How can you ensure you’re making the most of your time in your singing lessons? Record yourself singing, so you can listen back on it later! Consider this advice from Hayward, CA teacher Molly R...
Back when I first started voice lessons, my teacher always made sure before we got started that I brought my tape (this was the early ’90s!) so that I could record the lesson.
As both a student and a teacher, I certainly know the value in recording your voice lessons. When you record yourself singing, you learn everything a LOT quicker. Do you find yourself asking your teacher, “What should I practice?” There won’t be any questions as to what you need to work on if you simply refer to your recordings! You’ll hear what worked … what didn’t work… and furthermore, you’ll have all your vocal warm-ups in there. If you don’t record your lessons, you’re likely to forget some of the exercises .
Take it up a notch — take a video recording!
It’s even more beneficial if you can get a video recording of yourself. This way you can see absolutely everything you’re doing — after all, you are a performer! You can see how you’re standing, any tension you may carry, your expressions, and so on. The more you can capture, the more helpful it will be in your overall development as a singer. You do more than just make sound.
But do keep in mind that what you hear as you’re making your sound is different from what everyone else hears! That’s another reason why you must record yourself singing during voice lessons. Although we go by feel rather than listening as we sing, it’s still important to know what we actually sound like. I like to remind my students that you usually are a lot more pleased with the sound on the recording than you thought you would be — so don’t be afraid!
Don’t have fancy equipment? That’s OK
The good news is that it’s very easy to record your voice lessons these days. Almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet, and both are excellent for recording and simple to use. Since you’re usually carrying it around, make sure you take it out at the beginning of your lesson and USE IT! You and your voice teacher will both be very happy that you did. Make recording your voice lessons a habit, and you’ll definitely find yourself making steady progress!
Molly 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!
Photo by Tracy Byrnes