How to Learn Singing “Maria” from West Side Story

How to Learn Singing “Maria” from West Side Story

Singing songs from musicals can be a great way to showcase your vocal skills and tell a story through music. One iconic song from the classic musical “West Side Story” is “Maria.” In this article, we will guide you on how to learn and sing this beautiful song. We will also highlight the unique vocal technique used and mention other popular songs where this technique is employed.

Step 1: Vocal Analysis

Before diving into learning the song, it’s important to analyze your voice and understand your vocal range. Singing Carrots offers a Vocal Range Test that can help you determine your vocal range. Knowing your range will allow you to make appropriate adjustments and sing the song comfortably.

Step 2: Study the Song and Lyrics

Take the time to study and familiarize yourself with the song “Maria.” Listen to different renditions and performances to understand the nuances and interpretation. You can find the lyrics of the song here and create your performance set using the Singing Carrots Song-book feature.

Step 3: Technique – Belting

The unique vocal technique used in “Maria” is belting. Belting is a powerful and resonant singing technique commonly found in musical theater. It involves singing in a chest-dominant voice, emphasizing a strong and bright sound.

This technique can also be heard in other popular songs such as “Defying Gravity” from Wicked and “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls.

Step 4: Vocal Warm-up and Exercises

Before starting to sing “Maria,” warm up your voice and practice vocal exercises to prepare your vocal cords. Singing Carrots offers various exercises and warm-ups in the Pitch Training section. You can also find specific exercises for belting, such as the “Heavy Modal” and “Twang” exercises. These exercises will help you build the necessary strength and control for singing in a belting style.

Step 5: Breath Control and Articulation

To sing “Maria” effectively, pay attention to your breath control and articulation. Proper breath support and diaphragmatic breathing are essential for maintaining power and control while belting. Singing Carrots provides resources on breath support and articulation that can help you improve these aspects of your singing technique.

Step 6: Performance Tips

When performing “Maria,” remember to convey the emotion and story of the song. Connect with the lyrics, engage your audience, and let your voice express the character’s feelings.

For more tips on stage presence, overcoming stage fright, and performing skills, you can refer to the Singing Carrots articles on overcoming stage fright and tips for performing on stage.

Learning and singing a song like “Maria” requires time and practice. Incorporate the Singing Carrots resources mentioned above, take it step by step, and enjoy the process of mastering this iconic musical piece.