Most of us love to sing, or at least hum, in the privacy of our homes and never think of actually developing our singing abilities any further than that. 'Real' singing is something reserved for the professionals. If you have been hampered by this little gem of an excuse, chuck it away, far away and be hampered no more. Singing is a thing of joy, something that lightens up the soul and you shouldn't let professional considerations interfere with matters of the soul. In short, don't let anyone tell you it is beyond you. True, some people are born with an innately extraordinary voice, but it is possible too to develop a reasonably good singing voice through proper vocal training. Keep in mind though that you can develop your voice only as far as your natural abilities allow, and you can - and should - sound only like yourself. Never try to sound like any of the established singers, however much you admire them. Develop your own unique style. There is little point in putting all your training efforts into becoming an ersatz item.
There are different vocal training techniques, depending on the kind of music you would like to learn - classical, pop or anything else - and depending too on the singing instructor or vocal coach you chose. Having the right teacher makes a huge difference in your vocal training development, so it is important to pick one with care. Preferably, find a vocal instructor who is well-established in the music field and has a good many years of teaching experience. Look for a sympathetic, generous personality as well - you want to enjoy the process of singing, not develop a dread about it from an over-critical, impatient instructor. Talk to the other students to find out about their experience and perspective on the singing classes. If you have a very busy schedule and can't find time to commute to a vocal training studio, you can take singing lessons online. There are many websites that offer lessons, live or otherwise, through various interactive media.
Once you begin your vocal lessons, let yourself be guided by your instructor on the proper breathing and singing techniques. If you're going the online route, you can communicate with the instructor over the Internet and get his or her feedback on your performance. You should also listen to a wide variety of singers - if you're undergoing classical vocal training, don't turn your nose up at pop, folk, reggae, rap, hip-hop and so on, and vice versa; the more singing styles you hear the better for you - and, remember, practice, practice and practice. It is the only way to Carnegie Hall (or Broadway, for that matter), as the hoary joke goes. Here are a few singing tips that will help you sing better:
Begin your singing session by practicing your warm-up vocal exercises. These will help free your vocal cords and you will be able to sing much better as a result. If you are singing standing up, be sure to maintain a good posture. Having the correct body posture will increase your ability to sing well. When you're just starting out with singing lessons, don't over-strain your voice. It is important to strengthen your vocal cords, so at first keep your practice sessions short, not over 20 minutes daily, and then you can increase these gradually.
If you are short on confidence during a training session - it happens to all of us at some point or the other - sing your most favorite song first to break the ice and then tackle the others. You will find those somewhat easier then.
When learning to sing in the correct pitch, be sure to put in an equal effort in developing your emotive range. The reason great singers, like Pavarotti for example, are great is because, aside from a tremendous vocal range, they have the ability to connect on an emotional level with their audience. To do this, try to relate to the song lyrics. To do that, know the lyrics well first of all. If you don't know what the words are or, worse, what they signify, how on earth are you going to convey their meaning? Take care of your voice. Don't drink alcohol or soft drinks. Don't do drugs. Don't smoke. Give up yelling.
Along with self-control, learn patience. You are not going to become a good singer overnight. Keep on practicing, however long it takes, and keep on learning.