3 Steps for Overcoming Your Fear of Public Speaking


Fear of public speaking is a very common obstacle, but it’s not something you have to be stuck with forever! Here, Odenton, MD Life Coach Vance L.  shares his three steps for overcoming your fears…


So the cat’s got your tongue. Maybe it happens every time you are expected to speak in front of an audience. The fear of public speaking is terrifying for some. In fact, for some it is feared more than death. The good news though is that most people can overcome–or at least learn to manage–their fear. Continue reading for three steps to take.

1. Be Prepared

The number one step you can use to help banish your fears is to be fully prepared. It is human nature not to want to be embarrassed publicly or while speaking. But if you are well-prepared, that shouldn’t be an issue. Knowing your subject matter will decrease your anxiety quite a bit. Sure, you may still feel physically uncomfortable. But intellectually your confidence in being well-prepared will translate to your audience.

2. Be Honest With Yourself

The second thing to do is come clean. Do not present yourself as being a expert if you’re not. Take the pressure off yourself. If you’re not an expert and are just giving a opinion, how can you be wrong? On the other hand, if you are an expert and someone asks you a question, it is perfectly fine to say “I don’t have that answer right now.” Honesty in almost every case will be well-received.

3. Try to Have Fun!

So now that you’re going to be honest, it is time to have some fun. There is a famous television preacher that starts every sermon by telling a joke. You don’t have to tell a joke at the beginning of your talk, but don’t underestimate the power of humor. For some, opening up with a joke will work. Others may opt to tell an amusing story on the topic at hand. No matter what the subject matter is, an amusing story or well-placed joke is sure to enhance your presentation. Plus, laughter relaxes the whole body and releases endorphins.

So remember: step one is being well-prepared. That will help address your anxiety and emotional discomfort. Next, be honest in who you are and your delivery. Finally, add laughter to help deal with the physical discomfort. If you can manage to do these three simple steps, I’m willing to bet that you will be fine.

Speaking in front of large groups may not be for everyone. But if you meet your fear of public speaking head-on by using these steps, it will be much easier to appear confident and credible.

VanceVance L. has been an educator, consultant, and Life Coach for 30 years. He currently sees clients and teaches on various subjects ranging from health and relationships to spirituality. Vance holds degrees in counseling and divinity and has worked on both local and national platforms. Book lessons with Vance here!



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Learning to Read Music: An Introduction for Singers

learning to read music

Learning to read music can be a daunting task for beginner singers! Here, Ann Arbor, MI voice teacher Elaina R. shows you how to get started…


Not to point out the obvious, but as singers, we don’t have keys on our instrument. We don’t have buttons that emit the same pitch every time they are pressed. Most of us don’t have perfect pitch, either. This makes learning to read music quite different for singers than for other musicians.

Not only do singers deal with learning how to read what is on the page, we have to learn how each note feels in our voice. We have to learn to mentally map intervals and translate them from the page to our instruments. We have to stay in tune, even when singing a cappella (not an easy feat!).

But don’t despair! Learning to read music is easy if you separate out the two basic components that make up music: rhythms and pitches.

Feel the Beat

Drums or clapping can keep rhythm because rhythm is independent from pitch. This is helpful, since you can practice the rhythm of a song before you sing a note simply by clapping or speaking it. If you do this work in advance, you don’t have to deal with learning the pitches and the rhythms simultaneously.

Rhythm is controlled by several elements on the page:

• Time Signatures: The time signature usually consists of two numbers, one stacked on top of the other, that come before the first note in a song. The one on top signifies how many beats are in a measure, while the one on the bottom signifies which note gets one beat. For example, 4/4 fits four quarter notes into each measure, 2/4 fits two quarter notes into each measure, and 2/2 fits two half notes into each measure.

• Notes and Rests: Notes have different durations depending on how they look. They can look like round holes (a whole note, go figure), a filled-in note with a stem attached (a quarter note), a note connected to a bunch of other notes by a single line (an eight note), etc. Rests also have durations. Learning note and rest duration helps you with the rhythm of the music.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the different kinds of notes, rests, and time signatures, try to put it all together. Start by speaking or clapping with the time signature. For example, for a piece in 4/4, start by marking time in four (one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, etc.) Then add the notes and rests into the structure of the time signature.

The Keyboard is Your Best Friend

Once you’ve learned the rhythm to your song, you will need to know a little more musical theory to read the pitches. The basic gist of it is simple: the staff is made up of five lines and four spaces. Each line or space represents a specific pitch. A note placed in a particular line or space means that you have to sing that pitch.

Here are some need-to-know terms for reading pitches:

• Treble and Bass Clef: These determine which line and space corresponds to which note. Treble clef is generally used for higher voices, bass clef for lower voices.

• Sharps and Flats: Sharps raise the notated pitch by a half step, while flats lower it by a half step. To illustrate, if there is a note on the lowest line of a treble clef staff, it is an E. Stick a sharp sign next to it and it becomes E sharp. A flat sign changes it into E flat.

As I’ve already pointed out, singers are at somewhat of a disadvantage as compared to musicians with instruments that aren’t body parts. We can’t press a key and expect to hear the same note every time. Therefore, we can’t pick up a piece of music and read it perfectly without a starting pitch.

This is why, for singers, the keyboard is the best tool for learning to read music. Learn your pitches at the keyboard, listening to each one and repeating it in the context of the rhythm of a song.

Learning to Read, Learning to Sing

Of course, it’s important to reinforce learning to read music with learning to sing it. A voice teacher can help you hit those high notes easily and comfortably, create nice phrases, and breathe in the right places. And if you get stuck trying to read the music, your voice teacher is there to help you learn the notes!

ElainaElaina R. teaches opera voice and singing in Ann Arbor, MI, as well as through online lessons. She is currently working on a Master of Music at the University of Michigan, and she has a B.M. from the University of Southern California. Learn more about Elaina here!



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Voice Therapy for Singers: How to Know When to Get Help


As a singer, your instrument–your voice–requires special care and precautions to avoid injuries. But what if the damage is already done? What symptoms should you watch out for, and when is it time to look into voice therapy? Learn more in this guest post by Corona, CA teacher Milton J...


As singers, we understand that the voice is an instrument all of its own. Furthermore, we should also understand that our voice is a muscle that requires its own workout, and is subject to injury much like other muscles in our body. So, what can we do to prevent these injuries from happening? Read on to learn more about vocal health and vocal therapy.

What is Vocal Trauma?

Vocal trauma is an acute form of stress that comes from the misuse or overuse of the vocal folds within the larynx, or voice box. The vocal folds are thin strips of smooth muscle tissue with a mucous membrane positioned opposite from each other within the larynx. It is the vocal folds that move and vibrate when air passes by them which, when resonated through our vocal cavities (throat, mouth, and nose), creates our vocal tone. When we’re being silent, those vocal folds are open so that we can inhale and exhale more freely. When we begin to speak, our brain sends the neural signal to the vocal folds to snap together in conjunction with the air passing by them to vibrate and create speech.

What Can Vocal Trauma Lead To?

When damage is done to these vocal folds, it can lead to possible bleeding and the formation of blisters known as nodes (paired growths on both sides) or polyps (one growth on one side). These growths restrict the pliability of the vocal folds, keeping them from vibrating and oscillating properly. Ergo, you will not be able to sing.

The most common reason why nodes or polyps form is due to bad singing habits. Failing to properly warm up and continuing to sing when ill or vocally fatigued are the biggest contributors. Hoarseness–when the voice sounds breathy, raspy, or strained and feels scratchy–usually accompanies vocal trauma. If you feel you have been practicing these bad habits, let your vocal teacher know quickly.

When Should I See My Doctor?

If you’ve had vocal or throat discomfort for more than three weeks, especially if you haven’t been sick, make an appointment with your doctor. Additionally, if you’ve been coughing up blood, a feeling of a lump in your throat, difficulty swallowing or breathing, experience pain when speaking, or have a loss of voice for more than a few days, place an urgent call to your physician. If your vocal trauma has been prolonged, your doctor may refer you to an otolaryngologist, or an ENT (Ears, Nose, and Throat) doctor. This doctor will most likely used an endoscope–a thin tube with an attached camera–to get a better look at your throat, larynx, and vocal folds. They may also put you through vocal exercises to determine voice irregularities. Your doctor is the only one who should be diagnosing you, and will let you know how to proceed. Voice therapy can include relearning healthy vocal techniques (and eliminating bad habits), specific vocal exercises, or even vocal rest for a designated period.

Remember–don’t ignore any discomfort. If you continue to sing while exhibiting the symptoms listed above, you risk doing further damage to your vocal folds.

What Can Be Done to Minimize the Risk of Vocal Trauma?

I cannot stress enough the importance and necessary usage of proper vocal warm-ups. You should not use your voice for singing without having warmed up your voice beforehand. Think of it as stretching before a run or workout; your vocal folds are muscles that must be warmed up for them to operate at peak capacity.

Additionally, in your vocal lessons, your teacher should properly assign your voice type and range so you can operate within your voice capacity, in addition to working on exercises and repertoire that can expand your vocal range safely. A lack of or wrong assignment of your voice type and vocal range could lead to hoarseness and subsequent vocal trauma as outlined above. If your voice teacher has not done so, please let them know you would like to have this information available to you.

I hope this information helps you in your vocal training. Happy singing!

MiltonJMilton K. teaches guitar, piano, singing, music recording, music theory, opera voice, songwriting, speaking voice, and acting lessons in Corona, CA. He specializes in classical, R&B, soul, pop, rock, jazz, and opera styles. Learn more about Milton here!



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Musical Theatre Audition Songs: 6 Great Options for Kids


Does your son or daughter have an audition coming up? Here are some ideas for musical theatre audition songs, courtesy of Hayward, CA teacher Molly R...


It’s not always easy to find the right musical theatre audition songs–and the same can definitely be said when it comes to kids’ repertoire!

Is there a way to avoid warhorses like “Annie” and “Oliver” while finding songs that will excite your young actor and the audition panel? YES! Here are some suggestions that will make your young actor a standout at his or her next audition.

For girls:

  • “I Always Knew” from “Annie Warbucks” – No need to be the zillionth young auditionee with “Tomorrow”. You can show them you’re the perfect plucky orphan with a song from the lesser known SEQUEL–and it happens to be a lovely song!
  • “Gee I’m Glad I’m Nobody Else But Me!” from “Anne of Green Gables” – This is a delightful uptempo number that is hardly overdone–perfect for the young soprano.
  • “Sayonara” from “How to Eat Like a Child” — The right performer can really get smiles and laughs out of the audition panel with this sassy and funny number. In fact, the whole show is packed with great options.

For boys:

  • “When I Get My Name in Lights” from “The Boy from Oz” – This is for the young song and dance man–the extrovert!
  • “My Best Girl” from “Mame” –This is a really effective ballad, and would work especially well if auditioning for a role like the lead in “Oliver” or any other show from the 50s-60s.
  • “Big Blue World” from “Finding Nemo” — Looking for something newer? Look no further–this show is great for young boys to sing from! Because this show is only performed at Disney World, you don’t have to worry about everyone else walking in with this one.

So there you have it! There is so much to explore out there as far as musical theatre audition songs go, but remember that the right material shows off both your voice AND personality, no matter what your age is.

Lastly, remember that working with a voice teacher is the best way to find the song or songs that are right for you.  He or she will have plenty of ideas about repertoire, both classic and new, that will suit your voice! Your teacher can also help prepare you for the big day and help you gain the confidence you need to really sell your song. And most voice teachers are knowledgeable about upcoming auditions in their respective communities, so they can help you or your child find local opportunities you may not normally hear about. Break a leg!

mollyrMolly R. teaches online and in-person singing lessons in Hayward, CA. Her specialties include teaching beginner vocalists, shy singers, children, teens, lapsed singers, and older beginners. She joined TakeLessons in November 2013. Learn more about Molly here!



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How to Sing While Breaking a Sweat: Tips for Triple Threats


John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, and Catherine Zeta-Jones are just a few of the Hollywood celebrities known for being “triple threats”–skilled in singing, dancing, and acting. Here, Corona, CA teacher Milton J. shares his tips for reaching their superstar status…


So you’ve decided to take vocal lessons to learn how to sing better, but the buck doesn’t just stop there for your own ambitions. You have your eyes set on the stage and the screen, and you won’t stop until you’re there. You may be doe-eyed and eager to learn, but you’re sure of where you want to end up. Your guide is nigh–just remember The Three P’s: Preparation, Practice, and Performance.


That first wonderful step is taking vocal lessons. (And if you haven’t started those yet, what are you waiting for?! Book lessons with me, or find a teacher near you!) Finding a vocal teacher is very important in order for you to understand how to use your entire vocal cavity–not just how to sing. Taking vocal lessons will indeed improve your speaking and recitation voices as well.

Next, taking acting classes and workshops will allow you to put those new speaking and singing tools you’ve acquired into action, all the while improving your cue, marking, beat, and improvisation skills. From there, taking dance classes will start the third leg of your Triple-Threat race. Taking dance lessons will help you continue improving the skills you’ve picked up in your acting classes while adding in rhythm, technique, ensemble and solo routine, and vocal/dance incorporation.


You’ve heard the old adage time and time again–Practice Makes Perfect. It’s been around so long because it’s true; the best way to improve yourself after you’ve acquired the tools is to cultivate them into skills. After your vocal lessons, it’s important to do your daily vocal warm-ups and exercises to continue building strength in the muscles of your vocal cavity. After your acting classes and workshops, continue to run lines, blocking, and scene rehearsing. Visualization with a virtual stage at home can help to put all phases of your scene together. And after your dance lessons, continue doing your daily stretches and routine practicing in order to polish them up for the next class and, ideally, the eventual performance. P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E!


After the preparation, and after all of the practicing, the payoff draws near–the Performance. With your vocal lessons, seek out vocal opportunities either solicited from your vocal teacher or elsewhere. Community choral groups are a wonderful place to learn how to sing with others and cultivate your musical score reading skills. As a solo singer, your local coffee shop, bar, or music store may lead open mic nights for you to pop into and sing a few selections you’ve been working on for an audience.

For acting, look into your local community theater companies for audition opportunities. Check the audition dates (usually on their website or the theater box office) and ask your acting instructor for input on audition pieces if you haven’t already.

Lastly, for dancing, dance showcases are the perfect opportunity to strut your stuff. If you’re attending classes at a dance studio, chances are they’ll have a showcase coming up. If not, actively seek out showcases you can audition for–try your city’s Park and Recreation department, or other local dance studios. These organizations are always looking for new undiscovered talent or new dancers to join their ranks.

Preparation is the first step, Practice makes perfect, and the Performance is the goal. Now that you’re set with The Three P’s, you’re on your way to becoming the Triple Threat you know you can be! Break a leg!

MiltonJMilton K. teaches guitar, piano, singing, music recording, music theory, opera voice, songwriting, speaking voice and acting lessons in Corona, CA. He specializes in classical, R&B, soul, pop, rock, jazz, and opera styles. Learn more about Milton here!



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7 Tips to Master Staccato on the Piano


As you learn how to play piano notes, chords, scales, and songs, at some point you’ll come across the term “staccato.” What exactly does it mean, and how do you play it? Read on as New Paltz, NY teacher Cheryl E. shares her helpful tips… 


Mastering staccato on the piano can be extremely beneficial, not only for performance of staccato passages but also for using it as a tool to help you memorize legato segments, improve your dexterity and finger strength, and smooth out your performance motion.

Staccato is when the finger leaves the key without sustaining any sound. It is notated by a small dot above the note. Depending on how you play the key, it can be depressed all the way down before release, or halfway down. No pedal or dampening is needed. The faster you can get your finger off the key, the more time your brain has to look to the next key, eliminating errors and adding a smoothness to the performance.

For an example of how to play piano notes with staccato, watch this video:

Next, read these tips for mastering your staccato playing:

1) Think about how fast you can get your finger off the key and onto the next one. Looking ahead will take the frenzy out of playing staccato.
2) Keep your body still so that the movement is coming from your fingers and wrist more than your arm and shoulder. Big movements will slow you down.
3) Even though staccato can feel like hopping across the keyboard, make sure not to let your hand rise too high–the higher your hand, the more coordination you need to get back to the next (correct) key. Again, reducing movement will allow for a smoother performance.
4) Experiment with different fingering: 3-2-1 over a repeated note can increase speed of a repetitive staccato motif.
5) Add in notes–if you are practicing with one note, start to practice with thirds.
6) Practice scales with staccato, with both hands, and then as your coordination skills improve, with the left hand over the right hand.
7) Play your favorite songs in all staccato (no pedal). Hearing familiar melodies played in a new way will start to make staccato feel natural. You can also do the reverse–practice your staccato sections in legato to hear it in different ways and train your ears (and fingers) to know the notes despite the style they are played in.

Like all techniques you’ll learn as you take piano lessons, it may take time to get your fingers comfortable with playing continuous staccato passages. It’s definitely a great tool to have in your pianist tool belt! Have fun!

CherylECheryl is a film and TV commercial composer and singer/songwriter with multiple tours, records, and TV placements under her belt. If you turned on your television this year, you’ve definitely heard her music. She teaches piano and voice in addition to composition and arrangement in New Paltz, NY. Learn more about Cheryl here!



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How Music Lessons Helped Me Learn a New Language

Italian language

Want to learn a new language? If you’ve ever taken music lessons, you may be at an advantage! Read on as Ann Arbor, MI piano teacher Amy C. explains…


I recently began taking a beginner’s Italian class. (I’m sure you are already wondering what this has to do with music lessons, but bear with me.) I often hear Italian spoken around me because I nanny for a native Italian family. However, besides hearing this family speak and knowing a few simple phrases (ciao, buona notte, grazie, to name a few), I am not familiar with the language in any real way.

My first Italian class focused on pronunciation. It came as quite a surprise to me, but I turned out to be the most proficient student in this area. By the way, I’m not trying to brag—there is a very good reason why language comes to me naturally. As my instructor remarked, I must have picked up on subtleties of the language from the family without even realizing it. However, I am convinced that there’s another reason I was able to perceive these subtleties, and that is because of my musical training.

Traditionally, music and language have been treated as completely different faculties of the brain, in which speech is associated with the left hemisphere and music is associated with the right (Lutz Jäncke, The Relationship Between Music and Language). Over the years, however, as techniques of monitoring brain functions have evolved, scientists have discovered a link between the two faculties—a link, perhaps, that we have always known intuitively.

When your brain absorbs new information (like when you learn a new language), neurons communicate with each other by sending off electrical pulses—these are brainwaves. In a new study that appeared in The Journal of Neuroscience, neurobiologist Nina Kraus studied these brainwaves in children when they processed music and speech. Interestingly, she found that the brain uses similar circuits to process both. Furthermore, she discovered that children who learned an instrument for at least two years not only improved their musical ability, but also experienced an increased ability to process language.

So even if you do not plan on learning a new language anytime soon, it is encouraging and even a bit mind-boggling to realize that your brain is capable of much more change than you can even begin to comprehend. When you set out to learn a musical instrument, you are making a commitment to pay attention to the depth and richness of sound, but also to the nuances of life, which you might never have noticed otherwise.

AmyCAmy C. teaches beginner to intermediate piano lessons in Ann Arbor, MI. She specializes in working with young children (5-10 age range). Learn more about Amy here! 



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How Long Does it Take to Learn to Sing, Really?


Gearing up for your first voice lesson, and wondering how long it will be until you’re singing like Whitney Houston? Find out the truth in this guest post by Ann Arbor, MI voice teacher Elaina R


How long does it take to learn to sing? Exactly ten months and three days.

If you think that sounds fishy, you are right. Some people are born with very little vocal ability, while others are naturally gifted singers. But everyone, from the most self-conscious shower singers to professionals, can always learn more about singing.

Lifelong Learning

Instead of thinking about how long it might take to learn to sing, think about this: how long does it take to learn to play a sport? Let’s use tennis as an example. There are some people (such as myself) who cannot play tennis at all. There are other people, like Serena Williams, who are incredible tennis players with years of experience. But even Serena Williams has a tennis coach. She is one of the best tennis players in the world, but she is not finished learning.

That goes for singers as well. Even famous opera singers have voice teachers. Singers are constantly learning, especially as the voice changes over time. Doing so allows us to stay sharp and constantly improve our technique.

The Genetic Lottery

I could no doubt eventually learn to play tennis, but it would probably take me a very long time. I have two left feet and no hand-eye coordination. In other words, I am not a gifted tennis player.

Serena Williams, on the other hand, was probably born with amazing natural gifts that she then honed through years of hard work. People probably said “She’s a natural,” even when she was just a child on the tennis court.

Hand-eye coordination doesn’t make great singers, but there are traits that give certain people an advantage. These talents include:

  • The ability to match pitch
  • A “pretty” or pleasant voice
  • A wide vocal range
  • A sense of musicality
  • A natural ability to use the voice well

People with more of these gifts may be able to sing well and impress audiences even without lessons. However, in order to unlock their true potential, they still need lessons too. Where would Serena be if she hadn’t started taking tennis lessons?

For people who aren’t naturally gifted, there is plenty of hope. Those abilities that you didn’t win in the genetic lottery can be developed with practice. Even those who believe themselves to be tone deaf can often improve vastly with voice lessons.

Learn to Sing at Your Pace

If I started tennis lessons, I wouldn’t expect to go pro in a year. In the same vein, if you have difficulty matching pitch, you probably won’t sound like Whitney Houston in a year. But you can get a lot better, no matter what level you are at now.

You may have figured out at this point that there is no set time for how long it takes to learn to sing, and that’s OK. Among my students, there are singers with beautiful voices, large ranges, and impeccable musicality. There are also people who, despite not having a lot of natural talent, want to learn to sing. Most people fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, with a little talent and a willingness to learn.

I am proud of all of my students and am impressed time and time again with the results that voice lessons–and a little practice–can achieve. It doesn’t matter whether you are the next Pavarotti or can barely squeak out a few notes. All you need to benefit from voice lessons is an open mind, the diligence to practice, and a love for singing.

ElainaElaina R. teaches opera voice and singing in Ann Arbor, MI, as well as through online lessons. She is currently working on a Master of Music at the University of Michigan, and she has a B.M. from the University of Southern California. Learn more about Elaina here!



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How to Become an Actor: Why, How, and Where to Network

acting classes

Networking is a huge part of becoming an actor–the more people you know, the more opportunities you’re likely to find! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares her tips for networking success…


Being a professional actor is no easy task, but making sure you are at the right place at the right time in front of the right people will definitely increase your odds of getting noticed in the entertainment industry! Here’s my advice on how to become an actor through successful networking:

1. Move to a city where acting is happening. You’ve got to place yourself where all the action is happening; NYC, LA, Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Las Vegas, and Orlando are just a few cities where there are many acting opportunities in film, TV, and theater. Perform as much as you can in your hometown and use the resources you have there to help you save your pennies and prepare you for moving to a big city!

2. Get involved. Start going on auditions for theater or film. You never know what kind of actors you may meet at these auditions, who may help you in your career, or the types of directors you will be seen by. These casting directors are the key to getting you in front of the camera or on stage, so it is wise to make yourself noticed (in a positive way). Many casting directors also have meet-and-greets at auditions, or you can look into seminars that you can attend at a low cost, such as Actorfest or Talent Meet Rep in NYC. Also, start registering with the casting directors in your city–many will keep you on file, so when a major film or TV show is in your city, they could perhaps call you for work! Being a background actor in film and TV is a great way to start.

3. Attend shows and classes. Take as many dance, theater, and acting classes as you can. Again, you never know who is watching and what connections you may make! Treat every improv class or Broadway show as a new opportunity and chance to network with other people who are passionate about your career. This will keep your acting skills fresh!

4. Use social media to network. I have gotten so many of my acting and music contacts just by simply having a professional presence on social media. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to your advantage to follow actors that inspire you, and learn about new shows and companies. It is a great way to start that personal connection! Also, start a website that showcases your work, resume, headshots, etc. Again, you want to a create a strong presence!

5. Be your own agent. Trying to find an agent can be a very daunting task, so don’t be afraid to be your own agent and constantly submit yourself for roles, showcases, and jobs. You can also create your own opportunities by writing a musical you could star in or a screenplay you could envision yourself acting in.

Now that you know how to become an actor, make sure to continue improving your skills through classes or private acting lessons. Keep your head up, and with hard work and determination you will be on your way to becoming a successful actor!

LizTLiz T. teaches online singing, acting, and music lessons. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a B.M in Vocal performance and currently performs/teaches all styles of music including Musical Theater, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, R&B, and Country. Learn more about Liz here!



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Broadway sheet music

4 Awesome Resources for Finding Broadway Sheet Music

Broadway sheet music

Looking for Broadway sheet music to add to your repertoire? Learn where to find all the classics, as well as contemporary hits, in this guest post by Corona, CA teacher Milton J...


So, you’re thoroughly enjoying your vocal lessons with your wonderful TakeLessons teacher, and you’re ready to embark on your own to find new music to learn, preferably Broadway musicals (those power vocals of yours need applicable songs, of course!). Where should you start? Well, there are a few really wonderful services to find both computer-based and physical sheet music of some of your favorite Broadway selections. Below is a detailed list of these services.

1. Scribd.com

Scribd is a digital library, featuring an eBook subscription service that includes many free and paid books, magazines, and yes, Broadway sheet music. The service is available for iPhone/iPad, Android, Kindle, Nook, and Windows Phone smartphones and tablets, as well as on the web at Scribd.com, all for a monthly fee of $8.99 (or $3.99 with 12-month commitment). Scribd also offers a completely free one-month trial, which you can use to browse for music first. Use the search parameter “Broadway music” to sort through the different selections that you can save into your library. From there you can save the files to your computer or device, or even print it all out then.

2. Ultimate Theatre Music Resource for Singers

A student of mine came across this well-versed, purely educational-use-only Tumblr blog. Within this blog, links to PDF sources of sheet music, mostly Broadway sheet music, are provided for free. The links are highlighted and underlined within the blog comments itself, so take a look around and read some of the posts to understand how the links to the sheet music are provided.

3. Musicnotes.com

Musicnotes.com is an online marketplace that allows you to purchase and download computer-based sheet music, which you can either keep digital or print out. They offer many selections from Broadway, plus pop, holiday, and power ballads as well! Prices range from $4-$8 depending on the arrangement, which is quite reasonable if monthly subscriptions aren’t your thing.

4. Sheet Music Plus

Sheet Music Plus is another online marketplace that allows you to purchase both digital print and physical print sheet music. They stock both individual selections as well as multiple Broadway selections in songbook form. Since there are usually many songs within the same songbook, this can be a very cost-effective way to get several Broadway standards in your hands at a good price. You can usually find songbooks reserved for certain voice types (Baritone, Tenor, Alto, Soprano 2, or Soprano 1 voice types most commonly).

Honorable Mentions:

  • Excavating the Song: This website was set up by choral director Prof. Neal Richardson from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, for use with his own students. Even though he has now abandoned the online project, the website’s content–including some great tips from singers, songs from the 20s, and more– is still available for free.
  • IMSLP: The Petrucci Library with the International Music Score Library Project is usually used when searching for classical music, as it’s the archive of music for free public domain music. Since I am a classically-trained singer, I use it a lot and often sing its praises. If you decide to expand your genre scope, start here before you buy any classical music.

I hope this list helps you get started on finding Broadway sheet music for your lessons! Happy practicing!

MiltonJ Milton K. teaches guitar, piano, singing, music recording, music theory, opera voice, songwriting, speaking voice and acting lessons in Corona, CA. He specializes in classical, R&B, soul, pop, rock, jazz and opera styles. Learn more about Milton here!



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