Learning how to sing is a skill that takes time, effort and patience to get good at. Depending on your preferences, budget, location and other circumstances, you may either want to work with a singing teacher or try to learn on your own. If you go the singing teacher route, the usual process goes something like this: you want to learn to sing so you go and hire a vocal coach from a local ad and take a few voice lessons. That’s a sensible way to approach getting a teacher but it’s not the best way.
That’s because, unfortunately, many vocal coaches don’t really know what they’re doing and not only will they waste your time and money but also perhaps damage your voice permanently. So you should steer clear of random ads and hobbyist teachers and go straight to the best source for a competent instructor.
So, the best place to begin looking for a singing teacher is at a university. There, you have a much higher chance of finding a very well-qualified singing teacher. Most of the teachers there are going to be either classical or jazz vocalists but there’s a very good chance that they’ll have plenty of performance and experience under their belts. The more experience and knowledge they have, the more it will transfer to you. Besides, getting a music teaching position at a university music program is a difficult thing that requires auditioning, recommendations, interviews and more.
Voice training isn’t just about getting a few singing tips or learning a few exercises. It’s about learning how to sing better over time. When you first begin your singing lessons, make sure you have some very clear goals in mind and ask your teacher how they can help you achieve them. Afterall, voice lessons are expensive and you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
That’s why it’s also a good idea to test the teacher a little bit to make sure they know how to sing as well. How can they teach you if they don’t know how to sing themselves? Ask the teacher to sing for you in a neutral tone. They should sound pretty amazing. If they don’t, you should consider finding another vocal instructor.
No. But a good singing teacher can really help you get a lot of momentum going. Especially in the beginning. One big reason for this is because they can hear and see things that you can’t hear or see yet. You simply haven’t trained yourself to become aware of certain nuances and you can’t expect yourself to miraculously notice subtleties that take years of training to detect. But if you’re a fairly perceptive person, you can still go quite a long way on your own, without a teacher.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to supplement your knowledge by working with books and courses and soaking in as much good music as you can. Now with the internet, there are so many fantastic digital resources that weren’t available even 5 years ago. My students have seen fantastic results with various singing software products such as Sing With Freedom because they can work on vocal exercises from the comfort of home, where they feel more comfortable and don’t feel like they have to make the most out of every hour because they’re not paying a ton of money to learn how to sing!