How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? Practice…Practice…Practice.

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on August 1, 2013

GuitarPlayingAs a Voice Specialist I get asked two questions over and over. The first is, “How long should I practice vocal exercises?” I don’t mind this question, but I don’t think I give clients the answer they’re looking for. I usually respond by asking, “How much do you want to improve?” In my mind, that’s the only real answer. I could tell them to do articulation exercises for six hours a day, and they might do pretty well the first ten minutes and drift off course with the exercises after that. What a waste of time that would be! It’s really very personal. Vocal exercises work as long as you’re concentrating on doing them well.

The other question I often hear about vocal exercises is, “I don’t have a spare minute to do them. My life is jam-packed. How can I possibly fit them in?” Again, my response may not be what that busy person wants to hear. What I tell them is that we make time in our life for what’s important. That goes back to the, “How much do you want to improve?” question.

Let me give you an example. I have known many busy executives who have suddenly found time to take ballroom dancing classes because their first daughter’s getting married. I’m talking guys who carry multiple Blackberrys and leave for work at 4 a.m. Pretty unlikely candidates for dance class, but all of a sudden it becomes a priority.

Here’s another example I shared in an interview I did for George Washington’s blog, eVOlution. (Ck out the interview and learn more interesting things…..). This is about a young woman who made time in her life for daily vocal exercises: “I worked with one young women, let’s call her Mary, whose voice was so young-sounding that she couldn’t get a job at the smallest television station in the country. Mary took voice work so seriously that she did the exercises I gave her everyday for probably an hour over a three-year period. I was amazed by her commitment. But it paid off. In a couple of years she had not only gotten an on-air job in television, she was working in New York City! I used to play a recording of her “before” and “after” voice in workshops, and no one could believe it was even the same person. She is living proof that you can make major changes in your voice if you really work at it.”

So whether you’re a broadcaster or voiceover artist, if you make a commitment to practice vocal exercises I can assure you your voice will improve.  Want a simple way to begin?  Ck out the exercises in this previous post.

So how much do you want to improve???

To start the process, look over my e-book, BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK, which is filled with helpful exercises. You’ll also find exercises on my mp3’s and on my other blog posts under the category of articulation in the sidebar on the right.

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