How do I find a good voice teacher?
Finding a good voice teacher can be tricky. There are a few issues you may encounter that you should watch for and consider when selecting who you study and pursue your singing with.
1.You should never feel strained, hoarse, or soar in your throat and voice as a direct result of what your teacher is having you do in a lesson. Not to say that occasionally you may have some vocal fatigue towards the end of the lesson- like a hard physical work out, but the voice should bounce back quickly and without any negative repercussions.
Occasionally your teacher may try something with you that may make you feel strained because you did not or were not yet ready to master it. As long as the teacher immediately identifies that there is a problem and stops the exercise holding off for more vocal and muscular development. Sometimes they need to check if you are ready to try the new thing or not.
If you do feel strain in anything that you are doing in your lesson. Tell your teacher and do not continue on with that exercise. If your teacher gets defensive- pay attention, that is not a good sign of someone who has your best interest in mind.
2. There are different techniques. Some teachers have you hold in your abdominal muscles for support while some have you push them down and out for support. Some have you sing through a “honk” in your nose while others have you drop your larynx for a more swallowed sound. It can be very confusing for someone who just wants to learn to sing. There may be different opinions on how to handle this. Mine is, do what makes sense to you.
If your teacher gets you voice out well, you see marked and regular improvement. You are building stamina, you like your vocal quality and NOTHING feels strained, pushed or unnatural. Then you should be in good hands. Trust your instinct.
3. Don’t become intimidated or swayed by those out there. So many people have strong opinions and can be quite intimidating about them- making you feel stupid for not studying with a certain someone, or stupid FOR studying with a certain someone. Again, you need to find a match that works for you. Your voice teacher should empower you as a singer. You should look forward to your lessons and walk out of them buzzing with positive energy.
In general, don’t be afraid to get what YOU WANT out of your singing lessons. It is ok to try out three teachers and choose one. It is also OK to leave the one you are with if you are unhappy. Also, don’t be afraid to discuss any concerns you may have about the direction of your voice lessons with your teacher. Give them a chance to tailer their lessons to your needs.
If you are looking for an voice teachers ear and opinion but can’t yet afford or commit to your own private teacher. Try “Your Vocal Assessment” on my site. You send me your voice and questions and I send you my assessment back within the week.