1. Attitude is the most important factor in studying voice, or any subject. This includes interest in learning how to sing as well as joy and confidence in singing. Emphasis in this area reduces fear and self-consciousness, while increasing sensitivity, artistic understanding, and even a person’s health and appearance.
2. “Practice makes perfect.” Development and success of a singer depends as much upon consistent and effective practice as on any other factor. Practice should be enjoyed, even though hard work and concentration is required. The correct way to sing is only accomplished through persistent effort in practicing all assigned exercises, scales, sight singing, and literature. Also, remember to be patient and realize that results become evident over a period of time.
3. Correct posture is a fundamental for control and success in singing as well as for any activity. Good posture consists of the following: balance slightly forward on the toes, weight evenly distributed with one foot slightly in advance; straight legs, spine, neck, and head; hips tucked in; stomach flat; chest comfortably high; head balanced and level; hands relaxed and held easily at sides. There should always be a feeling of a lift in the body with balanced and erect posture, but never tense or rigid.
4. Breathing correctly is the basic technical requirement for success in singing. Many famous singers know that breath control is the secret of their outstanding technique. Efficient breath control requires focused effort over a considerable time to become natural. Breath control and practice to improve it are life-long goals of all singers. Correct posture is fundamental to good breathing along with the following: the spine from the neck down should be kept stretched and tall, but flexible; the chest must remain comfortably high during singing, and never rigid; the upper chest must be lifted before taking a breath, and can never be raised during this process because it prohibits the singer from sustaining a tone evenly and freely.
5. Production of tone and careful attention to tonal quality is basic to freedom and beauty in singing. Conditions are right for good tone when the throat feels relaxed and open. This same feeling of ease and relaxation in the throat should also be achieved in the cheeks, lips, and jaw. This area of emphasis leads directly to clear singing of vowels and notes sung correctly.
6. Singing cannot be beautiful unless words are pronounced freely, clearly and beautifully – correct diction. Therefore, singing should simply extend from speaking. One of the main objectives for singers is to be able to sing all vowels with a nice tone and pure quality. There are five basic Pure Vowels used as foundation for practice and production: a = ah, e = eh, i = ee, o = oh, u = ooh. The tongue should be loosely forward in the mouth with the tip barely touching the base of the lower teeth. The jaw should drop naturally, and each vowel should be sung as it would be mouthed to be spoken. Also included in the area of diction is articulation of consonants without hindering the vowels and tone production. Consonants should be articulated distinctly, freely, and quickly. They should also be as natural and plain as in dramatic speech. They must be thought on the same pitch as the vowel to avoid being scooped or flat. Make vowels long and consonants short.
7. Mastery of legato singing, which is smoothly carrying over one tone to the next, is critical to good singing. In addition, sustaining tones to their complete rhythmic length without change, or connecting tones without skips or slides must occur in correct singing. This area of singing involves dynamics, agility in singing, and extending range. Every good singer desires to improve control of notes sung as well as to increase flexibility in singing. Achieving all of the previous objectives is the only way to establish these last principles. Exercises and warm-ups are the best tool for precision in tone progression. By varying the speeds for different exercises the singer can develop precision and control needed for high quality singing.
* Try to use the mirror to check various areas of appearance and body mechanics while singing.
Always make natural and expressive singing a constant goal. Also, be open to criticism and coaching, and to analyzing your own vocal strengths and weaknesses.