With the explosion of a cappella ensembles, TikTok (formerly Musical.ly) Broadway-for-TV productions and more, many people have discovered their love of singing and have just assumed they can open their mouths and make a beautiful noise. However, singing is a lot more involved than people think. Singing involves breath support, tone quality, range, expression, mind and body connection, and more. Whether you’ve aspired for the great stages, or your small audience of stuffed animals, our voice instructors here at The International School of Music are equipped to help you achieve your goals! Find out more about voice lessons, and try your first lesson with our Bethesda or Potomac music studio today.
- When can I begin? Our voice teachers advise students to start no younger than 6 years old. Even at such a young age, the vocal apparatus is very small and malleable, and early beginners are susceptible to vocal fatigue and potential damage. However, as your student grows and their voice matures, the teacher will be able to help him/her through vocal changes and puberty, as well as oversee his/her vocal development. For adults and later beginners, a voice teacher will help manage your vocal health and help to improve your tone quality and intonation.
- What kind of music do I like? Next, it’s important to decide what kind of music you like to sing. Before selecting a teacher, think about what songs you like to listen to, what you’re interested in learning more about, and what style or genre of music (Broadway, pop, rock, classical, etc.) is your favorite. This will inform what kind of teacher you should seek out. Many voice teachers, though classically trained, can help you produce the vocal sounds you’re looking to make. That being said, if you’re looking for a particular or niche genre, seek out a teacher with experience in that specialty.
- Face to Face! It’s crucial that your voice lessons are face-to-face. While technology is always advancing and some teachers do offer virtual or video-chat lessons, microphones never quite capture all the sound frequencies that the human ear can perceive. Additionally, singing is physical and a full-body experience, and a video camera will not always provide the 360° view that a teacher can assess in real life.
- Find a teacher that makes you feel comfortable asking questions and being yourself. Once you’ve decided the kind of music you enjoy and you have a couple of prospective face-to-face instructors, find a teacher whose personality best complements your own, your learning objectives, and your learning style. Singing is highly personal, and if you’re not comfortable singing for the person with whom you need to place a lot of trust, you won’t make any progress. Find a teacher who is warm, friendly, and who will push your limits to help you succeed.
- Find a teacher who is a comprehensive musician. While pop stars of today have set the precedent that singing doesn’t require knowledge of music or note -reading, we cannot stress enough how important music literacy is to every musician, singers included. When singers have a solid grasp of a composer’s musical choices and a basic understanding of the notes they’re reading, the music has more meaning and results in a more emotionally evocative performance.
- Warm Up! Since the vocal mechanism consists of several tiny muscles that work together to produce a sound, it’s important that you find a voice teacher who will warm up your voice and teach you how to healthfully exercise your voice in your own practice. Vocal health is key to maximizing progress and consistency in tone.
When you’re deciding on a teacher, do the research, don’t be intimidated, ask the big questions. Voice lessons should be something you look forward to, as well as something that helps you protect the integrity of your voice. Our vocal instructors here at The International School of Music are looking forward to helping you meet your goals!
For more information or to schedule your introductory voice lesson, please call 301.365.5888!