Singing Lessons: What They Don’t Tell You
People give me a variety of reasons why they want to try singing lessons; they want to sound better, understand how to breathe when singing, improve their technique or prepare for a performance. And generally, most people will have a preconceived idea of what goes on in a singing lesson: some vocal exercises, singing a song and learning something about their voice. But most students will be surprised to discover just how much more singing lessons can give them! Here’s a few things you may not expect to get out of singing lessons:
- You will learn to tap into your vulnerability. As singers, we need to be able to open ourselves up to ‘feel’ a variety of different emotions. Vulnerability can be key to expressing a lyrics intention, it can affect how we communicate a story, it can also impact the way we move or breathe. Being willing to, and open with, your emotions can be daunting but can also be liberating and make you a better singer and storyteller.
- You will explore your version of self-expression. You will start to understand how you best express yourself as a person visually, auditorily and physically and how that is communicated to an audience (be that one person or a stadium of people). Through all this you will discover your je ne sais quoi (appealing quality that cannot be adequately described or expressed).
- You will discover what your ‘real tone’ is. This can be confronting and also empowering as a singer. Learning to love your ‘sound’ can be the best gift you will ever give yourself.
- You will be faced with your insecurities. Singing lessons can sometimes reveal roadblocks and limitations that may have inhibited the way you express and communicate through song. Performance anxiety, lack of vocal confidence, not wanting to expose yourself are just a few of the insecurities that may come to the surface. Singing lessons can become a safe place to discuss these blocks and your teacher can give you advice and exercises to help you overcome them.
- You will get to know your body, your posture, face and midsection in a new way. You will become aware of your breathing, movements and your centre of gravity.
- You will get out of your comfort zone. Teachers will ask you to do things like sing weird sounds, use your body in strange ways, make funny faces, ask you to watch yourself in the mirror, sing songs away from your preferred genre and even get you to speak/sing in gibberish! This is all normal and will assist with your growth as a singer and performer.
Singing lessons can be a fulfilling and life-changing experience. Embrace all the challenges and changes and you will gain so much from them! Happy singing!