Friday, April 27, 2012

I’m taking voice lessons!

So, the backstory because I know you’re just dying to know: My aunt was classically trained in opera, and my father has a nice bass voice although I only occasionally heard him sing when I was growing up. I’ve always loved singing and I sang in an a cappella group in college, although I know that I’m nowhere near good enough for American Idol or Broadway.

Right now, I lead worship music for church 1-2 Sundays a month, and I lead worship for youth group meetings at church 2-4 times a month. Singing worship songs is not the same as opera or Broadway musicals, and I’ve lost some of my upper range, so I decided to take voice lessons. I wanted to not only regain some of my range, but also I wanted to sing better for my own enjoyment and for my worship leading.

I’m really fortunate because one of the staff leaders for youth group just graduated college and she majored in music, and she hooked me up with a friend of hers who’s a music major at one of our local universities who also teaches voice lessons. I had my first lesson yesterday and it was so fun!

It was a little weird, too, because she taught me things about breathing and about technique that I had never heard of before, so it felt strange to be doing them. It was kind of like learning a new sport.

But it was fun and I now have a new song to learn. I also discovered that I am a soprano, whereas I had thought I was mezzo-soprano for a long time. I don’t quite have the extended range of the top professional sopranos, but I can hit that high C without straining.

Do any of you sing? Any tips or advice for me?


  1. Breathing is they key to any type of musical performance, even with piano and percussion instruments. It helps to keep you focused on what you have to do. For singing correct breathing is extremely important. Also, open your mouth as big as you can while you sing. That way your enunciation stays clear and it is easier to put emotion into your singing. It is so easy to keep your mouth only as wide as when you talk, but that is not enough for singing.

    What helped me the most when I was learning to sing was to watch people like Celine Dion and Whitney Houston's performance videos. Both of them open their mouths wide and have their breathing down to a tee. Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Simpson, and Amy Grant are others who are great to watch to learn better technique. Julie Andrews is also great to watch.

  2. Thanks so much, Gwynne! That helps a lot!

  3. I grew up singing in a church choir. At age 50 I auditioned for the Austin Lyric Opera Chorus and sang in 45 productions over the next 15 years. All during the time we were encouraged to have a voice coach so I did. It changed me from an amateur to a professional (we were paid for each opera). I've retired from the three-times a week rehearsals to have more time to write, but I still enjoy singing in a community choir. Do it.

  4. Wow thanks Sidney, that's really neat!