Humans have been singing since the early days of civilization. For many people, singing gives them a way to express their pent-up emotions and to express what they are thinking and feeling. Instead of talking through their problems when they are going through a hard time, they turn to singing to release negative emotions.
For others, singing simply represents a form of entertainment. And whether you think you already have a decent voice or not, you can always benefit from a singing lesson or two! If you are looking to become more than just the casual singer, the good news is that you are never too old to sing professionally! Just look at Susan Boyle! All it takes is a little hard work and dedication, as well as the help of a good teacher with years of experience in the industry.
In this guide we will give you singing tips such as how to have better control of your voice with less strain, how to have more power and projection, and other singing fundamentals. And of course, we will help you with finding a singing tutor to meet your needs in the city of Philadelphia!
The Makings of a Great Singer
Despite what you might have been told, singing isn't easy. A great performer might make it look easy but it's important to remember the number of years of hard work and practice it took for a performer to make it to the stage on a professional level. To sing like the greats, you will need to focus on many areas.
Some important areas are your pitch - this is what most beginner singers work on in the first few years of their learning. Having a good pitch means you are always singing in tune, and ideally you'll have to practice with an instrument like the piano or the guitar to make sure you do not go off tune. How you sound when taped is also important, so be sure to record yourself singing once in a while so you can pinpoint any mistakes and make improvements over time.
One other area you will want to work on is your vocal range. Great singers all have a specific range of notes that they can hit, so often times they may be given songs written specifically for them so the notes are all within their own vocal range. Knowing your own vocal range helps you choose or adapt songs better, as you will need to make sure you can hit all the notes of a song before starting to learn it.
Where To Learn Singing in Philadelphia
So if you live. in Philadelphia, where can you take music lessons to learn the theory and the techniques behind making great sounds with your vocal chords? Like with choosing a university or a school, you'll have to put in some work before you can find a place that will meet your needs. You'll want to make sure the lessons meet your budget as well as the distance and other criteria that you may set. Ideally, music schools or private teachers should offer a trial lesson or two so you can test things out before you commit to paying to enrol.
If you don't have any contacts in the music industry, nor do you personally know any music students taking voice lessons to work on their performances, consider going to your local music shop where you might make these connections. Online forums can also help with this as you can join local Facebook groups to find music learners and performers near you in Philadelphia. Once you find these connections, it becomes a lot easier to make more connections and ask for a review on a music school or for teacher recommendations.
One more way you can learn how to sing in Philadelphia is to take online music lessons. Online music classes are a great way to save money on tuition as well as the time spent commuting to and from the music studio. When selecting a good place to enrol in online music school, be sure to check the reviews first. If there are no reviews, consider posting in online forums to ask if anyone has taken a class or two there.
Voice Studios Near You in Philadelphia
Finding a voice teacher isn't complicated when you already have contacts in the music industry in Philadelphia. If you already have these contacts, then great! Simply ask these contacts for recommendations for a voice teacher or a private school, college or a program that are taking in new voice students. Some government sponsored programs or non-profit programs might have a waiting list, so it's a good idea to get onto the waiting list as soon as possible. Below are some voice studios near you where you can practice your art.
Judy Voice Studio
This studio is the home of Judith Malis, a seasoned performer who has performed leading and supporting operatic roles at theaters all across the United States, Europe and Israel. Her very own voice training began at the age of 14 and her passion for singing took her all the way to obtain a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Temple University College of Music, then a Master of Music in Vocal Performance at the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, and finally a Doctoral studies in Vocal Pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.
Judith herself is presently on the faculty of the Bryn Mawr Conservatory and has held prior faculty positions at The Peabody Institute (voice minor), The Settlement School of Music, and Cedar Crest College. When you learn from her studio, you can take lessons on classical singing as well as knowledge on musical theory. Students of all levels are welcome here and will benefit from the studio's relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.
Vocal Studio of Erin Alcorn
This is the private studio of Erin Alcorn who works as a voice teacher as well as a professional opera singer in the Philadelphia area. She teaches singing students of all ages and levels and so far has over ten years of experience as a voice educator. When you become a student at her studio, you will receive one-to-one weekly voice instruction. For her teaching experience, Erin has served as a voice teacher and mentor for ArtSmart, a nonprofit that provides voice lessons to needy students, and she has taught for Meridee Winters School of Music in Ardmore for three years.
Kara Koser Vocal Studio
Kara Koser has over 20 years of singing experience. As a graduate of Temple University in the year 2012, where she was the National Anthem vocalist for collegiate Basketball, Volleyball, and Field Hockey, Kara Koser currently belongs to the band ReddPanda. When you learn from Kara Koser, she will pass on her passion for singing to you. You can take tailored lessons based on learning type, experience, goals, and comfort. If you would like to learn from the comfort of your own home, it's also possible as Kara takes in-home sessions. First time vocalists signing up at Kara Koser studio will receive 50% off of their first service.
Basic Singing Techniques to Practice
Once you find a great music school or a suitable music teacher to give you voice lessons, it's time to get down to work! Like with any skill there are a set of fundamental techniques that everyone needs to master before moving on to the next level. With singing, beginner students often find themselves spending their initial years trying to master these techniques before they can perform live or add their own takes to their sound.
The two most basic techniques to master that are also quite simple to learn are to have the correct posture and breathing techniques while you sing. For your posture, make sure you don't slouch down. Your back should be straight and you should not tilt forward, backwards, to the left, or right. Instead, you want to only tilt your chin down a bit to give you more control over your sound.
As for breathing, just remember to do so via your diaphragm muscles instead of your chest muscles. Teachers with years of teaching experience all know how important this aspect is, so they should be monitoring you during your classes. When done properly, singing with your diaphragm should feel like doing a sit-up, and a vocal student should practice enough times so that this is second nature as soon as they start to hit that first note of a song.
Staying Motivated in Your Singing Journey
Like many students, taking music lessons and being a voice student is no different when it comes to days when you simply do not feel motivated to practice or learn. Luckily, there are many tips for when this happens, and the important thing is to not feel discouraged when you feel this way or to give up on your singing completely.
A good tip when you are having a bad singing day is to remember your end goal. Earlier on, before you signed up and made the commitment to go on this musical journey, what was it that you wanted to accomplish? If you remember this end goal and always keep it within sight - you can write it down and pin it up on your wall or fridge - you can look up to it when you are loosing your motivation.
Another way to help yourself stay on track with your singing progress is to switch things up a bit. Do you play any other instruments like the piano or the guitar? Instead of using your voice, consider practising these instrument instead, maybe either instrument will spark your desire to sing again. You can also switch things up by changing music genres. If you've always sung classical pieces, try going for a rock piece or a blues piece for a change, you may just find that you'll enjoy the change!