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Old 5th March 2015, 02:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What To Look Out for in a Good Singing/Voice Teacher

I see a lot of people wasting time and money 'singing teacher shopping'? What do you need to know to make an educated choice? Who can you trust to guide the development of your voice? Your decision could affect your entire career. It could even determine whether or not you have a career.

Do you have the basic knowledge to protect your voice or are you at the mercy of an instructor because you lack information in what to look for in a teacher? So how do you tell the difference and how do you search for a teacher who can fulfill your needs personally and vocally?

1. One important concept in looking for a good teacher is whether the teacher is passionate about the act of teaching? This is necessary for the possibility of a positive relationship between teacher and singer to exist. Remember a dedicated teacher does not take telephone calls or eat during professional sessions. Also, remember that a teacher's job is to guide you, not to talk about their career or their life experiences. You are not paying to listen or to use your voice teacher as a therapist. A voice lesson needs to be just that: a voice lesson.

2. Does the teacher welcome questions and allow taping of lessons? When a vocal exercise is offered, does an explanation of purpose accompany it? A true teacher makes the singer part of the process by explaining the purpose of each exercise and by allowing the singer to ask questions. Is the instruction individualized for each singer's special vocal needs or is there just the same old grid of exercises given to all the students without explanation of purpose or without variation? Even an excellent exercise does not guarantee positive results unless streamlined for the individual singer's needs.

3. Your teacher should be able to diagnose your problems. There is NO substitute for a good diagnostic ear. Lessons should not be the same exact way as with other students. It is critical that you be heard as an individual singer with your own individual vocal needs. This is the only way you will move forward quickly.

4.. Does the teacher point out throat problems, vibrato problems, breath management problems, registration issues, correct posture, and question if there is ring in the voices or if the production is too dark, etc?

5. Your teacher should be able to point out and correct the bad habits you have acquired through lousy singing teachers or because of your lack of information on correct singing. You only have one voice and you must be careful that you do not study a technique that could be instilling bad habits. Vocal damage and wrong vocal techniques can take years to overcome and sometimes the damage is permanent. Any singer should be considerate of this fact. You have a right to excellent instruction.

8. Every singer needs a checklist of healthy technical concepts in order to judge whether or not the vocal instruction is valid or productive. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
a. Does the technique reflect a low breath with lower back expansion plus the slow management of the outflow of the small air stream through the larynx?
b. Are the exercises given to instill proper breathing and opening throat habits?
c. .Does the instructor have an understanding of where the sounds resonate?
d. Does your teacher teach you the difference between the wrong sources of your voice?
e. Does your teacher teach you the proper techniques for the genre, e.g, she shouldn’t let you sing pop or R&B or jazz using classical head voice techniques, nor should you be taught pop techniques only.
f. Are concepts like jaw freedom, proper tongue position, throat shape, healthy nasal resonance, tactics for high notes?


g. Are you being taught how to read music? Are you being taught the rudiments of music? Your voice is your instrument and there are corresponding notes that you sing, just like instrumentalists! ught?

And finally, do you feel excited about your progress?

If you want a proper singing teacher, you should ALSO have the option for your singing lessons to be accredited or certified, you have the option of taking the Trinity Guildhall or ABRSM or Rock School Singing Exams. You may also, of course, take lessons for leisure or other professional objectives

Lessons at $70 per session from a Trinity Guildhall certified teacher of 12 years at local and international schools, and a seasoned professional singer of 25 years local and international performing experience. Performance/Vocal coaching is also available for semi- professional and professional singers, or for those going for a singing audition. Email at ladybirdworks@gmail.com for any more enquiries, or call 96512921.

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