I get the question a lot “What do we cover in voice lessons? Or singing lessons. Or whatever. I dunno what the difference is!”
Generally, if you’ve never had a voice or singing lesson before, you’ll be wondering how it all works. The first and second lessons are a little different from how most of the rest of the lessons tend to be for most people. Lessons, of course, are going to be different depending upon the client and their goals and what we need to do to get you to these goals. But generally, in lessons 3 or more, the lessons are broken down into parts:
- Warm up and vocal exercises to learn techniques
- Singing an actual song and pracicing the techniques in the song.
Vocal Exercises Are The Best Warm Up
Vocal exercises are kinda like “warm ups” for your voice except they also show you how to sing – techniques – while they also warm your voice up. And they give us a chance to work on stuff when we’re not in an actualy song so you can build muscle memory in something where it’s okay emotionally to not sound great on. In songs, we are super invested emotionally in making it sound amazing and that can get in the way of learning new things. With vocal exercises, you can practice new techniques on stuff where it’s it not as scary if it turns out not so good – it’s just dumb scales so it’s easier to be in a learning state. You don’t have as much invested.
Singing Songs Right Away Is Important
A lot of singing teachers don’t hit on songs for a while and just focus on vocal exerises. I think that’s a mistake because singing in a song is hard in a very specific way which it takes a while to get used to. So it’s good to start on songs pretty soon so you start to be aware of the ways that you have to approach songs in order to use the techniques you learn in the exercises. And also to make sure you have emotional content in your singing and don’t just sound like a boring old perfect-technique singer with no emotions. It’s a hard balance and I like to get people started in that right away.
I also think it’s super important to work in songs that you guys think are awesome and interesting. I mean, you don’t wanna sing Bulgarian folk songs for 6 months if you’re a blue singer, right? Sometimes it’s helpful to take a detour to a specific piece or a specific different style in order to get you to your goal in the style of singing you wanna do, but studying classical method for pop singers, while that can be useful in many ways, doesn’t really get you the full way. You don’t wanna sound classical when you’re belting out your K-Pop hit, right? We do use classcial exercises and sometimes songs (classical, rock, pop, whatever we need to hit to get you to your goals), but I want to focus on your genre of interest because different genres have much different sounds. And plus you might love singing in one style and that’s where your love of music is. Following your love of music will always end up with better results cause people put the time in and learn. So that’s my thinking on style.
Sometimes Lessons Will Vary Depending on the Client and Their Goals
I actually really love coming into the studio and working with people and getting to hear these amazing changes and the energy that happens in the sessions and in lives through getting to work on music. That goes for working with pro’s and it goes for working with beginners alike. And with every person, you have to have their goals in mind and be flexible cause sometimes they need different things from you.