Singing Practice That Brings Optimum Results

Woman singing in Ocracoke USA
Your intention is the layer of your preparation that will unlock your deep potential -says Simone Niles.

Singing and life coach Simone Niles is often asked about the way to effective practice; she says it is knowing the difference between setting a goal and having an intention:

Let’s say that you have put aside 30 minutes to practice your singing.

It may be that you are a choir member with demanding music to learn or a gigging singer focussing on covers or originals.

One common way to approach a practice is to start with specific goals such as, “I’m going to warm up for 5 minutes with some trills and scales then I am going to work on a certain passage for 10 minutes, then….”

Setting goals is great because it takes the guess work away from what you are going to do and saves you time.

But I want to share with you a different type of preparation. It is something that many singers don’t think about – and it can really revolutionise the way you feel about your practice.

The Power of Intention

It’s Intention.

Think of intention as an overall layer, guiding all of your goals.

Deepak Chopra says, “Intention is the starting point of every dream. It is the creative power that fulfils all of our needs”

When we set an intention for anything, it guides our thoughts and actions, which are equally important with how we follow through.

Intention brings full awareness to our minds and helps to make sure our actions are fully aligned with what we truly want. It also makes us more receptive towards achieving our goals.

Don’t Confuse Goals with Intention

Goals target a specific outcome that is future based and often combines outlines and plans, laying out the steps you need to get there.

Setting a goal is mental process of left brain thinking, analyzing and reasoning. While I’m big on setting goals, I also recognise the importance of what drives them and that is intention.

For example, you may have a goal to master a specific technique and have a practice plan to support that goal.

The intention behind that is what drives you to have that goal in the first place and could be along the lines of ‘I am a professional singer with strong technical ability.’

Notice that I have phrased that intention in the present tense and that is because your intention is now, not in the future like your goal.

You want to live your intention now because your unconscious mind does not know the difference be today and tomorrow – leave that for your conscious mind.

As singers, we are particularly fortunate because we can use our warm up scales to help us set the best intention for practice.

Sound is a powerful tool that allows us to express our emotions, relieve stress and even impact our moods. When we use it intentionally we can create potent responses in our practice and our lives in general.

A Good Intention for Practice

Imagine that you have a challenge with a particular part of a song – e.g. you find it difficult to belt a note in the chorus.

When doing your warmup scales you would hold the intention of easily accessing the support and tone you need to be successful.

As you ascend each note, you would sing with expression connected to that intention.

What this does is create a connection between your heart and head. Head in this case being the technical, logical part (left brain) and heart being the expressive and intuitive part (right brain) of yourself.

Both are vital in creating results.

Or, perhaps you might want to have a creative breakthrough during a song writing session.

You would hold the intention of having that creative breakthrough in mind as you go through your warm up prior to your session.

Try This Experiment

Stand up and sing a verse and chorus of a song without adding any particular intention and record yourself.

Next time do the same and hold the following intention in your mind “when I sing this verse and chorus, I am healing ‘a person/part of the world/something that truly means something to me’.

Again, record yourself. What do you notice between these two versions?

Most likely the one that you attached the intention to created more expression, you felt more connected to your material and your heart was more involved.

Now put intention to work in your practice goals – e.g. practice repertoire for an audition, belting technique etc.

Step 2 – Choose an intention to support your practise goal – e.g. “I am confident in auditions” or “I have breakthroughs in technique.” (notice again that these are stated in the present tense).

Step 3 – Sing your warm-up scales, and with each ascending note, connect to your intention, which would feel like you are ‘expressing’ the scale (as you would in expressing a song).

Step 4 – Notice the difference in your tone and voice in the warm up now that you have added your heart to the equation.

Step 5 – Move into your specific practice with your intention in mind.

It is a fairly simple exercise and yet it can have powerful impact on your practice and what you yield from it.

Sometimes it could be helpful to hold one bigger intention for all your practice sessions, as with the previously example, ‘I am a professional singer with strong technical ability.’

However, you can also have a few intentions that support your goals specifically; it’s just matter of preference.

Like most things, the more you practice the easier it becomes to implement.

What intention will you set yourself today?

0 replies on “Singing Practice That Brings Optimum Results”