Choir Songs for Every Genre

50+ Inspiring Choir Songs From Every Genre

Choir songs for every genre

There’s no better opportunity to practice all you’ve learned in singing lessons than in a choir. You can use choir rehearsals to work on proper vocal production and technique, while also learning to harmonize and sing with others.

Plus, sometimes choruses provide solo opportunities which will help you gain audition experience, overcome performance anxiety, and showcase your hard work!

Need some choral inspiration? Check out this list of over 50 choir songs in every genre!

50+ Choir Songs From Every Genre

Large Choral Works

  • “Messiah” by George Frideric Handel    

  • “Requiem in D Minor” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • “The Creation” by Joseph Haydn
  • “Magnificat in D Major” by Johann Sebastian Bach
  • “Stabat Mater” by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
  • “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff
  • “Annelies” by James Whitbourn
  • “Missa Solemnis” by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • “Requiem” by Giuseppe Verdi
  • “Symphony No. 8” by Gustav Mahler

Early Music Choir Songs

  • “Hear My Prayer, O Lord” by Henry Purcell 

  • “Come Sweet Death” by Johann Sebastian Bach
  • “Ave Maris Stella” by Guillaume Dufay
  • “Ave Maria” by Josquin des Prez
  • “Ave Verum Corpus” by William Byrd
  • “Et in terra pax hominibus” by Antonio Vivaldi

Contemporary Choir Songs

  • “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre       

  • “Carmina mei cordis (Songs of my heart)” by Abbie Betinis
  • “Evening Prayer” by Ola Gjeilo
  • “O Nata Lux” by Morten Lauridsen
  • “Ingrian Evenings” by Veljo Tormis
  • “The Bridegroom” by John Tavener
  • “Ubi Caritas” by Maurice Durufle

Gospel & Spiritual Choir Songs

  • “Battle of Jericho” arranged by Moses Hogan     

  • “Deep River” arranged by Andre Thomas
  • “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel” arranged by Mark Hayes
  • “Give Me Jesus” arranged by Mark Patterson
  • “My Lord, What a Mornin'” arranged Harry T. Burleigh
  • “Ride on King Jesus” arranged by Stacey V. Gibbs

SEE ALSO: 4 Must-Read Choir Audition Tips

Barbershop Choir Songs

  • “Ain’t Misbehavin'” arranged by Marge Bailey      

  • “Smile” arranged by Carolyn Schmidt
  • “Mister Sandman” arranged by Bertha Bradley
  • “Georgia, On My Mind” arranged by Mary K. Coffman
  • “My Romance” arranged by Joey Minshall
  • “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” arranged by June Berg
  • “Come Fly With Me” arranged by Kevin Keller

Sacred Hymn Choir Songs

  • “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty” arranged by Patti Drennan 

  • “How Great Thou Art” arranged by Stuart K. Hine
  • “It Is Well With My Soul” arranged by Rene Clausen
  • “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” arranged by Mark Hayes
  • “Simple Gifts” arranged by Lloyd Larson
  • “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” arranged by David Schwoebel
  • “Amazing Grace” arranged by Craig Courtney

Popular A Cappella Choir Songs

  • “Royals” arranged by Deke Sharon   

  • “Here Comes the Sun” arranged by Kirby Shaw
  • “Hallelujah” arranged by Deke Sharon
  • “Fix You” arranged by ACappella-Songs.com
  • “Landslide” arranged by Deke Sharon
  • “Titanium” arranged by Deke Sharon
  • “Somebody to Love” arranged by Deke Sharon

Broadway Musical Choir Songs

  • “Seasons of Love” arranged by Roger Emerson   

  • “Hello Dolly” arranged by Kirby Shaw
  • “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” arranged by Ed Lojeski
  • “For Good” arranged by Mac Huff
  • “Memory” arranged by John Leavitt

Singing in a choir is an excellent way to develop your voice to its fullest potential. Studies have even shown that singing in a choir helps relieve stress and decrease anxiety!

Need help finding a choir to join? Thanks to the internet, finding a choir near you is easy. Simply search online for “choirs” or “choruses” in your town or state. Other resources include local American Choral Directors Association chapters, Choralnet.org, or a local choral consortia.

 

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Guest post by Tori Cook from Chorus Connection. Tori directs the Harborlight Show Chorus and acts as Section Leader in Chorus pro Musica in the Boston area.

 

Top karaoke songs

100+ Best Karaoke Songs for Girls, Guys, Groups & More

Best karaoke songs to sing for men, women, duets, groups, and more.

Karaoke night! Some people make it a weekly ritual. Some do it for fun, and others take it very seriously, even competing in karaoke contests!

No matter how you view karaoke, it’s a wonderful way to practice performing – especially if you’re a beginner singer. This guide will help you make the most of the night, including tips to prepare beforehand, how to choose the best karaoke songs, and how to shine on stage!

 

How to Pick the Best Karaoke Songs For You

Before you hit the stage, I recommend having a few songs in mind. Thinking ahead can be especially helpful for beginner karaoke singers, since it will take the stress away from choosing a song the night of. But there’s a lot more to it than just picking your favorite song!

Let’s say you love the Beatles. That doesn’t mean you can sing any Beatles’ song in the original key without straining your voice. John and Paul had very high singing voices, and most males are baritones. So ask yourself this: “When I sing along to my favorite songs, who am I most comfortable singing with?”

Maybe it’s Taylor Swift, a middle voice. Or perhaps a higher one, like Dolly Parton. Either way, use this guide for help picking your best karaoke song.

Oh, and since karaoke is about fun, don’t forget to pick a song that you truly enjoy singing! It’s usually a better idea to choose something more up-tempo as it will make it less likely for nerves to show. If you’re nervous and singing a ballad, your voice can get shaky.

5 Tips for Singing Karaoke

Here are some other things to keep in mind about how to have a successful karaoke night:

  • Look confident! Start with a smile and with your feet planted shoulder width apart. Make no apologies for being on that stage!
  • Pick a song you really know so you’re not always having to look at the lyrics on the screen. Don’t forget you have an audience that wants you to sing to them!
  • Use good vocal technique. Breathe low, and keep your sound placed in your mask rather than shouting into the microphone.
  • Practice at home! YouTube has many excellent channels, such as KaraFun, that can help you practice.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you pick a song you love, it will show in your performance. That’s when you can expect the compliments to pour in!

100+ Best Karaoke Songs of All Time

Are you ready to find out the top karaoke songs? Here are some of the most popular karaoke songs, broken down by genre, category, and more! You can also jump to specific song recommendations using these links:

female karaoke songs

Best Female Karaoke Songs

Ladies, you’ve got so many great choices when it comes to top karaoke songs! From powerhouse pop to girl-power classics, all of these songs are really fun to sing! Here are our picks for the best female karaoke songs.

  1. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
  2. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
  3. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
  4. It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
  5. Single Ladies – Beyoncé
  6. Like a Virgin – Madonna
  7. Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus
  8. Emotions – Mariah Carey
  9. Rehab – Amy Winehouse
  10. Black Velvet – Alannah Myles
  11. Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield
  12. Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover – Sophie B. Hawkins

karaoke songs for men

Best Karaoke Songs for Men

Guys, start warming up your voices for these top picks in all vocal genres – rock, pop, punk, and even lounge-style. Here are some of the best karaoke songs for men.

  1. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
  2. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  4. Wonderwall – Oasis
  5. My Way – Frank Sinatra
  6. I Wanna Be Sedated – the Ramones
  7. Losing My Religion – R.E.M.
  8. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
  9. 867-5309/Jenny – Tommy Tutone
  10. Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin
  11. If I Was Your Girlfriend – Prince
  12. When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars

easy karaoke songs to sing

Top Easy Karaoke Songs

Need something a bit easier to sing? If your vocal skills aren’t quite where you want them to be yet, don’t worry. There are plenty of easy karaoke songs that you can still rock out to.

  1. 500 Miles – The Proclaimers
  2. These Boots Are Made for Walking – Nancy Sinatra
  3. Crazy – Patsy Cline
  4. Happy – Pharrell Williams
  5. Copacabana – Barry Manilow
  6. That’s the Way (I Like It) – KC and the Sunshine Band
  7. Celebration – Kool and the Gang
  8. Funkytown – Lipps, Inc
  9. Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
  10. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

karaoke duets

Duet Karaoke Songs

Grab a friend for twice the fun! Duet songs let both singers shine. Check out the list below for our top picks.

  1. The Boy is Mine – Brandy and Monica
  2. Cruisin’ – Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow
  3. Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
  4. Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
  5. All I Have – Jennifer Lopez and LL Cool J
  6. Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
  7. Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
  8. Ebony and Ivory – Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
  9. Dream a Little Dream of Me – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
  10. Hunger Strike – Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell

group karaoke songs

Best Group Karaoke Songs

For those of you that hit the bar with a bunch of friends, these group karaoke songs will let you all join in on the fun!

  1. We Are Family – Sister Sledge
  2. California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas
  3. ABC – Jackson 5
  4. Wannabe – Spice Girls
  5. Push It – Salt ‘n Pepa
  6. No Scrubs – TLC
  7. Lean On Me – Club Nouveau
  8. Rapper’s Delight – Sugar Hill Gang
  9. YMCA – Village People
  10. Supersonic – JJ Fad

funny karaoke songs

Funny Karaoke Songs

Want to just have fun, without worrying about your vocal skills? Pick one of the funny karaoke songs below, add in a splash of confidence and stage presence, and the crowd will love you.

  1. Rock Lobster – B-52s
  2. Just a Friend – Biz Markie
  3. Tubthumping – Chumbawamba
  4. MMMBop – Hanson
  5. Mickey – Toni Basil
  6. Party All the Time – Eddie Murphy
  7. The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades – Timbuk 3
  8. Whip It – Devo
  9. If You Like Piña Coladas – Jimmy Buffet
  10. Rico Suave – Gerardo

90s karaoke songs

’90s Karaoke Songs

’90s kids: listen up! Whether you grew up with rock or pop princesses, these crowd-pleasers will get everyone singing along with you.

  1. Closing Time – Semisonic
  2. Time of Your Life – Green Day
  3. You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette
  4. Torn – Natalie Imbruglia
  5. I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders
  6. Genie in a Bottle – Christina Aguilera
  7. Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It – Will Smith
  8. Who Am I? (What’s My Name) – Snoop Dogg
  9. Santeria – Sublime
  10. Don’t Speak – No Doubt

80s karaoke songs

’80s Karaoke Songs

More a fan of ’80s music? Here are our favorite jams to sign up for.

  1. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  2. I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner
  3. I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany
  4. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – Wham!
  5. Don’t You Want Me – Human League
  6. Tainted Love – Soft Cell
  7. I Can’t Wait – Nu Shooz
  8. All Night Long – Lionel Richie
  9. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears
  10. Part-Time Lover – Stevie Wonder

60s and 70s karaoke songs

’60s and ’70s Karaoke Songs

Break out the bellbottoms and get your best John Travolta impression ready for these disco tunes.

  1. Dancing Queen – ABBA
  2. Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees
  3. I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan
  4. Rapture – Blondie
  5. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy – Rod Stewart
  6. Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
  7. Brick House – Commodores
  8. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell
  9. You’re So Vain – Carly Simon
  10. Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye

love karaoke songs

Best Karaoke Love Songs

Can you feel the love tonight? If you want to impress your sweetie in the crowd, pick one of these top karaoke songs about love.

  1. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
  2. Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
  3. Try a Little Tenderness – Otis Redding
  4. Come to My Window – Melissa Etheridge
  5. The Sweetest Thing – U2
  6. I Melt With You – Modern English
  7. That’s the Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson
  8. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
  9. She Loves You – the Beatles
  10. Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor

rock karaoke songs

Best Rock Karaoke Songs

Love singing rock music? Here are some of the best rock karaoke songs to consider.

  1. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
  2. Creep – Radiohead
  3. Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen
  4. Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  5. We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister
  6. Livin’ On a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  7. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  8. Piece of My Heart – Janis Joplin
  9. Zombie – The Cranberries
  10. Enter Sandman – Metallica

pop karaoke songs

Best Pop Karaoke Songs

Pop songs are super fun to sing at karaoke nights! Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Royals – Lorde
  2. Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
  3. Push – Matchbox Twenty
  4. Treasure – Bruno Mars
  5. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
  6. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
  7. Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
  8. The Middle – Jimmy Eat World
  9. Timber – Ke$ha and Pitbull
  10. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor

R&B karaoke songs

Best R&B Karaoke Songs

Feeling that rhythm and blues? Put your heart and soul into these top R&B karaoke songs.

  1. This is How We Do It – Montell Jordan
  2. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  3. Poison – Bel Biv Devoe
  4. End of the Road – Boyz II Men
  5. No Diggity – Blackstreet
  6. Doo Wop (That Thing) – Lauryn Hill
  7. Un-break My Heart – Toni Braxton
  8. Not Gon’ Cry – Mary J. Blige
  9. He’s So Fine – The Chiffons
  10. Chain of Fools – Aretha Franklin

country karaoke songs

Best Country Karaoke Songs

More of the honky-tonk type? Whether you prefer classic country songs or modern-day hits, here are the best country karaoke songs.

  1. Man! I Feel Like a Woman! – Shania Twain
  2. Something to Talk About – Bonnie Raitt
  3. Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
  4. Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
  5. Stand By Your Man – Tammy Wynette
  6. Friends In Low Places – Garth Brooks
  7. Your Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams
  8. Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood
  9. Celebrity – Brad Paisley
  10. All My Ex’s Live in Texas – George Strait

worst country karaoke songs

Worst Karaoke Songs

And whatever you do, avoid these WORST karaoke songs!

  1. Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus
  2. I’ve Got You Babe – Sonny and Cher
  3. Picture – Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock
  4. Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot
  5. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
  6. Barbie Girl – Aqua
  7. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
  8. Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffet
  9. Boyfriend – Justin Bieber
  10. Friday – Rebecca Black

How Karaoke Can Make You a Better Singer

It goes without saying that performing, in general, becomes easier the more you do it. Karaoke night is a great way to get over stage fright if you attend regularly. You’ll always have an audience, and they are usually very supportive and encouraging (especially if you go with friends and family)!

Doing karaoke is also a great idea if you’re pursuing music. Think of it this way: you’re not being judged as you would be at an audition or vocal contest, so it’s certainly less stressful. Try out any of these songs risk-free before you take it to the “big time”!

Readers, which top karaoke songs did we leave out? Add a comment below with your personal favorites.

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MollyRPost Author: Molly R.
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 Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York

Video: Learn to sing online

Video: What’s it Like to Take an Online Singing Class?

Is it possible to learn to sing online? With TakeLessons Live, you can attend online group classes to improve your skills, improve your confidence, and get a taste of working with a private voice teacher!

But we get it: the idea can be pretty daunting if you’re a total beginner. What’s it like to take an online singing class, anyway? How should you prepare? We know you might have questions, so we asked singing teacher Reina M. to address some of the most common questions and concerns. Watch the video here, and read the transcription below!

Hi, my name’s Reina and I’m a TakeLessons teacher. I offer a customized, holistic approach to learning the voice during my one-on-one sessions. In addition, I have the privilege of teaching some pretty awesome group classes online using TakeLessons Live.

Online teaching is still relatively new and I get questions every day about how it works. I’d like to run through a few of the more common questions I get, and show you what to expect when you sign up for a class.

So let’s get started with the number one question…

What are the pros and cons to online classes versus in-person?

The pros are that there’s a lot of personal space, so sometimes if you’re a new singer, it can be kind of intimidating to sing in front of your teachers. Having that technological barrier can be super helpful, just making it more comfortable.

Secondly, you’re more likely to show up because you can be in your jammies, it could be raining outside, and all you have to do is turn on your device.

And lastly, you can take lessons anywhere; as long as you have an internet connection and an up-to-date device, you’re good to go.

The cons would be that the teacher can’t give you a hug at the end of class and tell you what a good job you did. You can get an online high five, but it’s not the same. Sometimes there can be technical difficulties so it’s really important to test your internet strength and to use the most up-to-date device that you have.

What are the pros and cons to group classes versus private?

The pros are that you’re not alone. It’s really nice to know that other people can be on this journey with you, and it’s way cheaper [than private lessons].

The cons are that the classes are not customized, so if you’re a level that’s higher or lower than the class is designed for, you may find yourself either wandering off because you get a little bit bored, or you could get frustrated because it’s just a lot of information at one time.

Secondly, you can’t cover as much information just because it is geared towards the general populace of the class and it’s not one-on-one.

What types of students attend online classes?

All types! I get young students, old students, beginner students, advanced students, hobby singers, and professionals. The classes are all-inclusive, they’re open to anyone that wants to learn, and every class is different.

What types of students excel in online group classes?

This answer is really easy: it’s the type of student that practices. Group classes, and all music lessons for that matter, are intended to help you practice on your own. You’re not going to get good in one hour, a week,  or two 30-minute lessons a week. The type of student that excels in group classes is the type of student that can take notes, asks questions, and practices the information and techniques that they’ve learned.

What will I learn by taking online group classes?

Each group class has a different focus. Some of the classes are geared towards beginners and they might focus on basic techniques. Other classes might be more intermediate or advanced, and they’re going to focus on more difficult techniques. So be sure to read the descriptions for each class that’s offered and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Can I actually get better by taking online group classes?

Yes, absolutely! I have noticed no difference in growth or technique retention between my online students versus my in-studio students. If you continue to show up and you practice, you’re going to see growth; easy as that!

Do I need to have anything prepared?

Most of the time, you’re not going to need anything beyond a pen and paper for taking notes, and a bottle of water to keep you hydrated, but be sure to read the descriptions carefully. There are a few classes that may have special requirements.

Will I need to sing in front of the class?

Well, this depends. The teacher is never going to force you to sing if you’re not comfortable, but there are classes, like the audition prep class, where it’s just not going to be as helpful to you if the teacher can’t hear where you’re at and what you’re doing as you’re singing your song.

Some of the more intro classes are more information-based and singing live isn’t even a part of the class. If you have a specific question or concern you can always log onto the class early and speak with the teacher in the little chat box, and just let them know a little bit about yourself.

If I could offer one piece of advice what would it be?

This is the easiest question by far and the answer is it’s that you can sing. Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise, not even yourself!

The voice instrument takes practice and patience, just like any other instrument, and if you apply yourself and work diligently, you can master your voice.

Group classes are a great way to learn. They awaken your excitement for a new skill, and they can deepen your  appreciation for singing. I definitely recommend signing up for an online group class today through TakeLessons Live. Cheers and congrats on your new journey!

Ready to learn to sing online? Check out our online group classes and sign up today — new students get a 30-day trial for free!

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christina-aguilera

Why Taking Voice Lessons from Christina Aguilera is a Bad Idea

christina-aguilera

Can you learn to sing through videos, like the ones advertised with Christina Aguilera? Read on for voice teacher Elaina R.‘s thoughts… 

 

Have you seen the online ads offering a voice lesson course taught by Christina Aguilera? Promos for the course have inundated many Facebook feeds, and since I know many professional singers and voice teachers, I’ve been able to watch them react to the ads. Most voice teachers have been amused, terrified, or both by the prospect of people learning how to sing from Ms. Aguilera.

Why are the degree-holding vocalists of the world not on board with Christina Aguilera teaching voice? She is, after all, a six-time Grammy Award winner with an estimated net worth of $130 million. Are we just jealous? The short answer is no! We are truly concerned for voice students who turn to Christina Aguilera for advice, and here’s why.

Talent Does Not a Teacher Make

You are likely an expert chewer. You chew food many times a day, and you have done so for your entire life. One could argue that you are a talented chewer, even. But what if someone who didn’t know how to chew asked you to teach them to chew? You would likely have to think long and hard about your process. In the end, the best answer many people would be able to come up with is, “You just do it.”

Christina Aguilera is a gifted singer. She has a good voice and natural musicality, and her performances often reflect that. However, her innate ability to sing and the fact that she was born with a good singing voice do not mean she knows how to teach singing. As any teacher will tell you, teaching is in and of itself a skill, and it isn’t one that Christina, with her flourishing artistic and television career on top of parental duties, has had any time to curate.

Modern Pop Technique

In addition, Christina Aguilera is a pop singer who specializes in belting (high chest voice). Belting is an extremely taxing form of singing that, when done wrong, can produce disastrous results. Not only does bad belting sound horrible, but it can rapidly destroy your voice.

The vast majority of voice teachers are university trained, which almost always means they have a foundation in classical vocal technique. While classical singing sounds very different than belting, the same rules (breath support, throat relaxation, resonance) apply.

Learning proper vocal technique through classical pieces — or at least less taxing pop pieces — greatly reduces the chance of vocal injury. If learning to sing with low-impact music is like light strength training, trying to skip to belting is like immediately attempting a 300-pound deadlift. It’s just plain unhealthy.

Knowledge is Power

Frankly, the most famous pop singers in the world today usually have no idea what they are doing. Christina Aguilera was blessed with a fair amount of natural ability, but as many of her performances exhibit, she falls prey to many of the same issues that beginning voice students have.

She often suffers from jaw, neck, and tongue tension, resulting in a pressed, flat, raspy sound (and sometimes cracking). Even pop singers who do not have these issues are just vastly talented people who can’t teach anyone how they do what they do.

Professional voice teachers, on the other hand, are a different breed. We may be talented, but we also dedicated ourselves to learning how singing works. We have studied anatomy and vocal technique in an academic setting and can describe exactly why specific faults, such as cracking and straining, occur. A good voice teacher is not just a good singer; she knows the specific details of what she is doing to sing well, and she can describe those details to her students. That’s something that even the most talented singer in the world can’t do.

Can I Learn to Sing With Other Online Videos?

Too busy for lessons, and want to just teach yourself to sing using YouTube videos or other programs? Here’s the thing — absolutely nothing can substitute the help that a private teacher can provide you.

While you can learn to sing songs and basic music theory with online resources, if you want to sing well, working with a vocal teacher is extremely important. Your teacher will be able to notice and correct bad habits that can lead to injuries or those that may be affecting your sound. Plus, the motivation and inspiration you can get from this type of guidance can make a huge difference!

Ready to find a teacher? Browse our teacher profiles here. Want to ease into learning? Check out our online group singing classes — free with your 30-day trial!

Post Author: Elaina R.
Elaina R. teaches opera voice and singing in Ypsilanti, MI, as well as through online lessons. She received her Master of Music from the University of Michigan, and she has a B.M. from the University of Southern California. Learn more about Elaina here!

Photo by D.S.B

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singing-too-much-vocal-health

Singing Too Much? Pro Tips To Stay Vocally Healthy

singing-too-much-vocal-health

Is there such a thing as singing too much? If you’re working on a rigorous singing schedule, check out these tips to stay vocally healthy from voice teacher Elaina R

 

Anyone who’s ever eaten too much at Thanksgiving dinner knows that there is definitely too much of a good thing. This applies to singing as well!

Singing, in my opinion, is one of the most enjoyable activities in the world. But just like eating too much makes you feel sick, singing too much has very real physical repercussions that can prevent you from singing more — sometimes even permanently.

As a full-time professional singer, I sing a lot. I recently had a day where I had to sing for six hours. Even so, I haven’t had any vocal health problems since I was an undergraduate. Here’s why I have to be careful and what I do to keep my cords healthy.

The Dangers of Singing Too Much

Since your vocal cords are a part of your body, singing too much has many of the same effects as overusing any other body part.

Imagine that you’ve been clapping for hours. What would happen to your hands? They would likely be red and swollen. If you kept clapping despite the swelling, your hands would eventually become very painful and develop calluses and blisters. They might even start to bleed (ouch).

This same thing can happen to your vocal cords. The first step is vocal cord swelling. If you continue to sing with swollen or strained vocal cords, you can develop nodules (calluses), polyps (blisters), or hemorrhaging (bloody cords). Treatment for these issues includes vocal rest, vocal therapy, and, in severe cases, surgery. Any of these issues, if not treated, can permanently damage your singing and speaking voice.

Vocal Health as a Singer

Strained vocal cords (and damaging your voice) may sound scary, but it can be avoided. I’m able to sing all day, every day without injury because I am constantly thinking about my vocal health. Staying healthy as a singer is much like staying healthy as an athlete, and following these rules can be the difference between a happy voice and an incapacitated one.

  • Stay Hydrated

I chug a glass of water as soon as I get up in the morning, and I carry a water bottle around with me everywhere. Hydrated vocal cords are nice and plump (and thus less prone to injury).

  • Get Enough Sleep

You don’t need me to tell you that your body functions better when you get enough sleep. Fatigue affects your vocal cords just like it affects the rest of you.

  • Exercise

Good singers have to be very in touch with their bodies, and physical exercise helps you develop kinesthetic awareness. Exercise also helps alleviate tension, especially tension associated with sitting at a desk for long periods of time. This modern tension often centers around the throat, and throat tension is terrible for singing. Shaking your body out of this rigid mode can work wonders for your singing.

  • Address Allergies and Acid Reflux

I have seasonal allergies, so I take medication and use nasal sprays to alleviate post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip is when mucus drips onto your vocal cords, irritating them and sometimes causing vocal issues. If you have allergies, you need to be aware of this and take appropriate precautions.

I’m lucky enough not to suffer from acid reflux, but many singers do. Acid reflux bathes the vocal cords in stomach acid, which is as horrible for the voice as you would expect. Please see a doctor immediately if you think you have acid reflux.

  • Warm Up

Just like athletes stretch before vigorous exercise, singers must warm up before diving into difficult music. I warm up every morning while puttering around the house — it’s second nature now, and it means my voice is always ready to go.

The Most Important Rule for Singers

I saved the best for last here. If an athlete has poor technique (an improper gait for a runner, a bad swing for a batter), they end up injuring themselves. Same goes for singing.

If you don’t learn good vocal technique, you will probably end up in vocal therapy at some point. But if you work with your voice teacher to improve your technique, you will learn how to sing better overall. Your stamina will build and you will be less likely to hurt yourself. Now doesn’t that sound good?

Photo by Eva Rinaldi

Post Author: Elaina R.
Elaina R. teaches opera voice and singing in Ypsilanti, MI, as well as through online lessons. She received her Master of Music from 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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singing in the summer

Summer Bummer: 6 Warm-Weather Dangers for Singers

singing in the summer

Are you paying attention to your vocal health? The summer season presents some unique challenges when it comes to caring for your voice. Learn a few summer tips for singers in this guest post by vocal teacher Elaina R

 

Summer is in full-swing! The season of green grass, hot sun, pool parties, and BBQs is my favorite time of year. But as a singer, I also have to watch out for the special hazards that warmer weather brings.

While winter is definitely a singer’s roughest season (zero humidity and the flu are no fun), summer holds some unexpected dangers for your vocal cords. Check out my summer tips for singers below, and have a fantastic and vocally healthy summer!

1. Dehydration

Hotter weather often means sweat and more time outside, so you have to be extra careful to stay hydrated. Vocal cords are made out of the same soft, moist stuff as the inside of your cheek, and when they don’t get enough water, they become more brittle and susceptible to damage. So be sure to drink plenty of water, not just for your vocal cords, but for your whole body!

2. Allergies

Unfortunately, all of the living things that make summer so gorgeous — flowers, trees, grass — can also cause allergies. Allergy symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, congestion, and a bunch of other problems that inhibit breathing and irritate the throat.

One of these issues, post-nasal drip, is particularly damaging to singers because it involves mucus dripping from the sinuses onto the vocal cords, irritating and inflaming them. Many singers (myself included) use OTC medications, nasal sprays, and neti pots to deal with these problems.

3. Amusement Parks

Amusement parks can be lots of fun, but they also encourage lots of vocal abuse: loud talking, yelling, and, of course, SCREAMING on the roller coasters and other rides. Screaming involves slamming your vocal cords together rapidly, and as you might imagine, it isn’t good for you. If you’ve ever found yourself hoarse after visiting an amusement park, you know exactly what I mean.

Luckily, I have a sneaky trick that can completely eliminate vocal damage at amusement parks. When I ride roller coasters and other rides, I open my mouth — but I don’t actually make any noise. No one notices, I have just as much fun, and my voice feels great at the end of the day!

4. Smoke

I love BBQs and bonfires, but smoke can cause coughing, wheezing, and mucus buildup. Avoiding this one is easy — just sit downwind of bonfires, and be careful not to inhale too much smoke while BBQing. You can also volunteer to cut up the watermelon and leave the BBQ to someone else.

5. Concerts

Summer brings a wave of outdoor concerts and music festivals. While these events can be a blast, they often involve singing along (usually loudly and with bad technique) as well as yelling and screaming.

I bet you can guess my antidote for this one! Just like at amusement parks, I don’t actually make much noise at concerts. I mouth all the words and I look like I’m cheering along with everyone else, but I don’t actually use my voice. I have a great time AND my voice feels great the next day.

6. Air Conditioning

While summer air in many climates is nice and moist, air conditioning changes all that. Air conditioning removes moisture from the air, resulting in dry, wintery conditions. This can irritate the respiratory system and cause coughing just like winter air. Air conditioning and fans can also circulate dust, aggravating allergies.

To combat this, try not to crank up the air conditioning too much at home. If you spend a lot of time in a highly air-conditioned environment (like an office), you can protect yourself by staying hydrated and using cough drops or a personal humidifier if your throat feels dry.


By working these tips for singers into your day, you can enjoy summer to the fullest without harming your vocal cords. Your body and your voice teacher will both thank you. Now get out there and enjoy the weather!

Learn more about this topic:

Photo by Roger Blackwell

Post Author: Elaina R.
Elaina R. teaches opera voice and singing in Ypsilanti, MI, as well as through online lessons. She received her Master of Music from 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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Video- how to not sing flat

Video: How to Not Sing Flat | Singing Tips

Singing on pitch take practice — and if you’re struggling with singing flat or singing sharp, you’re not alone! Even some famous singers have trouble hitting the notes perfectly at all times.

Fortunately, there are some great ear training exercises you can do to get better at recognizing when you’re off. Then, use the right vocal techniques to correct yourself.

In this video, singing teacher Arlys A. demonstrates how to recognize if you’re singing flat, and how to not sing flat once you notice it:

Video Recap: How to Not Sing Flat

  • Singing flat means you are singing below the correct pitch.
  • Use a tuner or a piano to check yourself!
  • Try sliding up to find a note until your pitch matches the correct note.
  • Having trouble? You’re not alone! Keep practicing intervals and individual notes in the song you’re working on.

Additional Resources for Improving Your Pitch

Want to learn more? Check out our live, online singing classes taught by professional singing teachers, or sign up for private voice lessons!

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Video- How to Do a Vocal Cool-Down (3)

Video: The Importance of a Vocal Cool-Down | Singing Tips

You probably already know all about vocal warm-up exercises… but do you know the importance of cooling DOWN your voice after singing? The “vocal cool-down” is a great way to end the night if you’ve been singing for a long time, such as at a performance or gig.

In this video, teacher Francisca M. demonstrates three easy exercises to try out…

Video Recap: How to Do a Vocal Cool-Down

  • The Siren Wail – move from your highest (comfortable) note on an “ahh sound,” sliding down to the octave below
  • Chords – move from your highest note down 5 steps
  • Bubble Trill – Similar to your vocal warm-up exercises, incorporate lip trills into your cool-down

As Francisca mentions, try to spend around 10-15 minutes cooling down your voice after a performance or gig, until your voice feels comfortable and normal again.

Additional Resources About Vocal Cool-Downs

Want to learn more? Check out our live, online singing classes taught by Francisca and other awesome singing teachers, or sign up for private voice lessons!

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Video: vocal exercises to increase range

Video: Vocal Exercises to Increase Your Range | Singing Tips

Singers, ready to reach those high (or low!) notes? In this video, teacher Arlys A. demonstrates some easy vocal exercises to use as you work on increasing your range:

Video Recap: Vocal Exercises to Increase Your Range

Try incorporating these exercises into your practice routine:

  1. Lip bubbles or lip trills
  2. The “oooh” slides

From there, work with your voice teacher to find songs at the right level for you — it’s crucial to find the balance of challenging yourself, but not straining your voice!

Here’s an idea of what your voice teacher may work with you on, as described by teacher Emmanuel N:

  • First step: Discovering your current vocal range is our first step. I will play a virtual piano, and you will sing each note I play (if you have mimicry then this will be easy) until we have found your vocal range. If you know your range already then we skip this step.
  • Second step: We then discover your weak spots – where your voice sounds weak, where you have trouble, and where you need help. After this we can then start to increase your vocal range.
  • Third step: I will then teach you and give you tips and suggestions on how to sing lower or higher – depending on what you want. Here is where our lessons will vary completely seeing as each student is different.
  • Fourth step: Every time we discover a new voice I will teach you to bridge your voices together so there is no gap between them. Typically this is our last step with each voice.

Not sure of your current vocal range? We love this video, which you can follow along with to determine your vocal range in one minute:

Make sure to stand up straight and fully support your voice as you’re working on these exercises, too. Posture can make all the difference!

Additional Resources About Increasing Range:

Want to learn more? Check out our live, online singing classes taught by Arlys and other awesome singing teachers!

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30 Fantastic Musical Theater Audition Songs for Kids [Videos]

Theater Audition Songs for Kids

In this article, voice teacher Molly R. shares her top picks for musical theater audition songs for kids…

There are so many opportunities for kids that love musical theater these days! The popularity of the “junior” editions of big Broadway shows is steadily increasing, for one. There are also several companies across the country that specialize in showcasing kids and only kids, as well as tons of musical theater summer camps.

Needless to say, it’s super exciting to be a young performer. However, one thing that remains tricky is finding suitable repertoire that is both age-appropriate as well as fun. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

Musical Theater Songs for Kids

But First, a Few Things to Keep in Mind…

Many of these songs that I recommend are NOT from Broadway shows, but are definitely casting director-approved. Generally, there is more flexibility with kids’ repertoire as there aren’t as many roles for them. That means Disney movies, old standards, and novelty songs are some other styles will sometimes work just fine, unless the production team says otherwise.

Most of all, casting directors are looking for performers who can prepare good material and perform confidently, and often won’t be as specific in their audition requirements with kids as they are with adult actors.

While some of the songs in this list are meant to be sung by a specific gender, there are also several songs that work beautifully for either! So let’s dive in – here are 30 great musical theater audition songs for girls, audition songs for boys, and audition songs for kids in general.

Musical Theater Audition Songs for Girls

1. “I Always Knew” — Annie Warbucks

2. “Home” — Wonderland
3. “The Girl I Mean To Be” — The Secret Garden
4. “Born to Entertain” — Ruthless! The Musical
5. “Let Me Entertain You” — Gypsy
6. “Sayonara” — How to Eat Like a Child

7. “Reflection” — Mulan
8. “The World Above” — The Little Mermaid
9. “Gee, I’m Glad I’m Glad I’m No One Else But Me” — Anne of Green Gables

10. “On the Good Ship Lollipop” — Shirley Temple

Musical Theater Audition Songs for Boys

  1. “Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun” — A Christmas Story: The Musical

2. “A Round Shouldered Man” — The Secret Garden
3. “My Best Girl” — Mame
4. “Gary, Indiana” — The Music Man
5. “Different” — Honk!
6. “Getting Tall” — Nine

7. “Electricity” — Billy Elliott
8. “Little People” — Les Misérables
9. “The Bare Necessities” — The Jungle Book
10. “A Letter from Charlie Bucket” — Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical

Musical Theater Audition Songs for Girls OR Boys

1. “When I Grow Up” — Matilda the Musical

2. “The Tree” — The Me Nobody Knows
3. “Who Will Buy?” — Oliver!
4. “Getting to Know You” — The King and I

5. “The Ugly Duckling” — Hans Christian Anderson
6. “Be Kind To Your Parents” — Fanny
7. “I Love to Laugh” — Mary Poppins
8. “Happiness” — You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

9. “I Won’t Grow Up” — Peter Pan
10. “Put On a Happy Face” — Bye Bye Birdie

Final Tips for Aspiring Broadway Stars

Some of these songs are more complex than others, so it’s crucial that kids work closely with a voice teacher to prepare their chosen audition pieces. In addition to musical accuracy, your young actor will impress their panel if they really know what they are singing about— so it’s a good idea that they do their homework as far as researching the character and show, too!

Confidence is key, and a voice teacher can certainly help with that. TakeLessons does a wonderful job of matching kids up with the perfect teacher. Check out their online or in-person singing lessons so your child will be prepared to hit center stage.

Have fun exploring these fantastic audition songs for kids, and break a leg!

mollyrPost Author: Molly R.
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!

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