If you have grand aspirations of performing on stage or in a studio, but you feel like your singing is not quite up to scratch, taking private singing lessons may be the first step in achieving your goals as an aspiring vocalist.
For many, singing may be something personal and expressed as a form of hobby, but for others it can lead to a bright and rewarding entertainment career. With this being said, the positive benefits you get through singing might be greater than you first thought.
For example, are you aware that singing can help your brain to produce ongoing benefits for learning, mental health & social wellbeing?
In 2013, Sarah J Wilson from the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences (based at The University of Melbourne) states:
"Music provides a powerful tool to enhance learning because of its widespread effects on the brain and its ability to induce experience-dependent neuroplasticity. By harnessing the many varied benefits of music-making, it can create and enriched environment to stimulate the fundamental capacity of the brain to adapt to the ever-changing environment, thereby promoting our individual and social development"
There are a range of vocal coaches to mentor you and expand your skill level in order to reach that goal of becoming a confident and experienced singer, even if you are just beginning and you are unsure of the singing direction you wish to take.
With this being said, you might be wondering where to find the right singing teacher to guide you on your journey - Here are some great tips...
Find a Vocal Coach by looking through Local Advertisements
Before the advancements in technology and online interactivity, the most common way you would find a music teacher would be through your local noticeboards within your own community.
Local advertisements for in-home music teachers may commonly be located near your local information centre, supermarket advertisement pin board, or at selected cafés and restaurants. Moreover, if the music teacher is part of a larger organisation or company - they will most likely provide these areas with a greater number of advertisements.
Looking for lessons in this old-school, traditional method is great way to support the people within your own neighbourhood.
Before you consider looking for the right singing teacher, it is is essential that you consider what you want out of your lessons, as well as the long-term goals you want to achieve by taking them...
These goals may include:
- advancing your diction ability
- Building up your repertoire
- Refining your own singing technique, tone quality and style
- Making the most of your voice's capability
- Focusing on your breathing
- Vibrato control through your diaphragm.
- Strengthening your abdominal support
If you are trying to find a teacher who has the relevant experience coaching you through these technical aspects, you may want to seek out local performance arts centres in your area - these facilities often house singing teachers or performing arts experts who can train you personally or at the very least recommend someone else who is well suited to your specific singing needs. Word of mouth is therefore a great way to find appropriate recommendations for music teachers - these recommendations do not necessarily have to be from experts, but can also be from friends and family who may have had a particular good experience with vocal coach. A good recommendation ensures you know what you're getting into before you begin your own lessons.
Additionally, the evolution of smart phones, social media and online marketplaces has made it simple to use websites such as Facebook, Airtasker or Gumtree to seek out advertisements offering services such as singing lessons within your area.
Whether you're starting a band, want to get into musical theatre or would simply like to improve your capability as a singer, the singing teacher you choose will ensure your vocal requirements are fully met so that you can learn and evolve in the best way possible.
Learn to sing in a Music School environment
If you are more concerned about you teacher's knowledge in the technical aspects involved within singing and would like to take your lessons a little more seriously, approaching an institution dedicated to music performance may be an option you may want to consider.
Qualified singing coaches who have relevant experience in institutionalised performing arts classes should give you the correct advice on posture, vocal timing and the various styles of singing that have have appeared throughout the ages.
These institutions can firmly establish confidence in their students by recognising each individual's vocal type (counter tenor, tenor, baritone, bass) and allocating the relevant singing material in order to make the most out of the student's voice.
Even if you have little confidence in your vocal ability to begin with, an experienced singing teacher will adjust their lessons to build you up to a suitable level that they believe you are capable of.
Each student is bound to have their own aspirations when it comes to singing, which is why many teachers find it incredibly important to develop a lesson plan that is relevant to the student's interests and ultimately works towards their personal goals. For example, if a student is beginning to compose make music that adheres to a particular genre, a teacher may want to focus on certain style of singing that compliments the instrumental. Furthermore, if the student wished to perform their own music in a live setting, a vocal coach could suggest different methods of vocal expression in order to create the right kind of stage presence for the show.
Each of these instructions instilled in the student should help build self-assurance in their musical ability and perhaps even inspire future decisions in their musical career.
The following music & theatre schools offer can offer you a similar vocal training experience:
- The Victorian Vocal Academy (Melbourne)
- AML Golden Voice Studios (Melbourne)
- Everyone Can Sing (Sydney)
The institution you decide on will depend upon your location as well as your intentions going into the lesson, however if you are eventually able to find the suitable mentor and environment, you can really reap the benefits of learning to sing!
Music schools generally offer two kinds of vocal coaching classes, one will often be taught with a group and another will be taught privately one-on-one.
Group Lessons are generally favoured by students due to their inexpensive cost and particularly advantageous nature when learning in a peer-to-peer environment. Often students with similar vocal styles and/or ability will be paired or grouped making the learning experience feel far less isolating. Students can watch each other improve which may promote a more motivational atmosphere.
Private Lessons are generally more expensive, however the benefits of one-on-one tutoring often allows the teacher to allocate their time and efforts entirely on your personal development. So while costly, it may be a far more efficient lesson for the student.
These lessons will depend greatly on your financial situation and how committed you are to your singing path. Regardless of these factors, you should be able to choose the right singing teacher.
It is also worth noting that no matter what singing school or teacher you decide upon, the majority will make sure that you practice your vocal techniques in between lessons.
Study Voice through an Arts College
Arts Colleges can provide degree-level training for those wishing to get more involved in the academic side of vocal training.
Unlike local institutions and music academies, Arts Colleges have a far more difficult point of entry and often require interviews or auditions to be accepted.
Courses and training that run through Arts Colleges are often reserved for those leaving secondary education (VCE), and are run in a similar fashion to post-secondary education universities. The main difference is that Arts Colleges will specialise in certain subjects (in this case vocal studies) and make this the focus of the curriculum. In Australia, these courses are frequently offered as Bachelor or Masters degrees.
University-level institutions such as The Australian Academy of Music & Performing Arts and The Victorian College of the Arts both offer specific discipline areas to study in when it comes to singing and performing arts, however it is best to do your research so you can understand the full scope of what each course has to offer its 2-3 year teaching period. Enquiring with the head of the institution's performing arts faculty is a good idea if you want to ensure the course provides you with a course outline that is relevant to your interests.
Seek out singing lessons online
Amateur singers curious about where they can find affordable and convenient vocal lessons may want to look towards advertisements placed online. On platforms such as Superprof, you are only a few clicks away from finding a vocal coach catered to your interests and at a reasonable rate. These online teachers may hold the key to unlock your musical ability through their insider knowledge and certified experience.
Moreover, online sining teachers will often have their background in music displayed as a means to help you make the right decision without having to do too much of your own research and investigation.
When seeking out the appropriate vocal coach online, you may want to consider:
- Their official qualifications
- The number of years they've had teaching experience
- Their going hourly rate
- Their lesson outline
- Their specialised area of interest (i.e. opera, rock, soul)
Online teachers are there to provide you with a positive learning experience, and will therefore often be willing to make flexible changes in their own methodology if it means you come out of the lesson feeling more satisfied.
Find a tutor for singing lessons on Superprof: