Are Private Singing Lessons Worth It? [No – And Here’s Why]
I personally took singing lessons for many, many years. I bought courses, DVD’s, books and met with almost every local teacher I could find and saw very little progress no matter how much time, money and practice I put into it. I turned up to the woodshed every week, practised my homework and scales diligently, tried various approaches and experimented with a number of different methods but nothing seemed to work for my baritone voice.
That is, until my final voice coach quite casually said to me “oh, you’re doing all of that the wrong way” – I’m sure you can imagine my response after spending almost a decade practising in this ‘wrong’ way. The weirdest thing, is that in the process of showing me how to perform a lip trill correctly, adjust my airflow and breathing, form my vowels properly, place my resonance and basically re-learn every sing thing I had been taught incorrectly, or at least not shown the right way to practice – I made more progress in a matter of weeks than I had made in almost ten years and probably that many thousands of dollars spent in the process too.
Singing Lessons Suck
But wait, aren’t you a voice coach that provides singing lessons? Absolutely, I am – but I first want to share with you the reason that those private singing lessons failed to work for me in almost a decade of singing;
Foundation is key.
Let me rephrase;
Foundation is KING.
What I lacked as a beginner singer, and what those local singing lessons lacked when I first started, was a solid foundation. You know, the basic fundamentals on which to build my voice – like the foundation of a house, or the chassis of a car. You can’t simply suspend pair of headlights in the air, you need a car body to bolt them onto. You can’t simply put a roof up above your head without first placing a foundation and building a frame and walls for your home. And you definitely can’t sing properly without a solid vocal foundation.
This is where local singing lessons really let me down;
- I came along each week expecting to get better after each lesson – I didn’t.
- I practised scales each week expecting to get better after each session – I didn’t.
- I expected to get help with specific songs and my specific issues – I didn’t get it.
- I expected an ongoing plan and process to ensure I would see results – I didn’t have one.
The onus really was on that half hour singing lesson each week to make me a better singer, and my half hour practice session each day – rather than applying what I was being taught each time I sang. What is the use of practising cycling on an exercise bike with two pedals if your bicycle only has one wheel? What is the point of learning to ride a motorcycle if you only have a car? I’m sure you can see why I feel like private singing lessons really do suck – but they don’t have to.
You Can’t Buy A Better Voice
Many people buy a vocal course, or take singing lessons with the attitude that they’re “buying a better singing voice”. They pay the money, open the course or walk through the door of the vocal studio in the same way they would sit down in a cafe and be served a meal, and here’s the kicker – learning how to sing requires you to make your own meal.
[one_half padding=”0 20px 20px 0″][/one_half]It’s a weird analogy, I know. A singing teacher isn’t there to make your voice better, they’re there to show YOU how to make your voice better. Each exercise must have a point and purpose. Each scale must have an intention and each technique must have a basis in your vocal foundation.
I practised lip trills for YEARS before someone pointed out they weren’t really connecting through the middle of my voice, I was just doing them so fast, heavy and hard that I failed to identify the break – once I slowed down and focused on the pure intention of connecting my registers with the lip trills, my mixed register started to build and grow like crazy – ask yourself, are you singing as high as you can in chest voice and then handing off to head voice? I know I did this for many years personally, and even had a singing teacher early on tell me to “try to sing higher in chest” and even “push that note there in chest” while chastising me for straining and yelling when I sang. If you’ve ever taken singing lessons before, I’m sure you’ve had these same contradictory experiences – but it doesn’t have to be this way anymore.
The Foundation Approach
With 20 years singing experience and now a decade of professional coaching expertise under my belt, I sought to create an approach which would provide and develop the vocal foundation that I so sorely lacked when I first started learning how to sing, and that I failed to gain from private singing lessons – The Foundation Approach.
A great singing voice is developed and discovered, not bought or given.
The first stage of the Foundation approach is the Foundation 101 singing course, which will show you how to;
- Connect chest and head voice
- Sing with mixed resonance
- Set up your voice so that you practice correctly every time
- Form your vowels correctly
- Place your frequencies
- Balance your onsets
- Release strain and tension
- Sing with twang
- Increase your range
- Find resonant space
- Improve your tone
- Warm up your voice effectively
- SO much more!
The course has been designed from the perspective of a guy with an unusually deep voice, an awkward speech accent, a mound of bad habits and also someone who didn’t benefit from any of the contemporary and popular vocal methods which get rave reviews from naturally gifted singers who already ‘get it’.
I absolutely was not a natural singer myself – I struggled with tension, I couldn’t hit high notes, my tone sucked, I used to go hoarse half way through a show and I really just hated my voice until I developed my vocal foundation.
You can get started with developing your own vocal foundation with the Foundation 101 singing course here at Bohemian Vocal Studio, and you can even get started right now with this exclusive Mixed Voice Singing Lesson which will share with you the exact method that I use to help my own students find their own mixed resonance by connecting chest and head voice. You can even book in with me over Skype for a personalised singing lesson focused on building your own vocal foundation (just use the “book” button in the top menu of this page)
Want to see what all the fuss is about with the Foundation vocal approach? Here’s just a few examples of what I’m achieving as a singer now that I’ve discovered my vocal foundation and developed my mix register – just imagine what you’re going to achieve when you’re finally free of strain and tension when you sing!
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