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How to Find the Perfect Vocal Coach

By Christopher, published on 29/07/2019 Blog > Music > Singing > Find Singing Lessons with the Ideal Vocal Coach

It isn’t easy, is it? Well, most of us have experienced during our high school/college years a less than desirable teacher in at least one of our classes.

Whether that be elementary mathematics to the physical education teacher who was always that bit too competitive; although it is considered a fallacious belief, the law of averages deems that most people reading this article will be fixated on that one teacher who was a complete pain to be around.

So, the difference between a vocal coach to a high school/college music teacher is that you have a choice in exactly who it is you wish to take lessons with.

It is important to choose a vocal coach that you are comfortable being around. It is also incredibly important that your preferences are stated i.e. musical style/genre prior to your first lesson.

A number of vocal coaches out there offer a more generalized service in which the fundamentals of singing are taught. However, there are also trained coaches who specialize in particular areas when it comes to musical preferences.

So, if your forte may be within thrash metal, it could be unwise to seek out a vocal coach who specializes in jazz singing – and vice versa.

If you are simply looking to pick up on the very basics, then searching for an all-round vocal coach makes sense. Again, if this is the case, the best strategy would be to try several coaches to see which you feel is the best fit. Of course overall price and establishing where to find the best vocal coaches is important, but first of all, you must identify a few approaches in how to look for the perfect candidate!

It is imperative that a coach is completely prepared before any given lesson and that most of the singing lesson is dedicated to teaching vocal techniques.

Usually lasting an hour (for extended periods can strain your voice), a seasoned vocal coach will work exclusively on identifying areas for improvement whilst working explicitly, targeting such areas to advance your overall singing voice.

An effective teacher will also set ‘homework‘ until your next session to ensure that you are practicing on the various singing techniques: it is vital that students are practicing singing outside of their singing lessons to help accelerate developments.

If you wish to learn the very foundations of singing and you are looking at the more academic style of musical understanding, you should expect some physical resources to help support your learning during the days in which you don’t have a scheduled visit with your vocal coach.

This is incredibly important because vocal coaches with extensive experience do not come cheap – an unfortunate truth. Although there can be a range of prices, generally you will be paying between $40-$150 per session so you, therefore, want to be practicing such techniques in anticipation for the following session.

Making the wrong choice can lead to both wasted time and wasted money, as well as frustration (through experiencing a lack of progression) as well as a big loss in personal confidence.

To prevent this from happening, we have identified many suggestions to help find the best possible vocal coaches which are out there! Of course, there is a range of factors to consider, and in doing so, you will increase your chances of finding the best vocal coach, leading to faster developments and a more confident and secure singing voice!

A female singer performs. There are a number of considerations to make prior to searching for a voice coach. (Source: Visualhunt)

Locality

There is a high concentration of professional vocal coaches across the United States. However, with it being such a vast country, people can often make the mistake of committing to a service which is across the other side of town or even in a different state.

Yes, sometimes, and unfortunately, we come across an opportunity which matches perfectly with what we are looking for. Yet, such opportunities are available in the state of Alabama when we are in fact based in New York.

Finding a vocal coach that offers their services within proximity to where you live or work helps to reduce the stress of actually getting there. Many vocal coaches suggest that weekly sessions are a great way to enhance your singing within a quicker period of time.

Aspiring and committed singers even go beyond that suggestion and set up two-weekly sessions to fast track their development.

Especially before busy performance periods, you may need to adjust your schedule to fit in as many sessions as you can as a preparatory technique. This would, unfortunately, be out of the question if your vocal sessions took place over an hour away from where you are based.

Not only is this inconvenient but is also an effective way of wasting time and additional costs on petrol or public transport.

Mostly, vocal coaches offer their services within their homes or private studios. In doing so, this almost always results in the student having to commute to get to their lesson.

Although some coaches can offer in-home sessions, this service is mainly offered by students who are in the midst of completing their studies within the field of singing and performance.

The Many Signs of a Professional Vocal Coach

When it comes to hiring an experienced vocal coach, there are multiple signs to help you establish if the coach is a newbie or a seasoned professional.

Firstly, how exactly are they advertising for their services? Although some great connections can be made through simple word of the mouth marketing, most active vocal coaches will have a sophisticated website which lists the various services they provide.

Testimonials on their website of previous and current students will also give you a good understanding of success stories from happy clients which is certainly a factor to consider.

Their website should also list the various singing styles in which they can offer their students. As stated earlier, if you are looking to enhance your singing style in alignment with a specific genre or musical style, make sure this is listed on their advertisement platform.

Pictures of their equipment and studio (if they in-fact have one) also helps to establish the level of professionalism which comes with their service. Some people like the D-I-Y approach and this is fine, however, if you haven’t done your research, you may be shocked when you turn up for your first lesson which is being conducted in the basement of their parents’ home.

Vocal pedagogy dates back to the Ancient Greece periods as well as the medieval monasteries of the 13th Century. With such a rich and lasting history, it is fair to say that the style of teaching has changed considerably since the very beginning.

Modern vocal coaches often use backing tracks to develop timing and tempo effectiveness of their students. Such backing tracks can also be requested by the students themselves so it is critical that your vocal coach has the necessary equipment to accommodate for this.

A close up of a vintage clock. Reducing commuting times makes the whole process more convenient. (Source: Visualhunt)

A Tried and Tested Formula

There are a multitude of benefits when it comes to taking singing lessons, but finding the top coaches can often be a little tricky.

As well as testimonials, there are several other considerations which can be made before signing up for your first singing lesson.

A number of vocal coaches will provide references on their website as well as video footage of their students singing. This offers a great insight into the quality of singers that have received support from the services in which they provide.

If their students struggle to reach the notes and there aren’t any references which you can go by, the vocal coach isn’t offering much insight into the successes they have encountered throughout their coaching.

Although recommendations can be a great starting point, it is worth considering that one size does not fit all when it comes to finding the right vocal coach.

Before booking your first session, it is worth collating a few necessary questions to ensure that the service which they provide meets your expectations. Find below a few suggestions which would be necessary to establish before handing over money for your first singing lesson:

  • Do you provide an introductory/preliminary lesson?
  • What is the style of vocal coaching and do you specialize in any particular musical areas/genres?
  • What is the general structure of a session?
  • Are both resources and additional learning materials provided after each session?
  • Availability and average price

A man writes the word success. Considering these factors will help to identify the best possible voice coaches. (Source: Visualhunt)

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