In the lead up to a performance, practice should eventually sound good but for most of the time practice would sound fragmented, full of mistakes and repetitive. It’s practice! Not performance! I remember in the lead up to an audition, one of the songs I was learning contained a broken diminished 7th chord. My accompanist said to me that when it came to pitching this chord, what I was singing was a tad bit inaccurate. What did I do? I sang the chord a few hundred times at home, playing it with the piano, without the piano, with the piano again, in and out of context with the other phrases of music… I did this for several hours in a week. Whenever I did this, I could hear windows from downstairs (I live in an apartment) close very quickly! Poor neighbours – hearing a diminished seventh chord a few hundred times must drive you crazy, let alone singing it a few hundred times! It took about two weeks for this problem to fix itself up, and the way it was fixed was through repetitive (and rather monotonous) practice!

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