Singers have exceptional singing ability and usually sing solo, in small groups of up to six or so singers, or in choirs, musicals, comedies or operas. To become a professional singer, an exceptional voice and talent is needed and a great deal of time must be spent practising singing and music. Singers practise alone or with other people in a small group or a large choir.
Singers interpret music using their knowledge of harmony, rhythm and voice. They interpret the meaning of the words and give the right emotional value to the song. They follow or memorise printed text and musical notation and may sing a capella or with instrumental accompaniment.
Some singers make recordings or go on concert tours while others perform in operas, musicals or appear as concert soloists. Some singers sing in films, on stage, on radio and television, in nightclubs and in other places of entertainment. Some singers teach and direct choirs or give private voice lessons.
Singers are known according to their voice ranges as sopranos, contraltos, basses, baritones or tenors. Dancing, playing musical instruments and/or acting are part of singers’ training and good singers are often also fully-fledged actors and musicians.
In addition to public appearances on stage, singers must often perform in studios, where recordings take place. Studio work can be tiring because a song must often be sung a number of times until a satisfactory recording is made.
Schooling & School Subjects
No specific high school requirements are necessary to enter this career but it is recommended that students who wish to study further should meet the following requirements:
Persons who want to sing professionally should acquire a broad background in music, including Theory and History.
Degree (BMus) and diploma courses in music are offered at most universities. Usually singing can be taken as a subject instead of learning a specific instrument. Training can also be obtained at the Royal School of Music, Trinity College of Music and the Conservatories for Music etc, in Pretoria.
Information regarding job opportunities and bursaries can be obtained from universities, universities of technology and provincial councils for performing arts.
The Personnel Manager
State Theatre Pretoria
P O Box 566
Tel. (012) 322-1665