If you are a singer who has a degree in vocal performance, then you are ready to stop doubting your greatness and start living your awesome life by singing in the world right now. If you are a voice teacher or coach, you will recognize the need for your students to make a difference in the world with their singing and even make some money. Singing gigs and projects for classical singers are not just in opera, symphony orchestras, and churches anymore. In fact, most of the more meaningful (and lucrative) destinations for the vocal arts are not on the traditional stage but out in the world helping people.
The key is to sing for people who want to hear you for their own reasons and who value what you have to offer. Lots of people value singing for lots of reasons. If you are willing to gain the skills that you may not have gotten in school, you can find meaningful and lucrative places to sing. There is plenty of work out there for everyone!
Here are the top five tips to get you started:
5. Get familiar with what is already working in the world. Peruse the arts news and blogs daily to see what is happening with classical singers all over the world. You’ll be surprised to see how classical singers are making a living these days as teaching artists, wellness performers, cultural ambassadors, corporate consultants, independent artists, etc. For a good list of blogs and news sites, go to www.the21stcenturysinger.com and click on Morning Coffee.
4. Learn how to market yourself as a performer and your products. Marketing just means having the ability to interview well, pitch your ideas, audition well, create great materials, and get them to your target audiences, fans, and employers. Take a class.
3. Create products that you can offer to both employers and fans. You’ll need videos, CDs, MP3s, streaming events, download cards, or anything you can hand to a prospective fan or employer to introduce yourself and your art.
2. Tailor your repertoire for a specific purpose. We all know that different repertoire evokes different types of responses in the listener. Offer repertoire that is calming, joyous, enthusiastic, or patriotic, etc. and the audience will choose whatever he or she needs.
1. Know yourself. Every singer is an artist but may not know it. To develop your own “voice” so to speak, you’ll need to turn inward. If you know why you are singing you can develop your own authentic vocal art that will have tremendous power to transform your listeners. I highly recommend meditation.
Accomplished, hard working artists capture the hearts and imaginations of their audiences. Sing for the spirit of the song. Sing because you are a singer. As a singer you can put your voice to good use making the world a better place. Sing out in the world for a specific and meaningful purpose and a simple evening of entertainment can turn into a pathway for enlightenment.
Susan Mohini Kane is a professional singer and voice teacher in Los Angeles and the author of The 21st Century Singer: Making the Leap from the University into the World (Oxford University Press, 2015). Kane holds a DMA from The University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music and is a tenured full-professor at California State University, Los Angeles. Kane has released two CDs and is currently performing regularly with her classical cabaret duo: Kristof & Kane. For more information please visit: www.smkane.com, www.the21stcenturysinger.com, and www.kristofandkane.com.