The answer to this question is short. In order to excel at singing, you must work at it. Singing is part craft and part artistry. When we are emotionally moved by a singer, I believe it is because the singer is able to move beyond the technique of singing into the artistry of the song and to invite us along for the journey.
We all know someone who was just born with a naturally gorgeous voice. The baritone in my high school choir was someone like that. He was born with a beautiful voice and when he sang, he almost always managed to make a beautiful noise. However, even the most gifted singer must learn vocal technique in order to sing well consistently and to be able to make and implement artistic choices on a consistent basis. That baritone went on to study voice extensively, and to my knowledge, he is still singing some thirty years later.
Voice lessons are fairly expensive. I know teachers who charge $50.00 an hour on the low end and teachers that charge $150.00 an hour on the upper end. Unfortunately, the cost of the lesson does not always correlate with the quality of the teacher. Look for a teacher who comes well-recommended by a broad spectrum of singers in the community. Teachers come in a broad range of vocal styles from classical, to jazz, to musical theater. While I am a teacher who leans toward the classical style, I believe that healthy, beautiful singing is the goal in most styles of singing. Therefore, look for a teacher who can help you produce a well-balanced healthy tone throughout your vocal range.
Most teachers work on vocal exercises and repertoire. And although we may not want to hear it from our teachers or from others, there is no substitute for daily practicing. As a voice teacher, I try to encourage daily practice in my students and I engage in daily practice myself. Practice the vocal exercises given and practice the songs that you are working on with your teacher. Make practice a part of your daily routine. It is just another form of exercise really.
Work on connecting emotionally to the music and the text. See the scene that you are singing about. Feel the emotion that is present in the music. Read the poetry of the music aloud. What does it say to you and how does it move you. Find ways to make the poetry come alive as you sing. Sing in front of others in this way. Invite them to hear and connect to the text and music with you.
Finally, find performance venues and perform publicly often. Performance venues can include a church, a senior citizen center, a school or community musical or opera as well as recitals, concerts and the like. Sing for others as often as you can. You will learn so much about the music, about yourself and about performing when you are busy doing it.
As a closing note, I think it is important that you love to sing for you to excel at it. Singing becomes a large part of our identity and our lives over time. It requires effort, time, patience and persistence. In order to continue the work of singing, we must come to love the daily work of singing as well. So, enjoy!
copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt