Vocal sound is interesting. Especially in the sung variant. We perceive each individual tone, syllable,…
Congratulations! You live in Boston which is a major center for singing voice training. As a result, there are many qualified teachers to choose from. So which is the right one for you? Here are a few thoughts to help you decide.
First of all, is the teacher qualified to teach voice? By that I mean, are they trained to teach voice and where did they train? This is distinctly different from whether they themselves are great singers. They may be truly fabulous, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to teach what they know. Also, how long have they been teaching voice? While some gifted teachers learn very quickly how to be receptive and adaptive to individual student needs, some need more experience to get there.
What is your gut feeling? This is a very personal choice. You will need to both understand how your teacher communicates and trust them. In rare cases, you may feel that studying with a well-connected teacher is more important than liking them but over the long haul (and vocal development can be a long haul), it simply doesn’t work. You will improve the most when you hit the sweet spot of a talented teacher that you also like and trust.
Have a consultation and/or take trial lessons. Be prepared to pay to take a few lessons with a teacher to see how it feels.
Know what sound you want to produce. While classical singing technique can be a great foundation for pop or rock singing, those are specialized styles requiring a different approach. Alternatively, if you want to learn to sing operatically you really need someone that understands the production of that style.
Ask for references. Any teacher worth their salt will be able to produce a student or three you can speak to about their experiences.
There are about a hundred more articles on the web about this which I won’t rehash here. I will say that this is an important choice for your vocal development. If something feels off, it probably is and you should have a conversation with your teacher about that. Ultimately, the best teachers will only accept students they feel they can help. So if you don’t get into a studio, don’t take it personally as it must be a good fit for both the student and the teacher.
I wish you the best as you start your vocal studies. It is really important to me that students of voice are in the right place to develop their instruments. That may be my studio and if so, great let’s get to work. Otherwise good hunting.
Questions to ask a potential voice teacher
- Who does the teacher teach?
- Does the teacher know how to produce the style you want to learn to sing?
- What ages, levels, and styles are represented in the studio?
- Can the teacher explain their methodology for teaching voice in a way you can understand?
- After an initial consult, What areas does the teacher want to address first and how?