If you enjoy singing, have you ever considered taking voice lessons? Many people love to sing in the shower, in the car, or even in a choir. However, if you are thinking about taking voice lessons, you may be hesitant to do so, especially if you are not accustomed to singing in front of others, let alone a professional singer. Here’s what you need to know to help you decide if taking voice lessons is the right decision for you.
1. When should I start voice lessons?
The American Academy of Teachers of Singing previously advised that children should wait until they fully matured before starting lessons. However, they changed their stance in 2002 and agreed that it is better to start teaching children proper singing techniques as early as possible to prevent unhealthy singing habits from forming.
When you start with proper technique at a young age, you establish a solid foundation of healthy singing that will last a lifetime. We learn by copying at a young age, and vocal cords are similar to muscles. We can train our voices to have muscle memory, just like athletes. Therefore, we can begin initial training for the voice while it is developing, similar to what athletes do.
2. Know your goals
The first question you should ask yourself is, what are my goals? Determining your singing goals will help you and your voice teacher create a path for your lessons. Whether you want to sight-read better for your choir or one day sing on Broadway, knowing your goals will help you stay motivated and focused.
Ensure your goals are realistic and achievable. Voice lessons will improve the sound of your voice, but they will not guarantee you a voice fit for stardom. However, everyone can learn to sing better, and a voice teacher can help you learn how to use your voice to the best of its ability. If you want to access your full potential as a singer, emphasizing an easy and natural sounding tone, you are on the right track.
3. What to expect from taking voice lessons?
Voice lessons are more than just singing. Vocal training engages your entire body, and your teacher will instruct you on proper posture, breathing, and vowel shaping. Good singing lessons will involve continuous diagnosis by your teacher on your personal vocal needs, exercises and repertoire/books selected according to the cause and effect principle to direct the lesson to what you need in your voice, and applying those techniques to a song of your choice.
It takes time and effort to make vocal changes. One or two voice lessons will not have a significant impact on how you sing. Expect to take a few months before hearing changes. The more you pay attention to the adjustments your teacher suggests, the quicker you will get results. Keep in mind that applying vocal technique adjustments every time you sing, whether it’s in the shower, in choir class, or with the radio, is most effective.
4. How Long Should Each Lesson Be?
Singing lessons should be as long and frequent as you can afford them in terms of time and finances. We suggest having a lesson at least once a week, which is beneficial for most students. Lessons are usually 30, 45, or 60 minutes long. Starting with a 30-minute lesson and discussing with your teacher whether a longer lesson would benefit you is the best approach.
Adult students usually take a 60-minute lesson each week to work in-depth on their voice and a song simultaneously. However, if finances are an issue, a 30-minute lesson each week is a better choice. Frequency is more important than duration when training your voice, so avoid forming any unhealthy or bad habits.
For young children, 30 minutes of lessons is best until around age 10. If you want your child to have more lesson time, try two 30-minute lessons a week on different days.
5. The Cost of Voice Lessons
The cost of voice lessons varies depending on the teacher and their expertise, ranging from $50 to $200 or more for an hour. While voice lessons can be costly, they are an investment in yourself and your passion for singing. Consider them an investment in your future and your ability to perform better.
Taking voice lessons can help you improve your singing abilities and give you confidence in front of others. Starting early, setting realistic goals, understanding what to expect, determining the duration and frequency of lessons, and investing in yourself is crucial. In summary, voice lessons can be the right choice for anyone who has a passion for singing and a desire to improve their skills.
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