Natural ability is important when it comes to singing, but even those with great voices can benefit from vocal coaching. When it comes to vocal coaching, there are a variety of options out there, but not all coaches are created equal. Many vocal teachers make wild claims of how students can make great progress in just a few weeks or how they can teach students to sound more like their favorite vocal artist. If a voice coach has worked with a celebrity in the past, they may also use this to lure new clients and charge high fees, regardless of how skilled they actually are.
If you are in the market for an experienced voice coach, there are several aspects you should consider other than a teacher’s list of celebrity clients. Here, we’ll talk about the most important traits to look for in order to find a vocal coach that can truly help you improve your abilities.
Specialization Is Important
When looking for a vocal coach, you’ll want to find one who has experience in teaching the style of music you’re interested in. For example, if you dream about becoming an opera singer, it would be wise to choose a vocal coach who has taught this style of singing before—and not just to one or two students, but several.
When searching for a new vocal coach, be sure to ask him or her if the lessons will include coaching on vocal technique. Focusing on vocal technique will help you increase your range, vocal flexibility, and breath control, as well as improve other aspects of your singing voice, like your overall vocal power and the consistency of your tone. There are a lot of teachers who will only teach students how to sing specific songs, but won’t push them further in order to discover what their voice is really capable of. Mastery of these nuances of vocal technique is what will separate the amateur singer from the professional. Additionally, a skilled vocal coach will be able to teach the student relaxation techniques, as well as give them pointers on delivering dynamic performances.
How Does the Teacher Sound?
While an instructor doesn’t necessarily need to have an amazing singing voice to provide voice lessons, it definitely helps. When looking for a vocal instructor, don’t be afraid to ask them to demonstrate the concepts that they claim they can teach you. For instance, ask the instructor to sing something. If it appears they are straining or their voice breaks, this can indicate they don’t have what it takes. Again, an instructor does not need to be the best singer you’ve ever heard, but they should be easily able to demonstrate mastery of vocal technique.
Ask for Recommendations
As with most services, the best form of advertisement is word-of-mouth. If you’re in the market for a vocal coach, it may be helpful to ask around for those who have taken vocal lessons in the past. A good vocal coach will likely have a favorable reputation in the local music, theater, or arts community, and people will not hesitate to spread the word when they’ve had a positive experience. If you’re familiar with singers in your local area, you may want to ask them if they have had any formal vocal training, and if so, for a referral to their vocal instructor.
When you’re asking others for recommendations, you should prepare a few questions to gain more insight. Ask if the teacher provided exercises that strengthened the student’s voice, if the lessons were enjoyable, and how flexible the vocal instructor was about answering questions.
Reputable voice teachers work hard to ensure that they are a good match for their students. The same way that you should thoroughly investigate your voice coach’s professional background is the same way a good coach will want to ensure you’re a good match as a student. In addition, even if you’re just taking lessons for fun, choosing an instructor of high caliber is still important, as you do not want to ruin your voice by dealing with an inexperienced instructor.
When you’re selecting a teacher, don’t be intimidated by their experience or long list of success stories. Regardless of someone’s reputation, your goal should be to find the vocal coach who can most effectively help you improve your voice and who focuses on the style of music you want to sing. Above all else, be sure that the process of vocal coaching is enjoyable for you, and don’t be afraid to switch instructors if you find that you don’t mesh with your coach. Keeping the learning process fun will help you stick with it for the long haul and ensure that you truly get the most out of your lessons.