How To Find A Good Voice Teacher. The answer depends on your goals as a singer. This is a guide you can use to find the right teacher for you.
First, answer this question: What is your goal you want to accomplish by taking singing lessons?
If you answered, “I don’t have any goal other than I just want to learn to sing”, or “I want to know if I can carry a tune”, and etc., any teacher at any skill level will be able to help you.
You can find a teacher in your neighborhood, school, or in your family. Friends can refer you to their teacher.
If your goals are more focused or specific, you must find a teacher who can help you reach your goals.
No matter whether your goals are for professional or non-professional singing, if you have goals for singing, you need a special kind of teacher.
Here are some possible goals, just to name a few, you may have as a singer:
- School Choir
- Leading Roles in School Musicals
- Leading Roles in Community Musical Theater
- Community Choir
- College Music and/or Scholarship Auditions
- Semi-Professional or Professional Singing
- Broadway or Regional Equity Theater Productions
- Solo or Band Singing
- Studio Singing
- Backup Singing
- Touring Artist
- Record Label Artist
- Talent Agency Artist
- Corporate or Private Party Singer
- Restaurants, Events, Professional Gigs of All Kinds
- Karaoke Singing With Friends, Family or Work Associates
- Song Writing Helps
- Studio Recording Preparations
It’s very helpful to know what skills are possible for you to learn to do as a singer. I didn’t know my possibilities when I first started studying voice. So you don’t know what you are looking for in a teacher.
Possibilities you can accomplish with good voice teacher:
Here are some possibilities you can accomplish with your voice with the right teacher:
- Effortless, natural, easy singing without manipulation or manufacturing anything. Just releasing your natural voice to sing freely and beautifully
- Increasing your singing range… often by more than an octave
- Elimination of breaks and cracks, so you can sing from chest voice to head voice with a connected tone
- Eliminating the straining and reaching for high notes which also eliminates pitch problems and makes the voice exciting to listen to
- Sing with a Mix or blend of chest and head voice
- Develop, improve and control vibrato so it sounds natural
- Replace a breathy, airy tone with a strong tone throughout your range
- Use great technique in your songs
- Demystify your voice by helping you understand the simple principles of singing
- Learn vocal exercises that eliminate weaknesses in the voice and creates new and correct muscle memory
Excellent vocal technique applies to all genres of singing including Pop, Rock, Musical Theater, R & B, Country, Jazz, Opera, Classical, Church, Gospel, Indie, etc.
What’s the difference between a teacher of vocal technique vs performance coaching or repertoire coaching? A teacher of vocal technique will teach you HOW to sing correctly and well. A performance coach will coach you on performance, but not focus on correct singing. A repertoire coach will help you learn a large number or variety of songs especially in a specific genre, but may not be a teacher of technique.
I favor the teacher of vocal technique.
With skills learned from a great teacher of vocal technique, you can master the music you’re passionate about and sing anything you want. A good technique teacher can also rehabilitate damaged voices or voices recovering from surgery.
My experience as a singer and student gives me a special appreciation for teachers of vocal technique. For example, they taught me how to stop pulling my chest voice, keep my larynx down, and maintain a consistent and connected tone throughout my range. My range increased over an octave and I learned vibrato, which I didn’t have naturally in my voice. My confidence skyrocketed. The result is I’ve been cast in over 40 musicals with many lead singing roles.
In contrast, my repertoire teachers and performance coaches were unable to help me make lasting vocal breakthroughs. Chief among my teachers of vocal technique has been my teacher, mentor and friend, Seth Riggs. If I do anything well as a singer and as a teacher of vocal technique, it’s because of Seth and the teachers he’s trained.
I have studied with Seth Riggs to learn singing and teaching technique. I have studied with at least eleven other master teachers trained by Seth and all were wonderful. But some I seem to resonate (no pun intended) with more than others.
I recommend you search for teachers who can deliver the ten technique benefits described above.
To help you in your search, think about this. I’ll compare vocal technique teachers to surgeons. Just because surgeons graduate from medical school and surgical residency, that doesn’t mean that each has great surgical skills…or “good hands” as it’s often referred to. By that I mean some are better surgeons than others. Some are much better than others. Some can do a good job but others can do a great job in half the time with half the blood loss and anesthesia time.
Compare this to teachers of vocal technique and you will find the same thing as applied to teaching singing. They may study with the same master teacher but vary greatly in their teaching and results.
How Can You Find The Right Teacher For You?
Some of the things you can do to find a teacher for you is to learn about them, make sure they can do in their voices as well as teach the ten possibilities for your voice listed above. You can check their reputation, listen to their past students, and study with them and see.
If you get results…stay. If you don’t, move on.
If you’re searching the internet for a teacher, watch their videos, see if they teach these techniques and can demonstrate them in their voices. Read the comments under their videos.
The only way a great teacher can diagnose your voice and then give specific exercises to help correct the problems is to give you an evaluation or test to see what happens when you sing from chest to head voice.
I’ve created a simple and free vocal test to help you discover your vocal type. This is not whether you are soprano, alto, tenor or bass.
Your vocal type is what your voice does as you sing from chest to head voice. For example, does your voice tend to jam up? Do you sing really breathy? Do you break into falsetto?
After you take your vocal test, the results will be emailed to you within minutes or less. Then you can do exercises that will help your specific vocal type. The exercises will cause you to stop jamming up, singing breathy, breaking into falsetto and so forth.
You can take the vocal test here.
I was 43 years old before I discovered what my voice was capable of doing and finding a vocal technique teacher that could get my voice to do it. Now you have the tools you need to help you find a teacher that will help you accomplish your goals. Don’t wait another minute.
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I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power to Sing. For you singing can be second nature.