How to Find an
Exceptional Singing Teacher

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Voice Instructor

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Rose Park

11/15/21• updated 3/20/24 • 4 min read

Finding the right singing teacher can be a real challenge, whether you’re searching online or checking them out in person. It’s not always easy to tell if an instructor is truly professional and a good fit for you.

So how do you decide which singing teacher to go with? How can you figure out if one instructor communicates better and is simply better at teaching than another?

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The sooner you meet an ideal singing teacher, the faster you will be a great singer with a solid vocal technique! This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay extra to hire someone with impressive teaching and educational backgrounds. Whether a teacher teaches online, in-person or hybrid, you should make sure that your singing teacher will:

  • tailor your learning curriculum
  • inspire a love of music
  • motivate you to challenge and grow 
  • give constant, detailed feedback
  • inspire to learn a new song quickly

Many singing students make mistakes by trying to start with an ordinary teacher who also charges less, and then switching to a more professional instructor. One thing to note in this shifting process is that you will likely experience confusion in learning, which might take some time for you to get rid of any bad habits.

Every singing teacher is unique and puts a different amount of emphasis in terms of lesson curriculum. Some teachers focus more on the technical side of singing whereas as some might tell you to focus on expressing music.

Check the teacher's educational background

Degrees in Voice Performance

Where possible, make sure to check the potential teacher’s degree they received during college. The best singing instructors will hold advanced degrees (Master’s or Doctorate) in voice performance from verified music schools. They should also be able to demonstrate a high level of performance through recordings, number of competition prizes and frequency of public performance opportunities. Here are some suggestions for questions related to degrees:

  • Are you majored in voice performance?
  • What was your concentration? Was it Classical, Jazz or Contemporary?
  • Do you have at least a Bachelor’s degree in voice?
  • Did you take any courses in pedagogy, music education, music theory or music history?
For Parents: If you’re looking for a singing teacher for your child, you can also look for someone who majored in music education with a focus in voice. These instructors can teach you basic skills like reading music, theory and general foundation of singing. When your child is ready to advance, possibly within a year or so, you should start thinking about switching to a singing teacher with advanced degrees in voice.
How to Find an Exceptional Singing Teacher - Lesson With You Voice Lessons Guide

Competitions and Performance Experience

When looking for a singing teacher, it’s a good idea to check if they’ve listed any performance accomplishments on their resume or bio. Things like winning awards from opera auditions, competitions, making recordings, participating in international voice workshops, or doing solo and tour performances.

The first thing you’ll want to do is visit the voice teacher’s professional website and read through their bio. If they have any live performance recordings posted, take some time to watch those and see if you like how they sing and express themselves musically.

Your ideal singing teacher should at least have several descriptions of roles they’ve won or participated in for domestic or international productions – whether that’s Broadway or opera. Their resume should also summarize their performance experience like recitals, tours, summer festivals, master classes, and other public performances they’ve done.

Teaching Experience in Singing

In addition to checking the teacher’s degree, it’s also important to check if they have at least 3 years of teaching experience. Professional singing teachers will almost certainly learn voice pedagogy class during college which demonstrates a high foundational level of teaching. The genres they teach don’t matter in the big picture, but it’s good to check which genres they have expertise in, including Classical, Jazz, Contemporary (gospel, R&B), and musical theatre.

Background Check

Not every singing teacher lists this online, but you should check if the teacher has done and passed a comprehensive background check, especially if the lesson is for your child. Some live online singing lesson websites, such as Lesson With You, offer free trial lessons with professional voice instructors who are fully background checked.

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Questions to ask when choosing a singing teacher

Once you’re done with narrowing down a number of potential singing teachers, the next step is to talk with the instructors. Here are some recommendations for questions to ask:

  • How many voice students do you teach? What ages and levels?
  • How do you build a lesson plan? Is your lesson curriculum personalized?
  • Do you expect students to participate in recital, jury or competition? 
  • What are your practice expectations for beginners and advanced students?
  • Do you use singing method books? If not, what music will students work on?
  • How to do motivate students to practice singing and improve?

Take a trial lesson first

When contacting potential singing teachers, make sure to ask if they offer trial lessons. Taking a trial lesson will give you fresh insights on a couple of things: 

  • Does the teacher speak clearly and ask appropriate questions to the student? How does the teacher respond to the answers the student provided and vice versa?

  • How does the instructor initiate and lead the singing lesson? Is the lesson engaging? How frequent does the teacher sing to demonstrate the technique to the student?

  • What’s the teacher like? Happy, quiet or rather moody? Is the teacher likeable?

  • How often does the teacher give feedback? Do they speak in a direct or indirect tone? Does the teacher pay enough attention to detail and correct the student? It’s also important to see how the student responds to the compliment and criticism.

  • How does the instructor end the lesson? When the instructor gives assignments or homework, does the student leave the lesson clear on what to work on next?
How to find an exceptional singing teacher - Lesson With You Singing Lessons Guide

Choosing the Right Singing Instructor After a Trial

Take plenty of time to choose the right singing instructor for you. Besides evaluating the trial lesson and teacher quality, consider these following aspects before making a decision.

Singing Lesson Costs

According to our recent singing lesson cost guide, the average cost is $35 for a half hour lesson. Live online singing lessons using video chats typically charge between $20-40 for a half hour lesson. Local private lessons averages $40 per half hour voice lesson, while in-person group lessons can cost $20 per a half hour lesson.

Flexible Scheduling

Your ideal singing instructor should offer a flexible scheduling and rescheduling option. Of course, it’s not a good sign when a teacher (or a student) cancels or reschedules lessons too often, but knowing the teacher offers a flexible rescheduling option can be a plus.

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Lesson Reviews

When searching for a singing teacher, whether online or in-person, it’s important to check and read the lesson reviews. For online singing lessons, you’ll find reviews on the teacher’s profile. If most of the reviews, say 8 or 9 out of 10, are positive, it’s a good sign that the teacher is excellent and can provide high-quality lessons.

If you’re looking for recommendations for in-person lessons, you can ask friends, neighbors, or even search for singing teachers online and ask if they offer lessons in your area.


Not many singing lesson providers require long term commitment or contracts these days, but you’d still want to make sure if there’s a contract required or not before setting up the first lesson. It’s also recommended for students to check the preferred payment method and other policies such as cancellations and rescheduling.

Need help with Finding a Potential Singing Instructor?

Lesson With You offers live online 1-on-1 singing lessons with the top singing instructors who earned at least Bachelor’s degrees from top music schools including Manhattan School of Music, University of Michigan, Indiana University, University of Toronto and Carnegie Mellon University.

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Rose Park

Rose Park is a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where she studied Piano Performance and Arts Administration, receiving both Bachelor's and Master's degrees before co-founding Lesson With You. As a pianist, Rose was a prizewinner in many international piano competitions and performed at various summer programs and festivals across the United States, Italy, and Japan.