5 terrific tips for 2017

From the movie “Sing”

 

 

 

 

 

Hi there!  Only a couple more days to 2017.

Eeeek! I cannot believe how fast this last month has flown and we are almost at the beginning of a new year.

I hope you have all had an absolutely fabulous 2016 and are excited about 2017. I have been doing a lot of thinking recently and am trying to get planned for next year.  I am notorious for just floating along and when I have a great idea I just do it. However this can be a very dangerous way to live as there is always a great rush to get it done, I’m not planned and I often don’t do things as well as I would like. Being prepared and organized helps things to flow better and a lot more can be achieved.

So my first terrific tip is:

1. Plan ahead.

Start thinking ahead now. What would you like to achieve vocally in 2017?  Analyze what it is (make sure you are specific) that you would like to improve/achieve next year.  Write it down, plan it out.  Do you need to work on your breathing?  Would you like to extend your vocal range? By how much? When? What will you need to do to fulfill your dream?

2. Organize a practice time you can stick to every day.

Part of the reason we don’t have the success we would like is that we fail to practice.  There is no getting around this, if you want to succeed you have to put in the work.  Work out a time that you able to set aside each day to work on your skills. Then stick to it.

For some more tips and ideas on better singing practice, click on the link below.

click here for tips on singing practice

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Have singing lessons.

This is important thing to do.  There are many articles and videos on line about how to sing better, but none of these offer something very important. That is feedback. It is vital to have a mentor that can work with you to analyze and then work with you to improve your singing voice.  I know when working with students that I am constantly asking questions and guiding them to hear what a good voice should sound like, tweaking and adjusting constantly. If you don’t have any feedback, how do you know if what you are doing is correct? To have lessons one on one with Mary at Singing Strong  click here to register.

 

4. Listen to lots of music

Make sure you are always listening to good music.  Think about the artists you like and listen to them.  LOTS! There are plenty of ways to listen to music.  You tube, Pandora and spotify are just a couple of examples of places you can listen to your favourite music.  Take some time to analyze what your artists are doing that makes them a good singer.

This is my favourite song at the moment and a song I definitely want to learn.

Think about what styles of music you like and then:

5. Choose repertoire

Decide the songs you would like to learn in 2017.  Think carefully about the style of music and level of difficulty.  Aim to find at least 5 songs you could work on. Plan out the year as to which month each song will be learned by.  Remember it takes time for the body to get used to how you sing a song.  I always say allow 6 months for a song to feel right.

 

Do these 5 things and you are well on your way to singing success in 2017.

 

Want to get 2017 off to a great start?

Singing Strong is offering a Summer Singing Intensive from Monday 9th January to Friday 13th January 2017.

Five days one on one with Mary for an hour each day.  You can do this with Mary in her Traralgon Studio or on line.

There are only a few places left.

Mary Mirtschin

Work on vocal technique, performance skills as well as learn a song in 5 days!

To book click here.

 

 

SINGING PRACTICE

5 Things you can do to improve your singing practice.

You can listen to this blog post here:

5-tips-for-better-singing-practice

As singers, we all want to be able to practice regularly to improve our skills. But sometimes we are not sure about what we need to make our practice sessions worthwhile.  Below you will find 5 tips to help you make the most of your practice time and achieve success.

Tip Number 1:

Make sure you have all the materials you need to practice.

  • Use sheet music when practicing, not just lyrics. We are musicians and should be able to read music.  The sheet music also gives important  clues about things like tempo and dynamics.

 

  • Invest in a music stand. It is important you have something to put your music on that you can stand at. You can get collapsible stands that fold away neatly.  I have a manhasset music stand which is more expensive, but is really easy to use and very solid. You can click on the pictures if you want to order them online.

    stand-foldupmanhasset-stand

 

                              fold away stand                                               Manhasset stand

 

  • Make sure any device that you use for playing backing tracks is loud enough to sing along with.  You might need to invest in some speakers if you are using an ipad or phone.  Don’t practice using headphones. This is a bad habit to get into as you can’t hear yourself properly.

 

headphones  Headphones are great for listening to music but not so good for practice.

Tip number 2:

Have a designated place to practice.

  • Have a special, clean, private ready to start in space.  Having a space always ready for singing makes it much easier to get started. If you are always having to pull things out to get started, or have to practice in a space where other people are, you are less likely to get going.

    practice-room

Tip number 3:

Be clear about what you need to practice.

  • Always have a plan about what you want to work on during the week between lessons.  Make sure you have discussed with your teacher what will be required and then have some way to record what you have done. This way you can account for your practice sessions.

Tip Number 4:

Make it part of your routine. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

  • Singing practice should be a part of your every day routine.  Just like brushing your teeth or having a shower, we need to find time each day to practice our singing. If you start this from the beginning it is easy to reinforce. For young students, parents really need to be present in the beginning to encourage this routine.  Make a time and stick to it, whether it be in the morning or afternoon. If no time is dedicated to practice, it simply will not happen.

    practice-poster

Tip Number 5:

Warm up, then chunk it.

  • Make sure you warm up well. Have a warm up routine that you can do in about 5 minutes.   Here is a link to a website with some great ideas on warming up. Click here.

  • Don’t try to do it all at once, break it up.  Hopefully your teacher has highlighted what needs to be worked on.  Focus on those small sections and get them correct, then put it all together.

  • A couple of 10 minute sessions each day is much better than trying to do an hour at a time. Committing to 20 – 30 minutes each day is quite achievable – this equates to at least 3 hours practice a week.

Use these five tips you are guaranteed to have success with your singing.  Remember singing is a skill and can be developed like any instrument.  Your success depends on your practice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a-limited-number-of-places-are-available-for-term-4

Want to have singing lessons? To get started in your musical journey with Mary and Singing Strong please click here and fill in your details.

Mary will get in contact with you to assist you with your inquiry.

Mary Mirtschin

Mary Mirtschin

Break a leg!

A quick message to wish all those who are participating in the Sale Eisteddfod this Saturday.  They have all worked very hard, preparing their repertoire and are sounding fantastic.

The main thing I would remind you all is to BREATHE!

 

Also this weekend is the last performances of The Little Mermaid by the Latrobe Theatre Company.

This is a lovely performance and would highly recommend attending if you are able.

To book tickets click here.

 

The Latrobe Chorale is also performing this weekend:

Saturday 21st May 2pm Presbyterian Church, Morwell.

Sunday 22nd May 2pm, St Michaels Church, Traralgon.

I will be conducting the program:  Rutter’s Gloria and Faure’s Requiem.

Here is a taste:

 

 

How to get back into a practice routine

boy singingIt’s the beginning of 2016 and you haven’t practiced any singing since before Christmas.  Does that sound like you? I am a little bit guilty of this too.  The Christmas season was so busy for me I hardly had any time for anything else. It was a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends and I did sing heaps of Christmas carols, but most things like practice got put aside.  Now with the new year we find ourselves back into more of a routine, but finding the motivation to get back into practice can be a bit challenging.
You might want to start by sitting down and writing out a couple of goals for your singing this next couple of months.  My goal at the moment is to come up with a list of ten songs I would like to start learning as I need to build up my repertoire for performance and auditions.
However, it is important that I don’t start singing all these 10 songs straight away. Over this week all I am trying to do is get my voice back in shape.  I need to do my vocal “push ups”. Just like the rest of our body, if we don’t exercise consistently, things get out of shape.  My vocal chords and the surrounding muscles need to get a good work out.
I need to do this slowly, a bit to start with and then lengthen my sessions later on in the week.
So to start I will just do some light warm ups.  Sirens, bubbling lips, humming etc.. through my vocal range. Then some exercises to extend my vocal range and work on my resonance and then get into learning songs.
Starting with 15 –  20 minutes and then gradually increase this time over the week.
Just like the rest of your body,  if you go out and exercise full on straight away, you will most likely be very sore the next day or may even do some damage.  Your voice is the same.  Go slowly and gradually build up your strength and stamina.
Here are a couple of exercises to get you started:

Breathing:

 

5 note scale on ah:

 

practice makes perfect