Do I need a vocal coach?
Believe it or not, every singer can benefit from the lessons provided by a vocal coach. Much like a guitar or violin, the voice is a musical instrument. It may seem to work fine without being tuned, but doesn’t produce to its true potential. Maintaining a finely honed instrument is a lifelong process and a vocal coach is a worthwhile investment for this reason.
Almost everyone can claim to be a reasonably good singer. Training and technique elevate true artists above the rest. When singers learn the signs of vocal fatigue and the secrets to maintaining a healthy voice, they can use the their talent to its fullest. Artists who gain control of the dynamics of their voice and develop tools to keep their vocal cords in shape, can more easily catch the attention and admiration of listeners.
Furthermore, poor technique doesn’t just result in lackluster singing; it can actually cause permanent damage to the vocal cords. Even the most accomplished singers still train with coaches from time to time to help them keep their instrument sharp and eradicate bad habits.
How do I choose a vocal coach?
Recommendations are always a very reliable way to find a reputable coach who is worth the investment. Find out if they have any well-known students who are willing to recommend the teacher. Be as thorough as possible in your research, inquiring as to the coach’s teaching methods and preferred style of singing. A coach does not have to have a voice similar to that of the student, though some people find it helpful. After selecting a teacher, commit to eight or ten lessons before deciding whether to stick with that coach or find another. It can take a while to gauge the effectiveness of a new vocal coach, especially if you are new to the concepts.
After a few lessons, you should be able to see if the coach is specific to his/her technique and able to explain the methods used. Vocal exercises are only a part of the benefits you should experience when working personally with a teacher. Experts who have mastered their technique can provide students with the knowledge necessary to practice alone.
Some instructors restrict their lessons to the technique of ringing in the mask. Others may focus on teaching the student to make the yawning sound by combining the back of their throat with the front. Many coaches focus on working with falsetto to master the head voice to hit high notes easily.
It is important to realize that each coach has his/her preferred method. All teachers, however, must teach their students the importance of not forcing their voice. Straining the throat and pushing the voice in the nose or mask is the wrong way to project the sound. A singer may feel confident with the sound they create by pushing their voice to sound loud and strong, but the wrong method will create the ringing sound. The correct method does not require strain to produce the intended sound because it is a softer technique. Vibrating in the dome of the head or in the forehead is a sign that you are learning the proper way to use your voice.
Experienced singers eventually learn how to judge their own singing without the aid of an instructor, but it is still a good idea to take lessons at all levels.