Have you always wanted to learn to sing– really sing? But deep down inside, you worry that you should have started earlier, that you’re too old, that life, and your opportunity to sing, may have passed you by? Did somebody tell you once that you “couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket”, or to “be quiet”, or that you had an ugly voice? Maybe the dog started howling when you sang, or the baby started crying, or you actually had a truly traumatic experience during a performance. Perhaps you auditioned for something once, and were crushed when you didn’t get the part in that musical, or get to join that choir you wanted to be a part of. Or, that darn stage fright kept holding you back from even trying to pursue your dream! Maybe someone (especially your parents or your spouse) told you that learning to sing, or even just spending time on music in general was a waste, and only for people with youth/money/talent/good looks/connections or… fill in the blank!
Does this sound like you? I meet so many adults who have always wanted to sing, but have let one of these arguments or experiences hold them back. It really breaks my heart, because I know that they are missing out on a huge source of joy, self-expression and great experiences that can come from studying singing and performing (even if it’s just in the shower!). STOP MAKING EXCUSES NOW. Life is too short and precious to let other people’s opinions, or even your own lack of confidence, hold you back. If you’re relatively healthy and you haven’t abused your vocal cords in any way, you can learn to sing better than you ever thought possible, at any age! And, even if you do have some health issue with your voice, it may be something easily treatable, like allergies or acid reflux, and as that gets handled, you can start moving forward with your singing.
Every journey begins with small steps. Maybe you’ve already started watching videos online, or have secretly purchased a commercially-available training program that you can use at home, all where no one else can see or hear you. Good for you! That’s a wonderful start. Then, maybe you will get up the nerve to actually take a class at your local community center or community college. There are lots of terrific classes where you can learn basic singing technique, and believe me, not all of the students are 18-20 years old. I have more than a few students in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond in my community college classes, and they love learning in such a supportive environment, where they can bond with all the other students, who are just as nervous as they are!
Of course, the best way to learn to sing is to have the one-on-one attention of a private voice lesson, where it’s all about you, and what your specific needs are in terms of vocal health, technique, repertoire you want to sing, and a host of other elements involved in learning to sing. This can be the most expensive alternative, but also the most rewarding way to go, with the fastest progress. Make sure you find a teacher who really likes working with adults, and has experience with adult singers and their particular needs. (I’ll address how anyone can find a good voice teacher in another post, but for now, start researching teachers on NATS.org (the National Association of Teachers of Singing). I am a member, and you can search teachers on the site by zip code and other factors to find a good match close to you.
My oldest private student is 85 years old! She also drives everywhere, line dances, goes to Bible study, sings in the church choir, travels the world, and just has a marvelous attitude about absolutely everything, including singing. She has a lovely soprano voice, and is an inspiration to everyone around her.
Age is just a number! Don’t look back two, five or ten years from now, and still be sighing over the fact that you never pursued singing. You’ll never be younger than you are today, right? Go for it now— you’ll be so glad you did!