How to choose the best vocal coach for you
Choosing the right vocal coach is such an important decision when thinking about singing lessons. Making the wrong choice with your teacher can lead at best, to wasted time and money, frustration and a loss of confidence but at worst, possibly potential vocal damage. However, finding the right vocal coach can bring you amazingly fast results, confidence in your ability, an enormous amount of pleasure and even a successful career!
Finding a vocal coach
Choosing the right vocal coach
The right vocal coach should make you feel comfortable and at ease, be supportive and motivational and work with you at your own pace to bring out the best in your voice, so you not only feel and hear improvement in your voice but you also really enjoy the experience. Below are some pointers to think about when choosing the right vocal coach.
If you already know or know of singers with good voices check in with them to find out who they take lessons with. Do some research on your local vocal coaches; good references and recommendations are always a good place to start.
Look for an informative user-friendly website
The best way to access everything you would need to know about your potential vocal coach is if they have a professional and up to date website. Looking out for the below points should help you to be able to determine if they’re going to be a good choice for you:
- Pictures of the studio or room where the lessons are held
- Information on the technique they teach
- Relevant training and experience
- Styles of singing they teach
- Quality of equipment provided
- Access to backing tracks and music
- Their availability.
Are they qualified?
Being “qualified” can come in many different guises so don’t be too quick to base your decision on whether they have a degree or a multitude of letters after their name or whether they have had a dazzling and successful singing career themselves. Having the discipline to study and pass exams does not automatically equate to being an effective and inspirational voice teacher, and being a great singer often doesn’t translate into being a great vocal coach or teacher! It is, however, an essential requirement that a vocal coach can actually sing as they will need to use their voice to demonstrate a multitude of examples of singing to you.
Picking the right vocal coach
It is crucial that the vocal coach you chose is prepared and able to devote a good proportion of the lesson time teaching you vocal technique. This should be done through the use of exercises that are tailored specifically to YOUR voice type. Unless you are an extremely advanced singer, a quick warm up or none at all will not be sufficient to develop the technique you will need to enable you to sing a song competently from start to finish and omitting this important stage could ultimately cause vocal damage. 60/40 in favour of technique is an ideal split for a lesson although this may vary depending on individual circumstances.
Do their students sing well?
The best gauge of a good vocal coach is to be able to hear the results their students have achieved as a result of having lessons with them.
Their voices should sound individual and stand out for the right reasons so avoid working with a vocal coach whose students all have similar issues with their voices e.g nasal, strained or shouty, breathy or overly stylised to name a few.
One size does not fit all
Although recommendations are a great starting point for you to find a vocal coach, what is great for one person is not always going to be the case for you. Make sure you are given the opportunity and time to ask any further questions you may have. A good vocal coach will be more than happy to be “interviewed” prior to you making a booking. If they are prepared to offer a “taster” or special introductory lesson that is the perfect opportunity for you to make your choice.