Sincerity is at the heart of powerful music –says Donna McElroy
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
Sadly, if your dream as a singer is to change the world or help anybody else to change, your hardest chore will be to be heard over the clanging cymbals.
Sincerity is the loudest, sweetest bell; a sweet spirit is all you need to be encouraging.
As you walk your path to artistic karma, think of your work ethic and whether you would like to reminisce or regret.
Consider all aspects of the words success, luck, destiny, preparation, skill, experience…
And write lists!
-Songs I’d like to learn
-Songs I have charts to
-Songs I need to transpose
-Foreign language selections
-Cities I’d like to travel to
-Political figures I’d like to endorse with my singing
-Products I’d like to endorse
-Hotels and casinos I’d like to perform at
-Artists I’d like to do a duet with
(If they asked me, I could write a book…)
My Final Words
Now, as I end my Vocal Coach Residency, can I just say something here about how much I love to sing?
If you haven’t picked up on that fact yet, let me state my dream has always been to sing and share my stories with people all over the world.
I never cared what race or class or religion or culture or financial, educational, or medical state people were in when I shared with them.
In fact, the first things I want to know about my listeners is who they are; then I go into my background, my resume, my memory, even sometimes the memories of my ancestors, and find basic truths for us all.
Sometimes your interested presence and expression of caring is music to people’s ears!
Sing with love, sincerity, compassion…and preparation.
My Comments On This Past Week’s Peer Reviews
Sophie Heyzelden – Use Somebody (cover)
Sophie, I’d like to hear you sing standing up and using your full body to perform this song! All the warm-up techniques you can get your hands on are what I’d advise you to seek out. You will probably sing a lot, and it will become imperative that you warm-up and take really good care of yourself and your voice. Work hard to reach every note and nail it on pitch, not just lazily suggesting what you want to sing, and remember to keep your eyes open! They will be your biggest asset in expressing your lyrics.
Chloe Troy – You Make It Real (cover)
Chloe, I am so impressed with the fact that as young as you are, you are already singing like a pro! You also chose a great song! Continue working to perfect your improvisations and embellishments, and remember you’re performing to an audience! My advice is also to practice staying in performance mode until the music is absolutely finished, not just until you stop singing. Include a smile and possible “Thank you!” at the end of your singing. It will really add a level of audience consciousness to your submissions, and you should do a lot of them because you are good!
Read Donna’s Exclusive Interview for VoiceCouncil
Donna McElroy is a Grammy nominated vocalist, celebrated arranger and well-loved Voice Professor at Berklee College of Music. Her contributions include arranger/background vocalist on gold and platinum releases “Why Haven’t I Heard From You?” by Reba McEntire; “We Shall Be Free” by Garth Brooks, “Addictive Love” by BeBe and CeCe Winans, and “House of Love” by Amy Grant. She’s been the recipient of a Grammy nomination for Bigger World (WB) and a Dove Award for Songs from the Loft (Reunion). Television appearances include Arsenio Hall, The Tonight Show, and The Grammy Awards.