While navigating this odd Covid19 era, I can bet that you’ve watched a New Zealand artist on your screens as you are peer into one of their quirky home concerts. As Kiwis we are no stranger to this ‘number 8 wire’ mentality. So, it’s no surprise that our artists used their resources when normal concerts weren’t allowed. Going live on Instagram or Facebook definitely had a big spike during our lock downs. These live feeds were peppered with haphazard festivities, like pets jolting into the shot and family members walking past as musicians tried to sing and play.
Kiwis are fantastic at DIY and so I wonder if watching these performances inspired your own curiosity about starting singing lessons? Maybe you’ve humoured the idea of picking up the guitar to learn a new song? Or perhaps you’re accustomed to unabashedly blasting ‘Super lonely’ while navigating through traffic? Or were you one of the thousands at L.A.B.’s summer gigs? Perhaps you screamed ‘In the air’ into the ether with complete abandon, singing every note with confidence?
From New Zealand’s much-loved and celebrated Six60, to our pure heroine Lorde, New Zealand is no stranger to talent. Remember all these great singers initially came from humble beginnings. Maybe it was a first lesson on the guitar or perhaps jamming some chords together in a flat. So maybe you’re ready to unravel your singing voice and flex those vocal muscles? When you sing you can reap so many benefits. These range from physical through to psychological. Are you ready to be pulled by your creative spirit? Want to dive into the study of the voice? Let’s see what taking up singing can do for you!
What benefits can I gain from learning how to sing?
Don’t worry, feel the relaxation and stress less!
Would you believe spending time singing will lower your cortisol levels? That’s science-speak for reducing your stress load in the body.
Cortisol levels are in charge of monitoring our stress throughout our bodies. In other words, if we keep them low, we can feel less stressed and more relaxed. Whether it’s meeting intense deadlines at work, or studying vigorously for that next exam, we all negotiate different levels of stress each day. If you want to curb that cortisol then rest assured, just by opening your mouth and singing, your body will keep that stress at bay. At the start, this isn’t even skill minded; you can be a beginner at singing and still gain it’s relaxation benefits. Turn up that radio and launch into that chorus!
Protect your mental health!
Like you would work those muscles at the gym, when you sing, your body releases feel-good endorphins. This makes you feel amazing. You don’t even need to be exceptional at singing, your body registers the vocal relief anyway. So, open your mouth and croon away; your mental health will thank you for it! As well as easing mental health conditions, singing can also reduce muscle tension. It’s time to sit back and launch into song as you reap benefits of mental stamina.
See the big picture, keep connected
When you opt for having a singing teacher you’ll instantly be plugged into their world of music and linked up with others like you. Music has the power to give you a sense of belonging by being a part of the wider community. There was a study done in a group of people. The findings revealed that the reward centre of each patient’s brain lit up when singing certain songs. This showed that singing and taking on someone’s perspective can connect you to others, making you feel more united. Lyrics tell us someone’s story that we can embody and in the process this can make us more empathetic.
What will taking up singing lessons look like for you?
Like anything, when you start something new it’s important to remember that learning how to sing is a journey. The voice is just as much an instrument as the guitar or saxophone. We all have an in-built voice already, however we still need just as much training as a physical instrument.
When you get a few lessons in, you’ll learn there are different aspects of your voice that represent a unique tone and range. For starters, there’s the bread-and-butter of singing known as the ‘chest voice’. This is a technique called ‘belting’ where a commanding loud and strong voice is bellowed from your stomach. By contrast, your ‘head voice’ is the softer, breathier voice that sounds wispy in its tone. When you learn to navigate these two parts, you will begin to unlock your ‘mix voice’. This combines the strengths from both head and chest voices to create a unique tone. It’s important to remember that no two voices are alike, so finding these voice aspects is a process of discovery. Think of it like being explorer and finding out more on your journey to singing success.
Navigating your voice with your singing teacher should be a rewarding, fun experience.
These are some tricks of the trade
- Inhale. Exhale. Feel lighter now? We all know that life can get a bit heavy sometimes. Every now and then we need to remind ourselves to exhale and let our shoulders drop. The more control you have of your breath, the more present you will be in your body. Your singing teacher will help you with breath management. They will transform your level of control so that you feel more at ease with those longer notes. Your breath technique is one of the most important aspects of singing. Soon with a focus on honing your muscles, you’ll notice other areas of your voice improve as well.
- Feel amazing: Singing is about confidence as much as skill. At every level of singing, your vocal teacher should be your biggest cheerleader. Of course, learning to sing takes some time. Your teacher should help you nurture your voice and help you be in charge of your voice potential.
- Stand up straight! : Your voice needs to be fully supported! And how do we do that? Make sure you keep you posture straight so you can get good breath support. Get that air flowing in a natural and strong manner by opting for a ruler-like back. If you curl up and flop with your posture then your flow and intonation suffers as a result. We don’t want your words to trail off: every word is sacred and needs to be heard. So stand tall with purpose and show what you’ve got.
Let’s help you find a singing teacher
If you want to take your voice to the next level, dive into ‘Booth Voice Studio’. Julia is a voice lecturer at WINTEC and is also Estill Voice certified. Estill Voice is a type of vocal training which identifies how to control separate parts of your voice in isolation. Julia has taught everywhere from Canada, USA, UK, and now in Australasia. If you’re unsure on what style to tackle first, Julia can guide you through everything, from pop and contemporary, right through to classical and musical theatre. Julia’s classes are based in Rototuna, Hamilton. The classes last for 45 minutes to an hour.
If you’re wanting to brave that next karaoke performance or level up your abilities, then ‘Stages’ might be the right fit for you. You will be guided through your vocal warmups, getting that posture pristine and much more. There’s a range of tutors who can help you get to the next level of your singing life. Lessons are based in Claudelands, Hamilton. To begin to untap your voice and its unique style, have a look at their website and see if it’s a right fit for you.
Then there is Duncan Bouwer who is based in Hillcrest, Hamilton. Well versed in a range of styles that include pop, rock, R&B and even musical theatre, Duncan could be the tutor for you. You will learn to master all the fundamentals of singing, including diaphragm support, voice placing, breathing, and musicality. He includes in the lessons elements of music theory, which will open your mind to the mechanics of how music is made.
Take Singing Lessons with Superprof
On the other hand, to beat those traffic blues, you can opt for an online lesson!
I know you’ve found yourself cursing the skies as you slump deeper into your car seat. There’s nothing worse than commuting when the cars are dragging at the speed of a sloth. Don’t fret; remedy your wait time by going online. Superprof is a tutoring website where you can see a big list of tutors who are all equipped to teach your first vocal lesson.
Your first lesson is on the house so you can trial the tutor to see if they’re a good fit for your musical journey. It’s in your interest to do an online lesson as you can be exposed to a bigger pool of tutors. Superprof makes it easier for you to streamline and select the best tutor for you.
So, now that you know all the benefits of singing, you are ready to dive into finding the best tutor for you. Get ready to launch into song and start your singing exploration today. Who knows, you might even be the person on a livefeed singing on the couch to all your followers.
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