8 Ways to Improve Your Singing

We still tend to believe that someone is a great singer because they were born singing great or they have ‘natural talent.’ (There’s a term that’s thrown around a lot.)   But that isn’t true, it takes work, training and also effective coaching.  Here are just some of the ways we can improve our singing:

Find a vocal coach:

Work with a qualified voice teacher frequently to make sure you are on the right track with your voice.  At the end of your lessons be sure to ask your voice coach what to work on specifically in your practices.

Practice Smarter:

Keep your practices short, focused and productive.  Following along with your lesson recording is generally a good way to start.  Then taking sections of a song and working through the challenging bits.  If you are doing too much all at once your voice may get tired.  So it’s a good idea to make your practice regime shorter and more frequently throughout the week. Technique should come first, especially if you are still trying to build a balanced voice and are the beginning stages of vocal development.

Listen to great singers:

Don’t be afraid to listen to genius singers, in fact, build a playlist of them!  Singers from all genres of music and not necessarily mainstream artists.  Consult with a professional on which singers would be a great reference or inspiring for you to listen to.  While listening, take note as to how they are singing. What is their vibrato like? What is their range like?

Keep your voice healthy:

Vocal rest, hydration, sleep, vocal technique are all proven ways to make sure your voice is in healthy shape.  If you aren’t sure if your voice is healthy, consult with a voice therapist or medical professional.

“When people say artists are born with talent, you’re not. You have to really learn and really practice.” – Ed Sheeran on Jonathan Ross Show (2014)

Change your mindset:

Focus on the milestones you have achieved with your voice, take note of how and what you have improved on – then you are more likely to head in the right direction with your voice.  Constructive criticism is best, so work with a qualified vocal coach to ensure you are getting the right feedback.  Don’t let your ‘inner critic’ take control over your vocal progress.

Stop the comparing:

Since no two voices are alike, it’s impossible to sound like another singer.  It’s wonderful to listen to great singers and get a reference for what they are doing vocally.  But at the end of the day, it’s about finding your own voice.  Comparing isn’t constructive, it only confirms that you ‘can’t’ do what the other person is doing. Instead take baby steps towards improving your own voice and choose songs that challenge you, but that are not overly difficult at first.  Then work towards more difficult material once you have had enough training and guidance.

Perform:

Test out what you have learned – find an open mic, or if someone asks you to sing, SING!  Test out the waters and see if you can trust what you have learned and practiced!

Try out group singing:

In addition to working on your voice in a solo capacity, group singing is a wonderful way to connect with others but not only that, you can improve your musicianship.  Learning new songs, and harmonies, having to blend with other singers are just some of the ways that make group singing fun.

 

Alida is a singer, vocal coach and music educator based in Vancouver, Canada.  A graduate of UBC School of Music, Alida holds an IVA Advanced Certificate in voice teaching. Alida has been teaching voice for over 9 years to clients from the Lower Mainland as well as across Canada and worldwide.  To book a lesson with Alida click here

 

Spring Singing Showcase

Sometimes having a singing goal to work towards motives us to practice more.  Performance opportunities don’t come that often, this is why I have created the Alida Vocal Studio Student Showcase!  This bi-annual event, gives my students an opportunity to perform 1 or 2 songs in front of a supportive and encouraging audience.  The audience is made up of friends and family mostly and we have professional accompanist join us on piano.

If you would like to sign up to sing at our next Student Showcase, please email me through the contact page and I will reply with the performance details and requirements.

When: Saturday, April 7th, 2018

Time: 3:30pm-5:00pm

Where: One Thousand Rivers  54 4th Ave E, 2nd Floor

Click here to RSPV.

 

 

Follow Alida Vocal Studio on Instagram!

To keep up with the latest info on the voice AND what my clients are up to, please follow Alida Vocal Studio on Instagram!

@alidavocalstudio

 

Stage Fright Webinar

When: Saturday, March 24th , 10:30am-11:30am

Where:  online via Zoom

Are you a singer, actor, performer, choir singer, or musician and WANT to do more performing but nerves stand in your way?

Whether it’s an audition or a live show, do nerves get the best of you?  Does stage fright prevent you from doing your best on stage or in the audition room?

Stage fright shouldn’t be something that holds you back from pursing your performance goals or performing better. There are ways to manage the nerves and STILL be able to win over your audience and land that audition.

This course will examine what stage fright is AND will give you tools and resources to help you perform better!

The webinar will take place on Saturday March 24th, at 10:30am and will last about one hour.

The cost is $15.00 and this includes:

Live interactive webinar, a recording of the webinar emailed to you AND a guided meditation from a wellness professional to use BEFORE your next performance!

Once you have registered you will be sent a browser link for the webinar by email. (Please check your spam folder incase you didn’t receive the link within 24 hours of registration)

On Feb. 24th at 10:30am, paste that link your browser and you will be able to attend live.

If you can’t attend live, we will email you a copy of the recording of the webinar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alida is a singer and vocal coach based in Vancouver, Canada.  A graduate of UBC School of Music, Alida holds an IVA Advanced Certificate in voice teaching.  She is also certified in Speech Level Singing and is a member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing).  Alida has been teaching voice for 9 years to clients from the Lower Mainland as well as across Canada and worldwide.

Vocal Confidence

It’s a new year and a fresh new start!  I have been training singers for almost a decade now and I’ve noticed the number 1 setback they encounter with their voices is their lack of vocal confidence.  Do you want to sing well but find you don’t have enough vocal confidence, and it sets you back from getting the best results?  My advice: start planting the seeds now towards building your vocal confidence and your singing will blossom by spring!

Train like an athlete.

Adopt the mindset of a vocal athlete, train weekly and practice daily.  Focus on improving your vocal strength, agility, range, breath management through studying vocal technique.   Consult with your vocal coach on what areas you need to improve on and also on repertoire selection.  Training is a huge part of growing your vocal confidence because…(and I love this quote)

Competence breeds confidence.” – Dan Millman, Body Mind Mastery

The more competency in your vocal technique, the more you will be able to have trust in your instrument and as a result your confidence will soar.

Do Some Self-work. 

Sometimes you have to get to the core of the emotional blocks that seem to get in the way of vocal progress.  It may require working on yourself outside of singing.  Journaling, attending workshops, studying performance psychology, and working with a therapist are just some of the ways that can help you on your vocal journey.  Body awareness techniques such as Alexander Technique, Yoga or even meditation, can go a long way in making sure you are in the right frame of mind to tackle your overall confidence.  Once you have worked on yourself, you are better equipped to handle the psychological challenges you will most likely face with singing.

Set Small Goals. 

Sometimes having a goal or a vision of where you’d like to go with your singing can give you the motivation to keep working.  Start small, as experts suggest small goals are more attainable and you will be more likely to strive towards them if you know they are achievable.  It can be recording one song, performing at an open mic or auditioning for a choir.  Set your intention and commit to making it happen.

 

Alida is a singer and vocal coach based in Vancouver, Canada.  A graduate of UBC School of Music, Alida holds an IVA Advanced Certificate in voice teaching.  She is also certified in Speech Level Singing and is a member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing).  Alida has been teaching voice for 9 years to clients from the Lower Mainland as well as across Canada and worldwide.

Annual Christmas Hamper

Alida Vocal Studio cares about giving back to our community!

Every year students and friends of Alida Vocal Studio have generously donated towards our annual Christmas Hamper!

This year there is an extra bonus, when you donate an item to our hamper you will receive a coupon code for 10% off your next voice lesson booking.
Just drop off your donation to our studio before Dec. 8th, 2017 or bring it along to your next lesson.
To arrange for drop-off please email me: lessons@alidavocalstudio.com
We are collecting donations for a 9 year old boy as well as a 17 year old girl.  Below you will see some suggestions for their requests.
Boy, Age 9
– Favorite store – Mastermind Store
– Favorite colors – purple, blue, gold
– Hobbies/Likes –  Lego, Star Wars, Percy Jackson novels, age-appropriate non-fiction books, history books, “Spyro the Dragon”
Girl, Age 17
– Shirt size – 9 medium
– Pant size – large/x-large
– Favorite store – Spencers, Michaels
– Favorite colors – orange, green, purple
– Hobbies/Likes – drawing – sketching books, pastels, paints;  scrap-booking;  hoodies,
Let’s help make this Christmas a very special one for two foster children in need.  Gift cards, small gifts, anything and everything is welcome as long as it is unused and unwrapped.
Thank you for your generousity!

Scholarship for Musical Theatre Singers

We are so pleased to offer a new scholarship opportunity to study singing with Alida Vocal Studio.

This scholarship is for 2 new students of Musical Theatre who haven’t had any previous voice lessons with Alida Vocal Studio.

The Singing Student Scholarship is open to singers who are:

  • intermediate or advanced level
  • ages 19-35
  • singing in the Musical Theatre genre
  • have had 1 or more years of previous singing lessons
  • not currently studying voice with any other teacher
  • active in performing arts or would like to get back into performing
  • Musical Theatre performance experience (locally or nationally)
  • have completed a college or university program in musical theatre (not mandatory)
  • Offer is valid for 4 –  30 minute lessons (two of the lessons can be combined to make one full hour followed by two half hours)
  • To apply for the scholarship, please send an email outlining your vocal history, vocal goals and mentioning your experience with the criteria above to: lessons@alidavocalstudio.com
  • If you have met the criteria, we will then add your name into a draw
  • Winners of the scholarship will be announced on Dec. 15th, 2017!

Student Showcase Nov. 25th, 2017

In celebration of the hard work that Alida Vocal Studio’s clients have accomplished, we are pleased to present an afternoon of singing students from all styles of music! Come out and relax and enjoy! Bring friends and family along!

If you are a student of Alida Vocal Studio and you would like to sign up to sing, please email: lessons@alidavocalstudio.com

When: Saturday Nov. 25th, 3:30pm

Where:  One Thousand Rivers 54 East 4th Ave 2nd floor  (plenty of parking in the area and very close to transit)

The event is free, but please click here to register.

A Note on Vocal Rest

Vocal rest is crucial for optimal voice function and longevity and should be an active part of your life as a vocalist.  It is not often prescribed until the singer or speaker ends up with vocal conditions that prevent them from pursing their next venture.

Short-term vocal rest is taking a breather for a minute or two, to help prevent your voice from fatiguing during rehearsals or vocalizing sessions.  If you have been practicing for a good amount of time, let’s say 15 minutes, pause and silently go through the challenging phrase in your head while you rest your folds.  Or simply walk away from the music in front of you and then return after a few minutes.  You will probably be shocked at the result.  Studies show that with physical exercise, it is the rest period between reps that the muscles get the most benefit, growth and repair.  Just like with any other muscle group, when we take time to rest the voice we are giving the vocal folds a break from their active or vibrating state and they are literally gaining their strength back and recovering, plus your brain is processing the muscle memory that you just practiced.

“Vocal cords needs rest.  They benefit from small rest breaks here and there and longer stretches of silence after heavy use…even five minutes of rest helps the vocal cells recover from the pressure and vibrations of speech.”

– Joanna Cazden – Everyday Voice Care

Long-term vocal rest is usually recommended after a long run of a show, tour or especially when there has been a diagnosis of a vocal health condition.  This doesn’t mean you totally neglect the voice, in fact sometimes vocal rehab would be prescribed as part of the ‘rest’ period.  You may feel a little out of vocal shape after a long hiatus, but the good news is you can bounce back with regular lessons and vocalizing.

If you train consistently with periods of vocal rest your going to achieve vocal strength and balance which leads to much more success in your songs and performances.

 

Alida is a voice and music educator based in Vancouver, Canada.  A graduate of UBC School of Music, Alida holds an IVA Advanced Certificate in voice teaching. Alida has been teaching voice for 9 years to clients from the Lower Mainland as well as across Canada and worldwide on Skype.

 

Smart Practice Tips for Singers

Learning to sing amazingly well is like learning any other skill.  It requires our fullest attention, patience, time, effective and regular instruction and of course regular practiceBut it’s HOW we practice that makes a difference in seeing results.  If you are new to the process or have build up a lot of bad vocal habits that aren’t going away, here are some helpful hints to keep in mind when practicing voice:

Follow along with your lesson recording:

As hard as it is to hear our voices on a recording be sure to record your lesson anyway so you have a guide as to what to do in your practice.   Follow along with the recorded tools that were assigned and take into account what was said during your lesson so you can apply it throughout the week until your next lesson.

Practice shorter:

It’s not the length of time that matters, it’s the quality of practice that makes a difference to your progress.  In fact studies indicate that shorter and mindful practice sessions are more effective for the brain to actually create muscle memory.  If you are in the development stages of vocal training, try a 10 -15 minute practice daily.  If you have been working with an instructor for a while, step it up to 30 minutes daily.  Be sure to be present and mindful during the session.  Don’t go too long and fatigue your voice.  Take 2-3 minute breaks in your practice sessions so you can give your vocal folds a rest.

“If you aren’t feeling seeing or hearing any vocal progress after a while, it is most likely because you may need to reevaluate your practice strategy.  Booking regular voice lessons in the beginning phases of vocal development is crucial to ensure you are practicing right and being given the right exercises to make your way towards vocal success.”

Practice don’t play…yet:  

It can be fun and a good stress reliever to sing our cares away, but that isn’t productive practice and in fact you could be reinforcing poor vocal habits.  If you really want to take your voice to the next level, you may need to break down your song into sections.  Instead of singing the entire song from beginning to end, take little phrases and work them repetitively and slowly.  Take the lyrics out and work on the melody with some vowel/consonant combinations that were assigned to you in your vocalizing.

Check yourself in the mirror: 

Working in front of a mirror can be a wonderful way to highlight your habits.  Some of us don’t like to look at ourselves as we are highly critical.  Instead use the mirror as a way to constructively observe yourself as your sing.  What to look for?  Look for postural changes, facial strain or jaw tension, vowel formation.  Is your chin lifting up for those high notes?  The entire body should balanced, relaxed and in proper alignment.  When the body is involved in making the sound (for example lifting your chin during a high note) you are heading toward vocal strain and more prone to vocal injury over time.

Is it ‘taking too long’?  

Don’t panic if you don’t hear any automatic changes.  Also you may need to put up with not sounding so good in the beginning.  You are training an unused muscle to be able to meet the demands of challenging songs.  Learning to sing with proper balance and sounding amazing can be a long process.  Stay patient, go slowly and with daily practice you will start to notice your voice strengthening.  If you aren’t feeling seeing or hearing any vocal progress after a while, it is most likely because you may need to reevaluate your practice strategy.  Booking regular voice lessons in the beginning phases of vocal development is crucial to ensure you are practicing right and being given the right exercises to make your way towards vocal success.  After all, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

Alida is a voice and music educator based in Vancouver, Canada.  A graduate of UBC School of Music, Alida holds an IVA Advanced Certificate in voice teaching. Alida has been teaching voice for 9 years to clients from the Lower Mainland as well as across Canada and worldwide on Skype.