3 Simple Steps to Find a Good Voice Teacher
Rose Park 11/15/21 • 4 min read
There are three steps you should keep in mind when finding a good voice teacher for yourself or your child.
In this post, I will explain why you should actively look for good voice teachers. Good voice teachers are different from those who claim they know how to sing or have years of teaching experience or majored in Jazz trumpet but know how to sing.
Good, professional voice teachers are exceptionally different.
If you want to really find the best voice teacher for you (or who your child will be studying with), this is the right place for you. Let’s learn the Three Steps.
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Types of Degree
Most professional, qualified and talented voice teachers receive academic and performance focused training from the top music universities and conservatories.
The curriculums offered at the top music schools are intense. While taking various academic courses, voice students practice countless hours to prepare for weekly hour-long lessons, studio classes, opera production rehearsals, performances and competitions. Typically, voice students spend at least 2 or 3 hours every day practicing various pieces to become better singers (not including time spent for coursework). They also spend countless hours on rehearsals for opera productions and choir.
This is how the average students majoring in voice performance spend most of the time mastering singing, and this cannot be replicated by someone who majored in a different instrument or field.
I would strongly encourage you to do some research on the potential voice teacher’s degrees. Did they major in voice? The closer the degree is related to voice performance, the higher the quality of your voice/singing lessons.
Levels of Degree
Ideally, a good voice teacher would have at least a Bachelor’s degree in voice performance. It’s a plus when the teacher has a minor in pedagogy, music education, music theory, or music history, because they’ll be able to give better rounded lessons as a result. Additionally, a teacher with a Master’s degree or Doctorate in voice performance indicates the teacher is highly professional in both performing and teaching voice.
Another thing to look at is whether the voice teacher holds a degree in music education with a focus in voice performance. Note that teachers with music education degrees study general music education rather than focusing on the performance side of music.
I would highly recommend them if you want to learn general music theory, or if the child is particularly young, or if you are just looking for basic skills like reading music. As you get more advanced, you’ll likely want to switch to a teacher who majored in voice performance.
Meet Our Pro Teacher
Meet Larissa, a professional voice teacher specializing in Jazz and Pop voice.
Levels of Music School
Here is a recent informal list of rankings for the best music schools for voice in the US:
Note the rankings listed in sites are different from how professional voice instructors rank the schools because each music program is unique by its size, history, faculty and focus areas or department.
For instance, Berkeley School of Music has one of the best Jazz voice departments because of its history and successful alumni and they often rank high in lists. However, it’s likely that Indiana University Jacobs School of Music has a bigger and better classical voice department resulting in a higher number of talented classical singers.
Competitions, Performance Experience
The performance level can be assessed by the number of competitions and awards you can find in the resume or their professional websites. There are countless numbers of voice competitions in the world and it’s hard to tell which competitions are competitive and harder to win than the others.
In any case, a professional voice teacher should at least put several competitions, awards and performance experiences (recitals, tours, masterclasses and opera and solo performances, etc.) because it shows they had spent considerable time and effort in practicing and mastering voice.
Many voice teachers list a number of teaching years in their resume. Teaching experience matters although I would stress that a decent degree should come first. Note there are many voice teachers with lesser musical backgrounds who claim to have 5 or 10 years experience of teaching.
There is nothing wrong about it but if you want to find a good voice instructor with a professional background, research the teachers in this order: school name, type or level of the degree, performance experience, teaching experience.
Check Performance Recordings
While watching the recording, ask these questions to yourself:
– What’s the first impression of the appearance?
– How does a teacher use the body while singing?
– Do you like the music the teacher sings?
Ideally, a good voice instructor would have many recordings of their recital, competition and opera production performance. Having many available recordings means they are confident in singing and have a considerable amount of repertoire.
It’s not a must-do but it’s recommended if the teacher has done and passed the background check. Some music lesson websites such as Lesson With You offer live professional voice teachers who are background checked. It feels extra safer for both child and parents when the teacher is fully background checked.
A good voice teacher communicates with the parents regularly on the student’s learning progress. It’s very important that parents know how their child does in the lesson so that they can share ideas about singing with the child. If the feedback from the teacher is not great, parents should encourage and motivate their child to prepare better for the lessons in the future.
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