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It can seem a bit overwhelming trying to find time to practice your singing when you have no time at all.
A while ago I published an article named “How to find time to practice singing when you are a super busy person”, and today I would like to talk a bit more about the topic.
Because nowadays most of us are super busy! It seems like if we wanted to follow advice such as “You should practice 5 hours a day”, we would have to replace sleeping with practice time.
But that wouldn’t work because lack of sleep damages your voice!
Should we wait until life gets easier and lighter to become singers? No! Life will always be busy. There are always things coming up, and the risk of confusing lack of time with an excuse not to practice is big.
As I mentioned before, finding the time to practice your singing when you have no time is important for many reasons, but perhaps the most important one is one that seems to be hiding at the back of your mind. Perhaps you don’t even hear it yet!
The most common reason why people don’t start their singing journey until later is because singing is uncomfortable. Not at a physical level, unless your voice is sore. But at an emotional level.
Our larynx is connected to our emotions very deeply. Most adults are terrified to start singing lessons, even if that is what they want to do! And there are good reasons for that.
When we sing, we feel most vulnerable. And singing in front of a singing teacher, even if we have heard it all, means sharing your voice in front of a stranger.
Your system will be on alert mode, which means you are a functional human being with a functional alarm system.
However, the reality is that singing for a voice teacher (provided that they are professional and know what they are doing) is safe. Your voice teacher is there to identify what is currently blocking your voice and help you work on it.
If you think about it intellectually, you will understand that there is no real risk. You will be fine! Yes, it will be uncomfortable, but you will be fine. And it will get easier every time. And the rewards you are going to get for being able to go through those uncomfortable emotions are too great to give them up!
Think about it. It is a bit like the ideas of instant gratification and delayed gratification. Instant gratification impulse begs you to stay home where you are safe. Delayed gratification, however, asks you to do something way harder. To put yourself out there, share your precious voice with a stranger who will tell you something that you should be working on with your voice.
The choice is always yours! If you choose instant gratification then you don’t have to ever feel the uncomfortable emotion of facing your singing fears. But equally you will never be able to develop your voice like you would like to.
Going for delayed gratification, however, will give you not only the possibility of becoming a great singer but also will help you grow as a person. Because you will be facing a fear and overcoming it. Imagine all the things we could do if we always chose delayed gratification!
So the reason why I think it is very important to not give up singing until you have lots of time is because it can well be just an excuse to avoid the uncomfortable feelings that come with learning to sing.
While we can’t create more time than we have, we certainly can make much better use of it. Which is pretty much the same!
Learning to be a great singer is not about how much you practice, but about the quality of your practice.
Because learning to sing is about learning to use your body in a different way. As singers, we ARE our own instrument.
It is about building new habits little by little, just as any habit is built.
And so here you have my recommendations on how to practice your singing when you have no time:
Ideally, with a teacher live, either in person or online. Or if you are learning with an online course, then schedule a regular time every week, or every fortnight, or every month. The frequency is not as important as its regularity. I wouldn’t recommend any less than once a month. And ideally I would say go for a weekly session.
You can decide how long your session can be for you to be both useful but not overwhelming. If you can commit one hour a week that is great, but if you get stressed just thinking about how you are going to fit it in your calendar, then 45 min or 30 min will do wonders for you.
Also if time is a problem, consider taking online lessons rather than in person. At least it will save you the traffic time!
Make sure you choose the amount of time you know that you can stick to. It is very easy to say we will practice for two hours a day when we are super motivated, however in my experience when students go for such a big goal they end up not practicing anything at all. Start small and build your practice time up from there.
If you can dedicate 20 min or 30 min per session to your practice, that would be great to start with, but if that even that is too much for your busy schedule you can either make progress with 5 min a day – provided that you practice with quality.
Excuses will arise! Do yourself a favor and practice no matter what. Tired? Sad? Hungry? Practice anyway! That is why choosing an amount of time that you can realistically commit to is so important. If you start skipping practice you will soon notice that you are not practicing any day at all.
A practice session is not singing along with your favorite song in the car, or singing along your assigned song while you do the dishes.
Plan your practice and have a goal for each of them. If you have no idea what you should focus on, ask your teacher! It is not about practicing everything every single session. Choose one goal at a time.
Make sure you eliminate distractions! Put your phone away. The world can wait for 20 or 30 minutes. Surrendering to every distraction will not only give you poor quality practice, but also it will make you very tired. Because you will constantly be switching your attention around.
Nowadays being present is a challenge. With so many distractions around us, we are almost never present in our bodies. We miss out on so much! If this is a problem for you, consider starting a meditation or awareness practice. Even paying attention to your breathing will help you.
Make sure you are present in your body when you practice your singing. Feel your body, try not to be thinking about different things. Learning to sing requires training body awareness, and if you are singing while your mind is in another place you will be just repeating old habits and not really learning any skills.
The environment you practice in is important for good quality practice. If possible, try to find a time where there are not many distractions in your practice space. Is there any time during the day in which you know you won’t be distracted by your kids or your pets? Is there any space in the house in which you feel at ease and peaceful? Is there anything you can do to make the space feel better? Tidying it up, using a nice lavender oil in your aroma diffuser? What time of the day do you feel more aware and awake?
I hope that was helpful!
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