Advice to a young singer

I recently was asked for advice to a young singer who plans to attend Berklee in a year or two. I was very glad to get the request, because it is something I think about often, and I wish I could clear up some misconceptions before they take root. Here is the message I sent her... Take regular voice lessons and practice voice an hour a day. Not just learning songs, but emphasize vocal technique with an ear toward clarity of tone. STUDY PIANO. Start with the basics of 12 major scales, 12 x 3 minor scales, triads (arpeggios and inversions, major minor diminished augmented), seventh chords (arpeggios and inversions, major 7 minor 7, dominant 7, half-diminished 7, diminished 7). Practice at least an hour a day. Use a metronome. Listen to music for 45 minutes a day. Start with stuff you love, then search out the predecessors of that, and keep on going back in time. They say "mastery" takes 10,000 hours. Start putting in your time! Successful Berklee students are the ones who come in with an established work ethic and are passionate about music. We are pretty "style-agnostic" in the Berklee voice department, so someone who is intensely into gospel, or Bollywood pop, or Bulgarian choral music, or opera, or stone country all can find their niche here. LOVE what you do!

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