Song Wishlist: Getting Started

I encourage my students to keep a running, ever growing, wishlist of songs they love and want to learn to sing. This is a list we can call upon when it's time to choose new songs to work on in lessons.

A song wishlist can be a fun tool for anyone who loves to sing, whether you're taking lessons or not.

It can be as simple as a scrap piece of paper where you might scribble down a title of a song or a singer you like, or as complicated as a prioritized database on your computer. Keep a pen and paper handy, or maybe a small notebook, and you're on your way.

The most important thing is to choose songs that are meaningful to you and fit well with your voice.

You might start by going through your collection of CDs, LPs or skimming through your iPod. Look for the songs that feel neither too high nor too low for your voice, songs you can sing without straining. You're looking for material that sparks your internal motivation.

This is a starting point. From there, just be willing to follow your curiosity.

I have a number of loose systems for keeping my own personal song wishlists.

I tend to write down ideas on what ever piece of paper is handy at the time--a title, a songwriter or artist's name I happen upon, a recording or music book I want to get. Sometimes I'll print out a webpage with ideas I might come upon in my wide the internet ramblings.

At the same time, I'm also collecting ideas for songs of my own I might want to write, but that's another thread.

All these eventually get sorted into several file folders I've made for different kinds of projects I'm working on. I also have more general folders labeled: CD wishlist, music book wishlist, etc.

Or I may happen upon a music book or recording I want on the internet. I keep an wishlist for a time when the budget permits a purchase or someone asks me what they might get as a gift.

Some of the song wishlist ideas are things I want to learn myself, others are for building my studio music collection, things I can share with my students. Every so often I go through the material I've collected to remind myself of a new song I might like to learn, a new challenge to take on.

In addition to all this, I have a huge list of music I would like to listen to just for my own enjoyment and curiosity, things I might never sing myself but would love to hear.

The key to making any kind of wishlist is not to limit your imagination by worrying about how you'll fullfill those wishes. Finding the money to purchase recordings or printed music to help you learn the songs need not be a limiting factor. There are many ways to access these things for your own educational use and enjoyment, if you're resourceful.

As with so many creative things in the idea generation phase, when you're collecting ideas for songs to learn, simply cast a wide net and see what rises to the top.

(c)2008 ~ Effusive Muse Publishing