Questions and Answers
I cant sing for shit, so im wondering if i should invest in a teacher or not. Can u really learn how to sing?
Yes, it's how all opera singers learn how to sing. It's "classical' training, actually, and as the others have said, it takes time, effort, and proper breathing; and a little help from a teacher is (to become a professional) almost always necessary. Personally, I don't think there is anything such as "natural talent". We all learn our skills from somewhere; our environments shape us. Some people are better at acting than others because they find it easier to express emotions, just like some people find it easier to sing because they can manipulate their breathing easier than others. And even this "natural talent" is nowhere near perfect without training: I have never met (nor heard of) an individual who could sing perfectly from day one. It takes lots of practice and training. So, yes. You can learn it. ^^ If it's your dream, then follow it! Never give up! That's my philosophy.
I LOVE to write poetry, and lyrics for songs. I get complimented from EVERYONE! Even people that usually don't like poetry or things like that. I get awards all the time. I really have a love and talent for it (not trying to sound conceited) I want to begin writing a book, but i don't have the time. Or money to publish it. I am only in the 9th grade, but i want to have an idea or overview of where i am going and what to study. My mom is going to make me attend college no matter what my Job choice is. (i don't blame her) I also love to sing and dance, but i cant really dance as a career because i have bad problems with my knees and joints, and my legs aren't aligned properly. But either way, i want study something in the music industry and/or writing industry. (must be pay-well career that i would have to go to college for) Thnx!
Hmm…if it has to pay well off the bat, you might be disappointed. Even after college, most careers in writing and music involve getting coffee for the real pros in the industry at low pay, unless you want to teach. For teaching the pay is never very high but at least it is steady.
You may have to balance more than one thing, rather than taking a linear path through B.A. Or B.F.A. And steady job because those two industries are anything but steady.
You could sing in a club/bar/coffee house while going to school and maintain that as a part time job afterward. Seriously — a solo singer in my small town can get $1200 in a night by singing at a house concert if 100 people show up (and they do for someone whose built up a local following) and pay $10-15 which goes directly to the musician. Now that is not every night but it sure is a nice bit of extra change for one night of work.
Your day job could be at a record company learning the industry while working on your lyrics. During this time you could be developing industry contacts and learning what really goes into the songs you want to write.
You really want to write a book? You don't need money to publish it. Unless you publish it yourself, they pay you. You can put it up for free on LuLu and your readers can pay on demand for any books they might want. If writing is your passion, you should go for it.
There is no overview. If you want to sing, start singing. If you want to write, start writing.
College is life experience and further education that will help you in your career and your life. Spend high school exploring both writing and singing and see which one predominates, then around 11th grade, start looking at colleges that offer what you want. While there, develop relationships with professors who can get you contacts out in the world when you're done.
Neither of your choices is an easy road to a well-paying job.
Here is what some of my 30-something friends who have been working at music or writing longer than you are doing:
"Ray" is playing trumpet with Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center. But he was winning national competitions on trumpet when he was younger than you, his dad was a music teacher, and he practiced 4 hours a day in high school.
"Sam" is a professional guitarist — has been in NYC, now in Chicago putting out his second CD. He is very talented and is finding joy in the music he is playing with his different bands. He is not a household name except to jazz aficianados but he is as good as any other pro jazz guitarist.
"Dusty" is a playwright — he is just 30. He has had plays produced in London and the U.S. But not on Broadway or West End. He has a job building sets for a theatre company and doing odd jobs around the theatre but as a bonus they will perform his plays.
"Anna" wrote a novel that won and American Book Award a few years ago. She had short stories published in the Paris Review and STORY magazine when she was 23-24 and they won national awards. She made little money off her novel and is now writing plays. She writes for newspapers, too, but the newspaper folded and she is now probably going to be selling ads for a different newspaper. Her school teachers called her the most talented writer they'd ever had, yet in her late 30s she is still struggling to find her niche. She started writing plays at age 8 and continued into college and is actually returning to that now.
"Jessica" went to college and grad school in writing. She wrote a children's play that was performed in a major theater in Atlanta when she was 22 but it went no farther, and she was over 35 when her fifth novel became a best-selling "first" novel and she got a 3 book deal from one of the big seven publishing companies with a six figure advance.
"Jonathan" worked on his opus musical for over ten years living very frugally in his small apartment while working in a diner on weekends — earning tips that kept him indoors and alive while he spent all week every week on his musical — for TEN years or more. He sent his script and tape around to theatres all over NYC and finally one theater took a chance on him. He earned a grant for a workshop production and the theater was sold out. The fact that he died that night being random and notwithstanding, that musical went on to win the Pulitzer and Tony and ran for eleven years on Broadway — that musical was RENT. And it seemed like an overnight sensation but he spent ten years of his life on it before anything happened.
"Henry" was a talented musician in the MIdwest growing up. He went off to one of the pre-eminient conservatories to study his trumpet and piano. He played in NYC with various bands, and still does. His solo album — the sixth he produced — took off a bit and last year he toured with Rod Stewart as his piano player. He is now 38 years old.
"Lisa" has been a playwright since she was a teenager. She went to one of the seven sisters women's colleges for her degree in creative writing. She is now in her forties and finally has started achieving success as a playwright. Over the years she has waited tables, bartended, been a bicycle errand person, transcribed medical records, and done what she needed to do to stay afloat.
Music and writing are seldom overnight successes with high pay. There are very talented people in both fields still struggling — not because they lack talent but because their break has not happened yet. All of the above people have worked very hard all their lives. Early successes have not translated into later ones.
Use your high school years to find out if you are really dedicated to your craft, because hard work and dedication matter more than talent. If you are not in it for the love and passion then it is not the right thing to pursue for money.
I'm just interested in what people say… I'm a HUGE Beethoven fan and I love playing his music even though his sonatas can be a b*gger to play, last 20ish bars of his Opus 27 No.2 'Moonlight' sonata – the DREADED third movement. Started learning it at 13, finished learning at 14 but still not perfect…
Hey dude, I absolutely adore Mozart. I play the French Horn, so I've been working on the rondo section of his Horn Concerto number 3. It's tough!!! I haven't learned the entire thing for lack of time, but oh well. He's amazing. It is also my goal to be able to sing "The Queen of the Night" aria from the opera "The Magic Flute" by the end of my senior year. I'm a coloratura soprano, so it's my main challenge. So yeah. Ciao!!!
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