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Tucson Singers Resource

Updated on November 12, 2011

A Short Playbook for Anyone Interested in Singing in the Old Pueblo

"I'm pleased with my life, with the journey." — Tina Turner

My daughter has started singing in public again, and she couldn't be happier. So I surfed the Net, finding vocal resources for Kaity, my musical co-ed. She is a digital native so it seemed natural to share these links with her on the Web while also paying it forward. As a result, this is my first musical Squidoo lens. — Kim

Dear Kaity,

This page is a primer for being a singer in Tucson, Arizona.

You've always loved singing. You've been performing in public since you were 3 years old. You were most active in high school and summer musicals, stretching your musical wings in choirs and as a soloist. You knocked the National Anthem out of the ballpark at local events. Then you took a break from singing regularly when you entered college. After a few years studying technical theatre and working backstage, you returned to your roots and started to sing again.

Originally, I created this page for you, but feel free to share it with your friends. I hope it helps you enjoy your return to the joy and journey of being a singer, and perhaps, helps you rediscover your dreams.



Getting Started

Kaity Sings the National Anthem at El Tour
Kaity Sings the National Anthem at El Tour

Singers Checklist

♬ Tucson is teeming with musical talent, but our southwestern city lacks the number of opportunities found in New York, California or Washington, DC. That said, being a singer in Tucson is not an impossible quest.

Six Step Singer Development Plan:

✔ Attend music performances.

✔ Hang out with singers.

✔ Practice, practice, practice.

✔ Audition for everything.

✔ Sing in public often.

✔ Promote yourself.

Attend Music Performances - Learn from the pros

"For those of you in the cheap seats I'd like ya to clap your hands to this one; the rest of you can just rattle your jewelry!" — John Lennon

The easiest way to learn how the pros sing is to watch them sing.

♬ Observe professional singers on stage and take copious mental notes about vocal technique and stage presence. Budget to attend an in-person concert once a month. Too expensive? Okay, there are also dozens of free shows around the city, too.

Concert and Event Calendars

How To Get Around Tucson - Minimal Help For The Geographically-Challenged

This is as good a Tucson location as any to navigate around.

A markerUniversity of Arizona Campus -
get directions

Kaity Bayne sings at the 2006 Walk-A-Thon for Diabetes
Kaity Bayne sings at the 2006 Walk-A-Thon for Diabetes

Hang Out with Singers

Join "Birds of a Feather"

You need honest feedback and role models more than you need fans.

♬ Your family and friends will love you even when you sound like a squealing tire on the highway or two cats fighting. Well, maybe not all of your "friends"...but you know what I mean... You need the truth and you need to be ready to hear it.

It's up to you to seek out helpful insights from other Tucsonans who share your same passion for singing and who you can trust to be honest with you.

Local Music Organizations - Societies, Clubs and Associations

♬ Here are some opportunities to build relationships in the local music scene and find the right people to help you get where you want to go. These organizations coordinate events to either hang out with other singers, volunteer to promote other singers, or both.

"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away." — Elvis Presley

Kaity Bayne sings at Amber Lights Retirement Community
Kaity Bayne sings at Amber Lights Retirement Community

Practice, Practice, Practice

Become a vocal athlete

♬ Honey, you know I majored in music education in college. I performed in public, too. So here's what I can tell you, based on past experience. You've got to be ready.

Take the time. You're worth it.

Warm up, even if you don't plan to sing today. Turn on your iPod and slowly work into singing softly along. You want to avoid straining your vocal chords, while at the same time, continuing to keep your "instrument" flexible.

Build your confidence with regular practice. Find the same block of time 3-5 days a week to sing a song or two and build your skills. Remember, you're in training, and regular practice helps it become second nature to you.

Take a break, especially when you're feeling under the weather. Got a cold or a cough? You need to rest. If you can't stand to skip a day, sing "in your head," that is, imagine you're singing. Turn on the music and lip sync. Yes, lip sync and let yourself heal.

"Opportunity comes regularly in life, but you have to be ready." — Lisa Kudrow

Your voice is your future. Protect it.

It's always better to sing a little each day rather than "get 'er done." If you can only spare 15 minutes a day, then make it so and refuse to beat yourself up about the limited time. Practice should never be a mini-marathon; you can't make up for lost days and you may damage your voice with cram sessions.

Water lubricates your vocal chords and detoxes your body at the same time. Sip fluids throughout the day, but don't overdo it; you don't want to deplete your body's natural minerals.

Avoid screeching and yelling whenever possible. Some people are just outgoing and expressive by nature, but too often, enthusiasm or emotion takes a toll on vocal health. Rather than raise your voice, take a deep, cleansing breath then smile inside and out. This, by itself, is a great stress reducer, too.Invest in your career. Spend your time, your money, or both.

Take lessons from someone experienced and reputable. Believe it or not, anyone can hang out a shingle that says "voice teacher," but they may do more harm than good. Never hire a vocal coach based solely on marketing savvy, area of town or hourly rate. Call the University of Arizona or Pima Community College music department, or contact the Tucson Music Teachers Association (TMTA). Ask them to recommend a couple of Tucson area voice teachers for someone with your vocal style and/or experience.

No money yet? Join a choral group and get the best in a professional group situation. Check out the Choirs and Choral Groups in Tucson module on this page.

Living with a goofy work schedule? There are always online videos. Come on! I know you spend hours on YouTube laughing over cat videos. A few singing tech videos are in order. Again, tread carefully. Anyone can post a YouTube video.

Check out these top notch YouTube videos!

Free Voice Lessons - Tips on singing technique

No matter what kind of training you have, there's no substitute for actual experience.

Source: Background Vocals - Tips For Getting Session Singing Work,

Kaity Bayne sings the anthem through a megaphone at Sabino Canyon Sunset Run in 2006
Kaity Bayne sings the anthem through a megaphone at Sabino Canyon Sunset Run in 2006

Audition for Everything

99% of the time, you won't make it, so take it with a grain of salt.

Judges are judgmental

♬ The journey of becoming a singer includes learning to survive through roller-coaster experiences and the arrogant personalities that drive them.

Little accepted fact: judges judge. Duh! And often, it makes no sense why someone with a "so-so" singing voice is chosen over someone who has innate talent.

You may have perfect pitch and a cute personality, but "it don't matter." Judges and audition situations are not perfect, and the entertainment industry does not play fair. Do not take it personally.

Recite this sentence three times: "Every audition is just another step closer to my ongoing goal of becoming a better singer."

Accept that there will be lots of rejection and dozens of almost-made-it situations. Think of them as opportunities to grow, even if you don't always agree with the results. Learn, move on and get ready for your next shot. It's all good.

Singing Contests and Competitions - Give it a shot

"I need drama in my life to keep making music." — Eminem

Anthem Auditions

♬ Some of the best singers started out by singing the anthem at local events. Some of the best singers still sing the anthem at national events: think Super Bowl.

By the way, some people think the anthem is a difficult song to sing. If you can master it, it's well worth the self-satisfaction.

How to Sing the National Anthem

Sing in Public Often - If a tree falls in the forest...

If you just want to sing in the shower or in the car, then browse to another page.

♬ If you have regular dreams of performing in public — and I know you do — you have to pay your dues. Here's how to get the time and do the time...on stage.

Goof around at Karaoke once a week with your friends.Jam with local musicians a couple of times a month.Learn how to accompany yourself on the guitar and start performing at Open Mics.Dedicate yourself to regular rehearsals and performances with a band, community choir or religious choir.Get booked to sing at local events, in a group or as a soloist.Above all, enjoy the journey!


Join the Crowd

Can't afford a private voice coach? Lessons in technique are the byproduct of singing in a good choir.

Choirs and Choral Groups in Tucson

"Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I'm using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I'm happy with that." — Aretha Franklin

Read More - Follow, Browse and Buy

Twitter Feeds



Promote Yourself - People can only hire you if they've heard of you

"We covered 'Hey, Jude.' My father panicked, misunderstanding the lyrics and thinking our lead singer was belting out 'Hey, Jew' to a roomful of Holocaust survivors." — Ben Stiller

When you're ready, let's make a plan for online promotion.

♬ Just so you know, there's never a reason to pay for directory listings as a singer, because there are plenty of free ways to promote yourself.

In order to have a chance to connect with your audience, you're going to have to connect with the song itself. So be sure to select something that you can sing genuinely from the heart.

Source: Singing Tips Blog

Join Squidoo and create your own lens for free. Share your hobby or skills with others — it's fun and easy! Click here to publish on Squidoo!

I'd love to know you stopped by. Leave a short note or greeting. Thanks. ~ Kim

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