Free Online Singing Lessons are a Waste of Money

Free online singing lessons are a waste of money. But wait a minute!  If it’s free, how can online singing lessons, or even free in person lessons, be a waste of money? Watch and find out.

Hi, I’m Chuck Gilmore, Founder of Power To Sing and the Second Nature Singing System.

Some things you don’t really want to be free, right?

Free:

Brain Surgery

Parachutes

Tattoos

Piercings

If we get a free offer in email, we send it to the spam file, right?

When something is offered for free we often say, “What’s the catch?”

The real question is, what are your goals?

Free online singing lessons are fine if your goals are simple and easy to attain. For example, perhaps you just want to sing along with the radio and you don’t want to be embarrassed around family or friends. Maybe you just want to sing to your child when you tuck them into bed and want to be able to sing some simple tunes. In situations like these, if your neighbor knows a little about singing and he or she is willing to help you for free, then little harm will result from such a kind gesture.

If you are happy with just singing in chest voice, if you don’t care about having great high notes, if you don’t mind NOT having vibrato, if you’re not trying to win auditions, or get into madrigals, or win the solos or get the lead singing roles or land a record contract, or perform for large audiences, then free lessons might be a good enough option.

Like with a physician, who’s Hippocratic Oath is “Do No Harm”, you hope at a minimum your teacher, free online singing lessons or not, at the very least, does no harm to your voice.

If you have goals you want to achieve with singing then free lessons might cost you!

There are several ways to lose money with free online singing lessons. The most obvious is not getting any noticeable improvement in your singing. But how does that cost you? It is opportunity cost…which translates into money costs. In other words, if your free lessons had enabled you to be singing for money, you lost that money. If you could have won an audition you lost that opportunity which also could have paid you money.

Here’s a personal example. I was given free online singing lessons by a college Music Department graduate assistant at the university I attended. These began in September and continued through the following April during my freshman year of college.

I made no significant progress with my voice, I was grateful and made a friend. But months later I bombed a solo and didn’t sing another solo for the next 25 years. How many opportunities did I lose because the free lessons did not help me?

I can’t imagine the opportunities I would have had, if I’d paid for lessons with Seth Riggs or one of his teachers for example. Free lessons were not really free. I gave hours and hours of my time when I could have either been studying with someone who could give me results or studying my school assignments or working at my job.

Were those lessons free? No. I paid for them with missed opportunities for many years. I would have spent much less time in disappointment, frustration, and lost opportunities…which were significant.

Remember, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years of little to no difference in your voice IS HARM!!!! You have invested time and emotional energy with no return. THIS IS HARM. You have lost that much growth, experience, and success in exchange for no results and disappointment.

For these reasons I say free lessons are a waste of money.

To be fair to all of us, we don’t know what to look for in a teacher and we don’t really know what potential we have in our own voices. Here’s what I wish I’d known, so you can use this information as you look for a teacher.

What You Must Know About Your Voice

#1. If you are stuck in your low voice, you probably think it’s the top of your regular voice and the only way you can sing higher is to break into falsetto, or strain and yell it higher. You’re mistaken! You are hitting the top of your chest voice and the bottom of your bridge or passaggio. You can learn to sing in and above this area of your voice and then higher into head voice. It can become strong and sound amazing.

#2. If you don’t have vibrato, you can learn vibrato and use it confidently in songs. It will sound so good, everyone will think you were born with it.

What You Must Look For In A Potential Teacher

At a minimum, free lessons or not, look for a teacher who can demonstrate the above things in his/her voice AND teach you how to do it. Don’t settle for less, don’t take lessons just because you like them, or they’re good singers or they live in your neighborhood. They must know how to teach you to do it too!

My first teacher was a great singer but didn’t know how to teach me to get vibrato or get into my mix and head voice. In fact, she didn’t know she didn’t know, and she had her Master degree in Vocal Performance.

What about a Teacher with a College Degree?

Just because a teacher has a college degree doesn’t mean they know how to teach these things. Seth Riggs told me after he finished his Masters degree in voice in New York City, he felt angry, because none of his professors, who were great singers themselves, were able to teach him how to get into his mix and head voice. Imagine getting a bachelors and masters at two prestigious music schools and not having one professor able to teach you how to get into head voice.

After he was out of college, Mr. Riggs met a teacher who was able to get him into his mix and head voice. He said with some frustration, “I was 26 years old!”

Do not assume that a good singer is a good teacher. Another one of my wonderful teachers is also an excellent pianist. He accompanied a professional Broadway singer who also taught private voice lessons.

My teacher said this professionals’ way of teaching his students was to tell them: “Do it like this” and he would sing it for them and ask them to mimic his voice. What makes it difficult for such a gifted singer to teach others is they’ve never had to learn to do it themselves. They’ve always been able to sing through the vocal bridge and into head voice easily. And, teaching singing is a completely different skill from singing.

Unfortunately, some amazing singers end up teaching privately or maybe even as professors and at universities, who never learned to teach the rest of us who are not as gifted because they’ve always been able to do it in their own voices. Of course, there are always some happy exceptions.

Free is not free. Free may NOT be better than no lessons, if you can be productive elsewhere. If you don’t know a teacher or there are none convenient to your home who can help you learn these things, find a teacher online. I’ve taught students online who literally are on the other side of the planet from me.

If you choose not to work or have no large singing goals, perhaps there is no waste of money. But lost opportunities will always cost something. Someday you will know what that cost is.

I’ve taken one on one lessons with at least 17 different voice teachers. I’ve attended performance camps, international teachers conventions, teacher boot camps and workshops. The number of personal voice lessons I’ve taken over the years is somewhere between two and three hundred.

I estimate I’ve invested over $16,000 in personal lessons, $8,500 in teacher training meetings,$2,400 in the teacher certification programs, $12,000 in travel expenses totalling over $40,000 for training in singing and teaching.

I don’t regret the investment to learn to sing and teach. It’s given me years of performing for tens of thousands on stage in musical theater. I’ve gained thousands of friends and associates along the way. My singing and teaching has given me a life of joy and fulfillment. And I believe it will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

My only regret is that I was 43 years old before I met Seth Riggs and his associate teachers. I wish I had met them when I was 16.

A Word of Warning

Buyer beware, just because you’re paying for lessons, and just because you’re paying a lot for lessons, and just because you’re paying more than anybody else did for lessons, does not mean that these lessons are going to be successful in your voice.

If you study with your teacher and they can not help you learn to transition from chest through the middle of your voice and into your upper head voice range in a smooth, easy connected tone with power and confidence, it doesn’t matter how many thousands of dollars you spend, you need to get with a teacher who can help you do that.

If you don’t have vibrato, your teacher must be able to help you learn vibrato, because you can learn it!

When you want results now, you must find the right teacher and invest in your voice. After a fair period of time, if you’ve done the work and there are no results, change teachers. Anything other than this is a waste of time and money.

I offer a free vocal test so you can get your vocal type. That’s not whether you’re a soprano, alto, tenor or bass. Your vocal type tells you what your voice does as you sing from chest to head voice. Then, you can do exercises tailored for the unique needs of your voice. My students get significantly faster results by doing these designer exercises, which are found in Pillar One of the Second Nature Singing System.

You can get the test here. Discover your vocal type and get to work on the designer exercises.

We Value What We Pay For

Here is an important lesson:

We always value what we pay for more than what’s given to us for free.

Usually, the higher the price, the more value we give it. If you pay your hard earned money to a teacher for quality lessons that make a significant difference in your life, you will practice more, work harder and longer to get the most from your investment. This is true for voice lessons, cars, clothes, and almost everything. And the more you sacrifice as you invest in yourself, the harder you work to reach your goals.

What about you? Why do YOU think this happens? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

What if the free lessons I took had completely revolutionized my voice for the better? Probably I wouldn’t be writing this. But they didn’t.

But I would have wanted to pay him for his time because I recognize that the expertise that creates the positive results in anything, is the result of years of training and hard Twork.

Be sure to like this video, subscribe, comment, and click the bell to be notified when I post videos.

I invite you to join me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @powertosing.

I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. For you, singing can be second nature.

Responses

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  1. Thank you for sharing, Csaba. Yes, there are 100s of free videos and vlog posts I have posted that will be of tremendous benefit to you. So far, over 23,000,000 have watched them and hopefully have found them helpful all through His merciful gifts.

  2. Dear brother in God!

    Please, let me share with you my experience in this no payment no result theme.

    First. I payed nothing for my body. My parents payed also nothing for it! We-I got this by the mercy of God! I thank this to God!
    Second. I pay nothing for my hearing, for my voice, for my legs, for my eyes, etc. I was blessed with there. Are you in the same situation?
    Third. I payed nothing for the air I breath in and out and it's the most important what I need to be alive!
    Forth. I pay nothing for the water I drink. It's coming from a well. Clear, tasty, refreshing and cooling water.
    Fifth. Only who is not thinking about these can affirm that things without to be payed for has no value!
    Just think about!
    I found this site during some search for how can I help myself to increase my voice quality and my vocal cords strength. I'm singing and playing on piano and organ at our local church.
    Maybe you have something with what you can help me, even without payment! Just for those gifts that God gave you without any payment!
    Best regards