"Singing is proven to enhance one's physical and mental wellbeing as well as being a social activity that can involve all members of the community. Singing develops skills and talents, unlocks hidden potential and builds confidence; it helps to relieve stress and brings valuable new experiences for all involved. But most of all, it's great fun!"
- quote from BBC
There are lots of sites online where you can get help with your singing. Tips from an American vocal coach, some helpful websites, and links to inspirational videos on You Tube of a young singer with a very mature voice can be found below:
8 Ways to Sing Better Now -
1. Open your mouth when you’re singing! Singers who keep their mouths mostly closed are likely tense in the tongue and are far from achieving maximum quality of tone. I like the two finger rule. If you can fit two fingers between your teeth while singing (esp on open vowels like “ah” and “oh”), then you’re good. If not, open your mouth more.
2. Relax the tongue. After years of giving voice lessons, I’m convinced that 65% – 85% of all vocal problems involve tension in the tongue. Worst part is most people aren’t even aware of it. Look in a mirror while singing. If the tip of your tongue isn’t dominantly resting on your bottom front teeth then you’ve got problems. Relaxing the tongue more forward in the mouth will help.
3. Don’t take in too much air. If you breathe in too much air, then you create pressure under the folds that can easily hinder your ability to sing freely. It can prevent you from singing high notes and it almost always causes tension in your neck. To fix it, become aware of just how little is involved in regular breathing and try to mimic that sensation when singing.
4. Keep the larynx steady. If you don’t know what the larynx is, it’s where your adam’s apple is (or where it would be, ladies). If this area of your neck is raising or lowering while singing, then you’re throwing off your whole vocal mechanism leading to many different complications. Rest your hand on your larynx while singing and make sure it stays steady.
5. Open and relax the back of the mouth. This is equally as important as allowing the front of the mouth to be open, if not more. If the back of the mouth is closed off, then the quality of the sound is shot (and I guarantee you’re tense). To get a feel for it, hold the “ng” sound of hung and feel how closed that is. Now say “ah” like you’re in a doctor’s office… that’s more open. Leaving the back of the mouth open like the “ah” sound can help create a beautiful resonance in the voice.
6. Sing with ENERGY. I can’t express this enough. Singing is a very physical activity. You must be energised and excited about what you’re doing or else it lacks passion (and it’s flat!). Singing with energy helps you hit higher notes and helps keep the sound out of the throat. Allow yourself to get excited before singing… do some jumping jacks or walk around a bit before getting started and realise just how much it helps.
7. Believe what you’re singing. I once read a quote that has stuck with me for years. It was something along the lines of, “that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” Music is a form of expression. It’s alive and has a great ability to influence listeners. But that’s only true when you believe what you’re singing. Try to connect to the song through some personal life experience and see how alive the music you’re singing becomes.
8. Get out of your own way. Singing should feel like speaking. There should be no pressing, tension, straining, reaching, or grabbing when vocally active. These sensations usually happen when we try to force the sound out of us. If you’re not able to sing something, try to bring it back to speech first. You’d be surprised how easy that high “C” can be when you speak it.
It’s important to mention that focusing on all of these tips at once isn’t going to be overly effective because our brains can only process so much at a time. Therefore, I suggest practising one of these tips for a few days, then move on to another. What we do when we sing is largely based on habit, so be sure to practise consistently.
Downloaded from Ken Taylor’s Singing Tips blog: http://singingtipsblog.com/8-ways-to-sing-better-now-by-ken-taylor-%e2%80%93-singing-tips-blog/
Warm-up exercises, tips to improve your singing, breathing, pitch and other issues
The videojug site has several short video tutorials on a number of topics to help you to practice and improve your singing - e.g.:
There are ideas to activate your vocal chords on these printable sheets:
A webpage with advice on breathing exercises for singers and with lots of useful links:
Singing flat is a common problem, particularly affecting soprano and tenor parts. Two key areas which singers can work on to help to improve pitch are posture and good breath control. A web page which may be helpful with this issue is:
Warm up handouts from the NZCF choral workshop in Rotorua in September 2012:
Jackie Evancho singing The Lord's Prayer and To Believe
Here are a couple of great examples of vocal technique – it would be great to have this young lass in our choir!
You can read more about her on her website: http://www.jackieevancho.com/us/home