenge you with new, targeted exercises.
I hope these suggestions and tips will help you create and use your vocal “Most Wanted” list. I look forward to your feedback.