SINGING CAREERS - WHAT QUALITIES DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN A CAREER?
(Hot Tips For Smart Singers Newsletter - April 5, 2010. See more here.)
When I was a young singer studying with a well-known singing teacher in Montreal, Canada (Marie Daveluy), I used to hear her talk about singers chances for success in a way that made me wonder about the real meaning of "talent."
In discussing an advanced vocalist’s potential for a career, I would sometimes hear her say: "Well she/he has a great voice, but the rest of the talent is simply not there."
To my young mind, talent was "the voice." If you could sing well, you had the talent to do well. If not, you were not likely to get very far. I thought voice was almost everything.
Now, after having been a professional singer and a teacher/coach for many years, I understand what Marie meant. I´ve watched as students and friends have both built and lost careers. I´ve seen people whom I never considered career-oriented - make good names for themselves.
I´ve learned that the singers who do best are those who have the talent for singing, plus a group of other powerful qualities - including the ability to develop a long-range plan, or "vision."
FOR SINGING CAREERS! USE YOUR VISION!
In this case, “vision” means the ability and desire to see very precisely where you want to be in your career, a few or many years down the road.
Some aspiring artists can describe their future selves in great detail. For example: they see themselves wearing specific clothing and standing in front of audiences in specific concert halls or stadiums. They hear the sound of their own voices as they sing yet-to-be-created songs. They feel the impact of the lyrics on their audiences. They see themselves talking with the people who love their music. They see themselves making videos that play globally on the internet. (Most singing careers take this kind of inner focusing power.) Look here for the 7 Points of Power for singers.
Envision very specific success! This kind of en-visioning is helpful at all stages of a career. If you are a pro-singer, your future dreams still need to be mentally fleshed out before they can come to fruition - in life.
As long as this vision does not become an obsession, I believe it can help singers to remain focused and to continue developing their talent during the most difficult times when a career in music can seem miles away. Or when your ongoing and carefully-built singing careers feel like they are terminally stuck. (For most aspiring singers, there are many occasions when they question whether or not the dream is worth the enormous effort.) In case you missed it in my e-mail - go here for an emotional BOOST!
PERSIST! CAN YOU KEEP READING THIS?
Having a strong sense of where you are going with your art can bolster your ability to persist, too. And persistence is also an integral part of a singer’s talent - as any long-time singer knows.
Persistence means always looking for ways to continue doing what you love. It means seeking options when one road does not work out. It also means having the maturity to re-evaluate your vision frequently, to be sure that you are working towards an ultimate goal that is truly right for your evolving (changing) needs.
(You should occasionally ask yourself: “Does this dream still make me happy?”)
Of course, success in music is dependent upon many factors - some mysterious, others quite practical, including: family support, financial assistance, timing, chance encounters, connections, courage, luck... the list is long. But if a singer is fortunate enough to have a good voice, a powerful vision, an ability to keep going and to re-evaluate the dream when it makes sense to do so, many of these other factors often seem to fall into place.
By the way, the lovely ¨MAGGIE¨ you see in the photo above, is the ¨visionary¨ dog-pal of a close friend of mine. I was blown-away by this photo. Such connection! May we all sing with this depth of vision!
If any of you readers have animal photos that show good singing qualities, please feel free to share!
I WISH YOU GREAT SINGING!
P.S. For those of you who still have the energy to read on, here´s an exercise that is helpful in building singing careers or in starting a singing career. You will need a pencil or pen and a blank piece of paper.
- Draw a long line at the top of an empty page.
- At the beginning of the line write, NOW - At the end of the line write, IN 10 YEARS.
- Using the questions below, briefly describe where you are NOW.
- Then, using the rest of the empty sheet, describe your musical self a decade from now:
- What are you doing every day?
- How do you look?
- Where do you live?
- Who is your audience?
- What is your style of music?
- Who are you working with?
- What are you wearing?
- How do you feel? etc....
- When you have written all you can, think carefully about the person you have described. Do YOU really want that future? If so, think about the kinds of things you will have to do to make that dream become a reality.
- Create a short start-up list and begin today, working towards that envisioned you.
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