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There are many myths surrounding the art of singing. Many people believe that only "special" people can sing, that you have to be "born" with the ability or that it is "too late" for them to learn. However, almost all vocal coaches agree that anyone, yes anyone, can learn to sing! Expensive lessons are not necessarily the best way to learn to sing. Not every singer who becomes famous took expensive singing lessons early on in their careers. Mimicry and self confidence can often help the most. Don't be intimidated by what you see on pop culture television. Remember that shows such as American Idol are cleverly produced for shock value. Many of the terrible candidates you see trying out are the worst case examples of people who have no control of pitch or volume. They were selected purely for entertainment; most of them could learn to sing properly if they applied themselves and spent some time on vocal training exercises. To dispel another singing myth, very few people are really "tone-deaf". It's a term often used to identify someone who sings badly off key, off pitch or with too much volume. The reality is less than 2% of the population is tone deaf. People who cannot sing on pitch simply need ear training. This can be done with the help of a qualified vocal coach or by investing in a good quality learn-tosing program. Anyone can learn to sing but not every voice is suited for all kinds of music. The human voice is an instrument, much like any other musical instrument and part of studying singing is learning about your unique instrument and what it is ideally suited for. When you start your singing career you might not have any of your own songs. That's fine but remember,if you do not sing your own material, it is important to choose the right songs for your voice. If you have a gentle voice if would not be wise to sing the hugely powered vocals of a Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston song as you could end up damaging your voice! Sing within your ability but be passionate about your work. The tone of your voice is much more important than the range. People will love or hate your voice based on its sound character, not how many notes you can hit. Never sacrifice tone for range (stay inside your range). There are instances of professional, commercially successful singers with only a single octave range (Billie Holiday and Johnny Mathis). The only standard for what makes a professional or commercially-viable singer is the ability to sing in pitch and to be unique. Do not simply copy your favourite singer's voice. It takes a lot more than voice if you are interested in becoming a professional singer. You need to have a unique style about you and your voice is just one extension of that style. Singing well is a skill, improved upon with proper breathing coordination. It is an extension of speech. To become a "good" singer you must be able to breathe properly, sing with power (resonance) and sing in pitch. To become a "great" singer you'll need to add dynamics and develop a style that's all your own. Find the joy in singing. There's nothing like watching someone performing in their "element." If you

love singing, then it'll show no matter how well you sing. Believe and trust in yourself and don't assume that you know it all. It takes time to develop your sound AND your voice. Sing proudly, no matter what your level of expertise or experience, and remember that learning to sing should be an enjoyable experience. Smile and have fun whenever you sing!

Sophie Curran is a singer and freelance writer. She regularly contributes articles and advice on how to start your singing career, how to promote and record your songs and how to sell your music online. For more tips and a list of recommended resources to boost your singing or song writing career visit Learn To Sing today..

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