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Singer Training: Your Responsibilities

Yes, you do have to take some responsibility for creating your own singing success. Although knowing what to expect from your singing teacher is important, understanding what you need to be doing in and out of your lessons is just as important.

Developing your own practice process

You may have a weekly lesson with your voice teacher, but you have to practice between lessons to apply the techniques discussed each week. Practice leads to improvement.

The best way to create a practice routine that works for you is to record any lessons and practice sessions and to keep notes in a journal. You want to record the lesson so that you can listen to it to hear the changes you make during that time.

Taking notes as you listen to the tape helps you figure out how you made those changes so that you can make them again on your own.

The concept and purpose of an exercise is more important than the exercise itself. For example, you can find many ways to work on breath, but the principle of moving breath is more important than one exercise.

So when your teacher assigns you an exercise, make sure that you understand what it’s for and how to use it. Simply doing an exercise isn’t going to help you improve if you don’t know what to do or what to listen for.

At the end of each voice lesson, singers should recap what they need to practice before the next lesson. If you recap the big concepts that you intend to focus on, you and your teacher both have a list of goals.

Your goal is to do the work, and your teacher’s goal is to listen to you sing at the next lesson to determine whether you need to continue in the same direction or expand your work.

Avoiding overworking your flaws

In your lesson, you want to focus on the entire voice and find a good balance of skills in all areas. If you spend too much time on the “flaw,” you may get discouraged and feel like you can’t do anything.

Find a balance for your practice session and your lesson so that you work on techniques you do well and others that you don’t do well. Hopefully the list of what you don’t do so well grows shorter with each practice session.

If you find that your teacher is focusing so much on your flaws that you’re becoming discouraged, ask your teacher for feedback on what you’re doing well. Don’t be shy about asking for positive reinforcement in lessons.

Your teacher may assume that you know what you’re doing well and may not be telling you as often. If you call this to his attention, he can offer you some needed words of encouragement.

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