• Val Bastien

Three Habits Of Successful Singers

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

Learning how to sing is easy but it's having the right attitude that is more difficult.

1) Nurture A Growth Mindset

I just read an article yesterday that inspired part of this blog about Talent Mindset. Does talent guarantee success? In some areas of our lives it does. The music business is a tough machine however and the whole package doesn't always require top quality talent. This is good and bad news! Meaning you may not be a power house but you may have other skills to your arsenal that make you stand out. With that said, most of us dreaming of pursuing a career in music generally do so based on a perception of minimum talent either in singing or in other art related areas. There is no room for entitlement in success and therefore we are encouraged to approach our learning with a Growth Mindset instead, independently of the outcome we seek. When we celebrate our efforts and hard work we feel rewarded by the process of improvement. This fires up our brain's neurons and our learning expands faster. Thoughts attract things so I believe this brings more opportunities as well. If you try your best at something and still fail, give yourself a grade of "Not Yet". Instead of living in the power of now (instant gratification), switch your perspective to the power of "Not Yet". Carol Dweck demonstrates this wonderfully in her TED Talk "The Power Of Believing You Can Improve". Tell yourself: "Good, now I know what to work on". "Good, I'm available for a better opportunity." "Good, now I can concentrate on other projects". Always look for the pro to the con. Learn to love the process not the result.

2) Stop Comparing Yourself

It is our primal human nature to want to establish our place in the social rank. And there was born competition. Let's look at two different scenarios to see why this behavior is toxic. First, if you think you did better then the other, you're putting him down. Putting others down to make ourselves feel better is universally recognized as a reflection of our own insecurities. There is no need for that. If you express this out loud and this happens too often, people might think of you as a bully. You will alienate other's support for your art. In the second scenario, a singer thinks the other did better. The anxiety also talks to low self-esteem and is ultimately destructive. What I suggest instead of making comparisons is to celebrate other's success without placing judgement on our own performance. Stop asking: "Who was better?" and start looking for aspects of everyone's performance that inspire you to model your craft after. If you need a confidence boost, ask family and friends to tell you about what they appreciate in your singing. Make a personal list of what part of your voice you are grateful for (beautiful tone, wide range, ability to belt, soulful voice, dynamic stage presence, etc). Welcome feedback willingly as an inherent part of your learning curve. Continue pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to reach new heights and explore new avenues with your voice. Find what makes you unique and shine!

3) Do YOU

Dare to be yourself. There are many singers out there but only ONE YOU! Your story is unique. Figure out what it is and stick to it. Your talent is unique. Develop your natural singing voice instead of copying other singers. Your songs are unique too. Even when covering another artist, try to put your own interpretation into it to make your mark. Sing like nobody is watching. Just go for it; you are a star!