Singing is one of the most beautiful forms of expression of the human voice. Whether we sing in a choir, perform on stage, or simply hum our favourite songs while taking a shower – singing makes us happy and connects us with other people. But unfortunately, the pressure to perform can affect our pleasure in singing. Especially when it comes to vocal performance, the pressure to perform can bring troubles that can affect not only our voice but also our self-confidence and sense of self-esteem.
In this post, we therefore, look into the issue of “The voice and performance pressure – how to create a balance”. We will discuss the impact of performance pressure as it affects the voice and your health, and show how vocal lessons and singing teachers can help in dealing with performance pressure.
The impact of performance pressure to your voice
Pressure to perform can affect your voice in several ways and, in worst case situations, can lead to injury or diseases. Here are some examples:
- Stress affects the voice: When we are stressed, our body produces more of a hormone called cortisol, which dries out the mucous membranes in our throats and causes us to have problems with our ability to use our voice. This can lead to hoarseness, throatiness, and other problems with our voice.
- Wrong technique is enhanced by pressure to perform: When we put ourselves under pressure a certain way, we tend to strain and use wrong techniques to make our voice sound “better” in a short-term perspective. This can result in harming ourselves in the long run and causing our voice to become stressed.
Therefore, it is important to actively work against the pressure to perform when singing and to sustainably learn and improve healthy singing techniques. This is where an experienced vocal coach or singing teacher can help.
The importance of vocal lessons in mastering performance pressure
An experienced singing teacher can help reduce the pressure to perform while singing. Here are suggestions of ways a vocal coach can help:
- A skilled singing teacher knows how to create a comfortable and safe learning environment for the student. He or she can also help set realistic goals and support the student along that path.
- A vocal coach will help you to better understand your unique voice and what your vocal capabilities and deficits are. This allows you to work specifically on certain areas and make progress.
- A vocal teacher will recognize when a student is using the wrong technique, which can lead to long-term vocal health problems. He or she can assist in improving and correcting wrong techniques and teach healthy ways to protect and improve your voice.
It is important to find a singing teacher who is focused on the individual needs and goals of each student. Good harmony between teacher and student is also essential.
Tips for how to reduce pressure to perform while singing
There are several techniques and strategies you can use to reduce the pressure to perform when you perform. Here are some tips for you:
- The breath control
Efficient breathing is crucial for great singing. A technique that can help control and improve your breathing is diaphragmatic breathing. This involves taking a deep breath into the stomach so that the diaphragm moves downwards and the lungs fill with air.
- The posture and relaxation techniques:
An upright posture and focused relaxation techniques can help to relax your body and improve your vocal performance. An example is progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups (face, neck, shoulders, abs) one by one.
- Mental strength:
The mental aspect of singing is just as important as the technique. An exercise that can help reduce nervousness before a performance is visualizing the performance. This involves imagining yourself auditioning and receiving positive feedback from other people.
Note that these methods need time and practice to be effective. An experienced vocal coach can help to learn the right techniques and put them into action by practicing them properly regularly.
Summary of the most important points
It is important to find a healthy balance between the desire for a perfect voice and the pressure to achieve it. An experienced singing teacher can help to improve technique and confidence, building self-esteem and thus reducing the pressure to perform. By practicing on a regularly and using the right techniques, one can develop a healthy and strong voice in the long term without putting too much pressure on yourself.
To conclude, it is important to emphasize that each person is unique and that there is no quick fix for healthy vocal performance. However, by taking time, using the right techniques, and practicing regularly, you can make progress that will improve your vocal performance.