Pushing Past Plateaus

There can be many reasons to hit a plateau of some kind where you feel you’re not making any progress or fear you just can’t push past it. There are times you could be creating the plateau or possibly imagining that one even exists because you know there are things you need to be doing or pursuing to strengthen your voice or advance your singing career.

Psyche Yourself Up Not Out

Many times there can be a psychological or emotional block of some kind that is making it more difficult for you. In such cases, you may want to distract yourself by trying something new. You can divert your attention to focus on other aspects of your artistic development.

You might want to focus on networking or exploring other artists. You could go on creative field trips to check out venues in your area, places where you might consider performing in the future.

Try Something New

This sort of diversion approach gives you the chance to make progress of some kind, discover something new, adjust your perspective, freshen your outlook, and in the process, disarm any negativity that may have been fostered that’s feeding the feeling that you’re at a standstill or standoff in your development as a singer.

Changes In The Voice

However, Deborah “Zuke” Smith has found that when a plateau occurs it can literally be due to some sort of change in your voice.

“Simply put, when someone has reached a plateau it usually means the weakest part of their voice has shifted,” Zuke said. “I have taken several students through their adolescent voice changes which can be a frustrating roller coaster ride for some. I remember when my student, Devin, had a very weak and whispery mix voice, but she was very confident up to a G4. Above that, she was shy and barely audible. But, G5 and into the stratosphere of the whistle tone she had no problem.”

Quick Fixes – Over Time

Once the problem is identified, it can be a relatively easy fix. In many cases the relief that comes from knowing there is a real solution at hand will hasten recovery and break through the plateau. Other times, the fix that leads to the breakthrough may not happen as quickly, as was the case for Zuke’s young student, Devin, whose plateau ran parallel to the perplexities of pubescence.

“It took a lot of patience on her part and trust in me as her teacher to understand this was temporary,” Zuke said. “As she went through her adolescence, her voice blossomed, and she developed a killer mix.”

The Shift From Neglect

But a shift in the voice can happen for a number of reasons, and it often occurs due to neglect of some part of the voice that needs nurturing and attention. Once again, Devin found herself in the throes of yet another plateau.

“She loved singing in her mix voice so much, she neglected her head voice, and now that has become her weakest link,” Zuke said.

Balance Your Focus

So the bottom line is to strike a balance in your practice and performance. You may have a favorite part of your voice that you enjoy the most. But it’s important to counter and complement that part of your voice, so that the entire scope and range of your potential is always readily available to explore and share as you move down the road to your singing success.

Deborah “Zuke” Smith

Zuke is a renowned music copyist, piano teacher, songwriter, vocal coach, and self-proclaimed “East coast chick,” who credits Brett Manning’s Singing Success with not only saving her life but forever changing it for the very best it can be. In 2000 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and braved the brutal battery of tests, surgeries, chemotherapy, post chemo drug regimen and physical therapy. She believes that Brett Manning’s programs and method are absolutely essential to bringing out the full potential in any voice. You can find her on Facebook listed as Brett Manning Vocal Method: East Coast, U.S.A.