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.


  • performing arts councils

  • theatre production studios

  • motion picture studios

  • radio or television networks

  • member of a permanent choir

  • recording studios

  • nightclubs and other places of entertainment

  • opera schools, as a teacher

  • self-employment, as a freelance singer and/or singing teacher with own studio

Prospects for a full-time career in singing are only possible for the exceptionally talented. Competition is very strong in this career field and many persons make singing a part-time career. A professional trained singer has a wide range of very interesting career opportunities to choose from: as a soloist in an opera, a member of a permanent choir or at one of the regional art councils.

Getting Started

  • get a strong background in music

  • take private acting, singing and dancing lessons

  • try to obtain singing experience by acting in school and community plays

  • attend professional productions to observe successful singers of different kinds

  • arrange to speak to singers about this type of career


AFDA, Afda Botswana, Durban University of Technology , Kenyatta University, Kyambogo University, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Mahatma Gandhi Institute and Rabindranath Tagore Institute, Makerere University, Ndejje University, Tshwane University of Technology, Tumaini University Makumira, University of Eastern Africa Baraton, University of Ghana, University of Nairobi, University of Rwanda

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