There are few things as captivating and transcended as music and singing.
A singer can truly enchant an audience by the mere use of their voice and it begs the question – is it all down to natural talent, or can each of us actually benefit and improve our voice through singing lessons?
The short and definitive answer is, yes.
Whether you were born with a natural talent or keen to develop whatever your ability is to its full potential, singing lessons are a great way to get started.
Some of the reasons for taking lessons include:
- Learning a new skill
- Developing your range – for example hitting higher or lower notes
- Working on a specific personal project
- Getting your own solo’s in your choir or singing group
- Learning how to best use and understand your voice
- Performers wanting to add an additional skill to their repertoire
- Overcoming vocal problems or challenges
A different perspective
A world class tennis player like Roger Federer or Andy Murray might be blessed with a bucketful of talent, but they did not simply pick up a racket and walked into Wimbledon based on talent alone. It took many hours, which turned into many months and years of practise and training. Singing is no different.
A natural aptitude for something is a wonderful gift, but one that should be polished and perfected. You ultimately need to become the master of your given skill.
Your Voice Is an Instrument
On the flip side, when it comes to singing, the good news is that there is hope for us all! There is no minimum skill level required and lessons will offer an opportunity to grow for anyone.
Think of your voice as an instrument, the more you play it, the better you will become. Every one of us can learn the habits and methods needed to optimise our voice and improve it to its full potential.
Often when we consider ourselves as having no singing talent, we are merely trying to sing out of our range and ability. Singing lessons will not only aid in strengthening our vocal chords, but also help to avoid damage as you gain understanding of how to actually use your voice in the best way possible.
Another benefit of singing lessons is that the teacher can train and teach you specific to your own goals. Together, the two of you can focus on finding the most effective and comfortable way of using your voice. With this guidance, in time, you will discover that you can do things you never realised were possible.
A teacher will help you to learn the correct techniques after which you can focus on the strengthening and practising part. You will also be able to assess the limits of your voice, learn proper breathing techniques and train your ear. It will enable you to sing in the most powerful way possible without straining your voice.
Vocal Related Problems
There is a wide range of factors that can affect your chords, some of which include (especially for the professional singer or performer) irritation or strain caused by smoke machines or even cigarettes. Emotional stress also plays a role.
Tissue damage or nodules is another possibility, with nodules usually being caused by vocal misuse or overuse. Upper respiratory infections, colds and flu, allergies and inflammations can all affect your voice negatively and it is important to remember that your voice would need to be rested in order to heal.
Excessive stomach acids can also affect your chords and this is another good reason to start by seeing a medical professional before working with a teacher to assist in the road to recovery.
If you suspect that something is amiss with your vocal chords, especially if you are experiencing pain, a visit to an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) should be your first port of call. Following their advice, a voice teacher can help with the necessary training or help thereafter.
The teacher can assist with strengthening and nursing your voice back to health by setting up a warm up, rest day and singing schedule for you.
Technology and the consequent improvement of online interactions have opened up a whole new world for learning. There are various programmes through which teachers can interact with students.
Online teaching can also offer solutions to travel-related problems, like not having a car or saving on gas. It cuts travel time out of the equation completely and even getting out of your pyjamas should you feel like a relaxing day.
It is especially useful should you be an individual on the move, which means you do not have to face the hassle of constantly rescheduling purely because you are not in town. Remember to confirm that your chosen teacher’s time zone slots in with yours.
The only thing you need – apart from your microphone and video chat account of course - is a reliable internet connection. After that, you are ready to make the appointment and take that first step toward singing lessons and the fulfillment of your dreams!
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.