Six Must-Do-Steps When Learning Your New Song
So, you picked a new song. You love it…it is in your vocal range, sits nicely in your tessitura, and is a piece you feel drawn to perform.
Here are my six must-do-steps when learning a new song and a process that I encourage my students to adopt.
1. Do your research. Google your composer, music style, time period, surrounding historical events, character, setting, plot, or anything that could lend insight into your delivery of the piece. Youtube your piece and listen to several different artists, not to copy, but to inspire.
Get in the Score
2. With pencil in hand, go through your music and take note of key signature and key changes. Notice where the breath marks are. What are your dynamics… music markings? Notice where the rests are and why they are there. Look at your accompaniment as well. What clues is the composer giving you?
Make It a Monologue
3. Memorize the lyrics as a monologue, playing with word inflection and pacing. You never know what you will discover within the play of the words.
Choose A Vowel
4. Sing the melody on your favorite vowel, paying close attention to working in your healthy vocal technique. While singing on the vowel, check in with your body. How is your posture? Is your jaw relaxed? How is your breath management? As you are moving through the melodic line, are you giving yourself enough space to facilitate the notes… or maybe too much space?
5. Sing the melody on the vowel of each word, again, being very aware of the vocal technique you are incorporating into the piece. Pay close attention to your tongue and jaw in this step. Make efficient choices when moving from vowel to vowel. Continue to work in your breath management. Is your spine, neck, jaw, and tongue relaxed?
Puttin’ It Together
6. Working phrase-by-phrase, sing the melody with words, gently adding the consonants. As you sing the words on the melody line, pay close attention that consonants like g, k, d, j, w are made in a relaxed manner, as to not steal away from the beautiful vowel work that you did in the two previous steps.
- Gives a well-rounded understanding of the song
- Brings detailed attention to vocal technique, encouraging positive muscle memory
- Secures memory of words and melody
- Creates a strong foundation to move into preparing the song for performance
Try this out today on the new song you are learning. Let me know how it goes. And if you have a friend or family member that is learning a new piece, share this post with them and help them perform with more beauty, joy, and confidence
Happy Singing and always Rejoice In Your Voice™