If you have decided to enroll in voice lessons to improve the quality of your voice or overcome mental barriers regarding your talent, good for you! Because it isn’t an easy feat – and you want to ensure that you find a vocal coach that is right for you. With today’s digital world allowing us to search and work with vocal coaches worldwide, it can be challenging to narrow down your choices.
There are a few factors that might come into play when searching for a vocal coach, such as where they are from, their background in music, and of course – how much they cost. Finding the best vocal coach for taking voice lessons online can be time-consuming as well as frustrating.
You will find multiple instructors that promise to help you improve your voice. They will offer varying teaching techniques, styles, and methods. But you don’t want to trust your voice to anyone.
So, how do you find the best vocal coach for you and your needs?
I have compiled a great guide to aid you in finding the best vocal coach for you and what you want to address when it comes to your voice. Here you will find out how to accurately identify your needs, what questions to ask, and what to expect based on your goals to help you evaluate potential vocal coaches and eventually pick the best one for your learning.
A Few Things To Note Before Finding a Singing Teacher
There are multiple teaching methods and techniques used for vocal training and voice lessons. Depending on the teacher and the training received, help yourself out by conducting some up-front research on the different types of vocal teaching styles so that you can quickly determine what will and won’t work for your specific needs.
For instance, if you’re looking to improve the overall quality of your voice, you wouldn’t want to take lessons with a voice teacher who focuses solely on performance. Instead, you would like an instructor who will assist you with the fundamentals of singing.
Another factor that you need to keep in mind is to monitor your progress once you begin voice lessons. Though it will take some time, if the teacher is effective, you will see your voice progressing.
On the other hand, if you have taken classes for several months and don’t see any improvements in problem areas or progress made, you might want to consider finding a new instructor. It does not mean that the teacher isn’t effective. It could just mean that your specific learning style does not coincide with the teacher’s methods.
Recommendations and Referrals
One of the best methods you can utilize to find a vocal coach is through word of mouth. If you’ve got a network within the music community, whether it be in your own hometown or through social media, reach out to some of those that you trust and find out what recommendations or referrals to instructors that they provide.
Speak to singers that you admire, and find out who they are receiving lessons from to try them out. You can also reach out to local schools and universities’ music departments or other music industry organizations like community chords or local churches, who might be able to provide you with reputable teachers in the area.
If you speak to instructors directly, they will provide you with their best impression, but you can’t take that at face value. Their website and credentials will have all been written almost exclusively by the teacher themself, so they will try to make it as flattering as possible.
Knowledge, Skills, and Training
Knowing vocal terminology does not necessarily make an instructor good. However, it can help if you’re already familiar with some vocal technique or terminology, especially if you know what specific areas you want to address when it comes to your voice. Some suggestions for what you may want to ask from the teacher could be as follows:
- I want to work on my breathing technique so I can hold notes
- Can you help me expand my vocal range?
- I don’t like my vibrato and want to learn how to sing without it
- I’m scared to sing in front of people
- What opportunities for performance(s) do you offer?
Asking as many direct questions to help you appropriately access the teacher will be most helpful for you. For example, if you want to work on projection with your voice, find out if the teacher knows at what volume it is safe to sing so that you’re not shouting.
Your teacher should have a working knowledge of the voice, which would include some vocal anatomy. If they start you with a warm-up, you might want to ask what area of the voice it addresses to evaluate how knowledgeable the instructor is.
Skills and training also come into play. It can be appealing that your potential vocal coach has a degree specific to music or voice, as well as any additional certifications. However, having that training and skills does not guarantee that the teacher will be good for you. Your goal is to find someone skilled as a vocalist, as well as an expert on singing.
If you can attend a trial lesson or just try out the instructor, think about asking tons of “why” questions to see how well the teacher understands and can help you gain knowledge and apply those skills. If you can understand and see the benefits presented, the instructor may be an excellent fit to helping you improve your voice.
Budgeting and Expenses
Most people can’t afford to take private voice lessons with the most well-known or sought-out teacher in their community or even in the world. The most expensive vocal coaches can cost upwards of $100 or more per hour. However, just because a teacher is more pricey than another, that does not always constitute their degree of success.
A teacher who gains and retains students through referrals and reputation should have produced students with improved results. Of course, you might pay a little bit more for lessons from an instructor working in their own studio than, say, a music instructor at a local church who has less training, but the quality may be well worth the expense.
Reach Your Goals
If you just want to learn how to sing, you might not be as selective in your instructor’s choice as someone who aims to be a singer or performer. However, someone serious about perfecting their vocal skills will be much more selective in their teacher option than taking cheaper lessons with a less experienced instructor.
Whatever your end goal is, voice students must develop proper vocal technique and skill. Singers need to obtain fundamentals such as adequate breath support, tone, voice control, and range.
Your instructor should also not try to mold you into the singer they want you to be, but rather the singer you are. Everyone’s voice is different, but it is unique to you and you alone, so don’t let another instructor tell you that they need to strip your voice of its natural tendency and work towards a particular style or type of voice.
Finding a voice instructor requires some research and informed questions to access and determine whether their teaching styles and techniques will work with your personality. If you and your instructor can work together to set goals and you can identify the progress as you work together, then you have found the right vocal coach to help you achieve success with your voice studies.