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How Many Years of College to Become a Singer?

So you want to be a singer? Unlike many traditional career paths, there isn’t a clear guarantee of jobs and salaries for singers. So how many years of college do you need to become a singer? I’ve looked at many singer’s background stories, and here’s a short and concise summary:

You DO NOT need a college education to become a singer. To be great at singing, the most important factor is your skill and a little bit of talent. If you’d like to take singing courses at college that’s a great idea, but note that practice and networking are much more important than the certificate. If you need a general timeline, 3 years of serious practice is what you need to get comfortable with the basics of singing.

Should I Major in Singing at College

Although you don’t have to study singing at college to become a singer, there definitely are advantages to this approach.

First, you can accelerate your growth and avoid common mistakes. That’s because your lecturers and tutors will give you great directions on how to sing properly.

Secondly, by majoring in singing at college, you surround yourself with like-minded singers. Having a group of singer friends can really accelerate your growth as a singer when you go through the courses together. These kinds of immediate feedback can be essential in speeding up your learning process.

Contrary to the points mentioned above, there are several downsides to studying singing at college. One of them is the tuition fees involved. We all know college fees aren’t cheap, so unless you’re definitely going to work as a singer or vocal teacher, studying another major is definitely the recommended path to take.

Unlike some other majors, like engineering, accounting, biology, law, and so on, you don’t have to have a certificate or degree to become a professional singer. In the music industry, unless you’re working in the education field, your qualification in singing has little to do with getting gigs or gaining fans. And so do consider learning how to sing on the side while taking another major at college.

Other Ways to Study Singing

If you decide to major in something else at college, there are other ways to study music. Instead of majoring in singing, there are short courses offered not only by colleges but music schools. They are usually much more affordable and you can tailor your lessons to your liking.

For example, you’re planning on becoming a Pop singer. If it’s clear that you want to go that route, just take Pop singing lessons, and go from there. Learn the fundamentals, and also get familiar to the ways of practicing. After that, you can even stop the lessons and get better on your own.

In contrast to taking vocalist major at college, where you have to take certain prerequisite subjects to complete your study, you may even get better, faster! Note that this also depends on the type of learner you are. Are you more comfortable in a college environment where there is a large group of students going through a long, carefully designed course, or you prefer taking short courses plus learning on your own.

How to Get Better at Singing Faster?

To get better at singing faster you need to have some sort of guidance. Sure, practicing by yourself can be helpful, but what if you’re doing it wrong? No matter if you’re taking a short course or getting a voice coach, having someone to guide you through the process is definitely faster than practicing in the dark. However, make sure you choose a system and mentor you can trust.

Start Getting Better at Singing Today

Why wait when you can actually start getting better today? No matter which path you take to get closer to your goal, these steps can help you immediately:

  • Get your singing posture correct
  • Warm-up before singing
  • Practice breathing between phrases
  • Extend your vocal range
  • Clear articulation

Get your singing posture correct

Your singing posture is very important for your development as a singer. Without a correct posture, you may find breathing and controlling your voice difficult.

When you’re singing, stand up straight, but relaxed. Feet shoulder-width apart, one foot slightly in front of the other, and lean your body slightly forward. Bend your knees slightly to stay relaxed. Your body should be well balanced.

Keep your head level, looking straight ahead. Your chin should be close to parallel to the floor, and your neck straight. Chest up, and your shoulders back and down. Also, keep your abdomen flat but firm. Leave your hands at your sides, keeping a slight gap between your hand and your body, and stay relaxed.

For a correct singing posture, we highly recommend finding a good vocal coach to give you some practical advice face to face.

Warm-up before singing

Always warm-up before singing. This is to relax your vocal cords and get them ready for singing. Warming-up can help to avoid damages to your voice due to straining and trying to hit high notes.

Practice breathing between phrases

Breathing can be an art in singing. Without good breathing techniques, you may find yourself always out of breath. Although singing may seem like an easy task, it actually uses a lot of energy and air. Make sure you don’t force it when you run out of air. Instead, practice breathing so that you can take in enough air for each phrase.

Extend your vocal range

When you’re just starting out, you may find your vocal range to be extremely limited, and that’s normal. Without practice nor experience, a person’s vocal range can be really small. If you follow proper singing guidelines and keep practicing, over time you will find yourself having the muscle memory to sing comfortably. Slowly but surely, your vocal range will start to expand naturally. There are also drills for you to sing in order to expand your vocal range. For example scales, arpeggios, and so on.

Clear articulation

Most music genres require clear articulation and pronunciation to get the message of the song across. Without clear articulation, the audience may not understand what you’re singing. When that happens, it doesn’t matter what you sing, the listeners would not understand what the song is about, and therefore may not be interested in the song, even if the melody is great.

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