Every so often I am asked what my best advice for singers is, and I always find the answer hard to articulate – as if one sentiment could possibly encapsulate all that I want to say! The question came up again recently and has been on my mind. And then it came to me. . . . .
The best advice for singers I can possibly give is SO macro. It’s not about the specifics of breath support or finding resonance. It’s not about learning the right repertoire or understanding your voice type. It has to do with perseverance and dedication.
The art and craft of singing, whether you are doing it at the professional level or as a passionate recreational singer, is a process that is and will always be evolving within you. To be a great singer and a great artist is to embrace that process.
Become a lifelong learner of your craft.
That, my lovelies, is my best advice for singers.
So as summer comes to an end and we’re all back from our lazy summer days (hopefully a little rejuvenated from any travel or vacation time we took), it’s the PERFECT time to get rededicated and re-inspired. I’d like to suggest a “September” resolution.
At this point in the year we have usually forgotten our New Years resolutions and reverted back to our old habits and our old mindset. This September resolution will be easy to keep, I promise! Why? Because it merely involves doing more of what we already love. Repeat after me:
This September, I resolve to rededicate myself to the study of my craft
No matter how much training we have, stagnation is artistic death for a performer.
It’s really easy for me to fall into that trap and think that I know everything I need to know about my craft. After all, I am a highly trained singer and voice teacher. I have a Masters Degree and a Bachelors Degree from two of the most prestigious music conservatories in the world. I am already really good at what I do, so why should I spend time and money taking more lessons?
But then, I had the recent experience of going to coach with an old friend at L.A. Opera who I hadn’t worked with in years. She brought a whole new perspective to the things that I was already doing which made them fresh and inspired. I heard new language used to talk about the techniques I’d been employing which brought out colors in my voice I’d forgotten were there.
The experience reminded me of what I’ve learned over the years:
An artist’s life is one of constant study toward new inspiration and reinvention.
So this September, put my advice for singers to good use and rededicate yourself to the study of your craft.
You already love what you do or you wouldn’t have chosen this journey. That’s why this resolution is easy to keep. You are rededicating yourself to dive deeper into the thing you already love. Enroll in that acting class (singers are actors too!!), or come back to weekly voice lessons (reach out to that amazing teacher you’ve been wanting to study with).
This September, make the commitment to grow yourself and inspire your singing in new ways.
I invite you to post the ways in which you are going to re-dedicate yourself to the study of your craft this month in the comments section below. And I will be the first one to add my resolution to the comments section cause I need this as much as you do!
It’s one thing to read this email and think about what you would like to do. It’s another thing to really set your intention by putting it in writing and sharing it with likeminded people. In that way, we can all help each other to stay accountable towards our goals and our shared journey.