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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Are singing lessons worth it?

Absolutely! One of the main benefits is to build strength. You will notice your chest voice; your belt and overall range will become so much stronger. Singing lessons will show you the right breathing techniques to improve these skills. It will be so much easier for you to hit those high notes and be able to sing your favourite songs.

The most important thing you would take away from singing lessons is confidence! I see a lot of people who before they start singing lessons, would never sing in front of ANYONE! Taking voice lessons will turn you into the loudest, most confident person ever!

You will learn proper techniques so you don’t form any nasty habits that can harm your voice. If you’ve ever spent an evening singing and ended up with a sore throat, that is a sure sign that you are using the wrong technique. If you learn the correct way to sing there is no way that you will strain your voice.

Singing lessons also teach you so much more than just singing. They teach you pronunciation, projection and how to incorporate your personality into your singing. These are all skills crucial to acting and speaking. At some point in your life, you will probably have to talk in front of a large group of people. Development of your speech through voice lessons will definitely come in handy throughout your life.

A singing coach will always give you their honest opinion on what song fits your voice. Instead of wondering if a song is right for you or struggling through a piece, you have someone to help you out.

Why should I pay for lessons when there is so much free stuff online?

While the internet is brimming with brilliant videos, tips, and techniques to improve your vocal range and singing voice, you don’t get the whole story.

Singing well is about so much more than what these teaser videos can offer. With a private vocal lesson, you will learn specific advice tailored to your needs, and your goals. You’ll learn how to embrace good vocal health, how to use your whole body to sing and how to take advantage of the proper techniques to bring out the very best in your voice. Don’t waste your time with poor training techniques online, remember “you get what you pay for.”

How long do singing lessons take to work?

Some people are born with very little vocal ability, while others are naturally gifted singers. But everyone, from the most self-conscious shower singers to professionals, can always learn more about singing.

Instead of thinking about how long it might take to learn to sing, think about how long it takes to learn to play a new sport? Even the best sportspeople still have a coach. You never finish learning. That goes for singers as well. We are all constantly improving our technique no matter what level we are at.

There are certain traits that give certain people an advantage:

  • The ability to match pitch
  • A pleasant voice
  • A wide vocal range
  • A sense of musicality
  • A natural ability to use the voice well

People with more of these gifts may be able to sing well and impress audiences even without lessons. However, in order to unlock their true potential, they still need lessons too. Where would Serena Williams be if she hadn’t started taking tennis lessons?

For people who aren’t naturally gifted, there is plenty of hope. Those abilities that you didn’t win in the genetic lottery can be developed with practice. Even those who believe themselves to be tone deaf can often improve vastly with voice lessons.

You may have figured out at this point that there is no set time for how long it takes to learn to sing, and that’s OK. Among my students, there are singers with beautiful voices, large ranges, and impeccable musicality. There are also people who, despite not having a lot of natural talent, want to learn to sing. Most people fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, with a little talent and a willingness to learn.

It doesn’t matter whether you are the next Pavarotti or can barely squeak out a few notes. All you need to benefit from voice lessons is an open mind, the diligence to practice, and a love for singing.

What happens in a singing lesson?

Lessons are broken into three parts:

Warm up: This is not just for the voice but the whole body. Imagine that singing a high note is like bending over and touching your toes. If you tried that as soon as you rolled out of bed without stretching you might have a hard time! The same goes for singing. Singing is a full body experience.

Vocal exercises: These are tailored to your specific requirements and will include exercises that will warm you up to a phrase that you will be singing in your chosen song. This experimentation allows you to succeed where you had struggled in the actual piece of music. It’s also good to know why you are doing these exercises.

Your repertoire song: This is where we work on your choice of song. We break it down line by line and work on any difficulties/bad habits you may have, giving you guidance, and confidence to perform it by singing through a mic (only when you are ready). If you play guitar this is a good time to incorporate both.

What’s the right age to take singing lessons?

It’s never too late to start singing lessons. The human voice matures throughout your life so at any age you can benefit from taking lessons.

Once a boy’s voice has begun to grow lower, deeper, and more mature sounding, like a man’s voice, then he would definitely be at the right age to begin serious vocal training, and similarly once a girl’s voice grows lower, and begins to sound less “child-like” and more like an adult woman’s voice, then she is at the right age. Obviously a teen girl’s or woman’s voice will always be higher sounding than a boy’s- but it does undergo a significant lowering in the teenage years. You will notice this change in their speaking voices in particular, but also in their singing voice.

Younger children might love to sing, but a focused lesson that focuses solely on vocal technique can be extremely difficult on young, undeveloped vocal cords. In addition, young children seldom have a strong sense of self or the physical awareness to process the teachers’ directions in a meaningful way. Therefore, I recommend starting young children on piano in order to build a solid foundation for their musical future. By studying notes, sight reading, music theory, and working on their musicianship skills, they will be greatly aided in the future when it’s the best time to start voice lessons.

 

Leila McIntyre

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