"The Law of the Harvest" or GIGO for Singers
It is an enduring truth from nature that we yield what we’ve planted and tended in the season of growth and it will show in the harvest. If it wasn’t planted in fertile soil or a place that gets good sunlight and if it didn’t receive oxygen and enough water, it would be weak and it could die.
So, if you want to continue improving, then plant your talent in a place where it will grow (this studio), and then nurture it constantly (daily practice 1-3 hours, weekly lessons, and monthly masterclasses and regular performing opportunities).
The GIGO principle is the axiom that the quality of the output is a function of the quality of the input. Business growth depends on quality input and output in order to progress and improve.
It is the same with learning how to sing and perform. Quantity of hours studying is one part of the process. Daily GIGO for singers looks like this:
- 30 minutes – maintain status quo
- 1 hour – minimum for growth
- 3 hours – minimum for professional performance or quick study/turn around
The other part is QUALITY of how that time is used.
If one student practices for three hours daily, that student will likely grow three times as fast as the student that practices only one hour a day, but not always. The optimum is achived when those three hours are used effectively.
What QUALITY PRACTICE Looks Like
Smart, quality practice requires:
1. RECORD ALL LESSONS – especially the part of the lesson that reviews the song and breaks it down into its parts to familiarize the student with the accompaniment.
2. Learn the music from the MUSIC MANUSCRIPT – not a YouTube recording. Get your music organized in a notebook in NON-GLARE sheet protectors. Mark up the music with the correct notations for the accompanist. Look at the music and read and count every note. It will help you see the notes on the page in your mind and brings faster recall.
3. REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT – PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! This article says it takes 30 repetitions to memorize.
4. USE A LYRIC SHEET. Get the lyrics off the internet, check to make sure they are correct and paste them onto the page in a way that will put them all on one page (two column works). After you’ve memorized the notes and where the lyrics lie on those notes, walk away from the manuscript and use this sheet.
5. Do what’s called a SPEED-THROUGH, speaking the lyrics as fast as you can. Where you hesitate, go back and review only that section for 30 repetitions.
6. Use SUBTEXT, which is the story you’ve created behind the music. Use all your senses to link to the lyric: Visualize where you are, what it smells like, how it sounds, feels and tastes. This will help you connect to the lyrics and recall them.
7.MANAGE YOUR TIME. Take charge of your day. Write down your schedule, prioritize. Make room for practice. One hour is a minimum for Intermediate students.
8. MULTITASK while singing the song. If you can sing the song while washing the dishes or doing your hair, you are fluent.