This year has been nothing short of strange. A life stuck indoors, between family members and screen time. Lessons moved online and social interactions limited. Performing has become next to impossible and we have watched as our beautiful industry has shrunken down to nearly nothing – the promise of its return, seemingly impossible. What does that mean for us artists? What does that mean for us singers?
About Samantha Landers
I have been a professional singer for twelve years and a vocal coach for eleven. I have a deep love for music and a deeper one for performing. There is nothing better than the feeling of immense pressure, fear, and openness I get, when standing in front of a large audience, telling my truth and sharing stories with them. I love the adrenaline. I love the excitement. I love the possibility that at any given moment, anything could happen. But, most of all, I love the connection and the interaction. There is no feeling like the transfer of energy between performer and audience. There is nothing like the electricity that passes between these two entities that were once strangers and, within moments, become forever entwined and connected in a visceral language that transcends our words and seeps into our very bones. That is music. That is live performance. So, in 2021, how do we maintain our love, our joy, our purpose, when our work seems so far away?
My word for the year is intention.
This means that everything I do, I try to do with purpose. The purpose can be anything from ‘just for fun’, ‘learning’, ‘enjoyment’, ‘entertainment’, and this list goes on. You get the point. While we sit in a space between learning what we love, and doing what we love, we have been given the gift of time… best to use it wisely. Singing requires daily practise and, just like any form of exercise, the more we do it, the more our strength increases and our fitness improves. Any singing, except when in the shower or jamming to the radio, needs to happen with purpose… with intention. In order to master our voices, we need to approach them with care, with patience, and with love.
Approach each rehearsal with a plan of action
- 10 min vocal warmup
- 10 min of exercises for strengthening and fitness
- 15 min going over the song
- Isolate passages in the song that are challenging and go over them again
- Make notes on what you aren’t happy with so that you can continue tomorrow and gain further guidance from your coach
Rehearsing should be done with joy and enthusiasm but, most of all, with the understanding that we don’t all get it right the first time and that as we grow and learn and improve, we will overcome different challenges. A great singer realizes that they will never be perfect, but they strive to be the best that they can possibly be, and to get better each day. Give yourself the space to sing, and permission to make mistakes. When we expect the mistakes, they feel like less of a failure and more of an opportunity to grow. Allow yourself to sing through the “ugly” parts. That’s the only way to get to the pretty! Laugh out loud with each error – it makes it that much more fun!
This year, we all get the rare opportunity to sing for our own JOY and PLEASURE! What an absolute gift! This is the moment to harness our skills and become the best storytellers we can because, once we are able to perform again, we are going to be the ones with the honour of bringing people back together, and sharing our messages of hope and love with them. This is a big and important responsibility – let’s use our time, and our intentions, wisely.
Yours in music always,
A Note From Mia: As always, you can book with me today and we can work on singing with intention together! I offer both online and in-person singing lessons in Calgary. You can view all my services here.