You are currently viewing Music Questions I’ve answered on Quora. Part 4

Music Questions I’ve answered on Quora. Part 4

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Quora is an online question and answer (Q & A) platform. It allows people to seek answers from others in their community. Here are the questions and answers I’ve provided on Quora. Perhaps you will find an answer to your Q & A.

What is the best type of training for a 9-year-old child with a talent for singing, private voice lessons or a classical children’s chorus?

I think it depends on a few things. I personally think private voice lessons prepares a child for singing better than a children’s choir. I have performed in at least three different choirs/choruses throughout my life and while they are great for building a community and having fun, nothing compares to private voice lessons.

I think the question should fall along does your child exhibit behaviors that warrant private voice lessons. For example, do they like to sing in the car; are they already performing (such as they are already in a choir); do they exhibit the behaviors that make you feel they would be good performing on their own? If the answer is yes, then it might be time for private lessons.

Look back at famous singers and notice that they oftentimes started out young and you can find old videos of them being soloist.

What music is proven to be useful as a study aid?

The best music, in my opinion, is classical music. I love listening to quiet classical music as I am studying. I think that the music needs to be too distracting such as ones with words in it.

Why do I feel like I sound so terrible when I’m singing? I’ve been singing for about 10 years, and people say I sound really good, but I still feel like I sound terrible in comparison.

How you sound to yourself and how you sound to others is completely different. There are times when it is the opposite. You think you sound great and everyone else thinks you sound terrible. I would get a good piece of equipment to record yourself. I personally like the Yeti microphone (~$100). Record yourself and listen to it. You may find you have a different viewpoint.

How do you nicely tell your child that maybe a singing career isn’t for them?

I get it. You want to support your child but then you also don’t your child to focus on something that he/she might not be good at. On the other hand, your child might be a bit too young to know whether or not they are any good. Your voice changes tremendously over the years. With voice lessons your child will get better as well.

Perhaps the genre of music isn’t for them (My voice isn’t meant for some types of music and that is OK).

The most important thing I think is.. if your child likes it and enjoys it then why stop. Think of all the not-so-great things children get into.

What are the best exercises for me to become a better singer?

Best exercises for singing include

  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Scales
  • Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone (sing a song a little higher or lower in your register)
  • Practicing.

If you have a decent singing voice would vocal lessons make you sound as good as naturally amazing singers? (Beyonce)

I never suggest any student seeking to sound like anybody. You sound like you and you are unique. If everyone sounded like Beyonce, would Beyonce be famous? Of course not.

If you are talking about getting good technique down and sound great no matter what you sing, then yes music lessons would be important for you.

Are voice lessons worth it for complete newbies if you’re on a tight budget? Or is it better to try learning from books?

The best thing about taking lessons, these days, is that there are more options for you if you are on a tight budget. Online lessons are a great way to get started with taking lessons and are often cheaper than in-person or studio rates.

I would look for studios that offer packages, while you have to pre-pay, you will be able to take lessons over months vs weeks if you were to pay the same price.

There is nothing wrong with starting with looking at books. The question I would come back with, how much technical stuff have you really learned from books without a teacher?

Is it ever too late to take voice lessons? I’m 56 and would still like to learn how to sing properly so I’m very curious?

As others mentioned, never too late. What you will find is that your voice probably has changed and songs you may have sung in your earlier years may not be right for you now. There are things you can do (most importantly key changes). I have seen people of all ages take voice lessons.

You should start – yesterday

What are some exercises to start songwriting for a beginner music production student who knows music theory and play the keyboard at a beginner level to follow in order to write and compose good melodies/chords progressions?

One of the first things I did when I started songwriting was to analyze songs that I liked. I would look at things such as key signatures, form (A-B-C-AA or verse-chorus-bridge). I would look at the chord progression.

Basically, you are trying to get a volume of ideas in your head. What are some things you like that are done that you might want to copy. I find evaluating all kinds of music was beneficial. For example, I found a need chord progression in a musical that I then incorporated into a do-wop style style.

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