I see a lot of inquiries about what singing lessons are like. So that you can get a better feel for the experience, here is what you can expect to happen at voice lessons.
Expect lots of singing! From you AND the teacher! Students are often shy about singing when they start voice lessons, but this is a safe space! If you won’t sing for me, there’s only so much I can do for you.
2. Warmups and Exercises
Every lesson should start with warming up the voice. This may be less important if you’ve just come from choir practice, a show rehearsal, or an all-day singing camp, but in most cases, we will need to warm up your voice.
Where warmups may be just about warming up your voice, exercises are about strengthening and improving your voice. Some exercises are also warmups. Both are a part of every singing lesson.
Now, the kinds of warmups and exercises you do will vary from teacher to teacher and from student to student. I teach simpler and shorter warmups and exercises to my younger or newer students and then get progressively more complex according to your skill level.
Some Common Warmups and Exercises:
Siren. The “siren” is a classic warmup that wakes up the voice so that it is ready to sing. It also helps ease transitions and make your voice smoother and more flexible.
Lip Trills (Lip Buzzes). Improves tone, control, support, and more.
Diction. Words are kind of a big deal in singing. You might learn tongue twisters, vowel exercises, and other exercises to help with pronunciation.
Breathing and Breath Control. Also essential to singing. I include breathing exercises in every voice lesson.
Ear Training. You have to be able to recognize and sing the right notes! Pitch matching, interval training, and solfege (“do re mi”) are excellent tools here.
3. Learning Proper Form
You may have no intention of ever performing in front of anyone, or you may want to become a Broadway star or professional opera singer. Regardless, proper form matters. Support, posture, openness, no tension — all are critical parts of being a good singer.
4. Learning New Music
In every lesson, after our warmups and exercises and all of the technical stuff, we work on new music. The whole purpose of singing lessons is to improve your voice so that your music and your performance sounds better.
What kind of music might you learn? Anything from Broadway to Disney to Folk to Contemporary to Classical to Opera to Jazz. You might even learn a new language. Italian Arias, French lullabies, the world is our oyster.
Where possible, I work with my students in selecting new music to learn. I want you to learn what you want to learn, but I also want you to learn what will make you a better singer. I’ll also expose my students to new styles of music that they might not have considered on their own.
5. Practicing and Performing
Lessons are also a place of practicing and performing. You will learn how to practice and we will practice together. You’ll also learn how to perform and practice performing for your teacher.
6. Critiquing Yourself
Perhaps the most important part of singing lessons is learning to critique yourself. Most of the time, new students either have no idea how to do this or only have negative things to say, but a good critique has both positive and negative elements.
Every thing you sing in voice lessons, whether it’s a warmup or an exercise or a song, I will teach you how to critique. It’s about more than spotting what sounds bad. It’s about constructive criticism, and identifying your strengths. You’ll learn to listen to yourself and identify what is good and what needs improvement so your at-home practicing is more productive.
These are the kinds of things that you can expect to happen in your singing lessons. I tailor every lesson for the student’s needs, but all of these elements will play a part. If you’d like to learn more, please contact me about singing lessons! I’d love to help you strengthen your vocal abilities. Call me at (951) 314-3593 or fill out my online contact form to inquire about voice lessons.