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Getting Started in Music: Some Tips

I'm 23 years old and only until I turned 18 did I realize what an incredible voice I had. And from then on the only voice lessons I've ever had were in my shower. My problem is now that I'm aware of my natural talent, when I respond to ads in search of female vocalists 9 times out of 10 they need someone with experience without even knowing how I sound. My question is how do I get the experience if no one gives me a chance? Where do I begin?

My advice: Find a teacher. Many female vocalists out there have great voices but need the coaching. In addition, teachers who teach whatever style of singing interests you will be the teachers who have the connections you may need to further your career. Best of luck to you in your pursuits!

Lynda Lacy
Lynda Lacy, Director of Choral Activities
Jackson Preparatory School, Jackson, MS
"Allow your voice to serve the music, not the other way around." - B. R.

We agree with Ms. Lacy's post. If you wish to pursue formal vocal lessons you may find the following article helpful:
How to Select a Music Teacher

Additionally, you may want to do some of the following (not necessarily in any order):

1. Find a pianist or guitarist to work with that is also in need of experience. Such a person might be willing to work with you for little or no pay at first. The two of you can help each other to get performance opportunities.

2. Sing at "open mike nights." Many clubs have these and advertise in your local paper. Depending upon your style you may also enjoy singing with karaoke accompaniment at some clubs.

3. Join a community singing group such as a community or church choir.

4. Describe yourself honestly in an ad in a publication that fits you. Let the musical groups call you as well.

5. Volunteer your talents (with or without an accompanist) to local organizations, i.e. nursing homes, schools and hospitals.

6. Sing for friends and family at parties and other occasions.

7. Audition for local musicals. Whether you get the lead or the chorus this looks good on a resume.

8. Sign up with a reputable talent agency. Many times your voice is the last thing they are looking for, but you might find a few surprising opportunities.

9. Tell everyone you know that you want to sing. Your friends, family and business contacts can help to expand your musical contacts.

10. Start researching the professional side of music. It is never too early to begin preparing for the career aspects of your musical life.

Good luck with your music!
Your friends @ The Unconservatory

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Updated: January 25, 2001 (KB)

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