We had our first quartet tests in the Rockford Aces Monday night – one on a part demonstrating their mastery of a piece. Afterwards, one singer asked me how he can stop feeling like he knows it in the practice room but forgets it during the test. Here are a few suggestions:
- Have a keyboard handy to check yourself regularly while practicing.
- If you aren’t proficient at piano, get someone to record your part on your phone.
- Get good at recognizing errors immediately (this is something young singers find surprisingly difficult).
- Record yourself singing your part and listen back.
- Ask your friends to sing their (different) parts with you – in other words, rehearse the quartet test.
And a few caveats:
- Don’t always practice along with a recording of your part. It won’t be with you in the performance.
- Don’t spend your practice with someone else of your part. There are benefits to that kind of practicing, but you can learn to lean on your friend.
- Don’t sing along with full recordings of the piece.
- Don’t let yourself sing wrong notes over and over again.
Practice every day in this way and you’ll be proficient in no time. Even better, every piece you practice this way makes the next piece easier to learn. You improve your musical knowledge, your intuition, and your confidence.
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