Private lessons? Check. Big dreams? Check! But there’s one more part of the equation that’s integral to become a singer and reach your career goals. Find out as Monclova, OH teacher Carrie A. explains…
I can’t tell you how many students over the years have come to me saying they wanted to be on TV or Broadway. While those are great aspirations to go after, it really isn’t the place to start to become a singer. What I have found is a great way to get started is to look for opportunities to perform right in your own community. It is seriously a huge long shot to go from never performing at all, to being chosen for some sort of reality show. Without preparation and experience, it can really be a recipe for disaster.
I have performed in front on thousands of people numerous times, including once at Carnegie Hall. I, however, did not start there. I participated in lots of community theater, performed at weddings, did gigs at coffee shops, and performed at other small-scale venues before I had more distinguished opportunities. I understand the desire to perform in front of large audiences, but I strongly encourage my students to take advantage of every opportunity they have to perform, whether big or small. Every performance is an opportunity to learn, grow, and have fun. I’m going to give you some suggestions that I have given to my students that have opened lots of doors for them.
First, get a set list together. Whether you are a vocalist or instrumentalist, you need to have at least 10 songs prepared that you can use if someone gives you the opportunity to perform. Don’t be in a hurry with this step. Look for songs that mean something to you and flow well together. Work with your music instructor to find what fits you and go with that.
Second, gear up for rejection. You will be told no, probably multiple times. Don’t stop until you get a yes! I’m a professional singer and I’ve had to deal with the same thing. Don’t take it personally, just move on and get excited for when someone says yes.
Third, connect with area charity organizations and ask if they need music at their next fundraiser. It will be a chance to use music to strengthen the community and possibly create more connections for future performances.
Fourth, think of places you can give back and get performance experience at the same time. For example, lots of nursing homes will jump at the chance to have you come and entertain their guests.
Finally, don’t look down on any opportunity that comes your way. Remember in the beginning it’s all about getting yourself out there and letting people know you are available, and honing your skills at the same time. If that means you start by singing the national anthem at a local high school basketball game, so be it. One of my students did that very thing and now is invited by major car racing events to do the national anthem where she sings in front of 30,000 people and the event is televised. Bottom line – in the beginning nothing is too small if you really want to become a singer. Enjoy where you are and build to a great future in music!
Carrie A. teaches guitar and singing lessons, and tutors in various subjects, in Monclova, OH. She has a BA in music and business, and has been teaching and performing professionally for over 10 years. Learn more about Carrie here!
Photo by COD Newsroom