5 Tips for Beginning Voice Students
“I want to improve my range.”
“I want to strengthen my voice.”
“I want to get a role in my high-school musical.”
These are just a few of the goals I have heard from beginning voice students, as I ask every new student:
“What is your goal in taking voice lessons?"
All of these are great goals, and I am glad to help a student achieve them! Once you have clearly defined goals, the next step is to begin the work of voice lessons. There are some things that I really encourage students to do in order to help them practice more effectively and aid in their forward progress.
Here are a few tips I give to my beginning voice students:
1. Record Your Lessons.
In the modern world, most of us have a cell phone. This makes it very easy to record audio. I strongly advise students to record their lessons either on their cell phone or using another recording device. Lessonface makes this very easy in that the students can have their lessons recorded on the online platform and play it back at any time. This way, you can refer back to the lesson when you practice instead of trying to remember exactly what concept your teacher was talking about.
In addition, recording yourself during practice is a great idea. Because the voice is not an external instrument, it is very hard to hear what you actually sound like to a listener. If you record yourself, you can objectively hear what is going on. This way you have a strong aural picture from the outside perspective.
2. Keep a Voice Journal.
I strongly encourage students to write their own notes, ideas, and discoveries about singing. If you want to take this idea further, keep a record of all auditions, notes about performances, and running notes on specific ideas, songs, or exercises that you find helpful.
3. Talk to the teacher about what kind of music you are interested in.
Singing as an art form that is wide ranging. I have had students who are interested in styles that range from Doo-wop, to musical theatre, and opera. Everyone has different goals and tastes when it comes to singing. Your teacher will obviously have ideas for you, but it is very helpful for a teacher to also know what your musical preferences are. If there is a song you really want to sing, let your teacher know! Your teacher can then assess whether or not they believe that song is a good fit for you.
I suggest for each student do bring a list of about ten songs that they have an interest in singing. This is a good start to see what the student’s interests are musically.
4. Answer your teacher honestly.
Your teacher is there to help you, but does not live in your body. Therefore, they will ask you a bunch of questions. Some common questions include, “How did that feel?” or “What did you notice?” The teacher is asking you this to understand what is going on in your mind and body. They have no idea what is going on unless you let them know.
Moreover, speak up if something does not feel right or is not working. Everyone is different, and it will give the teacher direction. I am always happy to hear honest feedback from my students regarding how they feel. It gives me a better idea of how to help them.
5. Embrace voice lessons as a process.
The study of the voice is a process. Since it is part of our body it grows and changes with us. Make sure to talk about goals with your teacher. As mentioned previously, I always discuss student goals in the first lesson.
Bear in mind that singing is connected to everything: your body, your psychology, and your soul. It is normal to experience changes. The study of singing is a lifelong process, and there is never an end product.
The study of voice is a journey for your mind, body and spirit. You will be floored by the many ways it benefits you beyond the studio. The more time and effort you put into singing, the more you will get out of your lessons.
You can book an 1:1 lesson with Candice here: Lessonface.com/Candice