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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Luchi

Top 5 mistakes in 10 years of singing

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

Have you ever wanted to go back in time and have a talk with younger-you?

As that’s not possible, I’ll share with you my top five mistakes, which served me as lessons, and now could be valuable advice. Quick disclaimer: I’m being extremely honest and vulnerable, in the hopes to connect with your own honesty and vulnerability.

1. I was arrogant.

Once I learned something new, I assumed everything else was wrong. I looked at colleagues and thought that I knew better, that I knew it right. The thing is: I just knew something different. Do yourself a favor: stop placing concepts, techniques, vocalizes, etc. on boxes of “right” or “wrong”. Start approaching everything you do from an experimental point of view: try it, take notes, record yourself, listen and compare to your teacher’s feedback, choose what makes the most sense to you right now. Don’t fool yourself: what feels right to you will probably change from time to time, as you have more experiences and learn new things.

2. I was always in a hurry.

My practice sessions were filled with anxiety. Whenever I had a new piece to learn, I would sit in front of a piano and start plunking notes and singing the text right away. I created a lot of tension around the repertoire I studied at that time, and it took me years to understand it and have the courage to be patient in my studies. The sooner you learn to practice with patience and grounded in the present moment, the sooner your voice will bloom. This way you’ll save yourself from spending time later to undo the tension you created.

3. I thought technique was something I had, or had not.

Vocal Technique, as any other physical technique, is something to be pursued. The moment you stop searching for it, you stop finding it. This concept helps to keep us on our feet. It is both humbling and exciting. This journey has no end! We always have something to teach and something to learn. Keep yourself open and eager to discover new things!

4. I didn’t want to understand.

In the first few years, I just wanted to open my mouth and sing - probably because I didn't have a lot of body awareness and couldn't really feel what was happening. Although that might work for a while, this approach tends to fail you sooner or later. You don’t need to get fancy with technical/ scientific terms - only if you like them - but being able to feel and describe sensations in your body and reproduce or adjust them is the key for developing consistency in your vocal technique. What helped me develop body awareness was the practice of yoga, but there's also Alexander Technique, martial arts, and other ways.

5. I believed there was just one career path.

Of course, I believed the only way was the one in which you become an international opera star before your 30s. I even thought teaching was for losers, for those who weren’t good enough on stage - I obviously never said it out loud, but I did think it. Again, I’m being very honest and vulnerable here. Today, it’s obvious to me that I was wrong and that teaching actually makes me a better singer. By the way, I love teaching!

Listen: it is very dangerous to believe there’s just one way of doing things. The world is a puzzle and we are the pieces. We need to discover what kind of piece we are to occupy our space. No piece is the same, which means your path is unique, just as your voice. Be you, always! When we are comfortable with our authenticity, we allow others to be comfortable with theirs. That’s the best way to walk your journey and build your career!

What about you? If you could have a talk with your younger-self, what would you say?



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