Beginner's Guide to Voice Lessons

December 13, 2016

Are you thinking about starting voice lessons? Here is what you can expect (at least from me).

Voice lessons are typically half and hour to an hour long, depending on skill level, and meet once a week.

What to bring:  Bring a bottle of water and a notebook.  The water is to keep you and your voice hydrated which is essential for setting yourself for successful singing.  The notebook is for either you or your teacher to write down notes for what you worked on, and what you should work on until your next lesson.

For your first lesson, you can expect a discussion about what your goals are and why you want to take voice lessons.  This will let your teacher know how intense you want your study to be. Of course, most teachers want you to have the best experience and make great progress, so if they are like me, they will challenge you to do your best every week.

Typical voice lessons consist of roughly half the time spent on technique and half the time spent on songs/ repertoire.  Beginners are not generally required to warm-up prior to their lessons. Instead, your teacher will warm-up your voice with vocal exercises.  Then, you may work on specific exercises to work on vocal technique.  After that, you'll sing through your repertoire and your teacher will give you constructive feedback about what was good and what can be improved and how to improve.

Here is a rough general outline of most voice lessons I teach:

  1. Stretch (body warm-up)
  2. Breathing exercises
  3. Vocal warm-ups and vocal technique
  4. Ear Training/ Solfege
  5. Repertoire/ Songs
Of course, the very first lessons would start off more simply, and week by week, new skills will be taught and added to your list.

Choosing the right voice teacher is essential to your success and progress. Not every voice teacher is created equal - make sure you find one that suits your needs and goals. Don't be afraid to take trial lessons and take one lesson from one teacher, one lesson from another, so that you can find the teacher right for you.  You may need to clarify from the start that you only want to take one lesson to see if you like it.  This will give you a chance to see what their teaching style is like and for you to see if you are a good match.