How to Practice Singing
Regular and focused practice is absolutely essential for growth. Just like athletes stretch out their bodies and muscles before a big game, singers must exercise their voices before a performance, rehearsal or practice session. Here are a few tips on how to practice singing to set you up for success and bring your voice to that next level!
1. Practice Makes Permanent
Mindful and focused practice with specific goals and intentions makes for lasting progress and techniques and skills that ultimately become habits.
2. You are a vocal athlete
Think of your vocal workout like building yourself up in the gym. The more you do it with mindfulness and care the stronger you get and avoid injury. Your voice is the same way.
3. Know The most important days to practice
The most important days to practice are the day after and the day before your lesson. A great way to start your practice week is to simply replay your recorded lesson and sing along and make observations from your session. It’s like having two lessons a week. Listen attentively to both your singing and your teacher’s feedback. Practicing the day before your lesson helps you to feel prepared vocally and also helps you to come to your lesson with questions and goals for your teacher.
Although singing through songs is fun and all, exercising the vocal tract with tailored vocalises for at least 10-15 minutes per session will no doubt strengthen your voice and technique. Have fun with them and appreciate the value they bring.
5. You don’t need to always start at the beginning of the song
If you have a problem with a particular phrase in a song, just concentrate on that phrase until it is easy.
6. Create a comfortable and safe singing space for practicing
Limit distractions including but not limited to your cell phone (hint hint airplane mode will stop the notifications from coming in). Also, your practice space should be one where you feel comfortable to sing out and use your BIG VOICE. If you are concerned about who hears you, either it’s time to not care or find another set up! The last thing you want to do is to mute yourself. Singing is not making sound but releasing it — the good, the bad and the ugly.
7. Whatever is the most challenging, practice the most
The problem spots don’t just disappear, so tackle them little by little. Oftentimes, it can feel like we have made no progress in a practice session but keep in mind the body and brain are processing information from session to session, so it is very possible the time you spent on that tricky phrase might just feel easier the next day.
8. I know this can be hard for some, but record AND video yourself
We actually don’t really hear what we sound like and often have no sense of what we even look like when we sing. MY ultimate goal as a teacher is to teach you how to teach yourself. So listen with kind and constructive ears. Listen back to hear what you sound like and find out how you are doing, where you are going wrong and how you can improve. Be careful though, strike a balance and always lead with those GLOWS.
9. Take breaks and know your limits
The moment you start to feel tired or worn out, STOP. That is your voice telling you, it needs a break.
10. Have a day of singing what you want!
It’s so important to keep singing fun. Treat yourself to a day of going off script. Cue up some karaoke on YouTube or pull up some lead sheet and jam out on the piano. Feeding your musical soul is practicing!