As a voice teacher I am in a position to hear many types of singing voices. I teach group singing lessons to children along with my private teaching, and it has given me a really interesting insight to the voice and pitch.
When someone comes to me privately for lessons, they are usually at a point in their life where they know their voice, their talents, their issues etc… Private voice lessons are expensive, so I usually get two different types of students. Those who love to sing and have a talent for it, and those who know they have difficulties with singing and are looking to improve their own voice so that they fit in more with the singers around them. In general these are the two types that “fork out” the time and money to take lessons privately with me. Those who are not pursuing a career but sing well often don’t tend to show up at my door, they are more apt to buy my Voice Lessons To Go CDs since the time and expense of private lessons is so much more of an investment.
With the group singing lessons for kids, I offer them at a much lower rate since they are shared with many children. My goal for these classes was to make singing and music education available to any child interested, (since music education in our public schools is, sadly, so limited).
What I am privy to hear as a result of these classes that I give, is a lot of young children who don’t know yet whether they are singers, talented, average, or pitch challenged. Their parents also often do not know. These kids just sing.
So I find myself faced with more pitch, confidence, and volume issues than ever.
Regarding the pitch: I am finding that there are a few different types of issues. There are those kids, people, who really cannot sing on pitch. They can’t hear the melody period. Whether they love to sing or not. These singers usually do NOT know that they are not singing in tune. These singers, I find, tend to be in the smallest group.
The other type I am finding is the singer who does not sing on pitch but they CAN be trained to do so. Often times, it requires slowing them down and forcing them (kindly of course), to pay attention to the pitch. This is often the first time they do so. When I rein these particular singers in giving them specific pitch matching exercises, they improve remarkably fast. It is like they just never realized they needed to listen and match anything to their own voices.
I find it extremely exciting as a voice teacher to help these young singers find their way on to the melody before they get themselves into years of criticism from others. Here are a few exercises to practice finding a pitch center:
1. Play one note on the piano; sing it back on “La”. Keep changing the notes. Sometimes it requires someone singing the note to you properly for you to find it. It is interesting to see how some singers can hear and mimic my voice but not the piano. This too is something that they can train themselves to overcome in time.
2. Play two random notes on the piano and sing them back. Then try three note patterns etc… Keep changing the note sequences. Do this slowly to make sure you are hitting every note involved.
3. Practice singing a Major scale up the piano. I have a YouTube video showing you how to do this. Take the notes up slowly. Match to the center of each tone. Remember the goal of this exercise is to sing correct pitch, so go slow and listen.
Here’s the link to my You Tube Video:
What I love about getting these singers at such a young age is that I have an opportunity to put them on the right road for a lifetime of singing filled with confidence. Sometimes it just requires a teacher showing you the way for you take the path on your own. The more correct encouragement you get to sing properly and in-tune at a young age, the more apt you will be to continue healthy singing your whole life.
If you are struggling with pitch, or know someone who is, take a few weeks to work on it. If you are improving, then you can turn it around.
Sing well, and in tune!
Written by Ariella Vaccarino creator of Voice Lessons To Go (singing lessons on CD) and author of Vocalize!
Want a professional opinion of how you sound? Sign up for my Vocal Assessment. Then send me a link or mp3 of you singing (audio/or audio visual) with your questions and I will get back to you with my feedback right away.
Check out my instructional videos on my YouTube Channel:
Listen to my weekly podcasts on iTunes:
My itunes Podcast
Friend me on Facebook:
Follow me on twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/voicelessons2go (I love a good retweet!)