Making the Leap from Good to Great

What if you could take the leap from good to great?  

Rather than toiling along the road slowly, hoping that some day, eventually, you’ll be great?

Well, I believe the only way to get from good to great IS a leap, rather than a one-step-at-a-time process.  It’s a decision.  A realization, rather than an accretion of techniques over time.  

One of my students did this:

She participated in a singing competition last April, singing in front of 500 people at a nightclub.  It was her first time performing.  She was nervous, but excited.  She prepared well and rose to the occasion.  One of my bandmates even commented later that she seemed to own the stage, and he couldn’t believe it was her first time performing. 

She always had a pretty voice, from her very first lesson.  And she had gradually improved through taking lessons.  But the next time I had a lesson with her, her voice had suddenly changed.  

It was bigger, more confident.  It sounded integrated with her body.  It was richer and rounder.  It took up more space in the room.  It was more expressive, more compelling.  

Gone was her self-consciousness, her fear, worries about singing “correctly.”

She had simply finally realized that she was good.  She didn’t need me to tell her that any more.  She had given herself permission and approval.  

Confidence carries itself on voice’s wing to the listener’s ears and heart.


It’s important to keep improving your vocal technique, but it could be said there’s a certain cowardice in focusing only on technique.

Because when you’re singing exactly, technically correct, there’s no room for anyone to negatively critique you and say you’re doing things “wrong.”  Singing technically perfect can be a defensive approach.  It can be done to protect against the imperfect vulnerability of singing authentically.

It takes more guts, more confidence, more assertiveness, to accept the imperfect technique you have today, and still be yourself.  

To still show emotion.  To still turn yourself inside out in front of an audience.

In other words, you can learn all the technique you want, but if there’s no “real person” behind the singing, you just sound like a singer of commercial jingles.

There is a moment when your voice integrates with your body.  When you stop being self-conscious and you start just being.  When you stop thinking about the technique of making sounds, and you focus on the meaning of the words you’re singing.  When you even start breaking rules when that’s the way a particular expression wants to come out.

That’s when you become a great singer.  

And you can decide to do it any time.  Why not today?

(c) 2011 Adrienne Osborn

Adrienne Osborn is a vocalist and performance coach based in Colorado.   For more free articles and tips, visit