Education

Education

When I started to sing in my first band at age 14, I was not a very good singer. I did not know anything about technique or how I could prevent my voice from getting sore and horse. I just did what I thought was cool. That’s it. After a few years I took some singing lessons, but unfortunately, my teacher was not aware of how to pass her knowledge along very well. Like many very good singers, she could not really explain how she did it. She had somehow a way of doing things that no-one ever taught her. She had not struggled for her sound. So she just gave me exercises that did not work very well for me. Exercises she did not do herself when she started singing. When I applied for conservatory, to my surprise I was admitted, even with my lousy vocal technique. “Ah!” I thought, “Now it’s going to happen!”. But alas, I was again obliged to do exercises, vocalises (scales) that had nothing to do with the sound I was aiming for. And it did not make any connection in my brain.

Now let me ask you a question: suppose there are two vocal trainers in town. They both sing very well. The first one has always been singing very well. A natural talent. The second one has not been singing very well, but only lately started to sing as well as the natural talent. Now, if you need vocal lessons, who are you going to see? They both know how to sing, right? But which one will know how to teach you? Which one has been where you are and can empathize with your position?


I know there are many vocal trainers. The most of them do it as a side job, because their singing careers do not take off the way they would like. At this moment, it is hard to earn money as a singer: there is Spotify, that hardly pays the artists, venues do not pay as much money anymore to unknown artists, so in order to get by, singers teach. But their passion is on the stage. So they might be a little frustrated if you, as a student, do not progress fast enough. And teachers like that, tend to invest less in their own education after they leave conservatory.


So again, a question: there are two vocal trainers in town. One of them sings in a band which is quite renown but still has to teach as a side job. The second one has done many gigs, but retired from performing in order to dedicate himself entirely on teaching. Which one would you go to?

 

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