The Youtube video attached to this post shows one of my earlier days in music, while I was head of music department at a nursery and primary school at Lekki. Little did I know that I was going to be settling as a vocal coach. I was building myself in all areas of music and all aspects presented to me. That you want to become a singer today should not stop you from building instrument playing skills on the side. Besides, there are other musical skills you need to pickup to help your singing.
Learning piano really helped me develop my musical ears, which is a valuable skill without which I wouldn’t have been able to help the singers who have come my way. I also picked up the guitar which today helps me to back up singers both in my private music classes and during shows and concerts.
More so, the short piece I played was from a popular piano book titled SMALLWOODS, where all pieces are written in music language – staff notation. Hence, I learned how to sight read music. Most contemporary singers don’t see a need to learn to play an instrument. I can assure you it’s a skill you won’t regret having. Please beware, music is not for the weak! Don’t say, ‘na sing I wan sing, nothing konsine me with instrument’. No worry, e go soon shock you when the opportunity go come! Don’t forget Asa, Alicia Keys, John Legend and James blunt in a hurry (all singer/ instrumentalists). Just to mention a few. Get serious with your craft. 
In 2006, I entered the Nigerian Breweries Star Quest competition as a singer (even though I wasn’t singing very well then), keyboardist and guitarist. Whilst in the house, and within the 21 day span of the competition, I picked up the bass guitar, which I didn’t know how to play priori to the contest. I learned it in 3 days and played the bass during the finals. We won! How would you not vote for a band with a lady on the bass? Pardon my bragging. But I tell you, that singular act brought me fame and fortune! Get serious with your craft.
Presently, I see all these little musical skills I picked, coming together to play in a beautiful way. The best part is that I am able to do combined courses for my students and that earns me more! Are you getting paid to do what you love to do – music? If your answer is no, there is something you are either not doing at all, or something is being wrongly done. 
What I noticed after interviewing some of my clients is that a whole lot of people want to be as talented and rich as Beyonce and Jay-Z but only a few are ready to go the extra mile – yes, the sleepless nights and the extra effort that needs to go into the work to make it stand out. You need to get serious with your music career. How do you want to operate? As an instrumentalist, solo singer, songwriter, recording artiste, session singer, dancer or producer? What are you doing today to help you achieve that? 
Need music career guidance? Watch out for my next book loaded with tips to help you get comfortable being a musician who gets paid some real good box for performance. Want to be the first to know when book is published? Comment “ADD ME” with your phone number and you will be added to my New Book Alert WhatsApp group. 
One more thing, SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel after watching video. I will be posting voice training tutorials of my SINGING MASTERCLASSES around the world. You don’t want to miss this.

Author: Laura Etemah

Laura Etemah is a Nigeria/ UK trained an award-winning and full-time Musician, Music Teacher, Author, Vocal Coach and the Director of Lee Vocal Studios and Lee Ellie Music School. As the music woman who loves children and a highly sought-after Music Teacher for children, Laura is also a strong advocate for the music education of the Nigerian child. More so, she has a passion for helping speakers, singers, musical artistes and aspiring vocalists of all styles and abilities, develop the full potential of their voices. The birth of Lee Vocal Studios came through as a result of this. Laura is also an expert in organizing fun and engaging music workshops for children in singing, piano, guitar, violin and recorder. Her multi-instrument playing skills has paved way for her in the music teaching business, making her a force to reckon with in the industry. Laura uses the Nigerian, British and American curriculum in disseminating her music lectures and this is the reason why she is the most patronized music teacher in Nigeria and across West Africa. Laura also teaches music to adults up to the age of 70! Proving to all that anyone can learn music so long as the interest, time and energy are there. The benefits of music are awesome and adults can rewire their brains for higher achievements and rejuvenate the abilities of the brain by taking music lessons. In 2006, Laura won the the Star Quest Music Reality TV Show, with her band – Daccord; and went on a tour with Tu Baba, Tony Tetuilla, P-Square, The Natives and a host of other Nigerian music stars to the UK to perform at the MOBO awards. Her band, Daccord also went for a 10-city tour with a host of Nigerian music stars (Star Trek, 2006) and performed alongside Akon and LL Cool J at the Star Mega Jam, 2006. In 2011, Laura was awarded by the ex-Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) for her successful NYSC music community projects carried out to benefit the secondary school students of the Surulere Community, in Lagos State, Nigeria. One of the projects included the audio and video recording of the popular song – Good People of Nigeria, which is mostly played on the 1st of October to commemorate the independence of Nigeria. Watch here: Watch the video documentary of my NYSC projects here: Laura is also well known for her bestselling book, Sing Like a Superstar, which has helped many singers, artistes, choristers, musicians, producers and choir directors to discover the true potential of their voices. The book is also accompanied by a downloadable voice training CD that has proved to build the voices of thousands of singers. In 2011, Laura became the first African woman to obtain a Master of Arts in Music Production from Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom. She also holds a first degree in Geology from Delta State University, Abraka –Nigeria; and a number of diplomas in music. Laura has worked in several recording studios, taught and is still teaching music privately and in many nursery, primary and secondary schools. Laura is also very much in the business of training groups of singers and choristers. Laura is currently based in Lagos-Nigeria, teaching music production, instrument and singing classes.

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