• Michelle Ostrove


One of the most important characteristics of vocal control is the ability to listen to yourself and sing “on pitch” (singing right on the note)! A good voice embodies fine technique, which requires you to sing notes correctly, not singing a little higher (sharp) or lower (flat). If you have ever heard someone sing and thought, they can’t sing. That’s probably because they are not on the note; they are flat or sharp. From time to time a good vocalist might hit a pitchy note; that is not what we are addressing today. We are discussing consistently pitchy notes, not one or two scatter throughout a live performance.

Let’s look at it from a different perspective. Imagine you were playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the piano, starting with E, D, C, D, E, E, E; but instead you play E, D, C#, D, Eb, Eb, E. You are changing the sound of the melody because you are not exactly on the notes (a little sharp and a little flat). The listening ear knows something is off and that it does not sound good. It’s the same with singing; your audience will hear the pitchy notes and know that it does not sound right.

Cultivating a good voice takes practice to maintain good pitch throughout the song. So when you practice make sure you are singing on pitch. The best way to do this is to record yourself when you practice a song. As you play the recording and find places that don’t sound right, you are probably off the note. Try to slightly raise or lower the note, if you are working with a vocal coach, they can find the notes on the piano and play them for you. Having self-awareness (being aware of how you sound) is actually one of the first major steps to becoming a good singing. This is an excellent way to training your ears…listen to yourself!


What is the definition of a mezzo soprano? Just an alto with a soprano’s attitude.

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