Singing is a beautiful act. Whether you’re performing a classical opera or just enjoying karaoke with the squad, singing is an expressive and artistic event – and one that allows you to show off your creativity, your emotional side, and your technical skill simultaneously.
Becoming a good singer is highly rewarding. Even in a worst-case scenario, you’ll be proud of yourself and you’ll get to entertain your friends. But if you learn how to be a professional-level singer, you could open the door to countless opportunities, from getting parts in local musicals to fronting a band you love.
Is there such a thing as being “too late” to become a good singer? If you’re 30 years old, 40, or retirement age – is there any hope of you training and conditioning your voice?
What Is a Good Singer?
First, let’s answer the question of what a “good” singer is and how you can get there. The question is more complicated than it first seems to be.
For one thing, “good” is subjective. For a music critic well versed in technique and theory, a good singer is one who’s able to perfectly hit a wide range of notes on command while expressing them creatively. For an average concert goer, a good singer is simply one whose voice they like. Under this definition, it’s possible to become a good singer with no training whatsoever.
But with a broader view, a good singer is one who has more control over their voice than the average person – and this is a skill that truly anyone can learn.
The Degradation of Your Voice
Like every other part of your body, your vocal cords are subject to deterioration over time. There are many body parts responsible for your singing quality and consistency, including your tongue, lips, and throat – but your larynx (voice box) is one of the most important. Over time, physical damage tends to accumulate (even from simple actions like yelling or singing loudly) and the soft tissue responsible for producing your voice will become scarred and damaged.
If you’re rough with your voice, yelling frequently, or if you’re at risk for serious throat-related health conditions (for example, if you smoke), this may be a cause of concern for you. Your voice may eventually deteriorate to the point where it’s hard to speak clearly, let alone sing.
But for most people, this isn’t much of an issue. Your voice changes as you get older, inevitably, but even if it accumulates damage over time, that doesn’t mean you no longer have the potential to be a good singer. In fact, some listeners prefer hearing singers with aged voices that have a more distinctive character.
The Learning Process
The biggest potential issue with becoming a good singer late in life is the learning process – and for two reasons.
For starters, there’s some degree of truth that children have an easier time learning new things than adults do. They have greater neuroplasticity, enabling them to form and reinforce new connections faster and more reliably. But that doesn’t mean that adults or seniors necessarily have difficulty learning new things. If you have a healthy brain and enough time to dedicate to your new skill, you should have little trouble making progress as a singer.
More importantly, you need to understand that the learning process is slow – and it requires patience. You’re not going to become a better signer overnight. Instead, you can only become a better singer if you’re willing to read content, take lessons, do exercises, and practice every day. You’ll need to be consistent with this and remain dedicated for weeks, if not months.
The trouble here is that older adults frequently get discouraged. If you’re raising a family and you have a full-time job, you may not have as much time to dedicate to this new hobby as you previously thought. If you haven’t learned a new skill in a while, you might be uncomfortable with your low skill level – or you might get frustrated that you’re not learning how to sing fast enough.
Still, if you’re able to get over this hump and remain committed to the learning process, you’ll eventually be able to become a better singer.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is that it’s never too late, and you’re never too old to learn how to become a better singer. Singing is an art form that demands education, training, and constant practice – and it’s not something everyone will be dedicated enough to do. You may also struggle with an aging larynx or personal time restrictions.
But even if the path isn’t easy, the path is certainly accessible. If you put in the work and train every day, your age is inconsequential – you have the potential to improve your singing voice.
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