Being a singer is an amazing talent. Not only do you create beautiful music with your voice, but you’re creating art and giving the audience a picture in their mind to go along with the song that you sing. But how do you make sure you have perfected your singing? Follow these simple steps.
1. Stay Healthy
Many singers have issues with acid reflux disease, allergies, vocal nodes, etc. Try to keep yourself healthy. I have all of the three I listed above, and to take care of my voice I take medicine to take care of all. Going to a laryngologist will help you discover if you have any of these issues that you need taken care of.
If you don’t have any problems, don’t think you get away easy! Watch what you eat, and be sure to limit yourself to caffeine, spicy foods, tomatoes, acidic foods and dairy. These all can damage or effect your vocal chords. You don’t have to cut them out of your diet completely, but just watch what you are eating. Take lots of vitamins and keep your immune system strong!
2. Hydrate, Hydrate, HYDRATE!!!
I can not express enough how important it is to keep yourself hydrated. This goes along with being healthy, and truly this helps your body so much in general when you stay hydrated (especially your vocal chords). You should be drinking half of your weight in ounces of water every day. Not soda, not juice, not coffee, WATER.
A pageant girl’s best friend is water, especially vocalists. I carry around a big water bottle all day and try to get through at least 3 of them by the time I go to bed. Not only will this detox your body of impurities, it will also help keep you alert, focused and your voice clear as day!
3. Take A Rest When Needed
I was blessed to be a naturally loud person (it’s the Italian/cheerleader in me) and with that, I am constantly having problems with my voice. If you are like me, take time to let your voice rest. Sometimes just taking a couple hours without talking a day will help you keep your voice in shape.
If you start to notice you are becoming a little hoarse, drink more water and REST. It’s okay if you are talking all day at the pageant, sometimes you need to think about your health besides the daily pageant gossip.
4. ALWAYS Warm Up
I don’t care if it is 6AM, ladies you better be warming up before you sing. You wouldn’t just start dead sprinting before stretching would you? No! Your voice is your sport, and your instrument. If you don’t warm it up and stretch it out before you use it, you will hurt it.
If you look up different types of warm ups you can do on the fly, you will see they have hundreds! I always start out with some big sighs. Make your voice almost sound like Mrs. Doubtfire. “Well Helllllllooooooo!” Go from the bottom of your register to the top and just let the end of the “o” just fly right off through your head voice.
Practice your breathing, and try to see how long you can hold a note. Just a simple “ah” on a comfortable pitch to really stretch out your vocal chords, and give your lungs a warm up too! Warming up is something you should take very seriously, and always do. It may be silly, but you don’t see the dancers walking out to perform without stretching so you shouldn’t do it either!
5. Put Your Heart In It
If you sing without emotion, you’re simply just spitting out notes. When you sing, you have to give it your all. All of your emotions, all of your strength, all of you breath; All of you. You could hit every note perfectly, and still not win if you don’t show the world what your made of.
Take your song, put your heart into it and be a little vulnerable. This is your time and it’s definitely scary, believe me. But in this x amount of time you were given to perform your vocal talent you have to make the judges and the audience believe that you lived this song.
If you’re singing a ballad like “For Good,” show everyone how this is you. You are grateful for someone in your life who has changed you for the better. If you’re singing “Take Me or Leave Me,” be sassy, be animated and express how you are who you are and nothing will ever change that, so “take me for who I am.” If you’re singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” be happy, sweet and innocent.
You could be singing a childhood memory and the only way the judges will know that is if you actually SHOW it and express it in your emotion.
When I asked Miss West Virginia 2014, Paige Madden, Non-Finalist talent winner at Miss America 2015, she told me “My best piece of advice would be to make sure you sing songs that are appropriate for your range. Singing a belty song isn’t impressive if you can’t hit the big notes. I’d rather hear someone sing well in a lower register than try to squeak out a beyonce note!”
Which isn’t that the truth ladies. It’s hard to be perfect, especially in the pageant world. But you can be. You don’t have to meet anyone’s standards, you just have to be your own bit of perfect. If you can meet those standards, honey you’ve already won.