Musicademy vocals coach, Catherine Nicole, has written a series of articles for our sister site Sweeter Singing. We’ve decided to share them here as well. We will look at:
- Why even great singers can benefit from lessons
- What to expect from singing lessons
- What to look for in a vocals tutor
- How much will singing lessons cost
It may seem strange that something that comes as naturally to most people as singing requires tutoring. People often make excuses, or don’t have all the facts in front of them to make a decision as to whether or not to embark on a series of classes. Here I have answered some of the questions that people ask when considering vocal coaching.
If you’ve thought about taking lessons, you probably fall into one of three categories.
‘Singing just comes naturally to me- I sound good anyway. If it ain’t broke…’
This is, unfortunately, the attitude of most budding singers around. People think that a natural ability in something is enough.
We learn to do most things by imitating what we see or hear others do. However with singing, imitating can be a dangerous thing. Without truly understanding what happens when you use your voice, trying to replicate Christina’s runs or Alicia’s chesty high notes will cause you damage. So even if you are lucky enough to be happy with the sound of your voice, it’s still a good idea to go to someone who can help point out your bad habits, and give you tips that could help keep your voice in good shape for longer. Plus, you’d be surprised, your voice will become stronger, and you’ll be able to sing more easily and sound even better than you do now!
‘I think I’m quite good, but sometimes I can’t do the things that I want to and I want to get better.’
Wanting to improve is the perfect attitude for success at any skill. Singing lessons can help you to explore and understand your own voice, and help you to figure out how to do the things that you want to do in a comfortable way, without harming your voice. A teacher’s job is to guide you in the discovery of your full potential. Often I’ve seen people within a few sessions of coaching discovering they can do things they’d never thought they could, simply by putting into place the basic rules of good singing technique. When you’ve got a good strong foundation, all it takes is practise and you’ll find that that your voice will start to blossom and grow.
‘I’m not very good, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be any better.’
Anyone can improve on what they have. We don’t all sound like Kelly Clarkson or Whitney Houston, but we each have our own unique voice, that is just ours. Making the most of what we have is part of what the singing coaching process is about. Understanding our own limits, and learning to love our own voices is vital, and confidence is 90% of the battle to making you a better performer. Taking the plunge and getting some lessons is the starting point to your vocal journey of discovery. And who knows where that will lead!
Singing lessons can help anyone, no matter what their skill or confidence level. Someone with a natural ability to dance will still spend hour after hour slaving away at dance class, even once they reach a professional standard. Dance studios everywhere are filled with professional dancers pushing themselves further, learning new skills and keeping their bodies in top condition.
Why should singers be any less committed?
Catherine Nicole is a frequent contributor to Musicademy, where this article originally appeared.