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Why did I set up PracticeTracks?

I set up Practice Tracks in 2008 for two reasons, the first was that at the time I was working on the shows in London’s West End and playing for many auditions. Time and again singers would come to the piano with a brand new music book and when I started playing their song they would look at me as if they’d never heard it before. ‘It didn’t sound like that on the recording’ was often the comment and I realised that very few singers can look at music in a book and hear what it sounds like. The key and the arrangement can be very different from ‘the recording’.

With Practice Tracks you will have a clean piano recording of the exact arrangement in your sheet music. Now that in the 21st century we have such wonderful digital resources, and are able to hear and change key before we download our audition song, Practice Tracks is that important aid to help you create your unique performance from the score and not just imitate your favourite singer from YouTube.

My second reason was that, as Vocal Coach at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art here in London, one of my duties is to teach my students how to learn accurately their songs. We always start with the score. The composer, who may also be the lyricist, is like a good director who will guide you to your interpretation of the song with many clues in the writing. So with each Practice Track you will get a ‘talk’ file guiding you through those clues in the score.

Many singers, and singing teachers round the world are now using my recordings. Often my professional singers will send me a pdf of a new song they have to learn at short notice for an important audition. There are no recordings available and they don’t have time for us to meet. Practice Tracks is the answer, wherever you are.

As I write this we are all experiencing Covid 19 and have no idea when our music making will return to normal. At least with Practice Tracks your learning can continue.

May you stay safe and well,

Tom Wakeley

London, September 2020

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