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The Singing Teacher answers your FAQ ...

What is the best age to start singing lesson? Every child is unique, and it is best to start singing lessons when a child is able to focus on a subject for an extended period of time. This usually occurs at around age 7 although I have seen some 6 year olds that are ready for lessons. Also, they need to be very passionate about singing in order to benefit from them.

How can I sing more powerfully, reach that high note, and sing with more confidence? An experienced teacher can quickly diagnose which muscles need strengthening and what tensions in the body are holding your voice back from complete vocal freedom. A good singing teacher also can diagnose what fears, negative self-talk, etc. is holding back your inner feeling of confidence.

How many hours a day should I practice singing? Depending on your needs, age, ability, and circumstances, practice times vary for everyone. It's not a one size fits all. But for most people, 15-30 minutes daily is a good place to start.

How do beginners learn to sing? If you're a beginner, here are some things you can do: - Listen to recordings of amazing singers as you fall asleep each night. - Take lessons with a someone who knows what they are doing to guide you in the right direction. - Practice vocal exercises correctly with professional guidance because practicing wrong is a trap that some people can fall into. - Join musicals or vocal groups in your community. - Sing for fun with friends that are supportive!

Is singing a skill or a talent? Some people are blessed with a talent at a young age, but that doesn't insure that they will be a fabulous singer in the long run. Singing is a learned skill. I have seen talented people lose their have vocal issues when under stress. And I have seen people who may not have had a talent initially, soar to great heights with their singing in the long run with proper training. Great training, work ethic, perseverance and determination seems to win out in the long run. That is what I have seen time and time again.

Can a bad singer be taught to sing? Growing up in an environment surrounded by good singers is definitely an advantage. However, if your parent was not the best singer, it may be likely you picked up some incorrect vocal tuning issues, etc. However, I have found that singers that have a tremendous passion for singing and learning can improve tremendously with the right instruction!

What is the most common female voice type? The Mezzo Soprano voice type is the most sought after and most common female voice type. It is the voice type that many celebrities have.

Do people who sing live longer? A joint Yale and Harvard study showed that singing promoted healthy minds and hearts. This, in turn, boosts longevity. In fact, studies have shown that singing can help lower blood pressure, improve brain health to reduce the risk of dementia and can help with symptoms of depression.

How long does it take to learn to sing well? Everyone is different and unique so this question cannot be answered with a one-size-fits-all answer. That being said, it can take about two months to increase the power in someone's voice and begin to sustain some healthy breath control habits. To learn more parts of the "vocal muscle coordination", it may take at least a year or two. To sing like a professional, it could take three years or more (depending on how great the singer wants to sound). Getting rid of stage fright and fears can take a year or more depending on the severity of the fears.

Why does my voice sound beautiful when I sing, but when recorded it sounds horrible? When you are singing you hear yourself through your inner ear and there is resonance caused by the echoing in the cavities in the head and skull area. Your voice will also sound deeper to yourself than the audience perceives it. Often the singer will not like their own sound even though the audience will love their sound. And vice versa: if the singer loves their own sound, often the audience may not like the sound. This is common and that is why a singing teacher needs to give the singer diagnostic feedback so the singer knows what the audience is hearing.

Can someone with no talent learn to sing? You can do it! Anyone who has a passion for singing and has healthy vocal cords can learn to sing. The desire to sing and their practice ethic is key! Even people who are considered to be "tone-deaf" can learn if they have enough desire to learn.

How do I know if I can sing in tune? To know if you can sing in tune, you will need to take a "tone-deaf test" which a singing teacher can give to you. It is quick and easy.

Is a deep voice on a girl attractive? In a recent dating study from the University of Sussex, they found that men find a lower tone more attractive in female voices.

Can adults learn to sing? Absolutely! Singing is such a cathartic release of emotional expression for everyone – no matter your age, whether you want to be a professional or simply improve your shower singing! It can help with your confidence, mood, musicality and even your mental health by warding off dementia and depression!

Can I teach myself to sing? Everyone can learn how to improve their singing if they have a passion for singing. There are some well-known singers who are self-taught, but that doesn't mean they can't benefit from learning proper breathing technique, letting go of vocal tensions, etc. No one knows it all and we can all learn and improve. It can save you a lot of time too when a singing teacher can diagnose the vocal issue(s) quickly.

Do singers like their own voice? Singer often don't like the sound of their own voice. This feeling of dissatisfaction with their own singing and/or speaking voice is referred to as “voice shame,” and it can be challenging for a singer's self esteem.

What do singers drink before singing? The best drink for a singer is room-temperature water or warm water. Avoid caffeine or dairy. Other options to use are herbal teas and juices (apple juice is best; avoid orange juice, it causes to much phlegm) for extra energy when needed. You can add honey, lemon and ginger to your teas, but I would recommend to avoid using too much lemon as it can upset your stomach.

How to Sing Better? Sing with healthy, natural upright posture. Understand the complete workings of the diaphragm by learning "breath control" properly. Learn the 'letter names' of the notes so that someday when you are singing with a band you can earn the respect of your fellow musicians. Solfege doesn't quite cut it in the modern world. Musicians never use it and you can't write your band charts with it either. It's just not practical or used nowadays except in choirs. Warm up your voice with a short but effective exercise. Warming up for too long can tire your voice out before a big performance. Save your energy for the performance. Use "speechlike" natural singing and belting by having learned how to "let go" of the voice instead of 'pushing' the voice. Pushing the voice can hurt and cause damage in the long run. Although pushing or forcing out the voice can sound good, it can cause vocal strain and vocal damage in the long run. Take singing lessons from a qualified singing teacher because singers cannot accurately hear and diagnose their own voices.

How do singers know when to start singing? It's a good idea to know the "downbeats". For example, in 4/4 timing we emphasize the first beat of each bar usually with our voice and often we add some emphasized body movements to "get in the groove" so to speak. This usually gives the singer a good idea how long to wait before singing the upcoming phrase.

What is the secret of a good voice? A good vocal tone doesn't happen by just singing loud. A good vocal tone happens when the entire body supports the vocal tone and the singer understands how to use the diaphragm to support all tones. It's important to know where your "sweet spot" is where the tone effortlessly releases. 'Pushing' out the voice can create future hoarseness. Releasing too much air can create a weak, thin “breathy” tone. And releasing too little air can create an unattractive “nasal” tone.

Why did Whitney Houston's voice deteriorate? In 1994, Whitney developed painful vocal nodules which lead to permanent vocal damage. The situation can often be healed organically if the singer is willing to put in the effort. This, unfortunately, was not the case with Whitney. Whitney's voice became more and more raspy/hoarse. Her vocal problems were most likely exacerbated by her drug and alcohol abuse as well.

At what age do singers peak? Generally, the voice is at its prime once the singer has experienced more of life's little "ups and downs". This gives the voice extra personality, presence, warmth and sincerity. A singer is generally at their prime ages 35 - 55 years.

What do singers gargle with before they sing? You can gargle with warm salt water for 30 seconds before singing. Another option is to take a tsp of coconut oil, or MCT oil, or avocado oil, or olive oil to comfort your vocal cords especially if they are feeling dry when you are singing. And it goes without saying, hydrate, hydrate and hydrate before singing. It's the best for singing the high notes especially.

How can I learn singing without spending too much money? You can save a lot of money and time in the long run when you study with someone who really knows what they are doing right from the start. Then, you don't need to waste time relearning everything properly later on. With regular vocal lessons, an experienced teacher can diagnose the issue quickly, instead of wasting your money on techniques that my or may not work. And when you learn technique properly from the beginning, you have these healthy vocal habits for life!

Why do singers keep their tongue down? For optimal sound, singers should be mindful that the tongue needs to relax when singing. Tension in the tongue can also interfere with intonation, tone as well as hinder correct positioning. A simple exercise to test for tongue tension is to move the tongue from side to side while keeping the jaw stationary.

Are you a closet singer that only sings in the shower or car? Are you frightened that you'll find out that you actually can't sing? And is singing something you've always wanted to be good at? Well, did you know that EVERYONE CAN SING! And the notion of being 'tone-deaf' doesn't exist when you have the desire to learn, coupled with a high quality singing teacher! If you are asking yourself any of the above questions, quality singing lessons can really help. And it's never too late!

Are all singing lessons the same? Not all singing lessons are created equal - because when you study with someone that truly knows what they are doing, it DOES make a difference in the sound of your voice. The teacher can diagnose issues quickly and effectively. It can save you a lot of time and money in the long run as well if learned properly from the start. Some coaches teach songs but do not diagnose vocal issues and so learning is nonexistent or minimal.

How does the "mind/body connection" help me with my singing? It amazes me how often that people are unaware of how important the mind/body connection is when singing! They can be so wrapped up in physical singing technique, that they miss the connection and magic of this balance. Often people will have a critical, negative voice inside their head, that can stop them in their tracks, tense their vocal muscles, induce fear, and frighten them before singing that 'big note'. It's difficult to sing at your best if you feel "you're not good enough" or think you "might make a fool of yourself", etc. It takes an experienced vocal instructor to go deeper using special exercises that target these fears. Each singer has a unique combination of tensions that can hold them back from vocal freedom. When that is cleared, vocal freedom results! And this ultimately makes singing more fun as a result!

What can singing lessons help me with? Singing lessons helps: - to improve your voice to become more powerful and effective in business meetings. - you become able to present more effectively in front of any audience. - heal tired/sore vocal chords and/or prevent pain and strain when singing. - with your enjoyment of singing because you get a better reaction from your audience. - you with voice acting or voice-overs. - use you use your voice more powerfully, effortlessly. - you feel more confident. - to add to your 'triple threat' ability for your resume: singing, acting, and public speaking. - to train you to become a professional singer if that's your goal.

How do you know if you're singing using your diaphragm? The basic test is to put your hands on your stomach and to see "what your diaphragm muscles are doing". If your diaphragm muscles are working your breathing will be automatic. When you breathe in, your stomache moves outward and when you sing, your stomache moves inward and up (this, in turn, pushes up against the lungs causing them to fill up with air). It's best to work this out in detail with a qualified singing teacher for best results. But this is the simplest short explanation.

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