By Cari Cole
So did you know that when Lady Gaga was preparing for her Oscar performance a few years back, that she worked with a vocal coach for 6 months every single day?
Now you’re probably saying, I wish I could afford that! Oh, the privilege of having money.
But — I bet even if you did have the money, that few would do it. Cause it’s not just money that makes you do something like that, because you can practice every single day for 6 months and do my Singers Gift Warmups for less than $100. It’s the time and the motivation to do it.
There is the problem. Motivation. Who is motivated to practice vocal technique every day for 6 months? Few.
It’s not your fault. Look, vocal practice is kind of boring. You stand there, practice alignment, body positions, holding your jaw down, managing your tongue and soft palate placement, and try to practice the techniques while not sounding so good (you probably sound better when you sing ~ it’s normal.) And then you have to have patience because it takes repetition, doing the RIGHT exercises in the RIGHT way, for an extended period of time to get big results.
However, when you train with a vocal master, you’ll experience results right away — but it still takes dedication and as I say in another blog I wrote about this — devotion.
So given that I’ve spent over half of my life devoted to training singers to be and sound their best, I’ve become somewhat of an expert on daily practice and motivating singers to create a strong powerful regimen. One that gets results.
Here are my Top 5 Ways to Build A Killer Daily Regimen and Outfox Procrastination:
1. Schedule your practice time.
Make your practice a reality by scheduling it in your calendar. Find a time that works best. It may take a few weeks or so of experimenting to nail it. If you get up early for work, then consider getting up earlier. Or do it right when you get home before you relax. Or find a practice room near work you can cut out to on your lunchbreak.
Tip: When I was a music student in college waitressing and going to school, I found that the best practice time for me was before I left the house. That way it wasn’t a hard and fast time every day since my schedule was different, but by making that RULE, I was able to stick to it. That’s what worked for me. I would put it in my calendar and then adjust the time that day given what my schedule was, but it was a non-negotiable to do that day.
2. Start with less and grow to more.
Trying to establish a routine is a little harder than once you are in it. I always recommend to start with 2-3 days a week of practice and once you have that established, then increase it one day at a time until you are at 5 days per week.
3. Make it non-negotiable.
This is the kicker. Making your practice non-negotiable. Once you get your practice time in your calendar you need treat it like you do your job. You can’t just not show up – right? Whatever you do, don’t give up on yourself.
4. Make it a practice of “devotion” to your craft and mission.
Instead of thinking of your vocal practice as a drag, think of it as devotion to your music. It has a softer connotation, from the heart. Isn’t your music the most important thing in the world to you? Then treat your practice with your love. Makes it easier and more fun. Besides, it’s not only good for your voice, it’s good for you. Practicing vocal technique is kind of like meditating. For those 30 – 45 minutes you lower the chatter in your brain and focus on the here and now. And, you oxygenate your body and brain. Check.
5. Do it regardless of how you feel.
There are always things that will derail your practice. Especially how you feel. But if you make a rule that you will practice regardless of how you feel (think of Lady Gaga – if she can practice every day for 6 months so can you) — then you’ll be more successful. And think of it this way, once you make the decision, it’s easier to do ;).
I hope this helps you be a vocal powerhouse and reach your true potential.
You can do this. One step at a time. Have faith.
Can’t wait to hear about your results!