East Broadway Elementary School

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Virtual Backpack

Tips for Sight Singing

When you are given the example, you will be given a minute to look at it. Take the minute and look at it. Many people skip this step and just jump in with no plan. Take some time and look it over. There are probably some things you can figure out. While you are looking keep breathing....

  1. Look and see if it starts and ends on the same note.
  2. Which notes are longer? which notes are shorter?
  3. When you get a starting note. Hum the note. (and hum your warm-up tune!)
  4. Now you have a chance to practice. So go ahead and practice. I recommend humming on the practice. When you practice shoot for three things:
  • Try to start and end on the same note.
  • When the note goes up, sing higher, when the note goes down sing lower.
  • Try to hold the white notes longer than the black notes.

Now you are ready to do it. Take a breath.

  1. Sing it on "doo"or "lah".
  2. Once you start, keep going no matter what , and try to keep a steady beat.
  3. Don't go too fast. It's not a race. Pick a nice slow even tempo that you are comfortable with.
  4. And here is something many of my students found helpful....put your finger on the notes as you are singing them. This will help make sure you sing the notes that are there - no more - no less . Also, having something to physically touch seems to help people focus on what they are doing. Really, many kids tell me that helps.

When it's over, smile, no matter how it went. After all, it's over. :) It will make you look confident.

Now, the breathing thing is really important. I wasn't just joking around there. There are two big things that cause people to do really poorly on the sight singing. One is the lack of a plan, and the other is the "Freak Out Factor". Stay calm and do the best you can. When people get nervous, the breathing is the first thing to go. It's a flight or fight thing. Good breathing helps you focus. No kidding here. So keep breathing during the audition, it really will help.

Keep it simple, and have a plan. I guarantee you this.... the judges can spot the difference between the people with no plan, and the people with at least some plan.