What comes to mind when you think about singing? Do you think about famous singers with breathtaking voices like maybe Adele or Elton John? Or do you like to sing yourself but feel it is impossible to be as good as one of them?
Singing is the act of using the voice to produce musical sounds. Of course, the most common question regarding this topic is: Can anyone learn to sing? The simple answer is yes, anyone who can speak, can sing. Unless you suffer from the rare condition called congenital amusia which is commonly referred to as tone deaf, you can sing. However, the more challenging aspect is to make your singing sound good. Amusia is a condition where a person is unable to distinguish musical pitches because their brain is unable to process them. According to scientists, only 4% of the human population is affected by this condition.
Many tend to mistake singing as purely talent where you are either born with it or you cannot sing. Studies indicate that it is a skill that can be learned. Your voice has the potential to be an amazing instrument. It depends on how much time and effort you devote to developing and maintaining your voice. Of course, there are some who are naturally talented and require less effort than others to be good singers. However, talent alone will not get you far without the right attitude.
Even the naturally talented ones have to put in consistent effort to get better. Your interest in singing can be a hobby or it can lead to a career path. At the end of the day, it is all in your hands. If you are passionate about singing and want to know more, keep reading.
This article serves as an introduction to all you want to know about singing. We will be looking at methods of how to learn to sing, the benefits you can reap through singing, the music Industry and famous singers in Malaysia and where can one learn how to sing.
Methods Used to Learn Singing
How you learn to sing depends on the time you have to spare and the resources that are available to you. You can learn by joining a music school or by watching singing tutorial videos uploaded online. However, the best method to learn to sing is by having a teacher to guide and provide feedback. This will enable you to learn proper vocal methods and techniques which will help you sing to the best of your ability.
Before you start singing, do vocal exercises to warm up. Just like an athlete doing stretches before a big game, you can do simple warm-up exercises to prepare your voice. There are many exercises like the yawn-sigh technique, humming warm-ups, tongue trill exercise, vocal slides technique and many more. Try it all out and use what works best for you.
After warming up, it is time to look at vocal training techniques or singing techniques. These methods serve as the fundamentals for good singing. There are five components of vocal techniques which are breath, pitch, rhythm, diction and voice.
It is difficult to determine if you are practising your singing correctly unless you have ear training. This will help you identify different pitches, melodies, chords, intervals, rhythms, and various other basic elements of music. Ear training will make you a better singer as it not only improves your pitch but also analyse and decipher what you are hearing in order to understand the connection between musical elements.
Benefits of Singing
Singing is a fun way to express yourself. One can express emotions, feelings and ideas through singing. Whether you sing along with the radio in your car during your drive or perform in a choir with others, it usually makes you feel good. There are many benefits associated with singing.
One of the important benefits is that it releases happy chemicals like endorphins and dopamine which help you feel good about yourself and improve your mood. Singing is considered to be an aerobic activity. Therefore, when you sing, oxygen is released into your blood which leads to improved blood circulation and this in turn boosts your mood.
The media has fed this misconception that only those with a good voice can sing. Anyone can sing. If you don’t have a good voice, you can work on it as singing is a skill that can be learned. By learning, you are boosting your confidence. As you get better at singing, you will feel more confident performing in front of others and generally feel good about yourself.
Singing also helps improve memory and concentration as it involves focusing on many aspects at once like pitch and posture among other things. This leads to engaging many areas of the brain, therefore, making you more mentally alert. This can come in handy for senior citizens as music is now being used in dementia care. It serves as an effective tool in sparking memories when other forms of communication have diminished.
If you like to sing in a group, you can consider joining a choir. Singing with others helps build a sense of community as it builds a feeling of togetherness. You also get a chance to connect with others in the group as you work together to sing and perform. It is a great way to meet other people and form social connections.
Introducing children to singing from an early age, will help him or them to have exposure to a wide range of vocabulary and topics. They will be able to pick up not just words but grammar and sentence structure in a fun way. Listening to movement songs like If You’re Happy and You Know It, will improve their listening skills as they need to listen in order to perform the actions like clapping their hands or stomping their feet.
The Music Industry & Famous Singers in Malaysia
Malaysia is well known for its cultural diversity. It is a multiracial and multicultural nation where Malays. Indians, Chinese and various ethnicities live together harmoniously. Therefore, the Malaysian music industry offers versatile music by talented singers who each have their own style.
Sudirman was one of Malaysia’s legendary singers. He was named ‘Asia’s No. 1 Entertainer’ at the Salem Asian Music Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, London on 19 March 1989. Sharifah Aini, David Arumugam and M. Nasir are all well-known names in the Malaysian music industry.
The music industry keeps growing as the times go on. Siti Nurhaliza, Fish Leong, Yuna, Gary Chaw, and Anuar Zain are among the currently popular names in the industry. This is just to name a few among the many local talents.
Currently, there are three licensing bodies that are in charge of licence issuance and fee collection activities for musical works in Malaysia:
- Music Authors’ Copyright Protection Berhad (MACP)
To license users of music and pay their members that comprise of songwriters and music publishers when their works are broadcasted, publicly performed or communicated to the public.
- Public Performance Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (PPM)
Represents all eligible Malaysian recording companies and international recording companies who have exclusively licensed PPM members to control their rights in Malaysia.
- Recording Performers Malaysia Berhad (RPM)
Represents recording artists and musicians. Also represents the interests of a large group of individual stakeholders, namely local and national recording performers.
The provision in the Copyright Act 1987 allows these licensing bodies to represent their respective members. They are declared as a licensing body by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MYIPO) pursuant to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1987 in order to carry out various functions.
Where to Learn Singing?
Since singing is a skill that can be learned, you can train and practice to learn it. If you are interested in learning, we strongly suggest that you learn with an instructor. You can join classes either face-to-face or online according to your preference. An instructor will provide feedback and constructive criticism to get you on the right track.
You can look for vocal instructors from reputable sites like Superprof. You will find experienced and highly qualified vocal tutors for a reasonable price. You can arrange to have lessons online or face to face during a time when it is convenient for you.
There are various vocal or singing classes in music schools and centres all over Malaysia in states like Selangor, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak and others, depending on your location. Before joining any class, do make sure to discuss your goals and what you would like to achieve with your instructor in order to ensure that you and the instructor are on the same page.
If you are looking for free resources to learn, you can learn using YouTube videos where there are various videos with good tips and instructions. There are various apps that can help improve your singing. Websites offer detailed instructions on warm-up exercises, breathing techniques and other techniques to help you improve your voice.
If you are interested to learn singing, take the first step and look for a tutor with Superprof.
The platform that connects tutors and students