Culture January 5, 2017
Are you a car-aoke expert who can’t help but harmonize along to your favorite songs in the car?
Whether you belt out Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” in the shower or rap the lyrics to “Hamilton” on the way to work, there’s a little bit of a singer in everyone.
Though you wouldn’t call yourself an expert, you can’t keep yourself from belting out tunes the way Adele does in James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke.”
ENTITY spoke to voice tutor and opera singer Summer Watson to learn how voice lessons not only makes you sound better but feel better too. Voice lessons not only train your voice to sound better but also teach lessons on music theory, keeping your voice safe, strengthening your lungs and even building confidence.
Here’s why you should definitely take singing to the next level.
READ MORE: Summer Watson: Beauty, Grace and Opera
Usually we belt out our most passionate tunes when we’re alone, away from judging ears. Instead of shrouding your singing in the dark, why not we own your voice? Voice lessons can help cultivate confidence in your singing so that you’re not just holed up in your shower hitting notes that only your cat can appreciate. Once you refine your singing ability, you’ll realize that you’re actually pretty good after all.
“The essence of a voice lesson is to enable confidence whether picking up a new hobby or wanting to improve on what you already know,” says Summer. “It’s a fantastic way to learn how to go inwards, to be able to select from your personal life experiences when performing a song freely and to get over the fear factor and learn to just enjoy the moment.”
If you’re a quiet person, voice lessons can help you project and assert your voice in conversations and public speaking opportunities. In addition, sheet music can help you learn about music theory, reading sheet music, styles of music and different scales.
Watson tells us that voice lessons can help in everyday life as well. Whether you’re making a presentation at your office or getting the attention of your students as a teacher, voice lessons can help strengthen your voice. “They can help you understand how to use your speaking voice in daily life,” Summer explains. “Vocal lessons can be geared towards your need to confidently deal with different situations, whether you’re presenting work, projecting your voice or even speaking on the telephone.”
One of the first things you’ll learn is how to protect your voice from frogging up and how to protect your vocal cords.
Watson advises that singers should have an understanding of how the body works. “When you sing, you’re using a muscle,” she explains. “So learning to sing is like learning yoga – through breath work and training this will advance your ability to perform at ease. Songs are full of vocal exercises, so when learning a song it’s best to break the song down and practice it in sections, rather than aimlessly singing the entire song for hours which can strain the voice.”
“Voice lessons teach you the exercises that keep the voice well oiled, helping you understand how to project the voice, reach the high notes and approach the low notes, obtaining different colors to the vocal delivery,” Summer says.
Want to improve your stamina, but don’t have the motivation to pull yourself outside to run a mile? You could always try voice lessons to keep your lungs from running out of oxygen. In fact, singing lessons are sometimes even prescribed by doctors for patients with chronic respiratory problems because they teach valuable lessons about breathing and adjusting your muscles.
Watson says that building your stamina as a singer is the same as building your strength on a treadmill or swimming. She explains, “When you’re learning different songs, you work on breathing exercises, expanding the breath and naturally filling your lungs to gradually increase what you’re capable of singing.”
“Singing lessons allow you to learn Alexander Technique, which is all about posture, so that the correct use of breath with good posture as a result enables you to sing naturally at your best without any strain,” Summer continues. “I find that good vocal practices release wonderful endorphins which naturally making you happy. Music therapy is often used as it is proven that certain tones, harmonies are really good for the chakras of the body enabling us to function at our best.”
READ MORE: Crash Course: Opening Your Chakras
Every woman can take advantage of voice lessons, whatever her singing experience.
Summer sums it all up, saying, ” Singing is absolutely fantastic for the soul, whether you’re professional or not. Breathing exercises allow you to get connected to your inner self and the breath, vocal exercises allow you to build the muscle and then a great selection of songs whatever the genre enable you to deliver a gift of any level for you and others to enjoy! All this is so you can learn to express yourself so you can be free to connect your life experiences to lyrics and music, whether you’re singing around the Christmas tree, with friends at karaoke or are a full blown professional. Everybody can sing.”
Learn more about voice coach Summer Watson and her techniques at www.summerwatson.org.
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