How to Learn Singing “America” from West Side Story

Learning to Sing ‘America’ from West Side Story

“America” is a vibrant and multilayered song from the musical ‘West Side Story.’ Key to mastering this song is understanding the unique vocal technique it utilizes: the mixed voice. ‘Mixed voice’ is a blend of chest and head voice, allowing you to sing higher with ease. It’s also used in songs such as “Defying Gravity” from Wicked and “Chandelier” by Sia.

Understanding Mixed Voice

Mixed voice occurs when you blend your chest voice (low notes) and head voice (high notes). It helps you prevent voice breaks and extend your vocal range. To learn more about chest voice, head voice, and voice breaks, refer to this article.

To practice mixed voice, use the following Mixed Voice exercise video, and also try our pitch training tool to gauge your pitch accuracy.

Steps to Learn ‘America’

  1. Analyze Your Voice: Use our vocal range test tool to determine your range and compare it against the song.
  2. Learn The Melody: Listen to the song repeatedly. You can play the song on our Vocal Pitch Monitor and see the notes displayed on a virtual piano for better understanding.
  3. Practice The Lyrics: The lyrics in ‘America’ come fast and require careful articulation. Refer to our article on articulation for techniques.
  4. Master The Technique: Practice mixed voice both during warm-ups and while singing the song.
  5. Perform: Try performing the song in front of others when you feel ready. You can make use of our tips for overcoming stage fright.

To dive deeper into the process, read our article on how to learn a song effectively. Remember, each song brings its own set of challenges and opportunities to grow as a singer. So take it slow, stay patient, and keep practicing!