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40+ Best Gifts for Singers of All Ages & Genres

Best Gifts for Singers

Looking for the best gifts for singers? We’ve done the searching for you!

Here, you’ll find more than 40 gift ideas for singers of all ages and musical preferences. Our list includes everything from a home karaoke system to microphone sleeves to a vocal dampener.

No matter your budget, you’re sure to find something for that special singer in your life – whether they’re into rock or pop.

Best Gifts for Singers

Small Gifts & Stocking Stuffers

Throat Pastilles ($6.36)

Best Gifts for Singers - Throat Pastilles

There is nothing worse than having a scratchy throat right before singing. These pastilles will keep the throat smooth and the voice clear.

Microphone Charm Bracelet ($17.44)

Best Gifts for Singers - microphone bracelet

Personal touches make the best gifts. This charm bracelet not only showcases a love for singing, but also customizable birthstones and initial charms.

Cozy Headphones ($19.99)

Best Gifts for Singers - sleeping headphones

Does the singer in your life eat, sleep, and dream music? These headphones let them listen to their favorite tunes at bedtime, while remaining comfortable.

Business Card Case ($25.98)

Best Gifts for Singers - business card case

Every artist should have a business card holder that is just as creative and unique as them. They’ll need one when meeting with potential partners!   

Singer’s Oil ($17.32)

Best Gifts for Singers - singers oil

This is one of the best gifts for singers who frequently perform on stage or in front of a crowd. It helps take care of the voice and protect against hoarseness.

Karaoke Key Chain ($10.53)

Best Gifts for Singers - karaoke keychain

Let everybody know who the queen of karaoke night really is, with this fun key chain! It also makes a great stocking stuffer at Christmas time.

Microphone Cleaner ($5.40)

Best Gifts for Singers - microphone cleaner

After all those belts and ballads, microphones really need a good cleaning. This special cleaner easily and safely removes dirt from the mesh head of a microphone.

I Sing Alto” Pin ($3.90)

Best Gifts for Singers - singers pin

Every singer wants to show the world what their true superpower is, and this little pin definitely makes a statement!

For the Singer’s Home

Headphone Bookends ($64.95)

Best Gifts for Singers

A home should be just as stylish as the person living in it. And singers can now pay homage to their favorite pastime with these creative bookends!

Musical Wine Glasses ($64.95)

Best Gifts for Singers

There’s nothing better after a long day than a glass of wine. These unique glasses keep the inspiration flowing as they play the major scale!

“In My Head I’m Singing” Mug ($9.87)

Best Gifts for Singers

Now singers can sip from a mug that tells the world what they’re already thinking about – singing!

Shower Head Speaker ($199)

Best Gifts for Singers

Singing in the shower just got even more fun. This unique shower head plays your favorite songs while delivering a steady stream of water.

Home Karaoke System ($159.99)

Best Gifts for Singers

One of the best gifts for singers is giving them a way to practice their talent (and show it off)! Karaoke nights just got better with this compact home system that includes a speaker.

Best Albums Poster ($16.56)

Best Gifts for Singers

Part decor, part game, this musical bucket list showcases 100 of the best albums ever made. Each album can be scratched off as you listen to it, to reveal the colorful album cover below.

Sound Wave Print ($38.25)

Best Gifts for Singers

Using visual sound waves to portray a favorite song is a great way to remember special moments. Customize your own print and have it showcased in the home forever.

Best Singer Pillowcase ($10.24)

Best gifts for singers

Have sweet dreams sleeping on this pillowcase that is a constant reminder of who the best singer in the house is.

Customizable Mixtape Doormat $37.91

Best Gifts for Singers

Let all houseguests know that a diehard music-lover lives in the house with this personalized doormat.

Best Practical Gifts for Singers

Vocal Dampener ($49.95)

Best Gifts for Singers

Practice is key to becoming a good singer, but that doesn’t mean that everyone around needs to listen in. This dampener reduces sound so that the practice room can be taken anywhere.

Recording Microphone ($29.99)

Best Gifts for Singers

Recording a new song is as easy as can be with this microphone recorder. It plugs directly into a computer to record vocals with crisp clean sound.

Music Teacher Clipboard ($26.48)

Best gifts for singers

There’s nothing that shows a teacher how appreciated they are quite like a personalized clipboard. If the singer in your life is also an instructor, this is the perfect accessory for recitals and practices!

In-Ear Headphones ($87.14)

Best gifts for singers

Not only do these in-ears help amplify sound, but they’re also great for noise cancellation. Musicians know how important both are at any gig or performance.   

Studio Recording Package ($223.13)

Best gifts for singers

This is on our list of the best gifts for singers because it brings the recording studio home in an affordable way. The package comes complete with a mic, headphones, and recording software. 

Hydro Flask ($29.95)

Best gifts for singers

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things a singer can do for their vocal health. A Hydro Flask water bottle is a great reminder to drink more water.

Portable Headphone Amplifier ($59.99)

Best gifts for singers

Headphones just got better! Plug them into this portable amplifier and experience sound that is not only louder, but cleaner as well.

Mobile Audio Interface ($57.36)

Best gifts for singers

Inspiration can come anytime and anywhere. This helpful device allows singers to make studio-quality recordings directly on their mobile phone or tablet.   

Private Singing Lessons ($20-100)

Best gifts for singers

Even the most seasoned singer can use some one-on-one coaching. Private lessons are a great way to help take their skills to the next level.

Headphone Amp ($99.95)

Best gifts for singers

This little USB delivers big sound! It easily plugs into a computer to provide rich clear sound. Now you can listen to music the way it was meant to be heard.

Microphone Isolation Shield ($45.24)

Best gifts for singers

There’s nothing worse than an echo when you’re trying to record a new song. This foldable microphone shield not only absorbs sound, but it’s also convenient to carry and store.

Humidifier ($33.83)

Best gifts for singers

Singers know how important vocal health is, and a humidifier helps keep the voice and throat in top shape. This is an excellent practical gift, especially in those cold winter months!

Vocal Effects Pedal ($281.70)

Best gifts for singers

This compact vocal pedal allows singers to add awesome effects to their songs. Options include a compressor, enhancer, echo, and more.

Best Fun Gifts for Singers

Encore Singing Game ($19.79)

Best gifts for singers

What better way to bring singers together than with a healthy dose of musical competition. This game forces players to come up with as many songs as they can that include a specific word.

Chocolate Record ($28)

Best gifts for singers

What’s better than a vinyl record? An edible one! This yummy chocolate record and cassette tape make a great novelty gift for a singer with a sweet tooth.

B&H Gift Card ($25-200)

Best gifts for singers

This is one of the best gifts for singers who love to shop for new gear. B&H has tons of quality recording equipment, microphones, in-ears, and more! 

Microphone Sleeve ($19.99)

Best gifts for singers

Spruce up any old microphone and show some personality with this fun sleeve! Better yet – get one to match every outfit.

Online Singing Classes ($0-20)

Best gifts for singers

Group classes are an excellent way to develop new skills and meet other singers. With a subscription to TakeLesson Live, your favorite singer gets to interact with a live, online teacher.

Gourmet Tea Set ($34-49)

Best gifts for singers

Tea is a necessity for singers – it helps calm the throat and clears the voice. These fancy tea chests turn a simple, hot beverage into a special and useful gift.

Best Gifts for the Singer-Songwriter

Rhyming Dictionary ($14.63)

Best gifts for singers

Singers often get stuck when writing new material, but this essential songwriter’s dictionary will help keep the verses flowing.

Songwriters Guild Membership ($60-225)

Best gifts for singers

Another one of the best gifts for singers who love to create their own original pieces, an SGA membership will help them get published, work on licensing, and more.

Songwriting Journal ($10)

Best gifts for singers

Every songwriter needs a quality notebook to jot down all their great ideas and lyrics. This customizable notebook is a classic and fits easily into any purse or backpack.  

Concert Tickets ($40 and up)

Best gifts for singers

Concerts are an excellent way for singer-songwriters to get inspired. (Hint: Check out their Spotify playlists if you don’t know who their favorite artists are yet).

Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting Book ($38.68)

Best gifts for singers

Every singer wants their voice to be heard, and this little book offers tips and tricks for writing songs that become hits!

We hope you enjoyed this list of the best gifts for singers. When shopping online, don’t forget to add gift wrapping so the item will arrive ready to go.

For some money-saving deals, shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday! You can also check out a business’s social media page and email newsletter for their current promotions.

As always, it’s the thought that counts. The singer in your life will be grateful for whatever you choose, and may even serenade you in gratitude!

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The 50 Best Singers From All Genres & Generations [Infographic]

50 Best Singers of All Time

When you ask people who the best singers of all time are, many of the same names pop up: Frank, Ella, Whitney… But you might also hear some new names that you don’t recognize. 

The following list includes the best singers from a variety of genres and eras, but it is far from comprehensive. These particular singers made the list because they had something that really made them stand out, whether it was their sound or presentation – or both!

The 50 Best Singers of All Time

Before we go into the details of why each singer made the list, this infographic shows a small selection from our top 50. Click around, have a listen, and enjoy!


Best Female Singers of All Time

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand has an extremely unique voice that has been enchanting audiences for over fifty years. Her gorgeous tone, belting prowess, and way with a ballad are only a few reasons why so many people adore her.

Aretha Franklin

The power, the musicality, the feeling! These are the reasons why Aretha will forever be the “Queen of Soul.” Though many have tried to be her, there is just no topping the sassy original. No wonder she’s considered one of the best singers of all time.

Patsy Cline

This country legend had a rich voice that many consider to be one of the finest ever. Though Willie Nelson penned the hit song “Crazy,” he admitted that no one could sing it like Patsy. Her version is magical!

Ella Fitzgerald

Not only did she have a youthful and beautiful tone, but Ella had musicianship like no other singer. She said she “learned to sing from the birds,” and after listening to this song you’ll believe her!

Karen Carpenter

Although she may have started her musical journey as a drummer, Karen’s brother Richard encouraged her to share her gorgeous contralto with the world. The rest is history!

Best Male Singers of All Time

Elvis Presley

The King of Rock and Roll was such a presence. He took the world by storm with his unmatched charisma and beautiful baritone that he used in everything from rockabilly to ballads and even soulful gospel songs.

Frank Sinatra

If you want to hear masterful phrasing, listen to Frank Sinatra. His cool, clear baritone is timeless. Like Ella, he was known for making each song his own, even nursery rhymes!

Sam Cooke

His soulful tenor could sell a song like nothing else. The polish in his delivery is another reason why singers will admire Sam Cooke for years to come.

Freddie Mercury

Is there a rock vocalist alive that doesn’t wish they could sing like Freddie? The range, the sheer power, the showmanship! He’s a legend and one of the best singers ever for many reasons.

Luther Vandross

Many have compared Luther’s voice to velvet. The beautiful quality of his voice paired with the feeling in his singing are just a few reasons why he will always have millions of fans.

Best Pop Singers of All Time

Celine Dion

Discovered at an early age, Celine is known for her amazing range and effortless sound. She takes great care of her instrument and you can definitely tell.

George Michael

A soulful and distinctive sound, George could really tug at the heartstrings when he performed a ballad, or get us to dance with more lighthearted tunes. This is the mark of a singer with true versatility!

Josh Groban

This versatile baritone is one of the best singers because of his special way with standards and ballads. He can also sing in Italian and has starred on Broadway. What can’t Josh do?!

K. D. Lang

An underrated yet greatly respected vocalist, K. D. Lang is equally gifted in old school country, jazz, and pop standards. Her version of “Hallelujah” has been called one of the best ever.

Whitney Houston

This legend had a clear and soulful mezzo voice that could soar and tackle absolutely everything from dance songs to love songs. Skilled with vocal runs, she knew just how to use them tastefully.

Best Rock Singers of All Time

Grace Slick

Her intimidating stage presence and steely tone: these are just two reasons why Grace will always be a queen of rock.

Ann Wilson

Ann sounds better than ever now that she is in her 60s! She studied healthy vocal technique, and it shows. Her sheer power have many calling her the “female Robert Plant.”

Sammy Hagar

Still rocking in his seventies, because he can! The Red Rocker had an extremely powerful voice that made Van Halen a success, as well as his numerous other bands and solo projects.

Robert Plant

No one could wail quite like Robert. His soaring tenor is legendary, as a front man and as a soloist. He is another artist that many imitate, but simply can’t compare!

Chris Cornell

Chris may be remembered for the sheer power and cut of his vocals, but he also had range! He was able to sing more subtle ballads and they were equally impressive.

Best Country Singers of All Time

Tammy Wynette

You believed every word Tammy sang! She poured everything she had into her classics and made no apologies for it. She is one of the best singers of all time due to the feeling she put into each and every song.

George Jones

One of the undisputed kings of country music, this tenor really seemed to live his sad songs – much like his ex-wife, Tammy!

Kitty Wells

The twang, the tears, the authenticity! Kitty inspired so many great country artists that came after her.

Loretta Lynn

This legend packed such power with her sassy lyrics. The “Coal Miner’s Daughter” is still singing today, collaborating with artists like Jack White.

Johnny Cash

Being a great singer is more than just having a great voice. Sometimes, it’s all about the emotion and life you put into a song. And the Man in Black is proof of that.

Best Opera Singers of All Time

Maria Callas

By far the most revered opera singer of all time for good reason. Maria is the soprano who had it all: a great voice, thrilling stage presence, and ultimate musicianship.

Luciano Pavarotti

This Italian superstar tenor had an instantly recognizable voice. His high notes seemed so easy that his nickname was “King of the High Cs”!

Robert Merrill

This American baritone had a big voice and a big personality, making him a beloved star for opera audiences everywhere.

Jussi Bjoerling

Perhaps the greatest tenor you haven’t heard off! Even Pavarotti himself was in awe of this Swedish singer.

Renata Tebaldi

Arturo Toscanini said this Italian soprano had the “voice of an angel.” Renata was often praised for her gorgeous tone.

Best R&B Singers of All Time

Marvin Gaye

This legend had a massive range that he used very expressively. Although he started as a doo-wop singer, he found his voice performing songs with powerful messages.

Toni Braxton

It’s no wonder it seems so easy for Toni: her mother was a trained opera singer who stressed the importance of vocal technique! This artist is a true contralto with low notes to spare.

Stevie Wonder

It may surprise you because he has such a big range, but Stevie is a baritone! His sweet, soulful sound and timeless melodies are what make him a legend.

Diana Ross

Who’s the boss? Ms. Diana Ross! A singer can learn a lot from her class and stage presence, and the way she used her sweet sounding voice.

Gladys Knight

Still sounding fantastic, this Motown legend has a warm and very powerful mezzo voice that younger singers of today would envy.

Best Broadway Singers

Patti Lupone

With a belt as strong as her stage presence, Patti Lupone is without a doubt the most revered grand dame of the Great White Way.

John Raitt

This booming and bright baritone voice still has plenty of fans to this day, and rightly so. He is also the father of another fabulous musician – Bonnie Raitt!

Bernadette Peters

The emotion she puts into each and every song is no doubt why Bernadette is a favorite of composer Stephen Sondheim.

Julie Andrews

Her impossibly clear and pure soprano voice was featured in blockbuster movies, but she got her start on the stage, enchanting in classics such as “My Fair Lady.”

Ethel Merman

There is no one who can out-belt “the Merm!” The sheer brassiness in her voice and personality made her an icon on stage and on screen.

Greatest Singers of Yesteryear

Judy Garland

Judy is one of the finest singing actresses of all time. When she performed, you believed she truly lived each song.

Nat King Cole

Nat was wonderful not only because he had such a warm tone, but because he knew that singing simply was more than enough to sell a song.

Mel Torme

They called him the “Velvet Fog” because of his beautiful tenor voice. Mel was also a great improviser and quite skilled at scat singing.

Rosemary Clooney

Her rich, clear voice lended itself beautifully to both up tempo novelty numbers as well as heartfelt ballads.

Cass Elliot

This amazing voice is one of the best of the 1960s. She used to compete with Barbra Streisand for the same roles in NYC when they were first starting out.

Greatest Singers of Today

Lady Gaga

Don’t let the crazy costumes fool you: this lady has an absolutely wonderful voice that is as amazing in pop music as well as jazz standards.

Sam Smith

His tenor voice is not only beautiful and unique, but he sounds just as good live as he does on recordings.

Sara Bareilles

Sara’s slightly smoky tone paired with her heartfelt lyrics make this amazingly talented singer one of the best out there right now.

Brandi Carlile

The powerful and emotional delivery of her songs are on par with some of the greats from the past, including Patsy Cline.

Beyonce

Not only does Queen Bey put on a great show, but she also has a killer voice! This internationally adored diva mixes it up between catchy dance tunes and massive ballads, and kills both!


There are so many fantastic singers out there that it wasn’t possible to include everyone on this list. So we want to hear from you. Who would YOU add to this list of the best singers of all time? Let us know in the comments section below.

If you want to be a singer, one of the most important things you can do is listen to and study the greats. Hopefully some of these vocalists inspired you to take your singing skills to the next level.

If you’d like to get started today, check out the online singing classes at TakeLessons Live, or sign up for lessons with a local teacher!

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Singing Lessons: Before and After [Best Transformation Videos]

singing lessons before and after

The transformation in vocal students before and after singing lessons is truly inspiring. As a singing teacher, it really is amazing to watch students learn to do everything from match pitches to mix belt like a Broadway star.

Have you ever wondered what you would sound like if you took voice lessons? Although every singer’s results will be different, YouTube has a variety of before and after singing lessons videos, so you can hear the typical results of vocal study.

These three transformation videos leave no doubt: voice lessons definitely work!

Singing Lessons: Before and After

Troy Donavan’s Singing Transformation


In Troy’s older videos, one thing stands out immediately: his significant jaw tension. It almost looks like he is holding something in his mouth, and he is afraid that if he opens his mouth too wide, something will fall out.

Try to notice his masseter muscles clenching as he sings. In addition to the jaw tension, his muffled, uncomfortable tone suggests tongue and throat tension. Now check out this second video.


Even by watching Troy’s “after singing lessons” videos without sound, it’s obvious that he’s starting to relax his jaw and open his mouth more while singing. His face looks much more comfortable, and forming words looks much easier.

His tone is also clearer and has lost that muffled quality, suggesting that the tongue and throat tension he struggled with has largely dissolved. Congratulations, Troy! This is truly an inspiring singing transformation.

Polina Lesik’s Singing Transformation

Polina Lesik is a professional singer from Russia. Although her video does include some footage of live performances, most of the older clips are audio only. Even so, the difference in technique is abundantly apparent.

In the older singing clips, Polina’s singing shows significant pitch problems. While she was always in the ballpark of the correct pitches, she was off just enough to give the singing an amateur quality. She also exhibited no vibrato in the early years.

However, she was studying classical voice during that time, and by 2007 (as exhibited at 3:11 in the video), her head voice technique had markedly improved. She was also showing better pitch accuracy and vibrato.

Even still, Polina was not working on her chest voice technique yet, and that showed in her singing. While her head voice was improving, her chest voice technique from the same period sounds forced and thick. This sounds like a result of tension in the throat and tongue.

It wasn’t until 2010, when Polina again started studying with a voice teacher (this time for jazz voice), that her rock and pop sound improved. The forced sound disappeared, and she was left with greater pitch accuracy, steady vibrato, and a clearer timbre in both her chest and head registers.

Her later videos also exhibit an ability to mix her chest and head voice (called modal voice) in order to hit belted high notes without any strain. Great job, Polina!

Rached Hayek’s Singing Transformation

Rached Hayek is a singer and songwriter from Sydney, Australia. This video’s “before” example is a cell phone recording that doesn’t include video. But just like with Polina, the noticeable difference is enormous.

The song in both the “before” and “after” recordings is “Walking Away” by Craig David, sung a cappella. In the “before” recording, Rached’s tone is pleasant, and it’s clear that he has talent. However, he was not able to successfully navigate the runs and register changes in the song.

When he tried to change notes rapidly, he went out of tune, and because he was singing a cappella, this threw the whole song off balance. In addition, his runs slid together, at times resembling a vocal slide rather than individual notes.

The “after” recording tells a different story. The runs are now clean and distinct, each note precise. As a result, even without a back track, Rached is able to stay in tune. Wonderful work, Rached!

Transform Your Voice

If you’re serious about making vocal progress, find a singing teacher near you or start taking online singing classes today. With the proper guidance, you’ll learn how to sing comfortably in whatever style you choose. And soon, you’ll be able to make your very own “Singing Lessons – Before and After” video!

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Singing Affirmations and Quotes To Remember When You're Struggling

9 Confidence-Boosting Singing Quotes & Affirmations

Quotes about singing are an excellent way to motivate yourself and encourage others to keep at it.

No matter how much you love singing, it isn’t always easy to perform in front of an audience. Instead of doubting your talents or fearing failure, learn from the inspiring artists and thinkers who came before you!

Check out the following singing quotes to keep your vocal goals in focus and your musical passion flowing.

Top 9 Singing Quotes & Affirmations

“If I cannot fly, let me sing.” – Stephen Sondheim

"if i cannot fly let me sing" singing quote

If you’re nervous about a performance or frustrated by slow progress, remember that singing should be freeing. Embrace the sensation of flying with your voice.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

"Without music, life would be a mistake." singing quote

Great philosophers understood that music is essential to human happiness. If singing is your passion, pursue that happiness without hesitation!

“Imagination creates reality.” – Richard Wagner

"Imagination creates reality" Singing Quote

Even world-class compositions started as dreams and ideas. If you can imagine yourself hitting every note, that’s the first step toward actually doing it.

SEE ALSO: How to Sing Better Almost Instantly

“Keep your face to the sunshine, and you can’t see the shadows. That’s what the sunflowers do.” – Helen Keller

"Keep your face to the sunshine, and you can't see the shadows. That's what the sunflowers do" Singing quote

Some of these sayings aren’t necessarily quotes about singing, but they still apply to performers: Never give into your doubts and fears, because nothing good can blossom from wallowing in negativity.

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.” – Ella Fitzgerald

"The only thing better than singing is more singing" Quote

This is one of our favorite singing quotes from Ella Fitzgerald. It’s a good reminder to enjoy every second of your performance!

“The greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life.” – Pablo Casals

"the greatest respect an artist can pay to music is to give it life" singing quote

Think of your performance as a tribute to music itself. Remember: gifts don’t have to be perfect.

“Without ambition, one starts nothing. Without work, one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it." Singing quote

Practice is the only way to achieve your singing goals. Use these quotes about singing when you’re stuck in a slump!

RELATED: Get Better at Singing High Notes

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

"it's never too late to be what you might have been" singing quote

Every audition, practice session, and performance is another opportunity to achieve your greatest goals.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. – Pablo Picasso

"learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist" singing quote

Fully commit to your vocal training, so that eventually you’ll know your instrument well enough to lose the rules.

Performing and auditioning are nerve-wracking for almost everyone. But if you stay focused on fine-tuning your instrument and learning from your mistakes, you can combat that anxiety with the knowledge that you already have what it takes.

We hope you enjoyed this encouraging collection of singing quotes. Now you’re ready to start singing along to your favorite songs!

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Photo by Allison Janzen

Gamification in Education: It’s Time Education Leveled Up [Infographic]

Explore the exciting world of education through gamification. See how and why it works on kids and adults for improved retention, knowledge, and more in this guest post from our friends at JoyTunes…

How many students have been scolded by parents to put their video game away and get their homework done?

It’s been a common household quarrel for decades, but kids across the globe are finally celebrating the new data that supports gamification as a means of advanced education and learning.

Check out how it’s being applied to students young and old who are learning to play the piano for the first time.

Gamification: What it is & Why it Works

Gamification is the process of utilizing gaming elements outside the standard gaming model to present an idea or achieve a goal. In the field of education, gamification is currently being used to help students learn better.

Jane McGonigal enlightens the world to the benefits of education through gamification in her TED Talk here:

In short, gamification techniques allow students to relate to the material and learning process in a whole new way, a way that is more engaging, interactive, attractive, and quite frankly, fun.

Kids and adults can tackle issues from new angles, relate to the assignment more personally, visualize the problem at hand, organize and compartmentalize tasks, and achieve success based on motivating factors that speak to the individual.

This is Your Brain, This is Your Brain on Gamification

Here are a few facts about gamification that might clue you into the popularity, efficacy, and power of this under-utilized educational tool:

  • By 2015, the gamification industry is projected to exceed $2 billion dollars, while the projected rates are meant to reach $5.5 billion by 2018.
  • Close to 80% of students unilaterally stated that a more game-like atmosphere would increase productivity.
  • 89% of people polled liked the point system for upping their engagement during an eLearning app session. People enjoy the charge that comes from scoring points, out ranking others, and being able to measure their accomplishments with concrete numbers.
  • Skill-based knowledge assessments increased 14%, factual knowledge went up 11%, and retention was even improved by 9% for adults who used eLearning tools with gamification.
  • Of course, not all gamification methods work as well as others. Some less popular techniques for getting the job done (or in this case the lesson learned) included receiving virtual gifts, being part of a story, and avatars.

Gamification in Education

Music Gamified

Learning to play the piano or any instrument is a challenge, no doubt. But mastering this beautiful art is easier, more manageable, and a lot more fun when you combine the strengths and incentives implied by gamification to your music lessons.

Innovative music apps, like JoyTunes, use gamification to help kids and adults learn to play an instrument faster. The principles are simple:

  • Games make learning more fun: The piano lesson is taught in the form of a game.
  • We all like earning points: Points are gained when scales are performed properly.
  • Games require repetition: Repetition makes for good music incorporation and learning. Hence, games equal excellent musical training grounds.

Pretty smart, huh?

Give it a Try!

The infographic above tells the long story of gamification at a glance. The extent of this processing is yet to be discovered, but one thing can be said of gamification for sure: those who tap into this innovative method for teaching, learning, and training are guaranteed to see extraordinary results.

And those that don’t…well, they’ll just be left in the dark.

Guest Post Author: Mya Achidov
This is a guest post from JoyTunes. Mya Achidov is the Blog Editor-in-Chief at JoyTunes, a company that develops award-winning apps to teach you how to play music.

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The 25 Best Karaoke Songs for Women

Karaoke Songs for WomenWant to be the star of your next karaoke night? We’ve got you covered. In this article, voice teacher Elaina R. shares 25 recommendations of karaoke songs for women.

Have you ever noticed that guys like Bruno Mars, Sam Smith, and Adam Levine sing so high that barely any other guys can hit the same notes? What about the fact that female artists like Sia, Ariana Grande, and Katy Perry leave women in the same painful situation?

You aren’t imagining things; the popular music industry has been overrun by high voices ever since pop was invented. It’s nearly impossible for normal people (without digital enhancement) to sing lots of popular songs. In fact, many of the original singers of these songs can’t reliably belt out those high notes night after night – it just isn’t healthy.

This is why if you’re a female vocalist, instead of attempting to screech out “Chandelier” at your next karaoke session, you might want to consider sticking with Justin Bieber instead. Keep reading to find out more.

Why Songs by Guys Make Great Female Karaoke Songs

In my experience, the average woman can belt up to about a G4 or an A4 before things start getting uncomfortable (if I just lost you, check out this article on voice types). I’m a professional singer and I can only comfortably belt up to a C#5 or D5.

In contrast, here are a few of the belted high notes in some popular songs with female singers:

Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” (D5)
Katy Perry’s “Firework” (D#5)
Sia’s “Chandelier” (F5)
Ariana Grande’s “Problem” (G#5)

These notes are a fifth to an octave above what most women are capable of belting. They’re so high in fact, that a trained singer like me can’t belt most of them! It’s physically impossible for most women to sing these songs without straining their vocal cords or flipping up into head voice.

Now let’s take a look at some of the high belted notes in popular songs by male artists.

OMI’s “Cheerleader” (E4)
Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean” (F4)
Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” (G#4)
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” (D5)

Aside from the Bruno Mars song, all of those have belted high notes that most women can comfortably handle. And although you might expect the songs to go too low for women, they usually don’t. The lowest note in the four songs listed above is a momentary C#3 in “Shut Up and Dance”. Some women can sing down there, but if you can’t, it’s easy enough to substitute a higher note that fits in the chord (one safe tactic is to simply stay on the previous note).

Have I convinced you? If so, consider some of these hits next time you go to a karaoke bar.

25 Karaoke Songs for Women (Originally By Guys)

1. “The Lazy Song” – Bruno Mars
2. “Forget You” – Cee Lo Green
3. “Photograph” – Ed Sheeran
4. “Trap Queen” – Fetty Wap
5. “Firestone” – Kygo ft. Conrad Sewell
6. “Hold Back the River” – James Bay
7. “Let It Go” – James Bay
8. “Want To Want Me” – Jason Derulo
9. “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey
10. “Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber
11. “Years & Years” – King
12. “Are You With Me” – Lost Frequencies
13. “Sweet Home Alabama” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
14. “Sugar” – Maroon 5
15. “Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson
16. “Thriller” – Michael Jackson
17. “Avicii” – The Nights
18. “Cheerleader” – OMI
19. “Hey Ya” – OutKast
20. “Happy” – Pharell Williams
21. “I’m Not The Only One” – Sam Smith
22. “Stay With Me” – Sam Smith
23. “See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth
24. “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd
25. “Earned It” – The Weeknd

If you’ve tried any of these hits at a recent karaoke night, leave a comment below and let us know how it went. Want to really take the audience by storm at your next karaoke event? Check out the online karaoke classes at TakeLessons Live. Try as many classes as you’d like free for 30 days!

Post Author: Elaina R.
Elaina R. teaches opera voice and singing in Ann Arbor, 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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100+ Online Tools and Resources for Musicians

Are you ready to take the music scene by storm? As a musician, you’re well aware of how difficult it is to make a name for yourself or your band.

Practicing until the wee hours of the night, juggling several odd jobs, and traveling to play multiple gigs are just a few of the sacrifices you make as a musician.

Luckily, there are a ton of online music resources that can help make your life easier, including platforms that help you find gigs and websites that assist in promoting your band.

Since we know you’re busy being a rock star, we’ve rounded up over 100 of the best online music resources that will help take your career to the next level.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the game for some time, these music resources are sure to help you.


 

Sick of rehearsing in your studio apartment? Or is your current space too expensive? Here’s a list of online resources that you can use to find the perfect rehearsal space that fits within your budget.

  • Fractured Atlas: Through their SpaceFinder program, Fractured Atlas helps artists find the space they need, while helping venues promote and rent their spaces. It’s a win-win.
  • Musicnomad: Musicnomad does all the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is type in your zip code, specify the mile radius, and choose your perfect space.
  • Rehearsal space finder: Rehearsal Space Finder is another easy-to-use service. Just enter your location and what you’re looking for and you will be presented with a list of nearby venues.
  • Craigslist: If you’re looking for a low-cost option, browse Craigslist for a rehearsal space near you. Oftentimes, rates are more negotiable.

Booking gigs on a consistent basis is extremely important for both promotional and monetary reasons. Here’s a list of online tools that will help you book more music gigs.

  • Gigsalad: Gigsalad, a platform in which party planners can find and book talent, is great for local musicians. Signing up is easy; all you have to do is create a profile and wait to get booked.
  • ReverbNation: ReverbNation is dedicated to helping emerging artists build their careers. The platform’s “Gig Finder” tool helps artists connect with different venues, festivals, publishers, and labels.
  • Gigmasters: Similar to Gigsalad, Gigmasters is a platform where people can book various vendors, including DJ’s, singers, and live bands. The website allows you to create a customized profile and choose from a range of memberships.
  • Splitgigs: Splitgigs is a unique social network that allows artists to “split” their gigs with other artists. This website is great for those who are just getting their feet wet. You can also find music gigs uploaded by venues and organizers.

Additional tools:

Need some help promoting your band? Below are some great websites for getting your name out there and generating fans. Don’t forget social media too!

  • CDbaby: CDbaby has a number of different partnerships with brands that can help promote your band. For example, FanBridge, PledgeMusic, and Merch.ly.
  • Dizzyjam: Dizzyjam is a free online service in which musicians can create and sell branded merchandise. To get started, create your personalized shop, and then develop products for sale.
  • BandPage: BandPage is another easy-to-use platform. Upload your profile, bio, pictures, videos, tracks, and tour dates and BandPage will update that information across the Web for you.
  • BandApp: Perfect for musicians who have a solid fan base, BandApp allows users to share music, tour dates, and news directly with fans—for free!
  • Music Gorilla: Music Gorilla connects artists with industry professionals. Artists can sign up, upload music, and create a profile page. What’s more, the company does live, label showcases and provides artists with film and television placement opportunities.

Additional tools:

Whether you want to share one song or an entire album, there are a variety of websites in which you can share your music with fans around the world.  Check out the ones below!

  • Radio Airplay: With Radio Airplay, musicians’ music plays on stations featuring the popular artists they choose. What’s more, artists have access to reports and data about their fan base.
  • Stageit: With Stagit, artists perform live online shows via their mobile device. Fans can ask questions or request songs. Fans can also monetarily support their favorite artists.
  • On SoundCloud: On SoundCloud is SoundCloud’s newest partner program for musicians. It allows artists to upload music, build a profile, and manage stats.
  • Melody Fusion: Melody Fusion is a website in which artists can share their music for free. Musicians can also get feedback from their peers, take master classes, and find a mentor.

Additional tools:

Keeping track of your finances, tour dates, and more can be exhausting, especially if you’re doing it all yourself. Here’s a list of online tools that will help you better manage everything.

  • Bandbook: Bandbook makes your life easier. Within the platform, you can manage your schedule, track your expenses, and send private messages to anyone with a Bandbook account.
  • Artist Growth: Great for both managers and musicians, Artist Growth helps individuals schedule events, create reports, track finances, and manage tour merch all from one place.
  • TeamSnap: With TeamSnap, you can manage member’s contact information, coordinate upcoming events, track group fees, and share files within the group.
  • BandHelper: BandHelper takes care of all the annoying logistical details—such as expense reports, set lists, and more—so you can concentrate on making music.

Additional tools:

Entering music competitions is a great way to get exposure, connect with industry folks, and earn some much-needed cash. Check out the music competitions below.

  • Unsigned Only: Unsigned Only was produced by the same team that created the International Songwriting Competition. Solo artists, bands, and singers can enter a wide range of categories, including rock, pop, country, and vocal performance.
  • OurStage: Artists can enter original music into any of OurStage’s genre-based channels for a chance to win. Winners are featured on Amazing Radio, which boasts an international listening audience of thousands.
  • Hal Leonard Vocal Competition: The Hal Leonard Vocal Competition is a music competition for voice students comprised entirely of YouTube video entries.
  • International Songwriting Competition: The International Songwriting Competition is an annual song contest for amateur and established songwriters. The contest is judged by an impressive panel of judges, offering great exposure for artists.

Additional tools

Brush up on industry trends and get expert advice from peers by browsing through these awesome online music resources. Don’t forget to bookmark your favorite ones!

  • Making Music Magazine: Making Music Magazine is a lifestyle resource for all types of music makers, featuring professional musician stories, instructional articles, gear guides, and more.
  • Passive Promotion: Created by Brian Hazard, a music veteran with 20 years of experience, Passive Promotion gives artists applicable advice about music promotion. He also regularly features reviews about new platforms.
  • Hypebot: Hypebot features a variety of useful articles for artists. For example, the website features dedicated pages on social media use and music technology.
  • Music Industry Inside Out: Music Industry Inside Out is a music industry knowledge hub filled with expert advice from music industry professionals. The website offers different course topics, such as funding your music, book keeping, and applying for festivals.
  • Make it in Music: Make it in Music is a great website for emerging artists. It has a ton of advice about how to make it big, including how to build your fan base and how to approach a record label.
  • New Artist Model: New Artist Model, an online music business school for artists, has an amazing blog, which regularly features strategies and advice for independent musicians.

Additional tools:

Do you need a branded website or flyers for your next show? Here’s a list of online resources that can help you develop and organize different kinds of marketing materials.

  • BandZoogle: Bandzoogle describes itself as a website builder created by musicians for musicians. The website will help you create a customized website where you can sell merch, tickets, videos, and more.
  • CASH Music: This nonprofit organization helps musicians manage their mailing list, sell music, and organize their digital world—free of charge!
  • Haulix: Haulix is a one-stop-shop for musicians. Using the platform, you can create promos, manage contacts, track progress, and more.
  • Bandcamp: This free service does just about everything. Not only can artists share music with fans, but they can also get stats on who’s linking to them, where their music is embedded, and which tracks are most and least popular.

Additional tools:

Are you looking to join or start a band? Or maybe you just want to network with other musicians? Here are some music resources that can help you do just that.

  • Kompoz: Kompoz is the ultimate collaboration tool for artists. The website allows you to upload your song idea and collaborate with other musicians from around the world.
  • Indaba Music: Indaba is a place where musicians can collaborate with some of the biggest artists and bands in the world to create new music.
  • Bandmix: Bandmix is the largest musicians wanted and musician classifieds website. Users can search through thousands of musicians in their area.
  • AirGigs: With AirGigs, songwriters and producers can connect with top studio musicians, singers, and engineers and virtually collaborate on projects.

Additional tools:

As a musician, you’re always working on your craft. Here’s a list of educational music resources that will help you sharpen your musical skills so you can perform at your best.

  • Musictheory.net: Musictheory.net is a great online resource if you want to learn more about music theory. It has tons of free exercises and tools.
  • TakeLessons: TakeLessons is an online marketplace boasting hundreds of high-quality music teachers who specialize in everything from flute to guitar. Take music lessons in the comfort of your own home or tour bus with its mobile app.
  • Free-scores.com: If you’re looking for sheet music, look no further than free-scores.com. The website has tons of free sheet music in a wide range of musical styles, such as blues, classic rock, contemporary, and country.
  • Berklee Online: Berklee Online’s video library has a number of educational videos, including in-depth lessons, exclusive clinics, and course overviews that artists are sure to find helpful.

Additional tools:

Looking for some top-notch gear to help sound your best? Here’s a list of online music equipment stores that offer high-quality instruments and gear at great prices.

  • Music Go Round: Music Go Around sells used musical instruments, such as guitars, amps, drums, and violins, at competitive prices. As an added bonus, you can sell or trade-in your old gear.
  • Music123: From lighting and stage effects to orchestra, Music123 offers over 65,000 products. The website boasts in-depth product information and reviews.
  • Musician’s Friend: Musician’s Friend has a great selection of music instruments and equipment. Don’t forget to check out their blog, called The HUB, for artist interviews, product reviews, buying guides, and more.
  • Sweetwater: Sweetwater is dedicated to keeping its customers satisfied, which is why the company offers a wide range of gear at great prices and free shipping to lower 48 states.

Additional tools:

  • Notating: An independent community with forums, downloads, and news, Notating caters to composers, engravers, and anyone interested in music notation.
  • SongTrust: SongTrust ensures that musicians and songwriters are able to confidently manage their music publishing. The website simplifies everything from the administration of music publishing assets to digital licensing.
  • SonicAngel: SonicAngel offers several different options for artists. For example, musicians can crowdfund their campaigns on the platform of its partner, angel.me.
  • CoPromote: CoPromote is a network of artists dedicated to helping one another grow their fan base by cross-promoting social posts.
  • Radar Music Videos: Need a music video? Through Radar, artists can reach out to up and coming filmmakers to get their music video developed.

Additional tools:

Get Out There!

Let’s face it; making it in the music industry is hard–but not impossible. Take advantage of these 100+ online music resources and tools to help manage, promote, and distribute your music. Good luck!

Did we miss your favorite online music tool or resource? Tell us about it in the comments below and we will add it to the list!

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Taylor Swift

5 Talented Singers You Can Learn From in 2016

How to become a famous singer - Taylor Swift

Ready to make 2016 your best year yet? Many vocalists stood out last year, and looking at their strategies and success stories can be a great source of inspiration — especially if you want to be famous someday! Read on as voice teacher Molly R. shares her thoughts… 

 

2015 was a stellar year for lots of talented and famous singers. It seemed like you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about Taylor Swift and Adele, just to name two that stand out. Singers like those two generated a lot of buzz, and who wouldn’t want that?

As we dive into 2016, it’s a great time to reflect on your goals as a singer. Do you want to be a famous singer someday? Do you want to start small, and overcome your stage fright? Do you want to learn how to write a song? Whatever your goals may be, there’s a lot you can learn from the big artists of the past year. Here are some ways you can incorporate their major successes into your own New Year’s singer resolutions!

Artist: Hozier
What You Can Learn: Collaborate

Hozier

If you want to become a well-known singer within the music industry, your work is never done. Once you get yourself out there, you need to keep yourself out there!

To get extra buzz, many artists create more performance opportunities by collaborating with other singers — which can be especially effective if it’s unexpected pairing. You can learn a lot from Irish singer Hozier; check out his electrifying Grammy performance with Annie Lennox here:

On a smaller scale, you could ask another singer to be your duet partner for karaoke, or perhaps get a small group of singers together and put together a cabaret night!

Artist: Adele
What You Can Learn: Know when to rest

Adele

It’s tempting to say “yes” to everything, especially when you are just starting out. It’s great to be passionate about singing, but remember you’re human! You only get one voice, so be careful with it.

Just look at Adele, the hottest artist of the year: she underwent major vocal surgery a few years ago, yet didn’t jump back into performing right away because she wanted to take her time healing. Not only that— she has also become a proud mom and wanted to put family first!

Make it a goal to have balance in your life. Feeling worn out after a run of another musical, even though there’s another one holding auditions for vocalists next week? Ask yourself if you need a break, and really listen to your body.

Artist: Taylor Swift
What You Can Learn: Market yourself

Taylor Swift

You may have heard the advice “you gotta have a gimmick!” That’s originally from the musical “Gypsy”, and it’s often true!

Being a talented singer is one thing, but what makes you interesting to your audience? Singers need to be savvy about marketing themselves. Taylor Swift happens to be brilliant at this. We should all look to her as an expert on a variety of things! She has revamped her image completely (country to pop!), she’s always out and about with her huge fan base, and how about that “squad” of hers?

Ok, so a lot of that’s pretty hard to do if you’re… well… not Taylor. But here’s what you CAN do: get out there in your community! Offer to sing at fundraisers, nursing homes, and so on. Show that you’re a singer with character who cares about a few causes. And yes, why not build up a “squad” of your own? Make this squad filled with trusted accompanists, like voice teachers, dancers, and other singers. Connecting with a group of like-minded artists is essential for your growth!

Artists: Tori Kelly and Shawn Mendes
What You Can Learn: Keep plugging away

Tori Kelly - Shawn Mendes

YouTube is where today’s singer hopes to be noticed. But you’ll want to have a strategy in mind. Are your videos high quality? Are you posting good content? How often? What are you doing to promote your music videos? How about your audience — what are you doing to grow them? Are you cross-promoting across other social media channels, like Twitter and Instagram? These are the important questions to ask.

To get inspired, take a look at the success story of Tori Kelly! She was eliminated from American Idol, but took matters into her own hands and built up a huge YouTube following. Shawn Mendes, another great artist to learn from, got his start on Vine and now has a top 10 hit and a recording contract.

Of course, you’re not restricted to finding an audience online, or with one of those platforms specifically. The key is to keep plugging away— in any medium! Whether it’s YouTube or a local coffee shop, keep giving your best to your audience.

Now… put your learning into practice!

No matter what your resolution is as a singer, remember to bring your best vocally every time. Look at what other successful and famous singers are doing, and find what you can learn from them. Working with a great voice teacher is also key — he or she can help you become a better singer, and may even have insider advice or a network to connect you with.

Happy New Year, and happy singing!

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!

Photos by Austen Maddox, Karen BlueEva Rinaldi, Disney | ABC Television GroupJustin Higuchi

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How to Enter (and Win) Singing Contests (3)

How to Enter (& Win) Singing Contests & Competitions

How to Enter (and Win) Singing Contests

Are you ready to step out of the practice room and take your talent to the stage? In this article, voice teacher Milton J. shares his tips for preparing for a competition or audition, and then continue reading for our list of contests to enter!

 

For quite a few years, we’ve tuned in our televisions, phones, and tablets to our favorite singing contests and competitions every week. We’ve been picking our favorite singers, voting for them (sometimes more than once), and hoping they win the coveted record deal at the end of the season.

We’ve watched as the juggernaut American Idol, a derivative of Pop Idol from Europe, gave way to other singing competition shows like The Voice, The X-Factor, and The Sing-Off.

Other worthy and not-so-worthy opponents, such as ABC’s Rising Star, have tried to get into the singing competition game. While American Idol may be ending, there are many singing competitions locally, regionally, state-wide, and nationally that vocalists can enter into, in addition to auditioning for the current king of reality singing competitions, The Voice.

The following tips will help out vocalists who audition live, as well as those who audition through a prepared recording. Let’s first take a look at tips for those who are preparing to audition live in front of a panel of judges.

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Tips for Live Singing Auditions

More often than not, singers will have to audition in front of one or more judges in order to be considered as contestants. It may sound nerve-wracking to sing in front of others, but you’ll be glad you seized the opportunity.

Live auditions give you the benefit of having instantaneous feedback from a panel of judges who, as a standard, should be well-versed in the art of vocal performance. Let’s go through some tips to help you conquer any live audition you wish to attend.

1. Be Well-Prepared

Judges can and will recognize an auditionee who has put enough time and effort into perfecting their performance. Practice is not something that should be overlooked. Develop a routine and structure your singing practice in a manageable way.

Your degree of preparedness will only be determined by how comfortable you are with your greatest weakness. Turning that weakness into a driving force in your performance will help you get to the level of comfort you need for a live audition.

For example, if your weakness involves your voice cracking at a high note, embrace it and try to make the voice crack fit the feel of the song. Australian singer Sia has a natural voice crack that has made its way into many of her songs. She embraced what many would call a weakness and turned it into something stylistic and beautiful.

2. Choose a Song That’s Suitable for Your Voice

One issue that plagues even wonderful singers is performing a song that’s not suitable for their voice. If your voice is more Andrea Bocelli (opera) than Justin Bieber (pop), that’s ok! Being true to your own voice, which inherently has unique qualities, is what will shine instead of doing a song that’s popular but doesn’t showcase your voice in the best light.

Find out which type of music suits your voice by listening to different singing styles and genres. Once you figure that out, you can start working on perfecting your style.

3. The Judges Are Your Audience

One mistake some vocalists make in their auditions is forcefully singing to judges, which turns to ineffectively singing through the judges — this is a common singing audition mistake. Treat the judges as your audience members as opposed to your adjudicators. Take them on your journey and help them feel the emotion you’re conveying through the lyrics of your song. The more you sing FOR them and less TO them, the more effective your performance will be.

4. Always Warm-Up Your Voice

One of the things vocalists time and time again fail to realize in their rehearsals and auditions is to properly warm-up their voices. Much like how an athlete that needs to fully stretch out their body before entering a game, a singer must stretch the muscles in their vocal cavity to be as musically effective as possible.

Be sure to take ample time to go through all of the warm-ups and vocal exercises you have learned from your vocal coach. This is very important to ensure that you can hit all the notes you need to and acquire consistency throughout the song.

There’s more to warming up your singing voice than you may think. For example, reciting tongue twisters are a great way to practice syllable annunciation. Be sure to try more outside-of-the-box vocal warm-ups to increase your vocal effectiveness.

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Tips for Pre-Recorded Auditions

In many cases, vocal competitions will require you to send in an audition video in lieu of a live performance. This may be a result of limited space in the audition venue, limited time with the judges, or due to the sheer amount of auditionees that can’t possibly be given the chance to perform live.

Make no mistake, pre-recorded auditions are not necessarily easier than live ones. Sure, you’re able to record yourself as many times as you need, but in turn, the judges are able to play your tape over and over again. If you make a mistake, a simple rewind will allow the judges to hear it again.

With that said, pre-recorded auditions can be powerful when done right. Let me show you some tips on how to make an impact on the judges via a video performance.

1. Create a Performance

One interesting thing about the major singing competitions, such as The Voice, is that their video submission guidelines are straightforward, and yet they leave room for creative freedom. With that freedom afforded to you, you should create a performance video.

For this, have your camera set up with a view of a stage, makeshift stage, or perhaps even just curtains. Whether you’re able to record in a large auditorium or a small bedroom, make the best of the environment to boost your performance.

A performance is only supplemented by how well a singer can act. You need to make sure that your performance resonates with the audience behind the camera lens, which is a great reason why singers should learn how to act.

2. Eye Contact and Connection

While performing in front of the camera, understand that your audience lies behind the camera lens. You must therefore create an artificial connection toward the camera by engaging your eyes, facial expressions, and body language. Maintaining eye contact is an important facet of how to sing with confidence.

The best way to find this connection is through a couple methods: record and review your interactions with the camera or ask someone to stand behind the camera so you may sing to them. Performing in front of someone else is good practice for suppressing your nerves and building your confidence.

These tricks can help you see what’s working in your performance and what’s not.

3. Stay Loose!

With a lens in front of us, many vocalists tend to lock up and become methodical, robotic, or in layman’s terms, fake. We may lose the natural tenor of our speaking voice when introducing ourselves, or we may rush to get our words out and muddle our speech in order to meet the time requirements.

That nervous energy is then transferred into our performance, which we know isn’t the best performance we’re capable of giving. Be sure to keep yourself loose before the camera turns on. You’ll be more relaxed if you practice your introduction and conclusion, and use the natural cadences in your speaking voice to keep you grounded as you move into your vocal performance.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to rock your vocal audition!

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2016 Online Singing Contests

Ready to enter? Here are some competitions to look into, most of which are online singing contests that you can enter no matter where you live. Some of them do require travel if you advance to the next round, so be sure to check out the details on the contest’s website.

Young Arts

  • Cash awards of up to $10,000
  • Must be a U.S. resident, age 15-18, or in grade 10-12
  • Submit an online application through National Young Arts website
  • Apply here

Song Door

  • Must be 16+ to enter
  • Submit your song online, along with your $10 entry fee
  • Enter here

New Song Contest

  • Open to anyone 18+
  • Submit your song online, along with your $30 application fee
  • Enter here

Mid-Atlantic Song Contest

  • No criteria currently given, check back later

Fox’s Next Empire Artist

  • Must be a U.S. resident, 18+
  • Submit a video performance of your solo or group act
  • Enter here

Song of the Year

  • Must be a U.S. resident, 18+
  • Submit your song online and pay the entry fee (varies)
  • Enter here

Unsigned Only

  • Must be amateurs 18+, younger entrants may enter with parental permission
  • Submit your song and lyrics online or through the mail, along with $30 per entry
  • Enter here

Paramount Song Contest

  • Please contact contest officials for more information
  • Enter here

American Traditions Competition

  • Must be 21+ to enter
  • Submit three songs from the categories listed on the contestant information page, and pay the entry fee of $55
  • Apply here

Hal Leonard Vocal Competition

  • All ages welcome
  • Submit a video recording
  • Enter here

Classical Singer Competition

  • Open to anyone 14+
  • Two song submission by video recording online, by mail, or audition in person, along with $85 entry fee
  • Register here

The American Prize

  • Open to U.S. residents 18+
  • Send in 3-5 recordings of arias to the email below, along with $40 entry fee and form
  • Enter here

Schmidt Competition

  • Open to high school sophomore, juniors, and seniors
  • Complete your application and pay the $45 entry fee, then perform three musical compositions live from one of the locations listed
  • Apply here

Texas Troubador

  • Anyone is welcome to enter, but finalists will be asked to travel to Clifton, TX
  • Submit one to three original songs, along with application and entry fee
  • Apply here

Singist Online Singing Contest

  • Submit a video (see guidelines on their page) and users vote on the winners
  • Contest re-starts each month

SingSnap Online Karaoke Competitions

  • Join the SingSnap network to upload videos, meet other singers, and share your talents

American Protege

  • Anyone five or older can enter (varies by category)
  • Send a video recording, $200 application fee, and application form
  • Enter here

American Guild of Music regional contests

  • Open to students with 3 months to 12 years of music study, up to age 21
  • Your teacher must be an American Guild of Music member to participate
  • Regional contests are held throughout the year; see website for details and upcoming dates

The Voice Auditions

Singing Contests for Kids

If your son or daughter has an interest in the spotlight, a few of the singing contests listed above are open to youngsters. However, it’s a good idea to start with voice lessons to help build their confidence and refine their voices before entering. And of course, make sure to show your support along the way, no matter how they place!

Singing Contests for Teens

Singing competitions can be a great resume-booster and wonderful experience if you’re thinking of pursuing a music degree or a career in music. Getting as much performance experience as you can is key! Check out the age restrictions on the singing contests listed above, or check with your teacher for local competition recommendations.

Additional Resources for Singing Contests

Readers, do you know of other singing contests for teens, singing contests for kids, or singing contests for all ages? Leave a comment and let us know the details!

MiltonJPost Author: Milton J.
Milton J. 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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Quiz: What Genre Are You Destined to Sing?

Gypsy jazz. Hip hop. Americana. Rock. Pop. Country. Opera. There are so many styles of music, and so many amazing songs to sing in every genre.

So, which style of music should you devote your craft to? What kind of music were you born to sing? Are you a pop princess or a country songstress? Are you an opera baritone or rock star? Take this quiz and find out!

[playbuzz-item url=”//www.playbuzz.com/takelessons12/what-genre-are-you-destined-to-sing”]

So the next time you ask yourself “What song should I sing?”, consider a staple from one of these genres.

Choose a song that stands out to you, and work with your voice teacher to refine the style. Also, check out my guide to singing different genres here!

Don’t have a singing teacher yet? Start your search on TakeLessons.com, where you can find instructors who can teach you online or right in your neighborhood. You can even search for teachers who specialize in certain genres, like Broadway singing and country singing. Your voice coach will give you the guidance you need to transition smoothly to a new style on your musical journey, or just help you sound even fiercer in the one you’ve chosen!

Heather LPost Author: Heather L.
Heather L. teaches singing, piano, and more in St. Augustine, FL, as well as online. She studied opera and piano at Westminster Choir College, and performance art and improvisational acting at East Carolina University in North Carolina. Learn more about Heather here!

Photo by xmascarol

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