Ten Questions That Will Help You Find a Top-Notch Vocal Instructor
If you want to develop your skills as a singer, then choosing a voice instructor will be one of the most important choices you will ever make for your musical journey. You could just go out and hire the cheapest teacher you can find. After all, they all teach the same stuff, right? Don’t do it! An unskilled teacher may leave you with incorrect vocal technique, a reduced vocal range, and even damaged vocal cords. Before you hand over the first check, make sure the instructor can give you the skills you need to become a better singer as well as the vision you need to stick with it.
Questions to Ask At Your First Lesson
So how do you know which teacher will give you the best value? First, remember that value means more than money. Your teacher needs to possess the right combination of talent, teaching skill, and love for the craft. Second, keep these questions in the back of your mind during the first lesson:
· Does the instructor show you how to sing without pain or tension in all registers?
· Does the instructor explain the difference between the head voice and the chest voice? Can he or she demonstrate the difference and show you how to sing with the correct technique?
· Does the instructor explain the goal each vocal exercise? Does he or she demonstrate how to perform the exercise correctly?
· Do you feel encouraged or discouraged at the end of the lesson?
· Does the teacher understand your goals for your singing lessons, and is he or she committed to helping you reach those goals?
· Do you feel comfortable asking questions if you don’t understand something?
· If you don’t get the exercise right on the first try, does the teacher offer a new perspective or approach to solve the problem?
· Can the instructor pinpoint your individual strengths and weaknesses? Does he or she offer a personalized plan to help you progress?
· Do you feel tense and tired at the end of the lesson?
· Do you feel motivated and inspired to reach your full potential?
These questions encompass several aspects of your learning experience. They seek to evaluate not only the instructor’s ability to communicate the right skills, but also his or her ability to inspire you to be the best you can be.
The Role of Motivation in Music Training
Even a very talented singer can be a terrible teacher if he or she fails to motivate students. If you come out of your first lesson feeling discouraged or chastised, look for a new teacher! Great teachers will help you master proper skills and technique while also giving you the courage to reach farther than you thought you could. Don’t settle for someone who can’t help you master the proper skills, but at the same time, don’t settle for someone who doesn’t make you love singing. As the old saying goes, good teachers teach; great teachers inspire!