School of Rock Presents: Top 10 Tips for Vocalists

By: School of Rock’s Michelle Hallman

1. Warm up before your gig (try to warm up before a private lesson as well). You don’t necessarily have to sing scales; just sing something in your comfort range to loosen up your vocal chords and have fun with it while you’re at it.

2. Create a repertoire or stock of tunes that you can pull out and sing at any given moment.

3. Know the keys for the tunes you sing.

4. It is much more ideal to stand while singing. It creates better posture and opens up the lungs.

5. Figure out where you need to take a breath in each tune. When singing a word with more than one syllable, do not breathe in the middle of that word!

6. Practice fast vocal lines and tunes with a ton of words very slowly at first. Try to articulate every note and every word before speeding up one notch at a time.

7. Learn how to properly use a microphone (and mic stand).

8. Learn to play an instrument! Even if you don’t play on stage, it will help tremendously with understanding harmonies, writing songs and relating ideas to fellow musicians.

9. Listen across the stage. Know the form of the song, where you are in the song and what’s going on around you. If there is a solo, pay attention to who is playing said solo. This is their time, don’t just stand there and wait for your chance to sing again.

10. Always be prepared. Know your songs and what is expected of you as a singer for whatever gig, and then ROCK IT!

Michelle Hallman Biography
Vocal Instructor

Michelle Hallman performs, records, writes/arranges songs and tours with many different projects. She had been a working musician for a greater part of her life, and thrives in the live performance! She is a well versed singer perfecting a plethora of styles and genres. Even though she’s a rocker at heart, she has always loved choral music and is extremely knowledgeable in vocal harmonies.

Michelle is also an accomplished percussionist. She plays congas, bongos, djembe and all kinds of assorted hand percussion instruments. She can Whistle! She has played the piano since age 3, and took lessons for many, many years! She also plays the guitar and is striving to get better. Michelle has sung/played with the likes of Gregg Allman, Darryl Jones, Mr. Blotto, Umphree’s McGee , Richard Marx, Vince Welnick, Freddie Jones Band, The Bodeans… Her bands have opened for Kansas, Steven Stills and Jazz is Dead.

She’s also been the voice of national commercial jingles. Michelle loves teaching at the School of Rock, and is thrilled to share her knowledge and experience. She is so excited to see what the next generation of talent will bring.

Check out Michelle’s different projects: Chicago Groove Collective, Goodfoot, Ladies of the Canyon.


For more information on the School of Rock:

Evanston: (847) 864-7625

HIGHWOOD: (847) 433-7625