Breaking into the music industry is not an easy task but that shouldn’t put you off. Getting experience and gaining singing qualifications will go a long way to helping you make your mark as an artist and you could be a global success if the hard work pays off.
Even the best singers in the world are striving to improve their voice and singing, so remember how important it is to have a list of qualifications on your CV. Becoming more educated in music is a great step on the ladder within the music industry. In this guide we will explain what qualifications you need to be a singer, if any, and how education can help in your career.
What education do singers have? Essentially, there is no set list of what you need to succeed as a singer in the music industry. Some singers will have all the luck and will get picked up busking on the street or singing outside their local supermarket. But, not everybody will be this lucky so it’s a good idea to get lots of experience and consider getting some qualifications to give you a head start.
What do I need to succeed as a singer?
There are some singers who haven’t been educated at all, but lots of singers have. That might be a bachelor’s or master’s degree in music or performing arts. It’s a big commitment, but if you’re at that stage in your life where you’re ready for education and singing is what you want to do, it could really help you to become a star in the future.
There are also other options when it comes to education that won’t require such a big commitment such as a BTEC diploma in Performing Arts.
What education do singers have?
Lots of aspiring singers take professional singing lessons. Believe it or not, singing coaches can really help you to improve your vocal ability and help you to discover the range your voice has and how powerful it can be.
Taking singing lessons will help you to improve your tone, technique, power and volume. It will also enable someone else to listen to you to help you improve as what you hear when you sing isn’t always what other people hear.
Taking singing lessons will help you to improve your chances of becoming a professional singer with the help of a coach who has the experience within the music industry.
It’s also extremely useful if you can read music, even if you don’t play a musical instrument. Understanding music and being able to read it will open doors for you and will make it easier for you to become more involved in your music as you move forward in your career. It’s also something that record companies will be looking for as it gives you a greater understanding of the world of music and shows how passionate you are.
What kind of education do you need to be a singer?
Do I have to study music?
As we said above, it’s absolutely not a necessity and many artists do get their lucky break without having got an education in music. However, if you’re in it for the long haul and you want to gain a greater understanding of music and help to improve your skills, then studying the subject is certainly something to consider.
Lots of people who study music might be looking at different genres of music. For example, those hoping to become an opera singer might find studying more beneficial than those hoping to get on the pop music ladder. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth thinking about.
What other qualities are important for aspiring singers?
The ability to act at some level is certainly helpful when you consider that you will probably need to do some acting in your music videos.
As well as being a good singer, there are lots of extra skills that you can learn should you receive professional training such as how to control your breathing and how to prepare your voice for a performance.
How to get discovered as a singer
This is all about getting your name out there and spreading the word about who you are as an artist. It means you must put yourself out there as often as you can. Play lots of local gigs at pubs and see if you can perform at local festivals.
It’s important that you already have a fanbase. Record companies will not consider signing anyone that doesn’t already have a fanbase and getting your name out there and getting your music heard is the best way to ensure you have your very own army of fans.
Make sure you regularly post on social media. The power of social media should not be underestimated. Post things every day if you can, especially photos and videos as they get lots of attention. Provide links to your website to help drive more traffic there. Post videos of you singing on YouTube as well – lots of stars have been discovered via video platforms.
What is a promotion pack?
You might have heard of a promotion pack but are unsure what it is and what it entails. It’s basically a collection of promotional items that you can pass on to venues, promoters, agents and other people within the industry to give you a push and help to get your name out there.
Typically it would include things such as:
- Links to videos of you singing
- Links to your website and social media channels
- Download audio files of a studio session
- Photography and branding
- Your artist biography
When you are first starting out as an artist, it’s certainly something that is worth considering and spending some time on as it can really help you to get heard and recognised within the music industry.
Networking is another important factor to consider. The music industry is a business so like any other business, networking and getting to know people within the industry is a good way to get your name out there and get yourself recognised. You want to meet the people who can help you to achieve your goal and networking will do that.
Stage presence is another essential part to being a singer that will help you to stand out. If you want to be a successful singer you need to act the part. You need to think and act like a star.
What type of training do you need to be a singer?
What are the qualities of a good singer?
There are lots of aspects that make up a good singer but below are some of the key ones that you should be aiming for:
It’s important that you are in control of your voice. This means being able to hold your notes. Stay on pitch and don’t go off key or start singing in the wrong key.
There’s nothing worse than a good singer who mumbles so you can’t hear what they are singing about. Make sure you sing as clearly and precisely as you can.
Make sure your audience can hear you. Quiet singers aren’t only difficult to hear but it also suggests you are lacking in confidence. Put some power into your voice so you can be heard clearly and understood.
It’s important that you are singing well throughout the song. It’s no good belting out some top notes at the start of the song but then fizzling out towards the end. You need to keep up your high standards.
You know the artist or band that always sings the same type of songs? You don’t want to be that person, you want to stand out from the crowd and be versatile and known for singing more than one genre of music. The best singers are versatile and can show variety so bear this in mind.
Use your ears
Make sure you listen to yourself singing. This is one of the best ways to improve as a singer. Record yourself regularly so you can analyse your performance, check your pitch, adjust your tone, make sure you are singing at the right volume. It’s a good way to help you to continue to improve.
Ensure you are breathing at the right times and can control your voice. This is usually something you will learn from a professional singing coach but is one of the most important aspects of being a singer.
Look after your voice
This is a key one as it will help you to prepare for any performances. That means not overdoing it and regularly having lots of drinks before you start. Make sure you warm up properly but equally, try not to strain your voice.
Know your range
Even the world’s best singers can’t sing every note, so don’t attempt to sing something you think might be too high or too low for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about practicing and having a solid understanding of your voice and what it can do.
A bad singer will sound weak or feeble when they perform. To be a good singer, you must have strong support for your singing which will enable you to produce strong and clear notes. This is all about good posture, good breathing and overall practice and development of your voice.
How to perform as a singer
This is another hugely important aspect if you are embarking on a career in the music industry. It’s one of the most important aspects of being a star and although you don’t need any qualifications for it, it’s something that you need to be confident in and ensure you understand how to capture the interest of your audience.
Of course, your voice is a very important part of your performance but so is entertaining your audience and keeping them entertained throughout your performance.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re performing at your local pub or simply recording yourself ready to release a video on YouTube, make the most of your performance and use the space around you. It oozes confidence if you are moving about and showing your audience that you are enjoying yourself and are passionate about what you do.
Tips for performing as singer
If you do have an audience, try and get close to them so you can interact with them on a more personal level.
Use your facial expressions to interact with the audience and to convey the emotion of the song so people understand more about who you are as an artist, what you are trying to achieve and what music and singing means to you.
Make sure you are always smiling – nobody wants to go and watch a performance where the artist is unhappy and miserable. Yes, you want to be taking your performance seriously but you also want to have fun with it.
And don’t forget to make eye contact with your audience as this helps to create strong relationships.
Don’t be afraid to hide your emotions. People like this and it often helps you to perform better, especially if you’re singing a particularly emotional song.
Don’t forget about your image. Your image is important because it conveys who you are as an artist. Make sure that what you are wearing reflects your personality and the genre of music that you are known for. What you perform musically should match your image and your style.
By now you should have a wealth of information that will help you to get any qualifications you feel will help you to benefit in your career as a musician.
Do you have any singing qualifications? What qualifications do you think singers need to succeed? How did they help you? Share any tips and advice you have below.