Are singing lessons really necessary if you already have a good voice? It’s a question many people ask themselves. If you’ve been singing in front of friends and family, and their response has been positive, you might think you don’t really need singing lessons. At the other end of the scale, you might enjoy singing but feel that you’re not very good. In this case you might think that even with lessons you wouldn’t get any better. And somewhere in the middle are those who know they are good, but would like to learn more advanced techniques to take their singing to the next level.
The truth is, no matter which one of these categories you fall into, everyone can benefit from singing lessons. Once you’ve decided that you want to take the next step, there are some things you need to consider when choosing a vocal coach.
Table of Contents
- 1 The qualities you should look for in a singing teacher
- 2 The Superior Singing Method
- 3 What to expect from singing lessons
The qualities you should look for in a singing teacher
Whether you’re determined to pursue a career as a singer, or you just want to improve on your natural talent, finding the right teacher is important to you development. If you’ve never had any kind of singing lesson before it’s difficult to know what to look for.
Before you commit to something, do some research and ask as many questions as you need to. To help you, we’ve put together seven things you should consider when finding the right teacher for you.
Are they a good fit for you?
Singing in front of strangers can make you feel vulnerable. So it’s essential that your teacher makes you feel safe and comfortable. What is their personality like? Are they relaxed and make lessons fun? Or do they make you tense and afraid to make mistakes?
Remember that you will be spending a lot of time with this person. If you don’t enjoy your lessons and get on with your teacher, you may feel like quitting before you really get anywhere. Lessons can be expensive and even if a teacher knows their stuff, if you don’t enjoy their company, they won’t bring out the best in you.
Do they have the right qualifications and experience?
You wouldn’t take driving lessons from someone who didn’t pass their driving test, or who hasn’t driven a car before, would you? The same applies to vocal coaches. Ask them about their qualifications and experience.
Some coaches may have plenty experience at performing, but don’t have the right qualifications to teach you. Or they’ve studied the theory, but can’t teach you how to develop your stage presence. Choose a teacher who can help you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
What is their musical style?
Think carefully about your own musical style. Do you want to be a contemporary singer, jazz singer or opera singer? Pick a teacher that can teach you about the style you want to learn more about. If they’re familiar with it, they’ll be able to teach you the right techniques to match your style.
Sometimes a teacher will only take you on a student if they share your vocal range. But it’s a matter of opinion whether this makes any real difference. At the end of the day, a good teacher should be able to teach a student with any vocal range.
How much travelling is involved?
You may have trouble finding the right teacher for you in your immediate area. Are you prepared to travel for lessons? Would you still have the energy after a tough day and a long drive to give your full attention at a lesson?
It might not seem like an important factor to consider, especially if you’re determined to pursue a career in singing. But if it becomes too much of a chore you may have to quit and start the process of finding a new teacher all over again.
How much do they expect you to practice?
Practicing is the key to perfecting your techniques and improving your voice. How realistic are the expectations your teacher has about practicing? If they expect too much, you may struggle to fit it in to your schedule, especially if you don’t have that much free time available.
Find a teacher that understands your situation and will work with you to create a timetable that doesn’t leave you overloaded. At the same time, you need to be realistic about how much time you can devote to practicing. Think about what you want to achieve and how quickly you want to reach your goals.
How much will it cost?
Price is not always an indication of quality. The most expensive lessons aren’t always the best. Shop around and ask about discounts. You may be able to get a “free trial” lesson or a substantial discount if you book a series of lessons. And don’t forget to check their cancellation policy. Do you have to give notice well beforehand if you can’t make a lesson? And if you have to cancel at short notice, is there a cancellation fee you have to pay?
What do their other students have to say about them?
Don’t be afraid to ask a potential teacher if you can speak to some of their students. This is one of the best ways to get a feel for their teaching style and abilities. You are investing a good deal of your time and money in singing lessons and you deserve to find the right teacher who can help you achieve your goals.
There’s no doubt that if you want to improve your voice and pursue a career in singing, you need to get outside help. Technique is often the difference between a good singer and a great singer. Even if you spend time researching and reading up on techniques, there’s no substitute for having someone show you how it’s done.
But do you need one-on-one sessions with a specialist? While this would have been your only option in the past, today there is a wealth of resources available online. But that presents another problem. If you’re keen to try an online singing course, how do you choose the right one?
You can apply the some of the same questions we’ve listed above to the problem. But there is one programme we can recommend.
The Superior Singing Method
This is an eight-week programme compiled by artist and vocal coach, Aaron Anastasi, called The Superior Singing Method. Beginners and advanced singers can benefit from using the techniques Aaron shares in his programme. You can use it to learn:
- How to master your voice
- How to hit high notes perfectly
- How to control your voice better
- How to project your voice with power
Aaron can help you improve in all the aspects of singing, such as tone, pitch, power and resonance. Starting with the basics, you’ll learn how to stand correctly, how to breathe from your diaphragm and techniques to make your voice do the things you want it to.
This is how the course is broken down:
- Module 1: Provides an introduction to the course. Aaron includes some essential warm up exercises for you to get started with. He also shows you how to create a schedule for practicing.
- Module 2: Is all about learning to control your breath. Correct breath control is the basis of good singing. It’s not a matter of how much breath you use, but how you use it to produce the right sound that’s important.
- Module 3: This covers vocal tone and how to control the soft palate. Aaron will also show you how to overcome problems you may have with your nasal cavities. They can affect how a sound resonates.
- Module 4: If you want to sing like a professional, you need to be able to sing on pitch. In this module you’ll learn some useful techniques for perfecting your pitch.
- Module 5: Now it’s time to move on to power and resonance. These are two elements that most students want to improve. Aaron will show you where to place your tongue as you sing to open your mouth up so notes have more space to resonate.
- Module 6: You mix voice refers to the ability to change smoothly between your chest voice and your head voice. It’s something that a lot of singers struggle with, but Aaron will show how to transition smoothly between the two.
- Module 7: Your vocal agility is what makes an audience sit up and take notice. Many students are keen to learn how to extend their vocal range and Aaron has all the knowledge you need to make this a reality.
- Module 8: Vibrato, falsetto and a strong head voice form part of the advanced vocal techniques that Aaron covers in this module.
Aaron uses videos to take you through each technique and he adds plenty of detail so you know exactly what it should feel and sound like. It’s not much different from having your own personal vocal coach in the room with you. Once you purchase the course, you’ll have direct access to Aaron. You can email him whenever you have any questions or need more information and he will reply to you.
The great thing about an online singing course such as the Superior Singing Method is the flexibility. You don’t have to travel far to access professional support and you can work on your singing whenever your schedule allows. But, you still need to put in the effort. If you work through the modules consistently, you’ll voice will improve significantly in as little as 1 – 2 weeks. This will give the motivation to complete the course because you’ll keep seeing an improvement.
If your end goal is to pursue a career as a singer, the bonus materials will be of particular value to you. Aaron has included two modules that can help you with your performance and promotion.
- Module 9: Getting Ready to Perform.Getting paid to sing requires more than just phenomenal vocals. You need to develop a stage presence and learn how to engage and entertain an audience. Aaron covers this in this module and includes some techniques to help you overcome stage fright.
- Module 10: Start-up Guide to Music Marketing. There are plenty of people with musical talent that are trying to get noticed. It’s a saturated industry and if you’re not familiar with it, it can be tough. Aaron shares his valuable advice on how to promote yourself and your talent to the right people.
Aaron really covers everything you would need, and at a fraction of the price of regular lessons. He is a professional who has the experience and knowledge to help you reach your full singing potential. And unlike using a local teacher, his programme comes with a money-back guarantee. If you don’t see any improvement, you don’t have to pay. There’s absolutely no risk in trying the programme out, and you get a ton of useful information at a very reasonable price.
What to expect from singing lessons
Aside from an improvement in the quality of your voice, there are three things you should expect to get out of your singing lessons. These apply whether you take an online course, or meet with a vocal coach
- Warm up exercises: These are vital to maintaining your voice. If you don’t warm up before you start singing, you risk doing serious damage to your larynx. A good teacher understands this and will give you a set of exercises you can do daily.
- No pain: At no time during or after your lesson should you experience any pain. New exercises may feel uncomfortable at first, but if the pain gets worse, or doesn’t stop after resting your voice, there may be a serious problem. Let your teacher know about and see if they offer any suggestions on how to deal with it.
- Measurable improvement: Within a week or two of starting lessons, you should see a real difference in your voice. How you measure this will depend on the personal goals you’ve set. But if weeks have gone by and you don’t feel you’re getting any better, you may need to explore other options.
Singing lessons are a real investment and you should make sure that you’re getting what you need from your teacher or course. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do some research. It’s a serious investment, particularly if you’re pursing a musical career. Once you’ve found something that works for you, be prepared to put the effort in and you will get the result you want.