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4 Simple (Not Easy) Steps to Master Your Voice

Image: JD Weiher

I’ve been in the vocal coaching game long enough to have seen some pretty remarkable results, but one variety in particular always stands out for me.

Time and again, I’ve seen “little” singers - shy, quiet men and women (or girls and boys) who come into my studio with (mostly) a confidence issue. Often they were told at some delicate point in their lives that they couldn’t or shouldn’t sing. They show up because they want to find their voice, find their fierceness. And they are armed only with the will to do so.

What’s remarkable about these folks is that, over time and with dedication, they do find their voice - and so much more.

I’ve had students who, after a committed term of exercising and reaching goals, are completely transformed - no longer shy & quiet, but singing effortlessly and joyfully. The experience always bowls me over.

So what is it that transforms a singing student from timid to terrific? What makes mastery possible, when it seemed so improbable?

1. Consistency

It’s not sexy, there’s no shortcut or trick to it, and it won’t surprise you, but the number one trait of my successful students is their commitment to their lessons and practices.

These are the folks who don’t miss lessons, don’t whine about the practices they hate doing (which are often the ones they need the most), and stay true to their desire to improve their voice. They put in the time, day after day, and they see the results. And I FEEL the results.

2. Vision

All of that commitment and dedication comes from the source - you. If you’re planning on it materializing out of nowhere you’re in for a rude awakening. Singing, especially at the beginning, is an incredibly vulnerable act. Sometimes it takes years to overcome issues and really come into your own. So what’s going to call you forward when you’re tired, grumpy, or feeling raw?

You have to explore yourself.

Why are you singing? Is it to share all the passion you feel bubbling up inside you? Is it to express the true, authentic you? Do you want to share a deeply meaningful song at your child’s wedding, your 10th anniversary, your own birthday celebration?

Whatever’s driving you to learn to sing, stay in touch with that motivation. It’s what will carry you through the tough times and help you maintain the consistency that's necessary to succeed.

3. Gratitude

There are ENORMOUS gains to be made in every part of your life from finding your voice. Like I said, I’ve seen student after student find themselves, improve their health, and raise their confidence because they stick with lessons and find their true, authentic singing voice.

A helpful tip on this front, though? Don’t expect it all at once, and celebrate the little victories. Every time you take a singing lesson or do a vocal exercise, you’re moving towards your goal and working on yourself. That’s something to be proud of.

4. A Hardass Vocal Coach

Don’t get me wrong - any coach should make you feel comfortable enough to open up and really let loose in the studio.

But real personal growth comes from real challenge, and a singing teacher who doesn’t push you - even gently - out of your comfort zone just isn’t worth the money.

When your commitment, vision, and gratitude fail you (because from time to time, they might), we’re the ones who bring you back, push you gently, and keep you moving towards the voice you know is living inside you.

Happy Singing!

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