Practice makes Perfect

“Practice makes perfect.”

But that just isn’t true. Actually I think it might even be a complete lie. I am never completely happy with myself while I’m practicing. I am never happy with every single pitch of every single note. I am never happy with all my emotions that I put into every single song on every single day … not to say that there aren’t days where I am not EXTREMELY happy with what I accomplished. Because there are those, almost every time I practice or perform I am happy with at least 90% of it. But there is always that 10% that could be improved or tweaked in some way to make it that much better.

I love to sing. I sing all the time. So, I guess in a sense one could say that I am constantly practicing. My practice habits at home differ greatly from my practice habits here at SMU. In San Diego I saw my voice coach for an hour twice a week. I would fix coffee and/or Tea for us, we would tell each other what has been going on in our lives for the first 10 minutes in between my warm ups and then I would begin to sing. and we worked and worked and worked until my voice was either so worn down I didn’t want to sing or the rest of the day, or so happy I could’ve sang in front of 3,000,000 people and I would be confident and love every minute of it. Here it’s a little different. I still have my weekly lessons, but I practice on my own more than I do with anyone else. I practice by singing for my friends rather than singing for my coach. My voice coach helps me to refine and improve what I already have, instead of helping me learn the piece from scratch. I have to be more disciplined. Which I actually love – after all I AM here to sing. I cannot believe that I get to say that. I am in SCHOOL to sing. I get to study what I love, and because I love it so much, Its not as much “work”. Sure I have to work at it, and I work very hard, but as my Daddy always says “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”.

Singing is like a relationship. You have to work at it – you will never be as good as you want to be without practicing, but it’s rewards are worth all the hard work. Its a two way street- you can’t just expect your voice to be there for you if you don’t take care of it. It is something that you are SO in love with, but it can also frustrate you – you push through with it because it is worth it, because It’s a passion and because, well I guess its just because I love what I do.

Things that help me before a practice are different than the things that help me before a performance. Before practice I love to drink a cold water or a lemonade, whereas before I performance I like to drink hot tea.

My life is a practice room, because I am a work in progress. Not only in my singing but also in my everyday life. I am satisfied with who I am. But I am constantly discovering new things about myself and how I react to certain situations and certain people, and I am currently figuring out life as well as my musical endeavors.

About Haley Stead

Haley is a Music Therapy and a soprano Voice Performance major at SMU. Haley wants to influence people with her love for singing, her passion for helping people and her joy for life to make the world a better place.
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5 Responses to Practice makes Perfect

  1. Lisa Pittman says:

    Great insight, Haley! It is a joy to follow you through this first year at SMU.
    Much love,

  2. Taylor Gildea says:

    Haley!!!!! I love this so much! I feel enlightened haha :) love u!

  3. Ariana Hazery says:

    It is so true that you are not just strictly practicing when you have your lesson for something but you are always practicing. That is what I love about you when it comes to things that you love like music or your relationship with your family or your friends; you really live it and are fully invested in the relationship or task.

  4. Tori says:

    That’s the frustrating part of it! Practice can never make perfect, only get us that much closer to the idea of perfection. I feel your pain. My arch studio professors preach precision in measurement and craft of our projects, which is near impossible unless you use a laser-cutter. Anywho, it’s very exciting to read your blog, Haley! You indeed give great insight (I liked how you mention singing as a relationship in which you must respect and take care of your voice), and it’s always a good idea to record your journey so you can look back and see how you’ve grown! I love you so much and can’t wait to hear more! <3

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