Saturday, 26 June 2021

Benefits of Singing Lessons for Adults

Welcome to a new mini-series of blog posts delving into the benefits of singing. Today's post looks at the Benefits of Singing Lessons for Adults. Look out for the Benefits of Singing Lessons for Children and the Benefits of Singing in a Choir.

It is well documented that singing is beneficial for our mental health and general well-being. Endorphins are released when we sing which should, in theory, make us happy. So let's go through a few simple reasons to take up singing lessons as an adult. 


1) SINGING IS GOOD FOR US


Singing releases endorphins. Endorphins are a chemical created in the brain that give us that warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Apparently there is a tiny organ in the ear called the sacculus which is activated by the frequencies created when we sing, it doesn't matter if you sing well or badly this little organ will still make you feel fabulous! 

Why go for singing lessons though? Surely if singing just makes us feel better we can do that at home or in the car or in the shower. 


2) SINGING SHOULD BE SHARED 

Of course you can sing on your own with nobody listening (or judging) but it can be so thrilling to sing in front of people. It can feel good to feel a bit of adrenaline coursing through your veins and singing in front of a singing teacher can give you this feeling. It's scary but the deep sense of achievement you will feel afterwards makes it all worthwhile.  


3) BANISH YOUR DEMONS 

Many people want to sing but many have traumatic memories of singing as child. Specifically being told they can't sing. I have heard stories of people being told to mime the words or being asked to leave the school choir because they were "ruining it for everyone else". Don't let this stop you now. Explain your concerns to any potential teacher and they will help you get over any hurdles. Singing teachers are not here to judge you or laugh at you. They want you to enjoy your singing. Singing teachers were put on this earth to make you feel better!


4) TRY SOMETHING NEW 

Perhaps you have never sung before and want to do something out of your comfort zone. Perhaps having a singing lesson is on your bucket list. Bite the bullet and do it. Even if you decide it's not for you at least you can say you gave it a go! One thing I would say is, unless you absolutely hate the experience, you should try going for two or three lessons before you decide to throw in the towel .


5) IMPROVE YOUR PITCH

You may know you sing out of tune and you might feel like you will never be able to sing in tune. In the majority of cases this is not the case. A voice is like any other part of us, we have to train it to do something. You have to learn to knit, sew, cook, play tennis etc and singing is not really different. Most of us can sing in some way shape or form but a singing teacher and singing lessons will help you hone your skill and improve your ear so you can start to correct your pitch problems. 

AND FINALLY....


6) LEARN TO LOVE YOUR VOICE 

Your singing teacher can't turn you into Beyonce or Pavarotti but they can help you make the most of the voice you have been given. Have you ever heard yourself speaking on a recording? Most of us hate the sound of our own voice but we can learn to love it. Most of us have a body part we hate but many of us also have something about ourselves that we love. Why not try to make your singing voice the thing you love about yourself!




Monday, 8 February 2021

Snow, singing and 60 Seconds

Well hello, and happy belated new year. To say we are locked down in the UK, and have been for a month now, I am crazy busy right now. Having been online for nearly a year teaching it’s been an interesting and thought-provoking time as well as providing me, and every other teacher in the world, with an extremely large learning curve. 

I am writing this on a cold and snowy Sunday afternoon whilst watching an audition workshop on Zoom (I find it impossible to do one thing at a time anymore, I am constantly multi-tasking). It appears to have stopped snowing outside now and, because I’ve just had a horrendous electricity bill come in, I’ve turned down my thermostat and am wearing two jumpers along with an old woman blanket over my knees whilst I compose this post. 

So, what have I got to tell you? A few things actually. I started 2021 with a few manageable resolutions and, so far, I am sticking to them. Well, most of them. The two big ones I really want to stick to are the ones that are going well, thankfully. They are 1) to read for at least 5 minutes a day and 2) to exercise (go for a walk) for 10 minutes a day. I have managed both of these and, of course, do more than the required 5 or 10 minutes at a time. I just figured, if I set myself a ridiculously easy goal I am more likely to achieve it and, so far so good (perhaps some of you, particularly the students, could apply the 5 or 10 minute idea to your singing practice!). What this has meant is that I don’t feel as drained as I had been when I sit down to teach online. Especially when, at times, I can be teaching for over 4 hours without a break. It is really quite tiring looking at a screen for such lengthy amounts of time when you aren’t used to it.

This new found energy has also meant that I look forward to teaching online. No matter what happens with this pandemic the online thing is here to stay. I will now always have students that would rather have their lessons online and that is more than OK with me. I made a decision a couple of weeks that I will probably do more online teaching than in person teaching from now on. I have also found that I want to teach more adults and young adults rather than children which is why I am raising the minimum age to 13yrs old to have lessons with me from now on (this does NOT apply to the people I already teach, your places are safe!). 

What I have found is that I like working with people preparing for further education. Auditions for drama schools and dance colleges. I particularly like working with those for who singing is not their strongest discipline and helping them gain more confidence before they face their greatest fear - singing in front of people! I have a few ideas to help more students needing help with this through group sessions as well as individual lessons. Watch this space.

The other thing I wanted to tell you about today is that I’ve started a new venture on Instagram. The 60 Second Singer will be a series of 60 Second videos of me giving you little breathing techniques and vocal exercises to try at home or on the go. Check it out here and please consider following me there. 

If you have snow, and like snow, go and enjoy it. If you don’t, get yourself an old lady blanket and a hot drink and snuggle up on the sofa. Perhaps also go and like The 60 Second Singer on Instagram! 

Oh and here’s a picture from my snowy walk this morning.