It’s the one instrument nearly everyone possesses, though we rarely harness its amazing potential. The human voice can communicate a huge range of emotions and ideas and with the right guidance it can be music to our ears.
Hearing a song on the radio makes us want to sing along and maybe, if the music is turned up loud enough, we’ll sound okay – at least we’ll think as much. Asked to recreate the song’s vocal parts without accompaniment, most singers would be horrified to hear the naked truth that confronts them. Step one in becoming a better singer is admitting there’s a difference between you and Freddie Mercury.
Step two can be harder, especially for someone who isn’t comfortable using this instrument in front of others. Accepting that vocal lessons with a professional – with whom you’ll share your weakness – are necessary, is critical to making progress.
Singing is one of the most difficult skills to teach outside of face-to-face interactions. Breathing, something we do without thinking, is the foundation of any successful singer – or public speaker. But it’s difficult to convey the proper breathing method, including singing from your diaphragm, without careful guidance.
How do you change your breathing method overnight? The answer is you don’t; it takes months or even years to master proper breathing, which can sometimes only be corrected by an expert. With a teacher you will also learn how to relax and keep your chest open to facilitate air flow.
During the exhaling process many people try to force out air as if it will give them more power and volume. The key, instead, is to control air pressure and breathe fluidly so you’re not pushing too much air through your vocal cords and straining or drying them.
Becoming a better singer, as with any instrument, is a gradual process. The vocal cords need to be strengthened over time with the right exercises and technique before a person should try to sing along with their heroes.
Connors Music offers vocal lessons for singers of all styles and ages. For more information visit www.connorsmusic.ca or call 905-476-3712.