Songbooks for Young Singers

Finding appropriate music for young singers can be challenging if you don’t know where to look!  Here are some of my favorite song books that I use with my young voice students. 

**This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link on my site.  

Kids’ Musical Theatre Collection: Volumes 1 and 2  – This is a nice beginning-level book for young singers, with an assortment of kid-friendly songs from movies and Broadway musicals (ages 5 – 12).  Songs are in easily accessible keys that fit comfortably in most young voices, and the piano arrangements are simpler in this book than in some others.  Volume 1 and Volume 2 are sold separately, as well as in the complete edition.  

Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology: Children’s Edition – This is a great collection of kid-appropriate songs from Broadway musicals, for approximately ages 8 – 14. Some of the song arrangements and piano accompaniments are more challenging than in the other kids’ anthologies.  It includes a mix of songs from classic and contemporary musicals, and includes plot notes for each show.  Songs include: What If (The Addams Family), Maybe (Annie), You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile (Annie), Electricity (Billy Elliot), When I Get My Name in Lights (The Boy from Oz), I Know Things Now (Into the Woods), Getting to Know You (The King and I), I Whistle a Happy Tune (The King and I), Naughty (Matilda: The Musical), Quiet (Matilda: The Musical), Castle on a Cloud (Les Miserables), Gary Indiana (The Music Man), Where is Love (Oliver), The Girl I Mean to Be (The Secret Garden), It’s Possible (Seussical the Musical), I Know It’s Today (Shrek the Musical), Dites-Moi (from South Pacific), and more.  

Broadway Presents! Kids’ Musical Theatre Anthology – Songs include: All I Do is Dream of You (from Singin’ in the Rain ), Alone in the Universe (Seussical: The Musical), Be Kind to Your Parents (Fanny), Big Blue World (Finding Nemo: The Musical), Consider Yourself (Oliver), Different (Honk!), The Girl I Mean to Be (The Secret Garden), Good Morning (Singin’ in the Rain), Green Eggs and Ham (Seussical: The Musical), Heart (Damn Yankees), I Gotta Crow (Peter Pan), I Just Can’t Wait to Be King (The Lion King), I Want It Now (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), It’s Possible (Seussical: The Musical), Johnny One Note (Babes in Arms), Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid), Pure Imagination ( Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), Shy (Once Upon a Mattress), Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Mary Poppins), When I Get My Name in Lights (The Boy From Oz), Wouldn’t It Be Loverly (My Fair Lady) .  Available with downloadable accompaniment tracks.  

Disney Solos for Kids, Volume 1 – contains 10 classic Disney songs: Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast), Chim Chim Cher-ee (Mary Poppins), A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Cinderella), Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat (The Aristocats), God Help the Outcasts (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), It’s a Small World (Disneyland, Walt Disney World), The Lord Is Good to Me (Melody Time), Reflection (Mulan), The Second Star to the Right (Peter Pan), Winnie the Pooh (The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh).  Additional volumes are also available: More Disney Solos for Kids, and Still More Disney Solos for Kids.    

25 Folk Song Solos for Children – contains easy arrangements of kid-appropriate folk songs: All the Pretty Little Horses,  Animal Fair,  Annabel Lee, The Ash Grove, Bill Grogan’s Goat, Cradle Song, Every Night When the Sun Goes In, Father’s Whiskers, The Generous Fiddler, How Can I Keep from Singing, Hush, Little Baby, The Lark in the Morn, Little Brown Dog, The Mermaid, My White Horse, On Mondays I Never Go to Work, Poor Lonesome Cowboy, The Red River Valley, Scarborough Fair, Shenandoah, Simple Gifts, The Streets of Laredo, Sweet the Evening Air of May, Tell Me Why, The Water Is Wide.  The book comes with downloadable accompaniment tracks for students to practice with.  

36 Solos for Young Singers – traditional and folk songs with limited ranges that are well-suited to young voices (ages 6 – 12).  Featuring songs from a variety of countries and composers, including: April Fool, The Blue Bells of Scotland, Country Gardens, Cuckoo, Dandelions Gold and Green, The Desperado, MacNamara’s Band, Old King Cole, The Quest, Red River Valley, Sidewalks of New York, Sweet and Low, Toyland, and more.  The book comes with downloadable accompaniment tracks for students to practice with.  

36 More Solos for Young Singers – is a second volume of traditional and folk songs for young voices.  This is great for students who are working on developing the middle range of their voices.  

Art Songs for Children – contains 13 songs songs for young classical singers (ages 5-12), including: Come to the Fair, Cradle Song, Simple Gifts, A Twilight Fancy, The Water Is Wide, and more.  

Daffodils, Violets, and Snowflakes: High voice / Daffodils, Violets, and Snowflakes: Low voice – Contains 24 classical songs appropriate for young singers ages 10 to mid-teens, in suitable keys for developing voices.    

Some books are published in different versions for different voice types– often containing the same songs but in higher or lower keys.  Singers should decide with the help of a teacher which range is best for them.  

3 Common Myths About Singing

There is a lot of misinformation out there about singing and voice technique.  A lot of these problematic ideas are leftover from the days before technology enabled us to understand how the voice actually works. I especially don’t like seeing ill-informed “voice teachers” profit from teaching incorrect and potentially dangerous techniques to unsuspecting singers. I acknowledge that there are many different styles and approaches to singing, but some things are objectively true no matter the genre.  I believe in empowering singers with accurate knowledge about how to train and care for their voice.  

 

Myth #1 – Singing from the Diaphragm is Helpful

I hear singers talking about this all the time.  Yes, the diaphragm is important for breathing, but most of the time when it’s talked about in regards to singing, it is not accurately described.  

So first, let’s talk about the diaphragm:  It’s a layer of muscle located at the bottom of your rib cage and is shaped like an upside-down bowl.  When you breathe in, it flattens downward, which pulls air into your lungs. This happens automatically, whether or not you are aware of it.  We can’t really feel the diaphragm, because it is deep inside the body where we don’t have nerve endings.  

When the diaphragm moves downward, it pushes on the internal organs in the abdomen.  In order to get a good, deep breath, it’s helpful to relax the abdominal muscles– this allows the external organs to move out of the way so that the diaphragm has maximum range of motion. If the abdominal muscles are tense, it’s hard to get a complete breath.  This is where thinking about the diaphragm is useful: for inhaling deeply.  

Once you’ve started singing, the diaphragm isn’t active.  There are other muscles involved in breathing, all around the ribs and torso.  In order to have good breath control and to sing longer notes and phrases, singers train those muscles to release the air slowly.  Keeping some of the inhaling muscles active during exhaling (or singing) is part of healthy breath support, but trying to focus on the diaphragm often does more harm than good.  

Here are some videos that show more about the diaphragm:

3D View of Diaphragm – https://youtu.be/hp-gCvW8PRY

More about breathing – https://youtu.be/TQ24-WCsYN4

What’s so bad about “singing from the diaphragm?”  

Most of the time if I ask students what kinds of things they’ve heard before about the diaphragm, most of it is wildly inaccurate.  There are a couple of common ways it gets misunderstood:

Many singers think that this means they should squeeze the sound out forcefully, using the abdominal muscles.  This is problematic because singing with too much air pressure can lead to vocal fatigue or even vocal damage. Too much air pressure means the vocal folds have to open and close more forcefully, increasing the chances of injury.  

Many singers confuse the diaphragm with the abdominal muscles, and think that they move at the same time.  The diaphragm is actually deeper inside the body and higher up than the abdominals, although squeezing the abdominals can indirectly press on the diaphragm.  I have found it much more helpful to focus on strengthening my core muscles, and many of my students have benefited from core exercise as well.  

I’d also like to mention that there are different schools of breathing, and I’m not here to recommend one over another, especially to singers who are not my students.  Diverse bodies and genres benefit from different methods and I think that everyone should do what works best for them. Abdominal breathing can be really helpful for some singers, but thoracic breathing works better for others.  A knowledgeable voice teacher can help you develop a technique that works for you and is stylistically appropriate.  

Myth #2 – Singing From the Throat is Bad

There’s a particular sound that is often described (even by voice teachers), as “throaty.”  Or, “stuck in the throat,” etc. You probably know what I mean. This sound is caused by muscle tension, and an experienced teacher can hear which muscle is likely the issue based on the specific sound (if it’s not clearly visible by watching the singer).  Sometimes teaching with imagery is helpful for this, and I might encourage a student to “send the sound forward” or something like that. Often a student with this issue is trying to control the sound, so focusing too much on individual muscles can make them tense up more.  

If the “throatiness” is happening more on a particular vowel, where is the tension?  Lip trills and rolled R’s can relax the tongue and jaw. Switching to a brighter vowel like “ee” might also help by moving the tongue forward. 

 

Myth #3 – You Can “Place” Your Voice

A lot of teachers talk about placement of the voice.  This is an idea that’s leftover from before we understood physics and how sound waves work.  In short, the sound waves produced by your vocal folds are shaped into the sound that we hear by the way that they bounce around through the vocal tract and out the singer’s mouth.  Adjusting the shape of the vocal tract (aka the mouth and throat) changes the sound— vowels are a simple example of this, but there are more subtle adjustments happening as well. 

So, what is placement all about?  Basically, if the vocal tract is amplifying the sound waves just right, singers might feel a vibration or other sensation in the nose or cheekbones.  With a modern understanding of acoustics, we can see that this sensation is the RESULT of good technique, not the technique itself.  

I will sometimes tell students to “send” or “aim the sound” toward the front teeth or cheekbones if I’m noticing tension, but don’t ever talk about “placing” the sound or singing from anywhere other than the vocal folds.  Sometimes this kind of imagery might help, but other times it might just lead to more confusion. Where should I place this note? What about that one? What if I place it wrong? This is much less productive than just addressing the underlying tension.  

 

Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract Exercises

What does Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract mean?

Semi-occluded means partially blocked, and the vocal tract is what we call the space between the vocal folds and the lips.  Semi-occluded vocal tract (SOVT) exercises involve partially blocking the vocal tract, which limits the airflow and helps to relax the vocal folds.  

What is the benefit?

Many singers use more air than they need when singing.  Too much air pressure below the vocal folds means that the vocal folds are closing more forcefully with each vibration, which can increase the risk of vocal fatigue or injury.  Optimizing the airflow to be more efficient allows the vocal folds to relax, as well as encouraging better breath control.  

What are the most common types of SOVT exercises?  

  • Straw Occlusion (also called Straw Phonation)
  • Mmmmm / Nnnnnn / Nnngggggg / Vvvvvvvv
  • Lip Trills /Tongue Trills / Rolled “R”

How does Straw Occlusion work?

Just hold a straw between your lips and sing!  Keep your lips closed around the straw, and make sure that air is not escaping through your nose.  Focus on keeping a smooth and steady flow of air through the straw as you vocalize. It may feel difficult at first if you are used to singing with much more air.  If your voice feels tense, you may want to alternate between straw occlusion and lip trills at first.  

Other variations…

Paper cup – Poke a hole in the bottom and then put the rim of the cup against your face and sing.  This allows your mouth to open wider, which can be helpful for higher notes or belting.  

Hand – No props needed for this one– just place the back of your hand against your mouth.  A little bit of air will escape around the edges of your mouth

When should SOVT exercises be used?  

SOVT exercises are recommended as part of a daily vocal workout routine.  They are beneficial as part of a warm-up and cool-down, and for troubleshooting vocal issues that come up when working on songs.  

Straw occlusion can be used to minimize fatigue during long rehearsals, or as a “reset” during breaks when practicing or performing.  

Straw occlusion is also great if you want to sing without making too much noise– perfect for travelling, or when your housemates are asleep! 

Voice and Piano Lessons in Vallejo!

I am excited to announce that I now have a new home studio in Vallejo, CA!

I teach private voice and piano lessons for all ages and experience levels.

Beginning Voice: ages 6 and up; 30-45 minute weekly lessons for beginners (depending on age and level)

Intermediate/Advanced Voice: all ages; 45-60 minute weekly lessons, in classical or popular vocal technique.

Beginning Piano: ages 4 and up; 30 minute weekly lessons (or 15 minutes for very young beginners) for beginners.  I usually recommend increasing to 45 minute lessons once a student starts learning more challenging music (around level two of a method series).

Intermediate Piano: all ages; 45-60 minute weekly lessons.

Beginning Voice/Piano Combination: all ages; 45-min for beginners, increasing lesson length when needed.  This is a good way to get started reading music and singing, and is often a good choice for younger beginners.

A brief note about materials and repertoire: I will recommend specific books for use in lessons.  I generally use the Piano Adventures series for my piano students.  Voice students will be asked to purchase music as well, usually at least one songbook and one book of vocal exercises to build technique, which I will recommend based on skill level.

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions: Voice Lessons

What do you do in voice lessons?

My approach varies slightly with the age of the students, but the basic outline is the same.  Each voice lesson includes vocal warm ups, music reading exercises, and singing songs.  Students learn how to sing with healthy technique, good posture, proper breathing, and expressive stage presence.

How old should my child be before beginning voice lessons?

There is no minimum age for learning to sing.  Even very young students can learn basic technique, which will lay the foundation for advanced study as they get older, and prevent vocal damage that could be caused by unhealthy singing.  Singing simple, fun songs is a great way to build confidence and have fun, while also learning to read music.

What should we expect at a trial voice lesson?

First we’ll spend a few minutes talking and getting to know each other.  I’ll ask what kind of songs you like to sing and if you’ve ever sung in a choir, been in a musical or play, or played an instrument.  You can also ask me any questions you might have.  Then we’ll start with some simple warm up exercises so that I can hear your voice.  If you like, you can bring a song that you know to sing for me, but that’s not required.  A trial lesson usually lasts about 20 to 30 minutes, and allows you to get to know me and my teaching style, and lets me learn about you and your voice.  It’s not a test or audition, so there’s no need to be nervous!

How many lessons will it take before I notice improvement?

Every student is different and moves at his or her own pace.  Some students notice instant improvement as they learn how to use their voices more efficiently.  It’s also normal to go several weeks without any obvious improvement, because singing well requires muscle coordination that takes time to develop.  The best way to encourage improvement is through consistent, careful practice at home.

What if I am tone deaf, can I still learn how to sing?

Very few people are truly tone deaf, meaning they are unable to recognize changes in pitch.  Many inexperienced singers simply have trouble singing in tune.  This can be because their ears have not been trained to recognize subtle differences in pitch, which would be corrected through vocal exercises designed to help them hear when they are on the right note and when they are not.  Out of tune singing is most commonly caused by poor technique or excess tension, which improves as the student learns how to sing more efficiently.

What should voice students practice at home?

Beginning voice students should start with short practice sessions (15-20 minutes per day) and gradually increase the length as the voice gets stronger.  Singing for too long before healthy technique has been learned can be tiring and even damaging to the voice.  It’s important to begin every practice session with some warm up exercises before working on more difficult music.  It’s better to focus on specific skills that were worked on in the last lesson than to just sing through a song several times.  Some of my students like to bring a notebook with them so that they can write down what we worked on in the lesson and what to focus on while practicing.

Is it ok to sing when you are sick?

The vocal cords are delicate, and it’s important to take good care of them and prevent damage.  Singing with allergies or a stuffy nose can sometimes be fine, as long as the vocal cords are not inflamed.  However, cold medicines and decongestants should be avoided before singing because they dry out the vocal cords.  A singer who is feeling hoarse or having trouble making sound should not sing!  Hoarseness, or feeling like it’s difficult to make sound, can be a sign of swelling in the vocal cords, and continuing to speak or sing can cause serious (and even permanent) damage.  Singing should never hurt or feel uncomfortable.

How to Choose Songs for Auditions

Choosing the right song for an audition is important, because it shows that you know your voice and what you can do.  This article from Opera News has great tips for opera singers who are competing or auditioning at the professional level.  Here are a few more tips that I share with my students.

1.  Always sing something that you are comfortable with!  An audition is not a good time to try out a new song that you’ve never performed.

2.  Sing something that fits your voice well.  If it’s a little too high or a little too low for you, pick another song.  It’s important to show that you know your voice type and how to show off your strengths.

3.  If they ask for two songs, use this opportunity to show the full range of what you are capable of, but don’t pick songs that are so drastically different that they are not right for your voice.  Choose contrasting styles, but both pieces should still fit your voice comfortably.

4.  Know the character and subtext.  Acting is just as important as singing, and getting into character will also help settle your nerves and keep you focused.  Try practicing in front of a mirror so that you can make sure your facial expressions and gestures look the way you want them to.

5.  If you are auditioning for a specific role, sing something similar in voice type and character.  You want them to be able to see you in the role.

And a few more audition tips…

6.  Dress nicely and professionally.  Avoid revealing outfits, flashy patterns, or bright colors that will distract from your performance.  Dressing nicely shows respect for the judges and yourself.

7.  Be nice to the pianist!  This means making sure all your music is readable, with any cuts clearly marked.  The pianist wants to help you sing well, but will be unable to do this if your music is hard to read or missing important markings.  Also, knowing how to indicate your tempo to the pianist is important.

8.  If you are given specific instructions for the auditions (bring a resume and/or photo, sing something from the show, don’t sing something from the show, wear comfortable clothes for dancing), follow those instructions!  If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask.

9.  Be professional and polite while in the audition.  Clearly and confidently state your name and what you will be singing, and don’t forget to say “Thank you” at the end of your audition.  Even if they cut you off mid-song (which is not necessarily a bad thing), just smile and thank them for their time.  Manners are important.

Recommended Materials for Voice Students

There are many different music anthologies and songbooks out there, so I thought I’d put together a list of the ones that I recommend for my students.  I’m always looking for more music for my students, so I’ll keep adding to this list as my music library grows.  If you have any favorite books, I’d love to hear your suggestions as well!

MUSICAL THEATER ANTHOLOGIES

The Teen’s Musical Theater Collection – Young Women’s edition or Young Men’s edition, with available piano accompaniment CD.  Great collection of standard repertoire in a variety of styles and ranges.  Recommended for beginners.

Broadway Presents: Teens’ Musical Theatre Anthology – Female Edition or Male Edition, with piano accompaniment CD.   Slightly more advanced songs that venture outside of the standard repertoire, with some mature themes.  Contains songs in a variety of vocal ranges, so not all of the songs will work for each singer.  Recommended for older teens who may not have settled into a specific voice type yet.

Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology Series – Several volumes available for each voice type: Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano/Belter, Tenor, and Baritone/Bass.  Piano accompaniment CDs available.  Volume 1 generally contains standard songs from classic musicals, while the later volumes have songs from newer musicals.   Highly recommended for serious musical theater singers.

FOR CLASSICAL SINGERS

Easy Solos for Beginning Singers series – For Soprano, Mezzo-soprano/Alto, Tenor, and Baritone, with available CD of piano accompaniment.  Edited and compiled by Joan Frey Boytim.   A great starting point for students interested in classical singing.

First Book of Solos series – for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano/Alto, Tenor, Baritone, with available CD of piano accompaniment.  Several volumes of songs for each voice type.  Most songs are in English, with some in other languages as well.  There is also a Second Book of Solos series with even more challenging songs.  Edited and compiled by Joan Frey Boytim.   This series is highly recommended for all high school age students interested in classical singing, but many of the pieces will be too difficult for absolute beginners (see Easy Solos for Beginning Singers series above).

26 Italian Songs and Arias – available for Medium High or Medium Low voice, with available accompaniment CD.   Great collection of Italian songs for beginning to intermediate singers, and an essential part of the repertoire for young classical singers.

The Lieder Anthology – from the Singer’s Library series, available for High Voice or Low Voice, with accompaniment CD.  Collection of German art songs for intermediate to advanced singers.

French Song Anthology – from the Singer’s Library series, available for High Voice or Low Voice, with accompaniment CD.  Collection of French art songs for intermediate to advanced singers.

FOR YOUNGER STUDENTS

36 Solos for Young Singers – compiled by Joan Frey Boytim.  Accompaniment CD available.  Classical-type songs chosen to be accessible to younger singers, but may be too challenging for my youngest students or absolute beginners.

Contemporary Disney – collection of 50 songs from a variety of Disney movies.  Great for young singers but some songs have vocal ranges that are too large for many young students.

Kids’ Musical Theatre Collection – 29 songs with CD of piano accompaniments.  Good selection of songs from popular musicals that are appropriate for younger singers.  There is also a second volume available with even more songs.

Broadway Presents: Kids’ Musical Theatre Anthology – with CD of piano accompaniments.  Contains some of the same songs as the Kids’ Musical Theatre Collection above, but also has some more challenging pieces from a wide variety of shows and movies.

What to Expect from Voice Lessons

As a voice teacher, I frequently find myself explaining what I do to non-singers.  Many people have no idea how much careful work goes into training a voice, and what kind of knowledge a good voice teacher needs.  “So, voice lessons is just teaching people songs, right?”  No.

First of all, learning any instrument involves extreme attention to detail and persistence.  Giving a good performance requires many hours of work, and not just practicing the song over and over.  Scales and exercises build technique by focusing on particular skills.  Repertoire must be carefully chosen so that it is challenging enough but not beyond the abilities of the student.  The student must also learn how to incorporate emotion and musicality into their performance as well, otherwise the audience won’t care how technically proficient they are.

The thing about singers is our instrument is our bodies.  Sounds are produced by the vocal folds and amplified by resonating through our throat and mouth.  Breathing technique is important, and the muscles involved in breathing must be trained to be active enough without working harder than necessary.  Tension anywhere in the body can create tension in the throat, which makes the singer work harder and not sound as good.  Some of these tensions are visible, like when singers raise their shoulders when inhaling or have a quivering jaw while singing, so they are easier to diagnose and correct.  However, much of what goes on while singing is invisible to the naked eye.

So, how do you improve your singing?  Study with a teacher who knows how the voice works.  Not just one who can sing well, but one who really understands different approaches to vocal technique and how they apply to different singers in different musical styles.  Be patient when your teacher asks you to sing scales and exercises, because these are more than just “warm ups.”

This is what a typical trial voice lesson with me looks like:

1.  First things first, I introduce myself.  I talk to the student and/or parent and ask questions like: How long have you been singing, do you have any performance experience, do you play any instruments, and what styles of music do you like best?  Then I’ll ask if you have any questions for me before we start singing.

2.  Next we’ll start with some simple warm up exercises.  Many students are shy about singing in front of a new teacher, and that’s totally normal!  I may sing the first few exercises with you to help you feel more comfortable.  Remember that the point of this is for me to learn about your voice, not to judge you in any way.  I use these exercises to assess a new student’s range, pitch accuracy, and how the voice is being used.  I just want to know what I can do to help you sing better.

3.  Once I’ve had a chance to hear your voice, we may spend a few minutes working on a song.  If you’ve brought a song to sing, that’s great.  If not, I’ll pick a simple song to work on.  This won’t necessarily be a song we’ll continue working on in subsequent lessons, but starting to learn a song gives me more information that helps me develop a plan for our future lessons.

4.  Before we finish, I’ll ask if you have any more questions for me.  I’ll talk to you a little about what I noticed about your voice and what I’d like to work on.  (For example, “I think your voice has a pretty tone and a lot of potential.  I’d like to help you feel more comfortable with your upper range.”)

A few things to keep in mind:

Vocal training takes time.  You probably won’t notice results right away.  It takes time to develop the muscle coordination required for consistent singing, so don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’re not making as much progress as you hoped.   Also remember that your voice sounds different to you than it does to other people, and what you think you sound like is not necessarily accurate.

There’s always a reason for the exercises.  Sometimes voice lessons involve making silly sounds.  I may ask you to sing “nya nya nya” or do a lip trill, and you may think that’s silly and pointless.  But trust me– there is always a point.  Different sounds have different effects on the vocal cords.   I’m not asking you to sing “blah blah blah” because I think it’s funny, but because that particular combination of vowels and consonants will help you find a better sound.

Sometimes showing is easier than telling.  Especially when working on breath support, it may be helpful for a student to put his or her hand on a teacher’s torso or back to feel how the muscles are working.  Then the teacher may place a hand on the same place on the student to compare.  I always ask permission first (i.e. “Is it ok if I put my hand on your back?  I want to see if I can feel any expansion there when you breathe in.”) and make sure to use touch in a neutral, non-threatening way.   Don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel uncomfortable or have any questions!

Practice is important!  What you do between lessons is just as important as the work we do together.  We can have a really productive lesson and make lots of progress, but if you don’t do the work to reinforce that progress at home, we’ll just be doing the same thing again in your next lesson.  If you’re not sure how to practice, I can help you put together a strategy that will help you practice efficiently.  Generally, it’s best to begin a practice session with a few of the warm up exercises we’ve been working on in your lessons.  It also helps to bring a notebook with you to lessons so you can write down what we did and what I’d like you to practice before the next lesson.  For more on practice, see my post “Practice Makes Perfect.”

If you have questions, please ask!  I value feedback from my students.  Ultimately, you are the only one who knows how your voice is feeling, so if something doesn’t feel right, it’s important to speak up.  If your voice gets hoarse after a short practice session, something is not right and we need to address it.  If you don’t like the songs we are working on, tell me!  I want you to love singing as much as I do, and I will do my best to help you find songs that are fun as well as appropriate.  If you are feeling frustrated, confused, or thrilled with your singing, I want to know.  Customizing my approach for each student is an important part of my teaching philosophy, and I try to regularly check in and ask how things are going, but I also want my students to feel comfortable bringing up any questions or concerns that arise.