How To Find A Singing Teacher
Finding a singing teacher can be a tricky task, with so many different styles out there and so many vocal gurus out there vying for your attention (and money). How do you find the right singing teacher for your voice? These tips will help you make the best decision when looking to find the right singing teacher for your voice so that learning how to sing is an easy and efficient process which is as enjoyable as it is fruitful.
Are you ready to find the right singing teacher?
The old way…
My personal experience of finding a taking lessons with singing teachers is likely a different to the experience you would have in today’s online world. The truth is, before YouTube became such a force in the world, singing teachers didn’t actually stand on street corners singing Foo Fighters and Adele covers trying to gain singing students, it was a rare thing to actually hear your voice coach singing, so the focus was actually on YOUR voice and singing what YOU wanted, not what the coach wanted to sing. This has obviously changed in the last decade or so, with many popular vocal coaching channels on YouTube featuring very little actual ‘coaching’ and lots of Karaoke.
That’s not to say your voice coach shouldn’t be a great singer, they of course should, but this really isn’t an indication of vocal coaching ability. At the end of the day, singing and teaching are two very separate skills which require different skills. There is a lot of truth to the old adage that “a natural singer doesn’t make a good singing teacher”, and this is because a naturally talented singer likely didn’t struggle or fight for the voice they desired, and hence lack the understanding that we aren’t all simply ‘gifted’ with great voices and often have to work hard, practice and persevere with techniques that may have come easy or instantly for them.
A good voice coach is one who wasn’t necessarily gifted with a ‘natural’ talent for singing, and instead fought hard for the voice of their dreams and developed their singing technique in a deliberate and informed way, not by fluking it with natural talent.
We’re all singers at the end of the day
Keep in mind that every single singing teacher out there is a singer first and foremost, with their own dreams, desires, goals and hopes for their own voice – this means that the way they teach is likely coloured by the approach they have followed, and the style in which they personally like to sing. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to find an RNB coach to sing RNB, or that you need a Rock coach to sing Rock – in fact, it’s probably a bad idea to take singing lessons from someone who is solely “one” kind of singer or coach. A good singing teacher is one who will teach you want you want to learn in the style you want to sing it, not what you want to learn in the style that THEY prefer – be very careful of opinions and egos where vocal coaching are concerned. There really is no one single way to learn singing that is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, only what is right and wrong for your voice and what you want to sing.
Remember that every single voice coach out there was once simply a singer looking to find their voice, just like you. Make sure you’re not being shown the roadmap to someone else’s voice…
Not all voices are created equal
This doesn’t mean that you can’t learn what you want to learn, or your vocal range is limited, it simply means that you need a unique set of instructions and keys to your voice that only you can really use to sing with. This also means that every singer needs their own unique and tailored approach to singing, so the idea that there is a “one-size-fits-all” method out there that will work for EVERY singing is just hogwash and marketing hype – every singer needs to take a different path to find their voice.
As an example, if you take five different people from five different countries with five different voices types and tell them to simply “Sing the word LOVE” – you will get five very different results from every different singer. Now, if you listened to each singer and adjusted their approach and explained practically how to form the vowel and effectively resonate with their own unique instrument, you’ll actually get the SAME results from five different instructions.
Teaching is a skill in itself
Singing and teaching are two very separate things, and just because you can do one very well doesn’t mean that you can automatically do the other. An example of this is the physical ability of a professional runner to sprint fast – it’s likely they lack the ability to teach you how exactly their body functions when they run or name every tendon and muscle used in the process of running. Now, a sports therapist likely CAN explain the scientific function behind the process of sprinting, and can name every single nerve and tendon in the body – but this doesn’t make them a fast runner. Now, the same applies for singing and coaching. A good voice coach can do BOTH, sing well and also coach effectively.
To save yourself the time (and money!) associated with beginner singing lessons with a singing teacher, a great place to start is the free foundations short courses available here at Bohemian Vocal Studio which will show you how to set up a powerhouse foundation and base for your singing voice to be built upon. After all, a singing voice is only ever going to be as strong as the foundation it has been built upon!
I’ve personally be teaching singing since 2010, and teaching guitar since 2002 and recommend you start with some of the free resources out there like YouTube singing lessons first before delving into personalised singing lessons. This way you can learn which coach is sharing practical information that WORKS, and which coaches are simply selling an expensive course and marketing a product to you with fancy words and flashy karaoke covers of popular songs. One of the best ways to find the right path for your voice is to book a vocal appraisal with Bohemian Vocal Studio – simply make a booking and shoot through a short clip of your singing and I will share which elements of your vocal technique might need some tweaking. When you’re ready to take your voice to the next level with professional and personalised voice coaching from a singing teacher who understands that we’re not all born with a natural talent for singing, and we’re not all born with the same voice, you can book a Skype Lesson with me and we’ll start working towards extending your range and building balance and consistency in your voice every time you sing!
If you have any questions about how to find the right singing teacher, feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.