YouTube can be a wondrous thing for the curious singer but identifying the good advice from the bad can be tough. Here are three YouTube channels we’re tuning into for singing tips, inspiration and education.
Karyn O’Connor is an ever cheery, US-based vocal coach who knows her stuff. Her Singwise Vocals videos are brimming with useful information and practical singing tips on subjects such as breathing, vocal self-assessment and technique. She breaks important topics up into manageable chunks, so you can learn in your own time at your own pace (which is handy as O’Connor speaks quite quickly, and there can be a lot to take in). Breathing for singing, for example, is covered in six videos, each just over ten minutes long. O’Connor caters for singers of all abilities and genres.
Dr Dan’s Voice Essentials
We love Dr Dan, a singer and vocal coach with a doctorate in musical arts who dishes out no-nonsense advice. His videos are accessible and punchy and suitable for singers of all levels. Dr Dan covers subjects such as pitch, range and vocal warm-ups (all in a broad Aussie accent). He also busts a few myths along the way (like that old adage “sing from your diaphragm). Dr Dan has also made a series of “pit stops”, two minute episodes that feature quick singing tips for those short on time.
You won’t find specific vocal technique talks on TED, but as half the challenge with singing – especially if you’re a professional – is mental, then we think it’s worth tuning in for some inspiration. We found Brené Brown’s talk on the power of vulnerability thought-provoking and useful. The social worker and researcher details how all of us at times struggle with feelings of inadequacy and that if we face our greatest fears, rather than try to numb them, joy can follow. Our other TED talk favourite is educationalist Sir Ken Robinson. His talk on the importance of creativity, and how it is as important as literacy, is an oldie (it dates back to 2007) but a goodie. Sir Ken believes, in no particular order, that: we only learn from taking risks; the best teaching is individualised; society focuses too much on academia, and as a result many creative and talented people are “educated” to think they’re dumb; and that good teachers never stop learning. All good stuff if you ask us. Sir Ken has since gone on to deliver several other TED talks worth checking out too.