Good singing teachers are able to teach you the right technique and habits from the start and is a very good way of making progress, especially if you are a beginner.
Learn To Sing books, CD’s or Videos are great for introducing you to singing lessons, and if followed correctly can help improve your knowledge and your singing. However, only the personal interaction with a singing teacher can truly help, as they are able to see and hear you sing, and can tailor your lesson to suit you as an individual.
Below is some advice to help you choose a singing teacher.
Choose someone who is personable and easy to talk to and who can explain what to expect in your lesson. You want to find a teacher who will make the lessons interesting and fun, and give you the right mix of vocal exercises and working on pieces that you would like to work on. Singing lessons should not be a chore.
What qualifications and experience does your teacher have?
There are highly qualified teachers who don’t have much experience of performance, and there are ex-performers who have oodles of experience, but who don’t have a music degree or singing examinations under their belts. Membership of a professional music teacher’s organisation is always a positive sign, as is evidence of previously successful students.
Consider the distant you have to travel to your teacher. There’s nothing worse than having to travel a great distance for your lesson, after a long and busy day. You will soon start to resent the travelling, and this could filter down to you resenting the lesson, and eventually your singing.
Choose someone who can teach you the style you’re interested in singing, be it jazz, classical, rock… it is no good going to a classical teacher if you want to improve your rock voice. Be clear about what tuition you are after. Some teachers feel that you’re best getting tuition from a teacher who shares your vocal range (eg a soprano teacher can teach soprano better) This is a matter of personal choice, and a good teacher should be able to handle all ranges
How much will it cost?
Shop around and see who does the best deals. Will you get a free ‘trial’ lesson or a discount for booking a series of lessons. The most expensive lesson’s, are not necessarily the best. Also check what their cancellation policy is. Some teachers want 24 – 48 hours notice of cancellation or you may still need to pay for your lesson.
What are the expectations of the tutor for practice. If they are expecting you to practice several hours a day, when you already know that you don’t have that amount of spare time, then the relationship is not going to work. Be realistic about how much time you have and how quickly or steadily you wish to progress.
Will you go to the teacher or will the teacher come to you. Is there any flexibility in this, eg if your car has broken down.
Will your teacher be buying your music books, or will you?
What should you expect from your teacher
Your teacher shouldn’t take phone calls or sit at the computer checking their emails during your lesson. It’s your time which you are paying for, so unless it is an emergency, settle for nothing less!
Your lesson should not be full of unwanted distractions, including the teacher’s children constantly wandering in and out of the room. A good teacher will have a separate room to teach in.
Another point, your lesson is about you and for you. It’s essential that you have two-way relationship with your teacher, but be wary of the teachers with the over-inflated ego’s. They should be interested in improving you and your singing.