In an ideal world, you’re gonna be able to learn to sing in a matter of months with some patience and some good teachers. When not teaching at music festivals, I often enjoy hanging out with other musicians. There are a few things that are crucial to learning how to sing. The first is familiarity with a few songs. There are a lot of songs that I’ve never read lyrics to before, or I have never seen a video. The second thing? Awareness. It’s easy to think, if it’s on CD, it must be important, right? If I can read it on my iPad, I have to learn a language to speak it.
A lot of people say the biggest obstacle is “lack of interest.” What would you say?
I would say that the most common barriers people have to learning how to sing are that they already have a choir or some kind of music education. This makes it frustrating to be “the guy who can’t sing.” The idea of learning a foreign language to sing it will never happen. The first step is to have the desire to read music.
The biggest barrier people have to learning how to sing are that they already have a choir or some kind of music education. This makes it frustrating to be “the guy who can’t sing.”
A lot of people say, “Oh, you’ll never get it!” and “it’s too hard!” What do you say to this?
First of all, it’s not hard! I’ve learned how to sing from my dad’s guitar. I learned the “Ode to Joy” and “Auld Lang Syne” on guitar. I’m not too worried about my progress. It’s a skill that you can develop over time. I’m not really worried about “It’s too hard to sing these songs if I’m not a real singer.” People with singing issues should get a singing coach. It doesn’t have to be that hard! I’m a huge fan of the “The Big Friendly Giant” by Leonard Cohen, which is incredibly upbeat and fun and exciting. I have to say, I’ve learned a lot from Cohen’s writing.
When did you start learning how to sing?
I’ve done it since I was 9! Before I knew how to talk and read words. I still have the letter K around my neck as a reminder. But as an 8-year-old in my first year of kindergarten, I’d put my hands over my mouth and
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