There is more to singing than just a great-sounding voice. Whether you want to sing purely as a hobby and for your own enjoyment, or professionally as a performer, the question for many people is... do you really need singing lessons?
Well, in short, you could be a beginner or an advanced singer, and singing lessons will benefit you. Lessons can help to improve your natural talent and kickstart your musical / singing career. If you are starting out at a young age, then it is important to know how to correctly develop your voice right from the very beginning.
Music lessons teach you how to master an instrument (e.g. guitar, piano or violin). So, in the same way, voice lessons teach you how to master your voice, which is like your very own instrument.
And just like practicing any instrument makes you a more experienced musician, singing lessons will help you develop and master your own voice.
A Good Voice vs A Great Voice
Some people are born with good voices, and while this natural ability may be an advantage, you have the opportunity to change your natural talent into a great voice, and this only comes with the correct training.
This is literally what will set you apart from being a good singer or being a great singer.
How, then, do you become a great singer? The answer lies in the actual singing lessons and your teacher of choice. And just what should you consider when looking for the right singing teacher?
Finding The Right Voice Teacher
Outside help is definitely needed for vocal improvement, whether you would like to sing for fun or to become a professional singer. A voice/ vocal teacher focuses on showing you how to improve your vocal health and technique, while a vocal coach / specialist helps you to improve your actual song performance.
What you are looking for voice lessons is a teacher who is knowledgeable, fun and makes you feel relaxed in their presence. Their teaching style and abilities should demonstrate not only their classical training and qualifications, but also their performance experience. They need to be good at both their teaching of musical theory and practice.
Referrals and word-of-mouth from others who are currently taking or who have taken voice lessons can help you to identify good teachers. It is also good to research and read up on professional singing teachers as well as techniques and the practical elements that will be involved.
What Singing Lessons Offer
Singing lessons will enable you to learn the correct tools, tips, and techniques and know how to best use your voice. You will develop your individual musical style and know which genre best suits your voice. Whether you are an alto or soprano, you will have exposure to excellent skills such as breathing and steadily increasing your vocal range.
In training yourself musically, you will also train yourself articulately by learning the following:
- the art of good acting/public speaking
- practicing the right sound
- pitch, projection
- vocal agility
- voice control
With voice lessons you will gain confidence, and a vocal coach’s opinion and positive criticism will help you to develop a thick skin and become better. This is fantastic audition preparation in which you will learn to embrace your personality, and how to engage with and entertain an audience. If you are passionate about a career in musical or professional theater, you will know how to add color, contrast and emotion to your performances, strengthen your stage presence, and how to properly stand and hold your posture whilst singing your heart out.
Learn How To Protect Your Vocal Chords
With the correct warm-up exercises, you will understand how to become loose and flexible and, therefore, your voice will automatically sound better and stronger.
The right kind of vocal practice will result in no strain and pain while singing, your ear for catching the melody and harmony will improve, and, with diligent rehearsals, you will become a master of staying in tune, keeping the tempo, timing, and/or counting. With this, you will be taking care of your vocal cords and ensuring good vocal health.
A vocal teacher will help you to implement an independent home and lesson practice schedule, and, with these regular contact sessions and willingness to achieve your agreed upon goals which align with your and your vocal teacher’s expectations, you will find that singing is not a chore, but becomes a pleasure.
Shouting vs Singing
A vocal teacher will demonstrate to you the difference between shouting and singing, and help you to identify how to correctly and appropriately project your voice. It is this professional training which can turn your powerful voice into being a great singer.
You will be able to anticipate the projection needed in different performance settings, and, as your voice changes and you become older, you will have the volume and the expertise of knowing how to adapt it accordingly and make a beautiful sound instead of a loud noise.
So, then, is it really worth it?
Singing lessons are an excellent musical investment, with long-term benefits, and an important career step into making you a star performer. If you are willing to put in the effort, you will be able to see and hear the results. So, keep on exercising those vocal cords and let the love of music inspire you to never stop singing!
“The only thing better than singing is more singing” - Ella Fitzgerald
About the Author: Brian Collins
I am a classically trained singer who believes that every instrument requires maintenance - including the voice! I started my professional music studies at the age of 8 and competed in and won several local and state piano competitions. I graduated with honors and earned my Bachelor of Music Education in 2003, and since then I have studied with famous musicians and teachers around the world. I have also completed hundreds and hundreds of voice lessons, exploring various methods, and attended countless seminars on voice coaching for all ages.