By Angie Money
It is the start of a new season…fall!! The leaves are changing to their golds and reds and the days are becoming shorter. Change is in the air! September is always a great month to start something new or even new habits. Great singers don’t just happen. They are planned and purposeful. Here are 5 Habits I think are essential for a student to become a successful singer!!
- Live Healthy: A healthy body is a healthy voice. Eating well means eating whole foods rather than processed foods; drinking water rather than pop or sugar drinks. Especially for a singer, water is essential in keeping vocal cords lubricated and the vocal tract hydrated. Exercising improves singing by increasing your cardiovascular strength and breath stamina. If you want to sing longer lines without running out of breath start getting your heart pumping!
- Listen: Start listening to yourself (record your voice), to other singers you love, and to music to develop your ear. Try different genres, acoustic versions, instrumental music, rhythms and artists that have stood the test of time. Train yourself to focus on a harmony part in a song or try to pick out a bass line. This is an invaluable tool as a singer to be able to develop your ear so you can correct your tone, switch your voice to a different emotion or pick out that harmony part.
- Prepare Properly: Warming up our voice, ears, body, breath and your imagination are key to a great performance or practice. Many students will jump right to their songs rather than taking the time to do their vocal exercises. Just like hitting the gym to build muscles in your body, take the time to build up your range and tone with different exercises. This will give you the flexibility, strength and agility you will need to tackle your songs and sound great!
- Be Yourself: Stop trying to impersonate other singers. Finding out who you are as a singer takes time. Help from a vocal coach can lead you to find out your vocal range, what styles and songs suit your voice as well as your”sweet spot” or unique vocal offering. Learning about who you are and what message you want to communicate with your voice will leave you fulfilled.
- Be Grateful: Think of three things each day that you are thankful for. This will open your eyes to be more positive and will give you energy to use your talents. Be grateful for the gift of your voice and how you can use it. Look for opportunities to sing for others.
Angie Money is a Vocal and Life Coach, Company Team Builder and Director of Edmonton Academy of Music.