The Real Reason All Gospel Singers Should Take Vocal Lessons (It’s Not What You Think)

By far the biggest challenge I face daily in this ministry is convincing naturally gifted singers that they too need to invest in vocal lessons.

But that’s because so many people think vocal lessons are about teaching you how to sing. Well if I already know how to sing, and I was born into a family of singers, why would I need lessons, right?

But let me ask you for a moment to think about the last time you sang. Probably last Sunday. Whether you sang lead or background doesn’t matter. What matters is how you felt. Think back. Was there ever a time your attention shifted from the message you were singing about to the task of singing itself?

Think back. Did you at any time start to feel discomfort? Did you find yourself at any point just kinda wanting the song to be over?  If you did, you must understand that in moments like those your mind, heart and spirit are no longer available to God.

Physical and mental limitations become a hindrance to your ministry when they take your focus away from the message. You really can’t be a proper conduit for the Holy Spirit to flow through if the connection is broken.

That is the real reason all singers who proclaim the Gospel through music should invest in vocal training. It’s not so you can hold a note until the audience starts clapping in celebration of how long you’re holding the note. That’s about YOU. It’s not about being able to sing notes so high that they become almost irritating to the listener. That is also about you.

The real reason it’s important for Christian/Gospel singers should take lessons is to remove any physical limitations that distract you from the message. Physical limitations lead to mental distractions. Now your mind is somewhere other than focused on what you’re singing about.

Training your instrument simply makes you a better instrument for for God. It frees you from things that distract you. Things that keep you from being able to go when doors open. Makes you unable to focus your heart and mind on what you’re singing about. So when you take lessons you are taking steps to eliminate those things so that you can be more effective when you minister in song. Not by holding notes longer or singing notes higher, but by eliminating anything that breaks that spiritual connection to the message that you need to really move from performing to ministering. And that’s about God, not about you.

Listen, I can definitely understand the hesitation many people have to spending the money to take vocal lessons when they aren’t really sure they’ll benefit at all from them. You may have even been told as much by someone who took lessons. But you really can’t rely completely on someone elses’ opinion on things like this. There are too many variables.

Many people sign up but they quit after one lesson. Some continue to take lessons but they don’t practice at home so they don’t see results. So only you can decide if they’ll really improve your ministry, and you can only decide that by trying them.

I know that’s a scary thought for many people though. So I wanted every singer to have an opportunity to try vocal training for themselves without fear or reservation. To do that I created a free 5 day vocal training course. You can get this course by simply signing up for my mailing list. You won’t need a credit card, you will never be charged. It’s simply an opportunity for you to see for yourself what some training can do for your ministry.

You’ll be introduced to some simple, basic vocal lessons and concepts. If you take them seriously and actually do them, in a few days you’ll notice changes. At the end I’ll give you an opportunity to continue your training at a deeply discounted rate. Completely optional, of course. Some people go on to up-grade to the full home study course, but many more simply enjoy the free lessons and go their own way, more educated. Whether they upgraded or not though, thousands of people all over the world have taken this course and raved about it. You’ll see hundreds of testimonials below the video lessons when you join.

So take the the step right now by filling out the simple form below. If you do the exercises I’m going to show you in this course you will fill different by the very next time you sing. The next step will be up to you.

How To Get Your Choir Members To Sing Louder

One thing I love about the fan page is that I get to interact with so many people all over the world. I got a question the other day from one of the members, who asked:

Hey Coach Ron, I have a question. How do I get my choir to sing louder? They have great harmony but they have a hard time pushing out volume. What technique would work?

I decided to answer her question with a video. Watch it now!

One very important point I made in the video that everyone should remember, is that singing loudly can and will cause vocal damage over time. The only way to get the volume and fullness you want safely is to take vocal lessons. Get 5 free video vocal lessons when you join my mailing list below.

40 New Year’s Eve Songs For Your Choir Or Praise Team

If your church is holding watch meeting on New Year’s Eve the music ministry is likely on deck. Wouldn’t it be great to have some really great New Year’s Eve-type songs for your choir and praise team? I thought so too, so I asked the community over on the Fan Page to give me some great songs for New Year’s Eve. As usual they came through big time.

The graphic below is the actual conversation where we added all the songs. Just  click on the little “comment” box at the bottom to go to the actual post and see all the songs.  If you don’t see it, give it a couple of seconds to load. This is an embed of the actual post. If it doesn’t work for you in Google Chrome try viewing it in I.E or Firefox. Add your own songs to the list if you like!

Ron

50 Choir And Praise Team Songs For Thanksgiving

So Thanksgiving is upon us already! And if your music department is anything like ours you must be thinking “isn’t there anything else we can do for Thanksgiving besides Thank You by Walter Hawkins?? I’m glad you asked! The family over on the Fan Page has done it again, creating yet another fantastic list of great songs.

This time I asked for songs great for Thanksgiving. You’ll see songs tagged as good for choirs, praise teams or both. As usual I like to embed the actual post here in the article, because these lists have a tendency to keep growing over the next couple of days.

So click on the like button of you’re not connected yet, then click on the comment button below to go straight to the live post on the Fan Page. If you don’t see the post below right away give it a couple of seconds to load. May not work in Google Chrome.

Facing Mean Faces: How To Deal With Unkind Looks From The Audience

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a big advocate of making eye contact with the audience when you sing. In fact a while back I wrote an article spelling out specifically why you should never sing entire songs with your eyes closed.

But let’s face it, there’s a reason why many people would rather close their eyes than look at the audience. The fact is, not every face you see in the audience is kind. And it’s already hard enough for some people to get up there in the first place. Now you want me to open my eyes too Ron?!

Well, yes I do. And if you think about your performances as mini-messages, or conversations with the audience it should become obvious why you’d want to look at the person you’re conversing with or delivering a message to once in a while. But the reality is no matter how well you’re doing there will always be people in the audience who seem less than enthusiastic about you. They may be looking at you with a blank expression, a mean expression or maybe not looking at you at all. There may be people in the audience who are completely immersed in some mundane activity like rumbling through their purse, or looking at their cell phone.

But audiences are a lot like life. They both have good and bad, positive and negative elements. So the best thing to do with an audience is the same thing we do with life. We avoid focusing entirely on the negative aspects and instead focus on the positive. Because you see just like there will always be people in every audience who aren’t feeling you, there will always be people in the audience who are.

You won’t be reaching or blessing everybody. That’s life. So the best thing to do is simply focus your attention on the ones you are blessing and reaching. A simple way to do both- increase your eye contact while also avoiding as much as possible those faces that may discourage you is a performance technique called the “Four Square” method.

To do this, you mentally divide the audience in to 4 square sections. As you sing, you simply move your eyes from one square to the next, then the next, and so on. But here’s the key! Most of the time there will be at least one or more people in each one of those sections who are with you all the way. They are enjoying you, being blessed, smiling or praising God, standing , whatever they do when they’re being blessed.

Your job is to find and focus on those people in every one of those sections. Look at the first section, make eye contact with the people being blessed. Move your eyes to the next section, do the same thing. Just keep your eyes moving from one “square” to the next, making contact with the people in that section that are being blessed by what God is giving them through you. You’ll be encouraged by them and they’ll get an even deeper connection with the song because of your direct eye contact with them.

3 Kinds Of Songs Every Group Must Have In their Repertoire

I know I’m stating the obvious here, but when it comes to our choirs and praise/worship teams, things are constantly changing from week to week. Despite our best efforts, the truth is you never know for sure if everyone you need will be there or not. We’ve all found ourselves in situations where we just can’t think of ANYTHING we can pull off with the people we have present.

But regardless of who’s here or who isn’t, we must go on. We have to be on our post regardless. That said, it should also be obvious that we should have songs in our repertoire that we can do in any situation, no matter how temporarily crippled we are. Unfortunately it’s not something we think about until it’s Sunday morning and 80 percent of your choir is missing.

So today I’m going to give you 3 kinds of songs every choir and praise/worship team should have on their song list ready to sing at any time. They are as follows:

1. Songs In Unison

Many times it’s one section that’s crippled, making it tough to sing many of the songs on your group’s list because of the harmony challenges this scenario causes. Having songs on your list that you can sing in unison eliminates this concern. The obvious one we all think about in Gospel music of course, is I Need You To Survive, by Hezekiah Walker. But there are quite a few others that are either entirely in unison or mostly in unison. Even some songs that do have harmony can be done well in unison and sound good. Be creative!

2. Songs A Cappella

Sometimes it isn’t the group members that are missing, it’s the musician! But even if nobody shows up but the drummer, you can still go on and do a great job if you have a few good a cappella songs on your list. All you need is for someone in the group to know the key of the song.

3. Songs With No Leader

The third most common scenario we find ourselves in is when we have plenty of group members but none of our leaders are present. Having a few songs with no leader in your repertoire eliminates this one instantly. There are tons of songs that either have no leader or that do have one but can easily done without one. This one should be an easy one to fill.

Now, your first inclination might be to simply find one of each and be done with it. However, if you do that those songs will become known as crutch songs that you only do when you’re in a bind. Your group’s attitude towards these songs will soon change for the worst, trust me. That’s why I suggest having two or three really nice songs in each of these categories. That way you always have something fresh to sing and sound good singing, not matter what life is throwing at your group at the moment.

Do you have songs on your list that fit any of these categories already? Please share in the comments box below!
Get free vocal lessons for your group members! Have them sign up below for my free 5 day vocal training course.