This is the second of two parts in a couplet called “Becoming a Better Musician”. The goal of these posts is to offer practical ways worship leaders can grow in their musicianship now. The first part offered five practical ways you can improve your musicianship on your instrument of choice. All of the practices suggested can be used for any instrument.
Odds are, if you are like me, you lead from an instrument, but you also lead vocally. Improving my vocals has been more difficult than developing my primary instrument (acoustic guitar), but has been incredibly rewarding! Your vocals will be what the congregation relates to and listens to the most, so they are crucial to your worship and music ministry. Here are 5 ways to develop your vocals!
Private Music Lessons
Like developing your musicianship for your instrument, private music lessons for your voice is hands down the best way to improve your singing. There are different approaches to singing, so selecting your instructor will be even more essential, but the dividends are phenomenal. Your instructor will give you guidance, motivation, and accountability.
Learn a Warm-Up Routine
There are plenty of warm-up routines on the Internet, so I recommend you go find one that works for you. As long as the routine is not putting strain on your vocals, you are probably going to be good to go. Use your routine anytime before you sing, especially in the morning! A good routine will also begin to assist you in developing good technique.
Listen to Classical Vocal Music
This is probably the oddball recommendation on this list, but here is why you should listen to classical vocal music: classical vocal technique will maximize your vocal potential and save your voice. A lot of contemporary genres, anything from the blues of the ‘30s to the popular music on the radio, will neglect proper technique in their vocals. Classical vocal music will ensure you are listening to good vocal technique.
Take Care of Your Vocal Chords
If you are one to scream at your school pep rally’s or your favorite band’s concert, my recommendation is that you stop screaming. You need to take care of your voice! After a couple of post-concert night Sundays in which I could not sing, I realized this was the best way to go. Also, tea with honey can go a long way for preventing and curing various throat problems.
Along the lines of taking care of your vocal chords, you need to get enough sleep! Your vocal chords are muscles and they need time to rest and recover just like any other muscle in your body. The standard still remains 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and that is what you should be going for every night, not just some nights! Plus, this will ensure come practice time or Sunday morning that you are ready to lead.
These are 5 ways you can improve your singing right now, regardless of your musicianship level. What other ways have you found helpful in improving your singing or taking care of your voice?
Jason Palmer is the Editor of TalkingWorship.com. Jason has a Bachelor of Science in Ministry with a Worship Arts Major and Music Minor. He has lead worship for evangelical churches for 7 years and desires to see worship leaders become confident in their calling.