How to sing in tune | Dr Dan Jess Brisbane Singing Teacher

“You can probably sing much better than you think you can,” says Bryan E. Nichols, an assistant professor of music at Pennsylvania State University and director of the Pitch Exploration Lab. Many people believe they’re unable to sing in tune, but less than 2 percent of the population exhibits true amusia, or the inability to identify pitch changes in music. If you can hear pitch shifts, you can vocalize them. Think of singing not as some rarefied talent but as part of being human — something most bodies can just do, like walking.

One root cause of this widespread lack of vocal confidence is the simple fact that some of the most common American songs are just plain hard. Take, for example, the national anthem. Or “Happy Birthday,” which starts off easy enough but then lurches up a full octave in the third phrase, landing on a note that is too high for many singers, who often respond by shifting to a lower key midsong. It’s rarely pretty. Students in Nichols’s lab call their research the Happy Birthday Club. Choose a different song to sing, one you like, in a range that feels comfortable for your voice.

Practice listening to and then mimicking a note, what’s called “pitch matching.” Listen, take a breath, hear the note in your head and then try to sing it, crisply, without drifting up or down to get there. Feedback from a teacher or even just a pitch app on your phone can help. “Perfect pitch isn’t required for good singing,” Nichols says. Some of the most moody, haunting songs involve notes that are slightly off on purpose, like jazz’s semitone lower blue notes or a vocal technique called “scooping,” in which you begin flat and slide upward into the desired note.

Singing tends to come more naturally to those who grew up surrounded by music, but such a childhood isn’t a requirement. Nichols was raised by deaf parents in rural Kentucky. “There was no opera or symphony,” he says; there wasn’t even a radio in the house. Trust that you can sing, and then just do more of it. Join a choir. Go to karaoke. Take lessons. Find people to sing with. Enjoy the sound of your own voice. “Singing,” Nichols says, “leads to more singing.”

The first step in learning to sing in tune is to check that you are biologically capable of it. Often when we talk about someone who can’t sing you’ll hear the phrase “tone deaf”, as in:

“Hah, that guy can’t sing at all, he’s totally tone deaf.”

But what does that actually mean?

Tone deafness is a real condition – but it is SO rare. It is part of a biological condition of the brain called amusia which encompasses a number of musical inabilities, including some related to rhythm rather than pitch. As part of amusia, tone deafness means that you are incapable of hearing the differences between musical pitches.

In practice this means that if someone played two different notes on a piano, someone with true tone deafness would be unable to tell whether it was the same note or two different notes. Naturally, if that person tried to sing they would have real difficulty because their ears and brain wouldn’t have a clue if they were singing the right notes or not.

Does that sound like you?

If you’ve had trouble singing in the past you might have wondered if you suffer from tone deafness.

Here’s the thing you need to know though:

True tone deafness is very rare
and there are other (much more likely) reasons
for singing out of tune.

Less than 3% of the general population actually exhibit tone deafness. This has been shown in a large number of tests and rigorous scientific studies, and so the probability of you being tone deaf is very small.

Fortunately there’s even a simple and fast way to check if you’re tone deaf. You can take an ear test online in just a few minutes and find out for certain whether tone deafness is responsible for your difficulty singing.

This isn’t a “hearing test”, it’s not checking for hearing damage or age-related hearing loss. And don’t worry about whether you have a “musical ear” or not. The tone deaf tests which are well-designed don’t require any musical knowledge or skill. They test only the basic biological ability of distinguishing different pitches. You can be totally unmusical and still pass the test, because tone deafness isn’t actually about musical skill, it’s much more fundamental than that.

Ready to find out? You can take the Tone Deaf Test which has already helped almost half a million people to discover whether or not they are actually tone deaf…

Step 2: Learn to match pitch

Now that you know your ears and brain are fundamentally capable of telling whether a note is in tune or not, it’s time to address the most likely cause of your difficulty singing in tune: an inability to match pitch with your voice.

To “match pitch” simply means that you hear a note and then you are able to sing that same note. When people talk about hitting the right notes, this is what they mean.

If you’ve had trouble singing in tune or hitting the right notes when you sing, or somebody has made a comment about you having bad pitching or poor tuning, this is most likely the skill you need to focus on.

Note that we’re not yet getting anywhere near singing a song! Before you can step up onto that karaoke stage you need to make sure you can do this one simple thing: match pitch with your voice. After all, if you can’t sing one single note in tune, there’s not much hope that your belting rendition of Bruno Mars or Whitney Houston is going to wow the crowd, right?

So how can you learn to match pitch? The answer is that there are simple singing exercises you can do learn get reliable vocal control and learn to easily hit the target note first time, every time.

Learning this skill is about connecting up your ears (which we just proved are up to the task in step one) with your voice. There’s a sort of “feedback loop” that you need to practice, where you sing a note, hear whether that note is at the right target pitch or not, and then adjust accordingly.

Here are three ways you can learn to match pitch:

  1. Learn to match pitch with a digital tuner
  2. Learn to match pitch with an app
  3. Learn to match pitch by recording yourself


This is a simple way to practice hitting the right note and singing with good pitching. If you have a digital tuner for your instrument (e.g. a guitar tuner) you can use that, otherwise you can use an online tuner.

The idea is that like tuning an instrument, you learn to tune your voice. Most digital tuners allow you to play the target note, but if not you’ll also want to have an instrument handy to play the note you’re aiming for. Then you simply use the digital tuner’s display to help develop your “feedback loop”. It provides a visual way to know whether you’re singing too high or too low.

  1. Set the tuner to your target note (e.g. A).
    Choose a note in your comfortable singing range.
  2. Listen to the tuner play the note.
    It will probably be a very simple ongoing “tone” or electronic beep. Alternatively play the target note on your instrument. You might like to try humming along with the sound.
  3. Hear the note in your head.
    This skill of imagining music in your head is called “audiation” is powerful for singing: it connects hearing music with singing it. You hear, then you imagine hearing, then you sing.
  4. Sing the note.
    While you sing, watch the tuner to see if your pitch is too high or too low. Gradually adjust your pitch until you hit the target note.

The key to this exercise is to make sure you are listening carefully as you practice. Don’t just rely on the tuner’s display. Try to always hear whether you are too high or too low before checking the display. That way you are gradually developing your own inner tuner so that in future your feedback loop can work directly without the assistance of a digital tuner.


Although the digital tuner exercise is simple and easily available to anyone, there is a better way. You can use a mobile app or web game to practice singing in tune.

We have an app called SingTrue for iPhone and iPad which is specially designed to help people learn to match pitch with their voice. It automatically chooses notes in your comfortable singing range and gives you a range of simple fun exercises to practice matching pitch. And instead of the momentary display of the digital tuner, you can actually see a graph of how your vocal pitch varied over time which gives you a clearer idea of how your pitch skills are developing.

You can download SingTrue for free in the iTunes App Store.

Another option is the excellent Vocal Match game from Theta Music which works in your web browser and lets you practice matching pitch with your voice.


You can also check your pitch accuracy using free audio recording and analysis software such as Audacity. The basic process is:

  1. Record yourself singing a simple melody.
  2. Use the software’s pitch analysis to view the actual pitch of your voice during the performance.
  3. Identify notes which you sang off-pitch and then try again and correct them.

Step 3: Develop vocal control

We’re going to continue building up your singing ability with the next logical step: from a single note sung in tune, to singing multiple notes in tune.

The next step is to learn to control your voice as you move from note to note. This is what allows you to sing a whole song and stay in tune with accurate pitch throughout. Without this skill you might sing your first note correctly but then hit the wrong note next or gradually go off key. If you’ve ever seen a karaoke performance which starts off strong but sounds worse and worse as the song goes on, this is probably the step which that singer skipped in their training!

The big challenge for most new singers is handling leaps in pitch. Moving between notes which are close together is relatively easy, but when there’s a leap (e.g. think of the first two notes of “Somewhere over the rainbow”, “Some – where”) it can become quite hard to accurately hit that second note dead-on.

So how do you learn the vocal control required to move comfortably and accurately from note to note? There are two tools you can use.


Even if you’ve never studied music you’re probably familiar with the concept of a “scale”, where a singer sings a series of notes going up in a row and then back down. There are different types of scale and they’re popular as a warmup exercise because they are a gentle way to move your voice across a range of pitches while requiring accurate pitching on each one.

Here’s an example of a scale:

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Major Scale

You can practice singing scales like this as part of developing vocal control. Remember to choose scales which lie in your comfortable range. If that means you can only sing part of the scale, that’s fine. Remember you are just using this as a way of practising your vocal control.

Once you can easily sing scales you can move on to leaps in pitch (also known as singing intervals).


A very useful framework for practising vocal control is solfa (a.k.a. “solfege” or “do re mi”). This is a system where you give a name to each note in the scale, which makes it easier to understand which note you’re aiming for each time you change pitch.

Solfa Scale

You can do similar scale and pitch leap exercises using the solfa framework, and it also provides intuitive ways to play around with vocal improvisation which makes the whole process a bit more fun.

Another important note about solfa is that it’s the key to sight-singing music easily. This means that you can confidently go along to a choir or other singing group and know that if they hand you sheet music you don’t need to panic! You can use solfa to know what notes to sing and your newfound vocal control to know you’ll be singing them right.

Step 4: Prove you can sing in tune

The final step in the process is to start singing real songs, and to do it in a way which actually proves to you that you are singing in tune.

Confidence is vital for good singing, and the shortest way to get confident about your singing is to see proof that you sing in tune. That way you can step up on stage or join a choir safe in the knowledge that your voice will be in tune and you’ll sound good when you sing.

There is a simple secret weapon to learning to sing songs and stay in tune: recording yourself.


This can be intimidating and unnerving at first – but it’s still less scary than singing in front of other people, right? You can be alone in your room to do it, and the only person who’ll ever hear the recordings is you. So there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

Recording yourself singing is hard at first because you won’t like the sound of your own voice. There is a solid reason for this:

Your voice will sound unfamiliar – which is weird because it’s your own voice! This will take some getting used to.

This happens because your voice actually sounds different to you than other people. This is due to the physics of sound being carried inside your body as well as outside through the air when you hear it. When you hear a recording you are actually hearing what other people hear when you sing.

You’ll need to summon a bit of grit to work through those first few awkward days of recording yourself. Almost everybody hates the sound of their voice when they first hear it on a recording. You need to remember that this is most just the discomfort of unfamiliarity – it’s not that your voice or singing is bad.

After you get used to it you’ll start to be able to hear how good your voice truly is, and this is where recording yourself becomes a powerful secret weapon. You can hear where your pitching is off and then correct it next time. You can hear when your enunciation isn’t quite right and then improve it. You can start to form an objective opinion about how good a singer you are.

Recording yourself gives you the opportunity to perfect your performances in private before ever sharing them with the outside world.


So what exactly should you record yourself singing? The answer is: your repertoire. That’s a fancy term musicians use to mean “the stuff they know and perform”. As a singer it just means a collection of songs you’re confident singing.

Begin by aiming for just a 3 song repertoire. Pick three songs you like and which are in your comfortable range. It helps to memorise the song lyrics so that you have one less thing to think about as you sing.

Start by practicing with a backing track. You can normally find karaoke versions of popular songs on YouTube, or if necessary you can use the regular studio version, singing along with the lead singer. Begin with just a short section of the song, for example just the chorus.

Record your performance, then summon some courage and listen back.

Without a doubt, you’ll find parts you weren’t happy with. Don’t criticise yourself for this! Every negative thing you notice is an opportunity to improve. Like when you found out you weren’t tone deaf, this just shows that you have the awareness you need to be able to improve. Exciting!

So try it again. And again. You might find it helps to jot down notes on a copy of the lyrics to remind yourself of your advice and the areas for improvement.

Here’s an extra tip: don’t throw the recordings away! Save each one, putting the song name and today’s date in the filename. Then, after a few days of practicing a song, come back and listen to one of your earlier performances. You’ll most likely be able to hear a big improvement and that will encourage you to keep at it.

Eventually you’ll feel you’ve got the hang of the song. You can no longer spot pitching issues or performance weaknesses. Hurrah!

You’ve got one song for your repertoire. Time to add another one.

You’re Ready. Sing in Tune!

So you were worried about singing off key and out of tune. After reading through these four steps you should have a clear understanding of the simple process you can use to learn to sing in tune.

  • You’ve discovered that you’re not in fact tone deaf and never need to wonder about that again.
  • You’ve learned about matching pitch with your voice and how that’s the key skill needed to sing in tune.
  • You understand how to build that skill to multiple notes by using scales and exercises (possibly solfa) to develop good vocal control.
  • And you have a secret weapon you can use to practice songs until you perfect them.

Look – it’s not always that easy. Singing is an experiential process.

If you’d like to learn singing with Dr Dan Jess – call 0434 145 881 or contact us here.

Two ways to rapidly improve your singing ability

Singing lessons with Dr Dan Jess in Brisbane usually start for one of three reasons. Either you want to become a professional singer and have a performing or teaching career, or you’re looking to sing for fun, or you might be considering sitting singing exams. Regardless of your reason for wanting to learn to sing, there are some tried-and-tested methods that you can use to improve your singing ability in less time.

Is it safe to use methods that improve your singing quickly?

Absolutely, but not just ‘any old method’. You need to engage with specific methods or exercises that help develop specific parts of your vocal ability, or your performance skillset, so you can proceed safely, knowing that you will not be harming your voice or creating any sounds that are not natural for you. This is where your teach comes in handy, because they are your vocal coach, mentor and guide to help you avoid any potential pitfalls or mistakes, that could lead to vocal strain or damage.

Method 1: Supported singing using accent method breathing techniques

These breathing and singing techniques have been used by professionals around the world for many years, to help the emerging singer to better connect their sound with the air in their lungs, to provide for a supported sound that is clear and free of strain and tension. How do you use accent method breathing?

There are lots of ways to incorporate better breathing exercises into your singing lessons or practice at home, without it becoming a chore or being boring.

One of my favourite exercises is best done before you eat a meal (then eat after, there’s no need to stay hungry for your art)! The steps are simply:

1)      Stand comfortably and relaxed.

2)      Take a good, deep breath in and fill your lungs completely. Let it go after holding your breath for a few seconds.

3)      Repeat this four times.

4)      On the fifth inhalation, don’t let your breath go easily. This time, you will make a repeated “shh shh shh shh” sound and with each “shh” you will focus on feeling your tummy muscles pulsing in and out as you make the sound. This is how you start to feel connected to your breath, and feeling the sensation of your lower body supporting the sound you make.

5)      Take a break so you don’t pass out.

6)      On the next few runs of this exercises (which is simply repeating step 4 with different sounds), you can use “vvv vvv vvv”, “thh thh thh” or “sss sss sss” sounds to mix things up. They all use different amounts of airflow too, so it adds variety to your muscle memory.

That is just one of many (literally hundreds) of simple breathing exercises for singers that, when used properly, can seriously turbo-charge your singing ability and vocal power, without causing any harm to your voice.

Method 2: Singing “Vocalises” that challenge you on multiple levels

In my experience as a singing teacher in Brisbane and elsewhere, very few singing students ever get truly excited about singing scales and exercises, but they do work to make you a better, more professional singer. You can’t just sing songs on their own and expect to become a superstar, it just doesn’t work like that. It’s the same for chefs, they have to spend lots of time cutting the same vegetables over and over, before they can slice and dice with both precision and speed. Singers are no exception to the rule – sorry!

However, there is a happy medium in this for singing students.

There are books and books of what we call “Vocalises” (pronounced vo-ka-lee-zess), which are short songs that you simply sing on vowels such as ah, aw, oh, oo, ee or any combination of these. They usually start off easy in the front of the book, and become progressively harder, until they are as challenging as some of the greatest songs ever written on earth!

These ‘exercise songs’ are way more fun to sing and practice than scales, and they provide you with a platform to practice different techniques, colours and shade, tones, timbres, expression markings and much more. Vovalises are excellent tools to use whether you learn classical, contemporary, musical theatre, jazz, rock, blues or something else.

Ask your singing teacher in Brisbane about these techniques and methods, to help you become a more professional singer, faster.

Interested in starting singing lessons with Dr Dan Jess?

Simply call 0434 145 881 or contact us here. You can start your lessons anytime of the year!

How to become a singing teacher in Brisbane, Australia

So, you’re keen to learn how to teach singing in Brisbane?

Perhaps you don’t know where to start or what qualifications and experience you need to become a singing teacher. Taking the step to become one of the best singing teachers in Australia is an incredible journey of discovery, personal and professional development. Teaching singing is one of the most rewarding jobs in all of the arts industry. When done right, teaching others to sing can provide the successful teacher with a great income, flexible hours and the ability to work closely with students as they advance through their singing ‘career’, whatever that may look like.

Dr Dan Jess is our principal singing teacher and is a renowned voice specialist, having trained hundreds of young and emerging singers and singing teachers in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. An established singing teacher in Brisbane himself, Dr Dan has specifically designed a program of study and musical experience, which includes directly teaching while Dr Dan mentors you during your studies, to help you become qualified and experienced as a singing teacher.

Is it possible to become a singing teacher with no prior qualifications?

Absolutely! While there is no ‘one best way’ to become a singing teacher or even a single set of qualifications that will make you the best teacher possible, there are some ‘must haves’. Dr Dan will work with you to evaluate your career goals and then piece together a study and examinations/qualifications plan to help you become a singing teacher. You will work closely with Dr Dan to complete a number of short courses, which also include performance exams, to give you the best chance of success as a singing teacher in Brisbane or elsewhere.

I can’t really sing. Can I still learn to become a singing teacher?

While being able to sing is a fundamental ‘non-negotiable’ skill to have as a singing teacher, almost anyone can be taught to sing well enough to become a great singing teacher. It is not a requirement that you are the best singing performer or vocalist to allow you to teach singing. No, far from it. In fact, some of the best singing teachers in the world are not themselves great performers. However, they understand the human body, vocal mechanism, musicality and much more – all of which work together to form their ‘pedagogy’ (or ‘way of teaching’) which make them a great teacher. The same is true for older teachers, who are losing their performance skill as a result of mere age. This does not make them poor teachers by any standard.

What does it cost to become a singing teacher?

Because of the varied nature of singing qualifications (from private exams right through to university Masters or Doctorates), there really is no single answer to this question. You should work closely with Dr Dan to evaluate your career goals, best pathway to achieve those goals and to discuss budgets around your study. You should always be able to become a great singing teacher, even if you have a super limited (or no) budget. You just need someone like Dr Dan to show you how.

Experience counts

Most singing teachers can sing and the majority also work with local music groups or in professional productions, meaning they gain real world experience as a performer. This invariably increases their abilities as a performer, but it also has a flow-on effect to their students, who benefit from having access to a teacher that fully understands the requirements of live performance. Experience really does matter, so you should try to get as much performance experience as possible, as well as experiencing teaching students under the mentorship of Dr Dan, to help you ‘find your feet’ as a singing teacher. Learning as Dr Dan’s ‘shadow’ in the studio will give you exceptional first-hand knowledge and skills working with students from all walks of life.

The studio teaching business

Dr Dan Jess has enjoyed a complex career that also captures music marketing. A strategist with an MBA in strategic marketing for many years, Dr Dan is committed to helping all of his students achieve their commercial goals, not just their performance or creative goals. This means that, as you become a singing teacher, Dr Dan will help you get established with a student customer base, and give you many skills to help manage your studio effectively. No other singing teacher in Brisbane can do this for you!

Singing lesson benefits for your child | Learn to sing in Brisbane with Dr Dan Jess

When your child learns to sing with Dr Dan Jess or any other teacher, they begin to experience various rewards and benefits, that help them develop across a few areas of their life. While these benefits differ depending on the age of your child, there are some common threads. This article addresses the main advantages that you can expect your son or daughter to receive from taking private singing lessons.

Singing supports your child’s overall learning and growth

Singing can support children’s learning and emotional development. When we teach in the private studio, we consider different methods and approaches to help your child develop their skills in difference ways, not just musicality. Why is this important, you might ask? Well, a single example of many might be this: learning to interpret literature such as poetry has a direct and considerable impact on how well your child sings. It also helps them become a much stronger scholar at school.

One way or another, children are exposed to and involved with singing from their earliest years. Whether it’s a parent singing them to sleep, or the opening theme song from their favourite TV programme, singing plays an important part in a child’s development. Singing lessons in the private studio create structure around this, helping your child to advance even more firmly.

The educational value of singing

Singing encourages your child to express their emotions and sharpens their ability to communicate while exercising lip and tongue movement. But one of the biggest benefits of singing is the repeated use of the ‘memory muscle’.

Learning a piece of information attached to a tune embeds that information more rapidly in a child’s mind. The majority of children learn the alphabet not by simply saying the letters but singing them.

As children get older the power of singing in their lives can still be extremely beneficial. Matthew Freeman, development manager of ‘Sing up’, a national singing project to help enhance music in children’s education, has found that singing can be a great teaching tool for children. It can be used as a creative and fun way to increase enjoyment and achievement in subject areas where children normally struggle.

“Many children do not think of singing as ‘work’ and willingly participate in sessions,” he says, “Singing can be used as a tool to increase enjoyment and participation in a number of different subjects. A skilled singing tutor can cover subjects as diverse as English, numeracy, science, languages, and culture to name but a few.”

Mathematical and spatial skills: Children who have taken music classes score higher on math tests. Music enhances brain development in areas tied to pattern recognition, counting, organization, time, and division of larger notes into smaller notes (i.e. fractions).

  • Vocabulary: Music introduces children to the sounds and meanings of a wide range of words and helps strengthen memory skills.
  • Literacy: Alphabet and number songs help children remember letter and number sequences.
  • Rhymes and Prediction: As children sing, they learn about rhymes. Rhymes can help them learn to predict things… “if this line ends with star, the next line must be the one that ends with are.”
  • Predictability and Cause & Effect: When you sing the same song to your baby or child over and over, they learn to expect what is coming next… “After mom says ‘with a one step, and a two step’ she’s gong to tickle me!”
  • Tradition: Music is a unique and powerful way for children to connect to their roots. An African-American spiritual, a Yiddish or Irish lullaby, a Mexican folk song… all introduce a child to the family’s heritage in a way that goes beyond words or pictures.

Singing together

Singing is, of course, not something that has to be done alone. Learning to work together in a group or choir can give children a sense of collectiveness and can help children make friends. I always recommend that your child gets involved in singing competitions, choirs or musicals at school. This helps them socialise in a fun and engaging way, while practicing and advancing their musical skills even further.

Tips to get your child singing more

  • Use singing resources, such as books and CDs with activities, to make children associate singing with fun games can be useful. I sometimes use such resources in the studio, but most of the time we create our own during the lesson, so your child has specific, unique materials that are individually suited to their needs. Not all teachers do that, so be sure to engage a teacher who does (because one size does not fit all, so to speak).
  • Look out for group singing classes or encourage your child to participate in the school choir and other singing groups in your area.
  • Try singing a bedtime story and encourage them to join in with you, if they are a smaller child or toddler.
  • Make up songs to help children learn spellings they find difficult to remember. Acronym songs can be quite fun for kids!
  • Encourage children to sing around the house or sing along to the radio in the car on the way to school.

3 Elements of Showmanship as a Singer | Singing Lessons Brisbane

Showmanship – or show-womanship – doesn’t equate with flamboyance; it comes from being who you are, but more so. It is about giving your authentic self a platform when you sing, to allow your audience the opportunity to connect with you on a deep and meaningful level.

For instance, take a minute to recall the stage presence of some memorable performers. How was Pavarotti to watch? He was full of Italian character, he exuded cheekiness from every pore of his skin, and that was his authentic self. Very charismatic. What about Dame Joan Sutherland? Well, the Great Dame was a larger-than-life character in many ways, but nicely poised, full of manners and charity.

Don’t they seem to themselves on stage? Don’t you get the impression that they’re having a great time and that there’s nowhere else they’d rather be?

That’s showmanship.

It’s rooted in your desire to give an audience a terrific experience, but it flowers when you let your creative self emerge.

This post coalesces 3 elements of showmanship that apply to musicians in any genre.


1. Broadcast an Invitation

Whether your on-stage personality is outgoing or laid back, your presence should broadcast an invitation to the audience in front of you.

The stage and concert hall belong to you, and your listeners are your honoured guests. Invite them in. Smile, allow them to get to know you.

Your authentic demeanour as a singer needs to say, “Alright people, let’s share something magical together.”

2. Project Warmth and Enthusiasm

If there’s a central tenet of showmanship, it’s this: Project; don’t reflect.

When you perform on a cold, rainy day, and the heat in the dressing rooms isn’t working, you convey warmth and enthusiasm from the stage. Then, soon enough, you are warm.

When you mess up a phrase, you deliver the next one with added joy and conviction. Then, when your performance concludes, you project the same satisfaction as if you had nailed every note. You did your best, recovered from the slip and performed with devotion. Both you and the audience enjoyed the music no less than if you hadn’t slipped at all.

3. Take Command

With skillful showmanship, you never transmit anything that’s going on within or around you that doesn’t serve your artistic aims.

You take command of yourself, your material, and the situation, and then listeners place themselves willingly in your hands.

Singing: What is an art song? | Learn to sing in Brisbane


An art song is a vocal music composition, usually written for one voice with piano accompaniment, and usually in the classical tradition. By extension, the term “art song” is used to refer to the genre of such songs. An art song is most often a musical setting of an independent poem or text, intended for the concert repertory as part of a recital or other occasion.


Art song comes from all corners of the earth, without there being a definitive country of origin. The modern art song began to develop during the mid- to late sixteenth century as concern for textual interpretation grew. In other words, performers began to place more importance on having an obvious emotional and musical reaction to the texts they were singing. The genre has never stopped developing since, and continues to be a living, breathing art form to this day.

We typically refer to art songs from specific countries by that country’s native word for “song.”  Below is a short list of examples:

  • German Lieder
  • French mélodie
  • Italian canzione
  • Spanish canción


Art song is separate from music for the theater, such as operas or musicals. Folk songs are a separate genre as well, although many composers arrange such songs with piano accompaniment for the concert stage. For example, Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs, Benjamin Britten’s Folk Song arrangements, and the Siete canciones populares españolas (Seven Spanish Folk Songs) by Manuel de Falla are all considered art songs because of their intended use for recital settings. Additionally, songs set to biblical or sacred texts intended for religious services are not art songs, but those written for the concert stage are. An example is Johannes Brahms’ monumental cycle Vier ernste Gesänge (Four Serious Songs), which is based on biblical texts and intended for the concert stage, thus deeming it art song.


“An art song strives to be the perfect combination of music and literature, based on four elements: poet, composer, singer and accompanist. The composer uses the full resources of the art form to embellish the poet’s text, sometimes even realizing potential interpretations that were not explicit in the poet’s words. In well-realized art song, the composer creates a duet between the accompanist and the vocalist. That is, the art song paints for us a picture of what the poet might have envisioned. The performance of an art song literally breathes life into this picture through a complementary, coordinated partnership among the four significant elements.”

— Artsong Update


“Solitary Reaper” is an Australian art song composed by Alan Tregaskis. Do you think the music and the performers’ interpretation matches the charming, countryside nature of the vivid poetry?

Why choose singing lessons with Dr Dan Jess in Brisbane?

Singing should be simple and easy. Singing lessons with Dr Dan Jess in Brisbane can help you learn to sing in the quickest and simplest way possible.

Singing lessons are one of our most important disciplines. As singers, our voice is our instrument. As it’s an instrument we carry around with us every day, it is very easy to damage it.

A good vocal coach or mentor can help you become aware of the damage you may be causing to your vocal chords and teach you to take care better care of your voice. If you can speak you can sing. Singing is about learning to use your singing muscles, the same muscles that you use to speak.

At Dr Dan Jess’ singing studios in Woolloongabba, Brisbane, we have developed special exercises for all types of singers and even people who have trouble holding a note. We’ve crafted lessons on perfecting your pitch, so you can hear when you are out of tune… And get ready! You’ll have to put in daily voice work to learn to sing if you have trouble with your pitch to forge new connection between your ears, your brain, and your singing muscles.

But you can do it!

Singing Lessons Brisbane – We believe everyone can sing

At Dr Dan Jess singing studios, through our singing lessons in Brisbane we will teach you what you need to learn to sing!

Whether you’re a complete beginner, tone death, or already an accomplished singer in a band, Dr Dan can make you a better singer!

Your singing lessons will begin with you learning about your singing instrument; your voice. Your anatomy, stance, and breathing all have an effect. We will teach you an understanding of singing health and how to look after your voice.

We will teach you special vocal exercises to help you to sing louder or higher. These exercises will help you to become familiar with your voice and to be sensitive to your singing instrument. Once you have acquired these skills, you will be amazed at how your voice develops!

During your first singing lesson, be sure to let your mentor know about where you sing (in a band or with friends) and where you’d like to take your voice. We’d also like to address any trouble you identify with your voice. If you can bring examples of your music or the music that you would like to sing, that would be most helpful in our journey to reach your goals!

I want to sing for a living!

I want to be the best singer I possibly can! 

If you answer “YES” to the above statements, you’ve come to the right website.

Great singers aren’t born. They are made. When you take Dr Dan Jess’ singing lessons, we make them all the time! As long as you can make the daily commitment of practising and exercising your voice. Your mentor can help you to unlock the potential of your voice.

Whatever style of singing that you would like to find success in, the fundamental technique is the same. Your singing lesson will cover the exercises and techniques needed to discover your natural voice. We will improve your pitch, range, and resonance. Once you are confident with your natural voice, you will be ready to make the stylistic changes that are appropriate for the vocal music that you write. Whether you want to learn to sing Rock, learn to sing Pop, learn to sing Jazz or R’n’B, or maybe learn to sing for musical theatre or even heavy metal, you can learn to project in the most beautiful way.

In our lessons, you will explore the repertoire appropriate for your vocal style of singing. With Dr Dan Jess, you will also experience performance opportunities to learn to use your voice on stage. After all, you’re learning to sing for a reason, right?

Becoming a professional singer is more than just a lifestyle choice. It requires great dedication and time, but you can do it and we can help you. Dr Dan Jess is Brisbane’s best singing teacher and has taught hundreds of professional singers around the world.

During your first singing lesson, be sure to let your mentor know if you have professional singing aspirations. Your mentor will help you understand what you need to do and what to expect as you progress in your singing lessons.

Brisbane Singing Teacher Dr Dan Jess Explains Vocal Fry

Dr Dan Jess has been teaching singing in Brisbane for more than 15 years, to a mixture of students from contemporary, jazz, musical theatre and classical/opera backgrounds. Regardless of the singing genre you want to learn, it’s important to know what vocal fry is and how to avoid it sneaking into your practice, which in turn helps to keep your voice healthy, safe and long-lasting into old age.

Sounds like a food… so, what is vocal fry?

In a nutshell, vocal fry is an unattractive, creaky vocal tone in the lowest register of your voice, and it’s characterised by breathy, creaky, broken sound. It has been used in some singing styles to add contrast and effect to some songs, and this does not always cause a problem for the singer or the performance. To the ear, it adds a slightly ‘anxious/nervous’ sound into the singer’s performance. However, when it creeps into your everyday singing approach, you definitely start to do real damage to your voice, and sometimes that damage is irreversible.

That said, vocal fry often happens in a singer’s voice, because they simply lack an understanding of how their voice works, which makes them unaware of the issue altogether.

When you speak, your vocal cords naturally close to create vibrations as air passes between them. Like a piano or guitar string, these vibrations produce sound (your voice). When you breathe, your vocal cords are relaxed and open to let air pass through freely, which doesn’t produce any sound.

When you use vocal fry, you relax your vocal cords but do not increase the amount of air you’re pushing past your vocal cords, which produces slower vibrations and ultimately results in the lower creaky sound.

Some experts argue that vocal fry does not harm your voice or vocal apparatus when you speak, however most agree that continuous, high-pressured singing in vocal fry techniques can, and does, cause inflammation in the vocal cords, which can lead to cord nodules and other issues requiring medical intervention. Regardless, it can become a seriously annoying habit in a singer, and you should avoid singing in vocal fry unless ‘on purpose’ with a specific intention to embellish a song in a certain, characteristic way.

How can I avoid vocal fry when I sing?

There are many things you can do to reduce vocal fry impact on your cords, and to remove it if you already have this bad habit. Here are some of my favourites:

  1. The straw exercise. Simply take a plastic straw, take a good breath in (inhalation) and exhale only through the straw. This slows your exhalation, trains the sensation of a safe, supported outward breath and helps prevent tension in areas of the soft tissue and tongue that can have an influence on the creation of fry.
  2. Check your posture: Poor posture undoubtedly has a negative impact on lots of things that change how you sing. Correct your posture to an upright, relaxed yet supported position. Ask your singing teacher to show you how, if you’re not sure.
  3. Sing in the correct key for YOU: Vocal fry occurs in the lowest register of the human voice. If you notice it only happens in certain songs and you’re not trying to do it on purpose, you may need to transpose your song to a slightly higher key.
  4. Support the ends of sentences: If you trail off when you speak, dipping down at the end of sentences, this approach can sometimes sneak into your singing practice habits. Keep supporting the sound right to the end of the last sound wave!
  5. Take time to listen to yourself: You will gain immense benefit by recording yourself on your phone, and listening back to how you sound when you sing. Do this with different parts of your vocal range, to see what sounds different, and where vocal fry starts. Then workshop that with your singing teacher.

7 things to ask potential teachers before you start singing lessons in Brisbane

Choosing a singing teacher can make the difference between achieving your goals in a fun way or simply being a waste of time and money. When you find the right teacher, you’ll avoid a lot of frustration and be surprised at what you can do and how fast you can learn.

Finding a vocal coach with the training, energy, and passion to guide you is key. So what exactly should you look for in a vocal coach?  Here are seven key qualities to look for in a singing teacher.


If you’re interested in developing your sound as a rock singer, it makes sense to go to a teacher that specialises in these techniques. Many teachers claim to teach a wide range of music. They want to teach everyone. They’re afraid to specialise, so they teach everything to everyone, and often water things down in the process. How successful will you be at learning something as specific as relaxed and TA dominant head voice (comfortable belting on high notes) with decompressed overlay distortion (grit), like David Draiman or other modern rock singers, from a guy that teaches not only singing, but piano, guitar, violin, drums, saxophone, flute, marimba? You get the point. It’s a red flag.

Even if they only teach singing, do they teach everything from Classical to Latino Pop with a little Classic Rock, Gospel, Country, and Folk sprinkled in? To put it simply, if you want to sing a particular style, you want a teacher that has trained for years in that style and has dived deep into the specific techniques of that style. Sure, they may be well versed in other styles, but specializing their focus in one direction can give them a tool set and knowledge-base you won’t find otherwise.

Can they show you how to easily open up your belting range or add edge to your voice? Can they teach you to comfortably add grit to your voice? Can they break down the mechanics of screaming and not hurt your voice? Do they know exactly what you need to do in order to build into more advanced Rock and Metal techniques? Do they have a methodology they follow that’s built for rock singers? Do they even know of any of the bands you mention as wanting to sound like? You can quickly know if the singing coach is casting a wide net or drilling down to develop the specific rock sound you want.


If the teacher can’t sing worth a lick, will you trust anything that they are going to show you? You’re looking for a voice instructor to get help, the last thing you need is to learn in spite of the teacher’s ability to apply what they teach.

So much of learning to sing is done through demonstration rather than explanation. It is important that your teacher can physically show you themselves the concepts they are teaching. They don’t need to be the next Maynard, Myles Kennedy, or Oliver Sykes, but they do need to be able to show proficiency in what they’re trying to convey.

It’s also about more than being able to carry a tune. Do they have their own career in music? As an added bonus, do they have recording knowledge, performance experience, or a deep understanding of the music industry?  Being active in the craft and their background in the industry will benefit your music career in a tangible way.


A good singer doesn’t automatically equal the greatest singing coach. Look for someone that not only is active in the craft but also can guide you across the challenges and pitfalls in learning to sing as well. Do they just explain key concepts or walk you through step-by-step in developing the correct technique?

Imagine how disheartening it would be to wake up months later and not have any return for your hard practice and hard-earned money. When you hire a vocal instructor, you are in essence saying “I’m trusting you to guide me to where I want to go.” If you want to achieve extended range, distortion, and scream with ease, whether singing like Spencer Sotelo, growling it out with M Shadows, or screaming along with Randy Blythe, you want to know your instructor is capable of taking you there and has a proven track record.

Ask potential singing instructors what successes they’ve had. Whether you’re getting ready to record, go on tour, have an audition, maintaining your vocal health, or developing a consistent sound – can they take you there? 

This is one area where taking an introductory lesson can be a huge way to put the results to the test. Did your voice feel good after the lesson? Did you notice any specific improvements in your singing after the lesson? Did they give you specific things to work on to help you move towards your goals before your next lesson?


We each have our own original voice, our own unique style, and learn in our own special ways. What may be easy for one student could be a month-long hangup for another. A great teacher recognises each student’s strengths and customizes the teaching to make sure that it is pertinent to the individual. The best teachers are good at recognising what’s working for a student and able to maintain the delicate balance of challenging you and keeping you both encouraged and excited.

Does the teacher design exercises that are specific to your own needs or are they forcing their way, “the right way”, on you? I’ve seen many examples where, after several months of training, a student will end up sounding, strangely, a lot like the voice teacher. Look for a teacher who can get their students to focus on their own goals and bring out your own unique voice. It may take a lesson or two, but ask yourself, “Did the teacher give me exercises that I feel are relevant to me?”


An important thing to consider in your search for a new voice teacher is to make sure that the teacher you choose teaches a solid vocal technique that you are able to understand. Understanding good singing technique is the foundation from which you can build the voice you want, whether strength, range, grit, tone, or any other colors of the voice.

The coach needs to have their own solid understanding of vocal technique. Beware of vocal coaches, especially in Rock and Contemporary styles, who make all sorts of claims but do not have a firm grasp on vocal anatomy. Many modern vocal coaches focus on improving style, stage presence, and image; but have little understanding of how to build the voice properly. This leads to a lot of misinformation that may sound good but disregards vocal health.

Make sure that your coach not only knows vocal anatomy, but is able to convey his vocal knowledge in a way that is clear and in a way you can apply. It’s important to find a teacher who has the skills and training necessary to teach you the correct foundations and help you build on those in a safe and understandable manner. This requires extensive knowledge of both the technical and art sides of singing.

Watch any instructional videos they may have online, read their materials. How do they explain different vocal techniques? Again, you may also have to try a lesson or two to really get your feet wet and truly see if you can walk away understanding how to practice and apply vocal technique in your situation. Did you feel like the teacher had an understanding of what they were doing? Did the teacher answer your questions in ways that made sense to you?


I’m not talking about taking lessons online or in person. Both of those have their perks, but that’s a different discussion. What I mean by “accessible” is being able to ask questions outside of your lesson. With many teachers, you pay them for a lesson, and you get a lesson. Do they give you resources and can you contact them outside of your one-hour block a week? For example, you’re practicing the exercises he gave you and you get stuck on a certain area. You’re not sure if you’re correctly remembering what he explained. Are you able to connect with him briefly for clarification and get on with your learning or do you have to wait until your next scheduled lesson? Having access to your coach is one of several key factors in your speed of learning.

Ask potential coaches regarding their practices surrounding outside of lesson questions. Are they available to give you feedback on quick recording you’ve done?


We learn best when we trust that our teachers have our best interests at heart.  Singing can feel vulnerable and exposed since we convey our emotions directly, with our own body as the instrument. We need someone that is warm, engaging, and can make you feel comfortable in your lessons. A good coach will be both encouraging and challenging without being overly critical or simply a cheerleader.

A teacher that takes time to know you as a person, your personality, values, interests, will help you feel more respected and engaged in lessons. Think about what you value in terms of things like expression, learning goals, communication, and look for a teacher with similar values. Look for a teacher that demonstrates they care about your dreams and makes an extended effort to give you the tools to achieve them. Above all, never settle for someone that just feels like he’s “doing his job.”

Regardless of whether you take lessons online or in-person, you should feel the ability to relate to your instructor. Book your first singing lesson in Brisbane with Dr Dan Jess.

Social media tips for singers

I’m lucky to have a dualistic professional background as a performer, singing teacher and digital marketer. Many singers have ‘other’ careers, so it’s not uncommon these days, and it all depends on what you want to do with your life. For me, everything fits nicely into my schedule and I am able to teach singing regularly to a number of singing students in Brisbane, while working as a digital marketer in the advertising industry. Through that work, I’ve picked up a few skills along the way, which have definitely helped me become better at promoting myself – and you can use this strategies too, to get your name out there, especially on social media.


The rise of social media has proven to be a valuable asset for musicians. A strong social media presence is essential for promoting your music, engaging with fans, and expanding your fan base. Moreover, having an effective social media strategy connects you with music industry peers and presents new opportunities.

Social media marketing for musicians can seem like a daunting task. However, this social media tips guide will help you develop an effective strategy. The following ten proven tips show you how to boost fan engagement, increase followers, and promote your brand on social media.


Who are your fans? What are their interests? Knowing your audience and what type of content they respond to better is crucial. For example, one demographic of fans may like videos, while another likes your photos. It’s also helpful to know where your fans are spending their time online, and when they’re online. This information will help you determine the best times to post.

Most social media networks offer analytic tools that help you know your followers and track engaging content. You can also see your fans location, age, gender, and interests. Understanding this data will help you develop an effective social media strategy for your music.

There are also analytic tools like Google Analytics or Statcounter. They can help you keep track of likes, shares, comments, trends, and other information.


Keeping your social media profile active is important. Post with regular consistency to stay relevant to your fans. This task is vital for musicians who don’t release music or play shows often. It’s critical to create content for your audience even when you’re busy in the studio or between releases. However, don’t get carried away. Fans will unfollow you or stop engaging with your posts if you saturate their feed.

Also, develop a rhythm with your posts, so people know what to expect. For example, post a mashup song every Friday at noon.


Scheduling your posts in advance can be a valuable way to engage with your fans without staying online all day. It’s also a smart strategy to publish when the most active users are online. Determining what days to post and at what time of day is important. CoSchedule has a great article on this topic. You can also find this data by looking at your social media analytics.

In addition, there are tools like Hootsuite and Buffer that schedule posts in advance and track engagement.


Visual content tends to generate more engagement than plain text posts. Sharing photos and videos is a great way to tell stories quick and easy. They also capture people’s attention much faster than text. Below are some visual content ideas:

  • Photos of your recitals, music gear, home studio, DJ equipment, fans, etc.
  • A photographic announcing upcoming tour dates, a new single or album, etc.
  • Photos or video of shows you played at or attended.
  • Photos or video of you making music in unique places.
  • A short video explaining the meaning behind a song.
  • Live stream yourself at an event, working in the studio, replying to comments, offering tips, hosting a Q&A, and anything else fitting.
  • Photos or video of favorite moments from your personal life.
  • Photos of inspirational quotes.
  • Animated GIF images and memes.
  • Music videos and interviews.

If you don’t have Photoshop, try free online tools like Canva to edit or design images.


The type of content you share is critical. It’s essential you post a variety of content fans can connect with, share, like, and comment on to keep them engaged. Balancing both visual and text content is important. Below are some text content ideas:

  • Update fans about a new song, upcoming album, and tour dates.
  • Inspirational and motivational posts.
  • Educational posts that offer tips and techniques.
  • Interactive posts that encourage engagement. The most effective posts include polls, questions, fill-in-the-blank, contests, giveaways, and “caption this” photos.
  • Ask your fans for feedback or their opinion about something. For example, track feedback on a single, songs they might want to hear in your next set, which merch design they like better, etc.
  • Add a “Call to Action” to prompt an immediate response. For example, “Like if you agree.”
  • Categorize or theme posts with hashtags. For example, #MusicMonday, #ThrowbackThursday, #QuickTip, etc.
  • Tell a story. For example, share what’s on your mind, a personal experience, etc.
  • Make various lists. For example, your favorite plugins, songs you’re currently into, favorite music production gear, etc.
  • Write posts that explain the meaning behind your music, brand, or style. Also, share a positive press quote about your music.


People are likely to find your social media profiles first when searching your artist name. That’s why having a clean, optimised profile for each platform is a top priority. Below are some social media tips for optimizing your artist profiles:

  • Make sure all your artist information is accurate and up-to-date. This includes tour dates, latest releases, bio, links, press coverage, etc.
  • Include a current bio or a link to your bio. Also, make it easy to find your Electronic Press Kit (EPK).
  • Create visually stunning profile images and covers. Also, make sure all images are the correct size.
  • Add links or a “Call to Action” to images and covers. For example, links to buy your music, your website, press coverage, etc.
  • Advertise with cover images. For example, create covers that display tour dates, upcoming release details, new merch, etc.
  • Make use of Facebook cover videos. You can upload a video as your cover. For example, create a looping video or animation that advertises your next release or tour dates.
  • Change your profile and cover images regularly to get some engagement from your followers.
  • Pin your most engaging post to the top of your page. Or, pin the post that best represents you as an artist for all new fans and music industry peers to see first.
  • Increase engagement on your posts with Tags. Tag all the people in your photos or videos and any companies or venues etc. Tagging also increases the reach of your posts by appearing on the feeds of those you have tagged.
  • Ensure all your social media platforms have the same theme. Also, post the same images across your social media platforms. Keeping the theme consistent gives the impression of a complete package. Moreover, artists that have different profile pictures for each platform is confusing. For example, fans may not immediately recognize you if all your profile photos are different.


Developing a personal connection with your fans will help solidify the artist-fan relationship. How you communicate to your fans makes a huge difference. It’s also essential that you show fans your real personality. When you start to show your true self, you’ll begin to see a big difference in the way your fans interact with you.

Take your voice beyond the music with these social media tips:

  • Write like you speak so that your content has a genuine personal tone. And don’t forget to give your posts a once-over for basic grammar and readability.
  • Personalize your message and don’t front a persona that doesn’t reflect who you really are.
  • Embrace your passion and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Many fear rejection over sharing polarizing content. Letting little quirks in your personality show is ok.
  • Don’t be afraid to open up on social media. Let others into your world and share the good times as well as the struggles. Show your fans who you are, what your about, and where you’re going. Remember, your brand represents you, so don’t hesitate to hide that.


This tip is a no-brainer. However, it can go overlooked. It’s vital that you connect with your fans and show them you care. Don’t just use social media to promote your music and tour schedule. Use these platforms to interact with your fans. For example:

  • Don’t forget to reply to comments, messages, Twitter replies, mentions, etc. Your fans will appreciate that you are open for discussion and engaged in a personal connection.
  • Interact with fans by asking questions, getting involved in discussions happening in the comments, and anywhere else to keep the conversation going. Moreover, take the time to write a good response. For example, if someone says your music inspired them, say more than “thanks!” Interacting with your fans shows that you’re listening to them.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask followers to share or retweet your posts. Also, return the favor. Share or retweet photos, music, shout outs, quotes, and anything else relevant to you. Moreover, encourage them to post photos from your shows or remixes of your songs and tag you. You could even make a regular theme like “Fan Feature Friday.”
  • Remember to check your social media accounts frequently. Don’t create posts and then leave them unattended. Developing a fan base requires your full commitment.


Spread the love and share or retweet content posted by your fans. One sure way to boost engagement and excite fans is sharing their content with other fans. It’s also a great way to show appreciation to your biggest fans.

Moreover, show respect for other artists, musicians, DJ’s, and other music industry peers. For example, share, retweet, and like content from your fans. Also, comment on other peoples Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Instagram stories, SoundCloud tracks, etc. This move shows your engaged in the music community and that your brand is not solely self-promoting. It’s also an excellent way to network and gain new followers.


Below are some other proven social media tips that will help you grow your followers, increase engagement, and build relationships with your fans:

  • Send personal invitations: Invite people to shows you’re playing in a private message.
  • Create a Story: Collect the best moments from your show or anything else and do a recap. Post it as a story on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.
  • Create SoundCloud playlists: Include songs from other artists you’re into at the moment. Spread the love!
  • Create a Facebook Group: Build a community and engage with them. Ask questions, get feedback on your upcoming release and other projects, share content, etc.
  • Live stream: Host an AMA (ask me anything), offer feedback on a project created by a fan, demonstrate music production techniques, etc.
  • Caption contest: Capture a funny moment before or during a show and host a caption contest.
  • Photo tagging: Take a photo with your fans. Let them know when/where you will post it and ask them to tag themselves.
  • Create Twitter Lists: Add fans, companies, venues, and other music industry peers. Lists make it easier to interact with important players in the music industry.
  • Write emotional headlines: Studies show emotional headlines increase shares and traffic.
  • Create videos: Consider ideas like how-to, behind-the-scenes, music culture, shout-outs, event recap, promotional, demonstrations, interviews, and even testimonials.
  • Meet your fans: Host a meetup group for fans and create an event page to share. It’s an easy way to make connections, promote your music, and invite people to your show.
  • Live Tweet/Stream other acts: Highlight other acts playing at a show. Also, tag them in all photos and videos. It’s also a great cross-promotional tool if multiple acts use the same hashtag.
  • Say thank you: Post a message of gratitude if your song received a lot of plays or after a show. Also, tag other acts, the venue, the promoter, sponsors, and any fans you met.
  • Promote your social media channels: Use your social media platforms to promote your other channels.
  • Create a podcast: Launch a podcast series and share it on your channels. Talk about your musical inspirations, life on the road, commentary about the music scene, etc.
  • Invite Facebook Likes: Grow your followers by inviting people who “Like” your posts to follow your artist page.


Sticking to tried-and-true techniques like the ones above are a great way to start implementing a social media strategy. Also, don’t be afraid to get creative, try to think outside the box. Figure out what suits your fans and then have fun with it.

A little love note for the singers who have turned their back on singing


I have been teaching singing in Brisbane for a long time now. I have seen singing students come and go, jump in and out of groups and choirs, and sometimes choosing never to return to singing.

Maybe you weren’t even a gigging singer with a degree or three in music, and maybe you never had aspirations of performing all around the world and becoming the next Lady Gaga. It doesn’t matter.
Because somewhere along the line, you stopped. Life got in the way.
Maybe you had a family or fell into a different career. Possibly you had new doubts about your ability and didn’t think you had the talent to pursue a career in musical performance in Brisbane, or beyond?  
Perhaps your voice never felt quite ‘right’. Like, it was massive effort to sing, so why bother pursuing something that felt difficult?
Somewhere along the way, you turned your back on your voice, your singing and your dreams.
This is what I did anyway.  Once upon a discordant time…
I grew up in Gympie and was always performing. I completed countless AMEB, Trinity College and ABRSM singing, piano and music theory exams and I almost always won championships at every competition I walked into. I was pretty well convinced that I was going to become the next Bryn Terfel, though hopefully slightly more slender, by the age of about 18.
After years of being stuck in what felt like slow motion – living between performing contracts doing whatever ‘other’ work I could wrap my mind around (mostly marketing, but often teaching as well), I ended up giving up on performing altogether. I had sung my last understudy role with Opera Queensland and decided I never wanted to work for them ever again. There were lots of reasons, none of which were really justified in my mind, I literally had just become jaded from the professional performance ‘world’ in Australia and the lack of great opportunities, despite industry leaders espousing the value of their show, or their organisation, or themselves. Nothing felt ‘right’ about it all. So, I packed up my singing bags, toddled back to my home, moaned heavily and didn’t sing for quite a little while. I missed Europe, and the work I had there, but I couldn’t leave Australia to relocate, because my family and loved ones were all here.
And I have to say, this left me bereft and sad.

I didn’t even sing in local choirs. Or conduct, or even accompany singers on the piano. I gave up – completely.

Eventually, I picked up my socks and realised that what I was missing out on was being a music leader myself. Sure, I can perform operatic or musical theatre roles like the best of them, but performing wasn’t where my heart lied. I love teaching, I adore directing and I am not a terrible composer, so I went back to what I originally loved the most, and I’ve never looked back since.

I now perform again regularly, though I don’t view it as my ‘main goal’ in music – it’s secondary. I’m happy for others to have the trophies, to take the contracts, to work as performers and earn salaries to fill their souls up. What I find most rewarding, is working with them in the studio – rehearsing, practising, teaching.
Anyway, enough about me. I just want to say that even though you may have turned your back on singing, it hasn’t turned its back on you. You don’t have to give up – you probably just need a break, or to change the way you’re doing things.
You will find your way back to singing again. I promise.
Big love, DJ