How To Excel In Singing and Life

Posted on 11. Jul, 2012 by in Performance, Singing

Today I’d like to address a very important difference between people who excel at something and those who don’t.

In fact, if we want to excel as singer/performers (or in any field), I think it is crucial that we understand and embrace this.

It was an email I received that inspired me to write this article. So let me first address the issue in the email and then how it can help you.

The email was from a woman who had watched one of the interview videos that are posted at

She wrote that she was disappointed because the beginner singer that I interviewed only talked about his experience – he never sang.

She felt cheated. “The proof is in the pudding “ she said and continued with: “let me hear him sing so I can judge whether or not the program is any good.”

I’ve actually received a couple of similar emails in the past so it deserves a response, and it serves as a great example of today’s subject.

Now, as you also know, numerous professional singers have trained with my program and I also interview some pros at

So here’s an important question: Why don’t I ask a professional singer to sing in the video interview?

Really ponder it….

Why would, and should, a professional singer say no to such a suggestion?

Do you know the answer?

Because a professional singer would never be so foolish to suddenly just sing on the spot, unprepared, without accompaniment, over a web camera that produces horrendous sound quality, which then will be broadcast on the internet on someone else’s website to hundreds of thousands of people.

To a professional it would be a ludicrous suggestion.

A professional singer releases his/her art to the world when it is ready to be released.

Before they perform, they train, they practice, they rehearse and rehearse some more. They record on the best equipment they can get. If they perform live, whether on stage, TV, radio or the Internet, they make sure they are given the opportunity to put their best foot forward. That is how a professional operates.

So why on earth would I be so insensitive to put a beginner on the spot and suggest that he sings under such miserable circumstances – which inevitably would make him sound far worse than he is?

Of course I wouldn’t do that, and how we personally like someone’s style of singing is of course irrelevant anyway.  The point of the interviews is to understand a person’s experience.

Now the real reason the email writer demanded the person to sing, is not because she was interested in being entertained.  She could go to the professional artist’s websites for that. (Obviously, a beginner doesn’t want to have their singing on a website). No, the email writer simply wanted an opportunity to judge.

(The common tendency to judge and be judgmental is on of the biggest self-defeating tendencies among humans, and is huge subject that we’ll address in greater depth some other time)

However, the point of today’s article is to understand the value of preparation.

People who excel prepare. They practice and rehearse and always strive to improve.  They release their art and creations to the public when it is ready.

Let me say it one more time:

People who excel prepare.

There are enormous amounts of people who have had bad experiences singing and therefore believe they can’t sing. They sang in public once and it didn’t go well, so now they don’t want to perform again.

It is beginners who more than others tend to live with the false beliefs of talent versus non-talent.

But the real reason for the bad experience was really lack of preparation. They didn’t have the training to understand that the song was in the wrong key, or know what to do to make the voice sound good.

They had no training and no real preparation.


…to put it in a harshly in a perspective of losers versus winners…

Losers just wing it.  Winners train and prepare.

Dare I ask which one you are?


(feel free to post your thoughts below)

Please add a comment:

32 Responses to “How To Excel In Singing and Life”

  1. Joe

    19. Nov, 2012

    “People who excel prepare. They practice and rehearse and always strive to improve. They release their art and creations to the public when it is ready.”

    This is true in any human endeavor. If you write, you start with something, then re-write, re-write, remove the useless, polish the good until it shines. Even polishing a floor to excellence requires work, a constant application of effort to improve, and nothing is done until it’s finished. Your comment is true of everything from raising kids to living by faith. NOTHING worth doing is worth doing to a lesser degree than we are able, Our effort speaks, it tells who we really are. A true artist would never speak ill of himself or herself publicly with less than their best.

  2. Victoria Hagle

    17. Nov, 2012

    I agree if this is the last of the efforts you are willing to place into proving to newcomers that the program works.

    Personally I think that showing how well a program like this works that i would have no problem inviting one of the students that have improve in their singing to a professional studio such as his singing voice would be a permanent prove in video of the results of the program.

    I just bought the program recently and I am waiting for the CDs on the mail, I was convinced since before I saw that video but once addressing that point i would want to see prove as a prospective customer and the fact that the logistics of having a quality studio showing the best voice they have from their students would be an issue i would think the company, not the student would see to have.

    As for the rest of the conversation on practice making perfect or at least getting better, I believe that is fantastic information to apply on every activity.

    BTW, i am willing to make a singing video of me singing now and then after i do the course, I am sure I will show improvement if both videos are taken with the same equipment.

  3. Merv

    22. Oct, 2012

    Music and voice are an art that needs to be studied and understood. Are we able to just blast out a woderful version of Amaing Grace or any other song. Like any venture we decide to take on we must be prepared to practice and improve if we wish to become someone who will excell in what we are trying to do. I have heard some very great entertainers in pratice sections and as with any one else they can sound great or not so great. Being prepared is needed if you wish to do your best. Practice and prepare . The two p’s to be successful in any undertacking

  4. rod spencelove it

    01. Oct, 2012

    I think feeling free to sing is the most important consideration.
    While I sing and play in a couple of amateur bands and feel really apprehensive about not being properly rehearsed, some of my greatest experiences in singing come from jam sessions or when sitting around a campfire, with no preparation whatsoever. Its commonsense really – if you are a pro and you are appearing in a big gig – of course you must be prepared.
    If you want to sing simply for the love of it – go for it without fearing judgement.

  5. Abba's praise

    12. Aug, 2012

    very interesting takes on the subject and I found it all helpful. I am 62 yr old and sang alone for the first time 2 weeks ago. Just overcoming the nerves and singing into a mic was always terrifiying and it would cause me to choke up. After reading this article I decided to practise and prepare and using video I recorded my sessions…I then felt ready to try and I did it with my guitar group in my church! Thank you Per and all the reviewers for the inspiration to do this!

  6. Kate

    20. Jul, 2012

    Good singing can be recognisable even without the best equipment. Some professional singers are so attached to their reputation that singing just like that makes them feel very bad in case it’s not 100 procent good. I think that a good singer doesn’t need to be afraid of being judged. A celebrity singer, on the other hand, will not take the risk…
    another subject for discussion, isn’t it?

  7. Nick France

    19. Jul, 2012

    Do you think an Olympic athlete would go out and try competing without preparation? Not if they actually wanted to win (or even finish).

    I’ve found preparation is one way to cure those nerves, I’ve been at my most nervous when trying to wing it, and boy it shows. If you are super prepared you have the confidence to then maybe go for that big note on the gig that you hadn’t gone for before, but you can only do that when you’re feeling confident.

    Preparation and working at technique can also stop you from ruining your voice, I’ve nearly wrecked my voice a few times singing screaming rock music with bad technique, Luckily I’ve recovered and learnt better technique.

    Unfortunately in this day and age, if you want to sing for a living at the top level you willl only get one shot (if at all) when that shot comes if you are unprepared, you won’t get another one.

    I ain’t the best singer in the world and probably never will be, but I’m enjoying the program and I’m getting better and haven’t wrecked my voice once since starting it. Plus it’s also helping me to overcome some other stuff going on in my life.

    Thanks Per


  8. Leslie Hinton

    18. Jul, 2012

    I have to take exception with this one.

    I was recently asked to sing a song that I had only a passing familiarity with. I had about 15 minutes rehearsal with the band, and another 30 minutes to learn the words and practice on my own. Then, I stepped up and sang in front of a room full of people. Now, the musical director had made sure that the key was right , and the musicians were all consummate professionals, while I, on the other hand, have relatively little experience commanding a stage.

    The song came off well, based on the audience response, but what I took away from this is not that I and sounded okay- but that it was a much less torturous experience to just get up there and DO IT. Had I had a week to prepare, I would have spent much of that time in my HEAD, worrying about everything. Talk about sucking the fun out of the thing….I think it is REALLY important for amateurs to risk and to fail. Your worth as a person does not begin and end with the quality of your last performance, ( or your weight, or knowing what to do with your hands when you sing). You need to know that you can FAIL- hit a bum note, or start the song in the wrong key, AND YOU WILL NOT DIE. It may be uncomfortable for a minute, but the critics ( i.e. non-participants who only WISH they had your guts) do not matter. The only thing that matters is that you came, you sang, and you lived to sing again….and maybe, just maybe, something wonderful happened that no one expected. As an audience member, that is what I long for- unscripted, authentic moments of pure risk. You cannot plan for that, you just have to say “F-it” and FLY!

  9. Bill Schreiner

    18. Jul, 2012

    Our director of the Big Chicken Chorus (BHS) of Marietta, GA has it right……..”An amature rehearses until he gets it right and a professional rehearses until he never gets it wrong.”

  10. Dianne Troutt

    18. Jul, 2012

    I believe that everyone knows that any professonal always rehearses before a concert or whatever they do. It is only common sense!

  11. Diane

    18. Jul, 2012

    You did advertise in your program to be able to sing freely, did you not? I do agree to be on your A game, you have to warm up, and all the other stuff you mentioned.

  12. Stig Ove Andersen

    16. Jul, 2012

    All my musical life has been a preparation since i started playing guitar more than fifty years ago. Because of this, I am still playing in a rock and roll band – Gangster Sam´s Gang – and are going to play at the festival her on Samsoe i DK this week. I also play music for to flutes and guitar.
    So Per, I do agree with your point of view. I only do music when I am ready and well prepared. In a way this makes me more spontaneus when I am performing, because I don´t have to think what I am doing!
    To me music is a very personal thing that makes my life to poetry, and that is my experince about music.
    In this way I have come to “a higher level”.
    Your home study course – Sing with freedom – has without any doubt, helped me to improve my singing and understand what is going on.
    My experience is crystal-clear: Losers just wing it. Winners train and prepare.

    Stig *Ove Andersen – DK

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