Sep 8

Overdone Song? NOT a Problem!

I teach LOTS of different genres: musical theatre, pop, rock, classical, world music, folk, country, R&B, you name it!

And I wouldn't have it any other way! It sure keeps things interesting, that's for sure! Although I trained primarily in opera and musical theatre when I was a young vocal student yeaaaaars ago, there is NO WAY I'd be able to stick to teaching just those two specific genres: I'd get too bored!

Anyway! There are some things that appear to be themes across genres.  One of those things ? You need good audition and performance material that shows off your voice and your personality.

There's another thing,too: coaches, directors, casting agents, etc. often say a song is NOT a good idea for an audition or performance (like a talent show, for example) because they hold the opinion that the song is "overdone".

Hold up.

Overdone songs? How can you prove, exactly, that a song is "overdone?"  Lemme give you a scenario: say I am judging a musical theatre category in a vocal competition, and a colleague sitting next to me sees what's next from a singer we're adjudicating , and says: "ugh. That song is SO overdone!" simply because she may have heard it once or twice that day , sung by others.

Three times total would seem excessive to one person, whereas to another, six times or more is excessive.....also! Another person may just not like the song in question in general, and think that hearing it even ONCE is more than enough!

Sometimes, a song *has* to be overdone in certain situations.
It's not too common, but some of the musical theatre students I work with sometimes must choose from a short list of songs to audition with.  It has happened with some classical vocal competitions as well (you want overdone? try finding an aria that is not overdone in the opera world. It's all been written already and no new stuff is really coming out, soo.....)

The truth? If someone says they're sick of hearing a song, it's because they're sick of hearing it done POORLY.

Now, "poorly" can mean several different things , just like "overdone" can mean several different things- but usually, it means the performance is not memorable, out of someone's ability, or just not RIGHT for them.

Is one of the songs you're loving for yourself considered an "overdone song " by some? Are you now on the fence as to whether or not you should go forward with singing it? Ask yourself these questions:

1) Do you connect with the song? Meaning, do you understand it and LOVE it?

2) Is it something you feel super vocally comfortable singing?

3) Is it appropriate? This is mostly for younger singers- some songs are just too "big" for young singers (such as anything by Whitney, Aretha, Barbra, etc). Not only that, but many songs have adult subject matter and it's nothing you should be singing about.

Did you answer "yes" to all of the above?


Who knows? YOUR rendition of the supposedly "overdone" song may make a naysayer or two LOVE the song, because of what YOU specifically brought to it!

Just my two cents.

I'm here to uplift, motivate and encourage.  I'll push you, but with humor and kindness. Sound like I may be a match for you as a teacher? Let's find out. Schedule a lesson with me.

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