How To Find a Good Vocal Teacher
One very effective way on how to improve your voice is to sign up for individual lessons with a voice coach. After making the decision to begin private vocal lessons, your immediate task is to find a coach whose practical approach and techniques agree with your specific goals and objectives. Finding a singing coach that meets your musical needs is crucial to your success.
After outlining your specific musical goals, you are now ready to begin your search for an accomplished and knowledgeable coach. First, consider whether you are merely interested in improving your voice for personal reasons or whether you wish to become a music teacher? Perhaps you actually envision yourself as a professional singer.
One of the best ways to find a respected and qualified voice coach is to contact anyone you may know that is involved in the music field. A local school music teacher, a church choir director, or even a staff member at a local music store may have suggestions regarding possible singing instructors in your area.
Many music stores generally have a bulletin board where local vocal instructors can post their business cards along with any teaching openings. In addition, store employees may have a vocal coach list or the store may even have a singing coach on staff.
By visiting the music department of a local college or university, you may discover many qualified singing instructors and professors who are willing to teach a small number of students. Advanced music students who need to complete certain degree requirements may be willing to provide singing lessons for a reasonable fee to interested and motivated students.
The First Contact With Your New Teacher
When contacting a voice coach for the first time, you need to be prepared to narrate a short story about yourself. It is especially important to state your musical goals in addition to detailing some of your previous musical background and experiences such as singing in the church choir or the school glee club as well as any private piano lessons you may have taken. You will definitely want to inquire about the vocal instructor’s personal qualifications, experience, and fees as well as their recommendations for practice time or the probability of student recital events and any additional information you feel is relevant.
If you mutually agree that each of you has the same musical objectives, you should schedule your first singing lesson. Furthermore, inquire about any materials you need to bring to your singing lessons since most vocal instructors will want you to also carry your current music books, if any, or any books you would like to pursue.
Show Off Your Skills To The Teacher
During your first few vocal lessons, your teacher will review and assess your singing voice and skill levels. Initially, your vocal coach will prepare your voice for singing by executing several vocal exercises such as scales and arpeggios on various syllables. This will allow your coach to evaluate your voice with regard to range and resonance in addition to your posture and breathing. Be prepared to perform several of your recent songs as well as sight read several new songs.
Upon the completion of these initial singing lessons, your voice coach will be able to identify areas that need improvement. Because these teacher evaluations are completed on a routine basis, it is important for your singing instructor to continuously reassure you of your progress in a constructive manner so you will remain focused and motivated.
Additionally, after several voice lessons, you should have developed a certain rapport with your singing coach and begun to understand what is expected of yourself with regard to practice and lesson preparation. Review of your previous singing lessons will allow your instructor to offer continuous encouragement as well as valuable instruction and details concerning your progress. When instructors are willing to use alternative methods to meet each student’s individual needs, these voice lessons will be a positive experience for the student.
Generally, each private vocal lesson will begin with warm-up and technique exercises with the remainder of the lesson spent practicing old and new songs. Most instructors choose the music that the student will be studying, but they are usually open to suggestions from the student.
Because you are paying your voice coach for private vocal lessons to help build your singing skills and offer singing tips, you need to trust their judgment and expertise when it comes to choosing music and specific vocal exercises. In order to address each student’s particular needs, specific music is more suitable for certain students.
The learning process is largely the same when working with various types of new material. Each singing coach will implement different methods for teaching new songs dependent upon the student and the music.
A primary step to learning new music is having the ability to identify the melody of the song. Especially if the student is struggling with learning a new piece of music, the voice coach may request the student to hum or buzz the melody. These vocal exercises not only addresses the melody issue, but also focuses on phrasing and breath support.
Once you have mastered the melody by humming it or using syllables, you are ready to sing the actual lyrics. At this time, you will also begin working on dynamics, diction, and expression.
Before or after your singing lesson with your voice coach, you will have the opportunity to greet fellow students. Even though the conversation between each of you is limited, you will develop a unique friendship. Plus, you will understand the difficulties and challenges facing the other students as well as yourself.
By planning semi-annual or annual group recitals for all the pupils, these students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their singing talents besides having a chance to listen and critique their fellow student’s abilities. Moreover, the students will begin to understand the term “stage fright” and begin to deal with this anxiety.
As each student begins their musical journey, the vocal coach will also be helping them develop a strong foundation for life.