Learning how to sing can sometimes be easy and sometimes it can be difficult. But if you understand the process of moving from a novice to a master status, it can often make the learning process much more positive.
There are actually four phases to learning, called the ‘four stages of competence’, which everyone has to progress through to reach master status, regardless of the task that is being learnt. These four phases assist voice coaches to identify the learning needs of their pupils, based on which of the four stages of competence matches their current progress.
These four stages are:
- Unconscious competence
- Conscious incompetence
- Conscious competence
- Unconscious competence.
This is the point where a person isn’t even aware that they lack a certain skill. In fact, to actually learn a new skill, you first need to acknowledge that you lack the skill. And at this stage, you don’t have enough awareness to know that you can’t do something. So you sing in the shower and think that you are channelling Sinatra!
It’s not until a person reaches the second of the four stages of competence that they are aware that they lack a certain skill. It is at this point that you can look for a singing coach, because you realise that you don’t actually sing like Sinatra!
At this phase of the process, the person now has the skills or the knowledge to sing in tune, but it takes practice and hard work to get it right each time. This is why you need long-term singing lessons, at least until you reach the next stage. Although even famous singers often retain their singing coaches for many years.
Once a person has reached the fourth phase, they are skilled enough to sing without any effort and can perform with ease. Learning doesn’t stop at this point. However, because whilst most singers at this stage can sing effortlessly, they can always learn more and enhance their voices over time.
Hopefully, the four stages of competence have given you some insight into improving your singing voice.