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pic     Why Voice Lessons?
Everyone who sings, needs to protect their voice.  And for me, that's the main reason we seek out a voice teacher. Yes of course we want to sound our best, be it at the karaoke club or the stage. But ultimately it's the health and longevity of our voices that will keep us sounding great - for years and years.

First, determine the type of teaching you want:
-Do you want classical singing lessons, complete with diaphragmatic breathing and a rounded knowledge of voice and theory?

-Would you rather find a "vocal coach" - someone who will take what you have and polish it up?

-Or do you simply want someone who will help you put your favorite songs into the right keys for you and help you get accompanyment tapes together, so you can just sing for your own enjoyment?

-Do you want a voice teacher who is contemporary in their approach; someone who will let you use your own compositions to practice with; someone who has a little bit of diagnostician in them but also will see you every week to help you with tone, registers, and range expansion?

Where to Look
Once you pinpoint the type of voice teacher you want, you can find him or her first by asking colleagues for recommendations. Be prepared, just as you would be in looking for a therapist, to repeat your issues with teacher after teacher until you find the perfect one. A well-meaning colleague may suggest someone with whom you feel uncomfortable. You'll have to spend the money for a voice lesson with each teacher you want to try out, until you find "the one." So there's a bit of an upfront expense involved.  

Another way to find a voice teacher and possibly avoid any upfront expenses of "first lessons," is to go with a singer friend to their lesson, and just observe. Get permission from the friend's teacher, first, as a courtesy.
I found my best voice teacher by bringing a friend with me to one of my lessons. This friend had her Masters from Julliard, and after the lesson she said she felt my voice would be wrecked if I continued with this particular teacher - and she suggested someone else, who turned out to be fabulous.

So a lot of it is getting out there and experimenting with different teachers, different recommendations, and different styles.

Here are some specifics to look for in your first voice lesson:
Does the voice teacher or coach meet your needs? (choice of songs, method of teaching)

Are your personalities compatible?

Does he or she devote the entire hour just to you – or is the lesson potholed with phone calls and other interruptions?

How do you feel when you leave the session? If you feel empowered, hopeful, energetic, and ready to go practice what you learned, you've had a good voice lesson indeed.

Does he or she tackle the issues that you specifically spelled out during the initial consultation  or appointment set-up call?  

More places to find voice teachers/coaches:
1.Go to local live music venues, and find a singer whose sound you like and want to emulate. After the gig, ask him or her if they give private lessons. Most often, they do.
2.As I say in my book, [Link Removed], call your nearest music school and ask for a list of graduates who teach privately.
3.Join the church or civic chorus and make connections that way. Often the choir director will turn out to be a professional musician.

You can study voice for a long time - like, years - or you can go to a coach to solve a short-term vocal problem and be done with it in a few months. There are enough choices and teachers out there to meet any vocal need you have.

pic     Finding a voice teacher for your child or grandchild:
Since a child’s voice isn’t as developed physically as an adult’s, it’s important to find a voice teacher or vocal coach who specializes in children. Their needs - even up to the teenage years - are different than the needs of an adult singer.  

Network with other parents and grandparents, and see what type of voice lessons their children are taking. There may be a local music school in your area that you can visit, or perhaps the school choir director takes private students on weekends.  

Your child’s voice teacher should be teaching pitch, theory, song singing, memorizing techniques for song lyrics, even basic piano (as part of pitch training), stage deportment, a little bit of tone and resonance (but wait until the child is older to get into difficult breathing techniques), and harmony. Basically you want your child to enjoy the lessons, and come away from them feeling joyful and confident. If that’s not happening, consider trying a different voice teacher.  

Let me know how it goes!
[Link Removed] - "like a voice teacher in a book!"

Suzann, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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