“How can singing lessons help me sing better?” “Will singing lessons make any real difference?” “Can anyone learn to sing well or do you have to be born with the ability to sing? ” These are question I am constantly asked. So let’s get to it!
First a Question for You
Are you tone-deaf? Good news! Even if you are tone-deaf, as long as you want to sing better, then you can absolutely count on tremendous progress from singing lessons. The only requirement is that the person truly wants to sing better. Some voice teachers give up, when they hear someone who is tone deaf. Please do not associate yourself with a teacher who refuses to keep an open mind. Because we are artists, anything is possible!
Musical Phenomenon: The Case of Evelyn Glennie
Talk about inspiration! The world’s first-ever and only solo percussionist, Evelyn Glennie, is almost entirely deaf. By the age of 12, she had lost nearly all of her hearing. So instead of being able to hear like most people, she is able to feel and sense vibrations of sounds with her body. And Evelyn Glennie typically performs barefoot, to compound her way of hearing through vibrations. Miss Glennie is a monumentally creative genius, and her performances are simply captivating for their immense natural musicality. This is an utterly rare, deeply expressive artistic communicator, a most courageous, organic artist, and a true example for posterity.
I would love to know what her experience is with singing. Perhaps an email can be sent to Miss Glennie or to one of her representatives to inquire. Should I receive a response, I shall post about it here. Meanwhile, my curiosity leads me to discover a choir of deaf singers. More inspiration and proof that singing lessons really do help anyone sing better!
Time for Your Singing Lessons
For the moment, let’s assume that you are able to carry a tune when you sing. And let’s assume that you want to sing better and would like to try singing lessons. First of all, you deserve congratulations for making a wise decision! As you begin lessons, you will immediately discover how much fun it is to fine-tune your singing technique, with the help of a first-rate teacher. Your first few singing lessons should allow your teacher to hear your whole voice, your entire range, the unique timbre of your vocal sound, while you sing a few songs that you enjoy working on.
Also these first few lessons should be dedicated to giving you some specific vocal exercises, appropriate for your level of singing and for your particular range and voice type (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass, etc.). This is how you begin to develop the special beauty of your particular voice.
Not unlike our favorite percussionist, Evelyn Glennie, relies upon her acutely developed sense of vibrations, you can begin your discovery of vibrations and resonance from your own voice. This process of hearing and feeling your singing voice has a deeply reassuring, therapeutic effect upon your individual well-being and will work to increase your self-confidence. And it’s only the beginning of the countless benefits you will have, from singing lessons!
Your Whole Body = Your Whole Instrument
As singers, we are not able to see or touch our own vocal anatomy. Think of how any instrumentalist — a pianist, a violinist, a trumpet player, etc. — sees and touches his/her instrument. You have probably heard the expression that a singer’s whole body is their instrument. Yes! We cannot see our own vocal anatomy. Thus, we learn how to sing largely by how the voice feels, coming from the vibrations.
Singing lessons are about following instruction from your teacher and beginning to make adjustments by sensation, by what you feel from your own voice, even more than by the sound you hear from your own voice. If that seems complex or scary, it really is not! You will have so much fun getting it right.
And then not only will your voice begin to develop in exciting new directions, but also you begin to realize much more about who you are as a human being. This is how your self-confidence can and will multiply! If you want to something truly life-changing, have singing lessons with a great teacher!
Your First Lesson is FREE!
Can I Teach Myself to Sing?
You might be familiar with a singer from the past, who began to make a name for herself back in the 1930s: Kate Smith. Unfortunately in recent years there has arisen some controversy around her singing and her career, given the social attitudes of that era. But for our purposes, let’s just focus on her singing. The point here is that Kate Smith never had a singing lesson, not ever. Kate Smith’s claim to fame was always her uplifting renditions of God Bless America.
Let’s be clear: Kate Smith is a highly unusual case, an exception in that just about every other singer you’ve heard of has certainly needed singing lessons. What is far more common are would-be singers, who decide they do not need singing lessons and then come to regret that decision. Generally these are the singers who tend to experience the greatest problems, not only due to lack of good vocal technique, but also because they have no idea how to maintain vocal health.
Break Free of Assumptions
If you want to sing, the best thing you can do for yourself is to find a great teacher and have singing lessons. Start with a clean slate, without the burden of assumptions. Give the teacher a chance to offer you guidance and instruction that opens new windows, so your talent can be free to express itself. That is how you cultivate your vocal and musical talent to the fullest. So don’t miss out on the fun, the benefits, the fantastic journey of self-discovery, all of the life-changing rewards that can be yours from singing lessons!
Singing Lessons Online Free
On social media, I once received a question from a 16-year-old young lady, who wrote that she very much wants to sing on Broadway.
“I’m sixteen and I’m not too good at singing. I know it’s weird, but I would love to be on Broadway someday. I know good singers can get better, but what about me? Can vocal lessons help me, a bad singer? Could lessons help me enough to reach my goal?”
Of course anyone with professional goals such as singing on Broadway should not attempt to learn how to sing without a good teacher. I responded by saying that she needs individual attention and instruction, based on her unique particular talent. Forums on social media are limited. Even if a singer posts a sample of his or her singing, it’s not likely to be enough to make a helpful determination. We do not have the advantage of meeting any singer in person or getting a sense of his/her whole self and what the individual has to offer, as a performing artist.
Social Media is not Singing Lessons
Every honest question from someone who genuinely wants to learn ought to be answered by person sufficiently qualified. Sometimes, though, it seems people forget that social media has limits. It is just my nature to become enthused and want so much to help anyone who wants to sing better. I want to encourage people to sing better and to learn and enjoy singing music.
Hopefully, this young lady posting the question on Quora came to understand that it simply is not possible to answer her questions, without hearing her singing. Ultimately, what is important is to respect each person’s special needs for skilled expert listening, for the individually tailored careful attention of a good teacher, working with a singer in private singing lessons.
Part of Your Humanity
Remember that your voice is not exactly the same as any other human being’s voice–never has been. Just as your voice is unique, so is your need for personalized singing lessons, from a teacher who actually knows what he or she is doing! Please do not accept anyone or anything which does not meet this high standard.
For example, prerecorded singing lessons are an insult to you and your voice and to the instruction you need, in terms of real singing lessons — not to mention a big waste of your money!
I have assisted singers in locating private singing teachers as far away as Denmark and Saudi Arabia (and I’m in the eastern U.S.). Although I am available to give singing lessons over the internet, this is not a pitch for you to have lessons with me. And if you wish, I can help you locate a fine voice teacher, in your locality. This is your best solution if you want in-person singing lesson. But the way I can offer you lessons also will allow you to feel confident about proceeding with your singing goals.
Talented People Always Question Their Own Talent
Responding to this young lady’s question, it should also be mentioned that we really cannot assume she is “not too good at singing.” Gosh, who told her this?! If it is merely her own opinion, it should be pointed out that we do not hear our own voices as others hear them. But a qualified singing teacher can begin to get an idea of a person’s vocal potential far better than any one singer, trying to make this judgment alone, without being heard. So please do not assume you are “not too good at singing!”
In this case, we have a young lady who is telling us she is age 16. So she has her whole life ahead of her. Hopefully, she will have at least eight decades of life more to live. She should follow her passions, make smart decisions, and then work very hard to accomplish what she wants.
I always encourage the youngsters that they must find what they love to do and commit to a lifetime of gaining more knowledge. It is also necessary to let go of self doubt. Then he/she has the best chance of success. But most importantly he/she also has the best chance to be personally fulfilled in their work.
Often the most talented artists are the ones who suffer from the greatest anxiety and self doubt. For better of worse, it comes with the territory. For all of us who know what performance anxiety is, the best solution I know is found on the Recommended Products page of this blog.
Specifically, please look for the video of the fabulous breathing exercise, called the Relaxation Breath Exercise or the 4-7-8 Breath Exercise. It is profoundly effective! Just follow the instructions found along with the video. You will love it!
“Go Before You Know”
There is no guarantee that any singer will achieve such a lofty goal as singing on Broadway. But every single person who honestly wants to give it their all deserves his or her chance! In this case, the next step for our 16-year-old young lady, who is asking such a searching question, is definitely private singing lessons. You cannot know for sure until you try. In following your passion, you must find the courage to “go before you know,” to quote an old saying.
If you live in a major city, it should be fairly easy to find a qualified singing teacher. If you live in a more rural area, often the nearest sizable university will have a music department, with a voice faculty. If none of those teachers accept private students, they can probably refer you to some other good teacher, hopefully within a reasonable distance.
Join the Choir
Another good option might be joining a church choir or community chorus. Ask the choir director to refer you to a singing teacher. Ask the same of other singers in the group, especially those whose singing you hear and admire. Does that singer have a teacher and, if so, will that teacher accept you?
Sometimes we have to try a few different voice teachers, until we find the one that the best fit. It is a special relationship, between a singing teacher and singing student. You and your teacher must both experience that the communication is working effectively, so the singing lessons will be productive.
It is precisely because we cannot see or touch the vocal anatomy that we must rely upon using words to communicate with an excellent voice teacher. Of course you also communicate with your teacher through the vocal sounds you make. So verbal communication between teacher and student is all the more essential to the process of your learning to sing.
It is natural that we experience greater, easier communication with some people rather than others. The working relationship between singing teacher and student is miraculous, when you have the right teacher. You will know when it’s right, because your singing will respond quickly. Finding a great singing teacher is an exciting and wonderful phase of your development!
Singing Lessons Available “On Demand” and in Real Time
If you would like to give it a go with me as your teacher, I would be honored! Email me for more information at anytime! Gretchen@SingingAndYou.com. Remember, your first lesson is FREE!
This post is about allowing you to feel your worth as a singer and realizing that singing lessons with a good teacher is profoundly beneficial and a journey of self-discovery that actually is life-changing. Do let me know how I can be of service!
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