Singing Competitions for Kids | Developing Children’s Vocal Talent

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Objectives of a singing competition

Many aspiring singers choose to enter talent competitions. It is a great way of getting noticed in the industry and gaining exposure to a wider audience. They can also be a strong way to develop as a singer and also develop confidence as a performer.

It’s a great way to get exposure in the music industry and meet people who could potentially help you in the future. Whatever stage you’re at, a singing competition is designed to test your abilities against other performers and help you improve. 

What is a singing competition?

A singing competition is a way for various singers to compete against each other by performing in front of a panel of judges. These judges then supply feedback on the performance and often decide whether the act goes through to the next round.

The audience can also have an input in sending an act through in some talent shows. This is more likely in later rounds when an act will be performing in front of a live or televised audience. 

A singing competition can also give an act a chance to be coached by judges. In the build-up to each round, they work with a specific judge on their upcoming performance. This can be one of the most valuable parts of a singing competition as a singer will get priceless advice from judges with years of experience. 

How do I prepare for a music competition?

You’ll need to work on your singing ability first and foremost. This can be done with a vocal coach and lots of practice. Also, gain plenty of experience singing in front of an audience because you might find that your singing ability changes in a different environment. 

Singing in front of an audience is essential for building your stage presence. Open mics are a great opportunity to do this week after week. Get your performances filmed so you can look back over them and make improvements.

Finally, know your song inside out. The last thing you want is to forget lyrics or miss your pitch when you’re performing in front of judges. Perform it in front of an audience as much as you can before auditioning and this will make you far more comfortable on stage.

How is a singing competition organised?

The organisation of a singing competition can vary significantly but there are some common similarities. For example, it typically begins with audition stages. These can be open auditions but usually, you will have to make an application online first. This could involve sending a video or recording of yourself singing. 

Auditions can take place across the country and prospective singers can end up queuing for a long time. Once they get to the front they will be whisked onto a stage in front of the judges to perform. If the judges say no then I’m afraid that’s the end of the road. If they say yes then the journey is just beginning.

The next round of auditions takes candidates that have gone through across the country and then narrows them down. This may follow a similar format to the initial auditions but in a more centralised location such as London. 

Singers can be allocated a judge to be their specific coach. This can happen at the first audition or at a later stage. The judges will work with acts individually to help them improve will hope to get their acts as far as possible. It’s this competition between the judges that makes them so invested in the acts that they are coaching.

How is a singing competition judged?

Judges will choose to send an act through based on their ability to sing and perform. Ultimately, they will judge someone based on their potential to win the competition. A judge might see or hear something in you that makes them think that they can coach you well. 

Acts will be likely to receive feedback from all judges throughout a competition. However, there may be a point where they will be assessed by only one judge. This will typically be when they’ve been put in a judge’s team and that judge has to decide who remains in their team going forward. 

Judges will want to see improvement from acts as the competition progresses. Your ability to learn and implement feedback can be a big factor in a judge progressing you through the competition. Remember that everyone else will be improving so the competition could be won based on how quickly a contestant gets better.

If an audience is deciding who goes through to the next round then you will have to impress them, as well as the judges. Having a friendly, sincere and humble personality will serve you well and help win over the crowd. Don’t forget that the judges’ comments will also be a big factor in helping the audience make their decision.

How do you win a singing competition?

Once you’ve gotten through the audition stages, you’re in prime position to go all the way. Winning a singing competition comes down to a number of factors. Every week you need to make sure that you aren’t going to get eliminated. Usually, the bottom two contestants in a given week will be at risk of elimination. 

Your singing and performing ability need to be to a professional standard. It may not be when you start out but it should be by the time you get to the final. If you can’t raise your ability to that level then you’re not going to have a great chance of winning.

Choosing the right songs and putting your creativity into it is essential in getting through each round. Singing a song that has been overdone won’t impress the judges or audience. You should also sing covers in a completely different way to the original. This will make it feel like it’s your own song and will demonstrate your artistry.

You need to stay ahead of the competition and a good way to do this is to not be predictable. If the judges and audience know what to expect then they may get bored and you’ll lose your initial charm. By coming into every week with surprises then you will be more entertaining and exciting to watch.

Developing children’s talent with competitions

Singing Competitions for Kids | Developing Children's Vocal Talent

Performance experience

Singers can use talent competitions as a way of gaining more experience in the music industry and performing on stage. Without any experience, it’s difficult for a singer to gauge which songs work well for an audience and which don’t. 

Performance experience is an invaluable skill to have as a singer as it can often be a way of getting recognised by a wider audience. Talent competitions help to gain experience due to the volume of people you’re potentially performing for.

Receive constructive feedback

One of the strongest ways to develop as a singer is to know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. This is where talent competitions can be really useful. 

During the process of a talent competition, singers are given feedback on how the performance went. Singers can use this feedback to work on their performance and their vocals. It’s wise to take this feedback on board as the judges will have experience and knowledge in the industry.

Benefits of Talent Competitions

Talent competitions for kids


When acts get to the level that they really impress they will then start to be asked to perform at other gigs and events, which are great opportunities for further exposure. Lucy Spraggan, for example, was asked by several festivals to perform as a result of her Open Mic UK show performances.

Building a fan base

Performing well and impressing within a talent competition will help build your fan base. Audience members will take your details and find you on the internet; so make sure you are easy to find on the internet!

Industry exposure

A talent competition is often a chance for industry professionals to see you performing and hear your voice. Talent competitions are becoming more and more popular, people running the shows have had the opportunity to invite industry professionals to judge for the shows. 

It may only take an A&R from a record label to see a singer perform to want to learn more about them. Sometimes all it takes is the right person to attend a talent competition to give you the opportunity to become a success in the music industry.

Benefits of music competitions for young singers

Benefits of music competitions for singers

Helping young singers to develop

Music competitions can be nerve-wracking for any singer, never mind for a young in-experienced performer.  However, there are many benefits for children that choose to enter music competitions!

Builds confidence

Entering music competitions can be a good way to help build a child’s confidence. Naturally, they’ll be nervous, but we all thrive when we’re doing something we enjoy, and if you’re a singer then performing on stage to a live audience is a feeling like no other!

Everyone gets stage fright, but the more stage experience a performer gets, the better they learn to handle those nerves.  A music competition is a good platform to gain stage experience in a safe professional environment. They will be surrounded by others in the exact same position so there is a great support network for them too.

Gaining experience

Many children have dreams to become a singer, but the music industry is a difficult place to break into, especially without performance experience. Music competitions give children the chance to gain experience performing in front of an audience and on stage.

Performing in front of an audience is a vital experience for any professional singer, so many industry professionals will expect nothing less when looking to sign new talent.

Developing a young singer’s vocal

With feedback from the music competition judges, you’ll be able to see which parts of the performance are strongest and which bits need a little work. Receiving feedback from music experts who have a wealth of knowledge regarding the singing industry is a vital tool for self-development as a singer.

Getting exposure

A music competition is often a chance for industry professionals to see you performing. With many competitions inviting A&R’s from record labels, there is a chance that the young singers are given further opportunities as a result of the attendance of these professionals. Sometimes all it takes is the right person to attend a music competition and give you the exposure you need to become a success in the music industry.

There are a number of ways to develop children as an act but music competitions have proved for acts like Birdy, Courtney Hadwin and Luke Friend a great resource to improve to the level to be successful.