Singing lessons are the best way to improve your singing, hands down. And you would think that if someone was paying their hard earned money to be trained in all the philosophies, techniques, exercises, and skills that would make them a better singer, they would do the work necessary to get great results. However, what we notice over and over again is that many students sit back and do next to nothing. Yes, they attend their lessons, but they don’t practice on a regular basis. It’s as if they believe that all they have to do is show up for their lesson and they will be magically transformed into a great singer. As if their own personal Fairy Godmother was going to wave her magic wand and produce some amazing results. Or even worse, that their voice teacher is this fairy godmother and, wand in hand will turn the student into a powerful and talented singer.
It is more than clear that if you don’t know how to do something very well, given a basic amount of talent to start with, the way to improve is to learn everything you can about how to do what you want to do. This makes perfect sense and is completely true when it comes to singing. Students seem to accept that they have a lack of knowledge and bodily control and that’s the reason they came to take lessons in the first place. So what is it that makes them not practice?
Are they too busy? We are all busy. It seems like we are all attempting to cram two or three lives into one; fitting fifty hours into a day. When you take lessons, it’s important to not just allocate the hour or half hour per week for the lesson, but to schedule a block of practice time each day while you’re studying. Are they too lazy? Well, they were motivated enough to sign up for weekly lessons, so it’s hard to imagine that laziness is the true reason. Are they afraid? Maybe we’re on to something here. But which demon is it that they’re afraid of, failure or success? I know when we’re dealing with fear, the student is in an emotional state and rational thinking kind of goes out the window. Yet if we examine the failure side of the equation, not practicing creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. If the student is beginning with a lack of knowledge, technique, and control, and as a result seeks out voice lessons and finds a highly qualified and gifted voice teacher, then to fail to practice insures that they don’t internalize the expertise and are destined to fail. Who would logically follow that path? Read the rest of this entry »