How To Judge A Singing Competition

Singing for an audience

Singing is one of the most accessible forms of entertainment and a lot of people enter singing competitions. If you are chosen to judge a singing competition, you need to know what you should be looking for. Understanding what judges look for is also important for contestants who want to ensure that they do well.

The Vocal Range

When judging a singing competition, the vocal range of the contestant will need to be taken into account. A wide range of vocal tones should be on display when the person sings, but they also need to be able to execute the range correctly. Monotone songs will not show off the vocal range of a singer and this could be a problem when they progress and have to sing other songs.

While the range of the voice is important, the clarity is also vital. It is possible for someone to have a wide vocal range, but if they are not able to control it they will have problems in a competition. The high note of the range should be clear and there should be no strain on the voice. The lower notes also need to be clear and they should have power in them.

The Vocal Quality

The quality of the vocals will also need to be considered and this is different from the clarity of the performance. Everyone has a different texture to their voice and this is what makes them different and ensures that they work with different songs. The contestant will need to know what their vocal quality is and how it can be used.

There are some singers that have a gentle and soft vocal quality. Other singers will have a hoarse or gravely sound to their vocals. The singer needs to know what type of songs their voice works with such as a soft voice singer singing songs from Celine Dione instead of Janis Joplin.

The Subtext

The subtext of the vocal performance also needs to be considered. When looking at the subtext of the performance, you will need to see how the singer is able to connect with the story the song is telling. The subtext is the personalized ownership of the meaning of the song.

Songs that are performed without any connection to the meaning will be forgettable. The deeper the connection that the singer has with the song, the more powerful their performance is going to be and you need to consider this. You should not mark a contestant highly if they are not able to connect with the song.

An example of a poor connection with the meaning of the song will be someone singing a song with somber lyrics while smiling and energetically moving around the stage. The meaning of the song will be lost with this performance. This will also show that the contestant has not taken the time to really understand what they are singing.

Singing for an audience

The Stage Presence

While the vocals and connection with the song are important, the stage presence also needs to be taken into account. Good singers will be able to connect and communicate with the audience non-verbally through their stage presence. There are certain actions that you need to look for during the performance that will help you judge this.

The first is the eye contact that the singer makes with the audience while performing. The hand movements and the way they use the stage should also be considered. It is important to remember that the stage is just the location where the singer performs. How the singer uses it is vital to a good performance.

The way the stage is used should help the audience connect with the singer and the song. If the song is slow, the singer can remain in one place and provide the performance that they need to. However, if it is a song that is designed to get people moving, the singer should be moving as well or the basis of the song is lost.

The Audience Response

Singing competitions are not only judged on the technical aspects of the singer’s performance, but also on how the audience receives this. Applause from the audience is a sign that they enjoyed the performance, but there are other things that you need to watch for. Most people will applaud after a performance even if they did not enjoy the whole thing.

During the performance, you should take a look at the audience and see their reaction. Look for their eyes connecting with the singer and people moving to music. If any of them are crying, that is a clear sign that the singer was able to connect with them. Enthusiastic applause after the performance is another clear sign that the performance was well received and that the singer was able to nail their stage presence.