If you are considering a career as a professional singer, picking the right vocal trainer can help you reach important milestones, to develop, maximize and preserve your talent.
But what do you look for in a trainer?
Not all professional singers make great coaches, and not all great vocal trainers are chart topping singers. Moving from one coach to another, can also be counter-productive and disruptive.
Ideally, you want the best of both worlds, in line with YOUR goals as a vocal student.
Here are some ideas:
Which single goal are you hoping to fulfill, in search of a vocal trainer?
- Do you sincerely want to perform confidently in front of friends and family?
- Or would you like to win contests, and pursue opportunities?
- Perhaps you'd like to become a recording artist?
This is critical to decide, BEFORE starting your search. You can not hit a target you can not see.
Even though arguably, the anatomy of singing remains similar across categories and styles – make sure you select the right trainer for the job.
If you'd like to sing contemporary or modern – it might not make sense to go for full-on classical or opera training. Some vocal trainers are excellent at classical training, while others can be great at pop or rock for example. Make sure whomever you pick, fits the bill for what YOU want to achieve.
3. Track Record
You're certainly not as likely to win any contests if your vocal trainer has not produced winners or superstars in the past – or at least know what it takes.
Vocal talent can be a strange thing – it seems to either get better, or worse – no in-between, or “staying on the same level”.
If your coach is not improving his own skills – even if that means periodically taking lessons himself / herself, from industry professionals, you are not likely to see LASTING progress.
Some of the best vocal trainers often take refresher courses from their own mentors, to stay in touch with the trends and methods of the times.
There are varying degrees of qualification and accreditation as a vocal trainer. At the very least, you want to make sure your coach understands – and can transfer – the following:
- The anatomy of the vocal cords
- Diaphragm control, breathing and projection
- Toning, Dynamics and Modulation
- Performance and interpretation
There are other aspects to becoming a professional singer, but these are a great start.
Accomplished vocal trainers, can help you acquire and develop these abilities, sometimes in as little as 6-to-12 months – provided you do your part, and practice regularly. You want to determine your own pace for learning and progress.
Once you've been with a vocal trainer for more than 2 years, without hard results to show for it – it might be worth recondering your options – more in line with your goals.
Apart from technique, the most valuable part a vocal trainer can offer is EXPERIENCE.
The best learning often results from modeling the successes of others.
A good vocal trainer, will NOT try to make you sound like someone else – but instead bring out your own, true, unique inner voice. This is a very special skill – both a gift and an enjoyable experience.
Always ask for references. Speak to one or two of his / her other students, before making major decisions. Try to book a screening lesson first, if you can – to see if you will work well together.
Let your intuition be your guide – and do not settle for anything less than the best, inside your budget – even if that means shopping around.
Your voice is your most important instrument, and can not be replaced. Any good vocal trainer knows this, and should not be offended when you consider your options.