As a voice teacher-coach for Helene Goldnadel has often been contacted by singers throughout the country, asking for advice in finding a good voice teacher. Every little town has teachers who sang some opera or Broadway at sometime in their past, and now have set up shop as teachers. But all too often they have no experience with, or appreciation of the genres of music many singers love to sing. Here are some guidelines by Helene Goldnadel for locating the right teacher for you.
1) Take a session with a teacher (many offer free first sessions). During that session listen carefully and ask such questions as: “I love to sing punk (or metal or country, etc). What is your opinion about that?” If they even hint at wanting to change you from what you love to sing to what THEY feel you should be singing, DON’T GO BACK. It’s your voice and you know what you want to sing. The job of a good voice teacher is to help you become better and better at what you already sing, not to change you.
2) A session with a teacher will also tell you their approach to teaching. If you don’t respond well to a strict authoritative demanding teacher, that isn’t going to change, and you probably won’t improve nearly as well as when you work with a teacher who puts you at ease, is knowledgeable and doesn’t yell. On the other hand, if you’ve always responded well to strict discipline and heavy handed teachers you’ll know if this is the right one for you. You must be able to trust and feel comfortable with the teacher. You’re purchasing their services. Be very choosy. Just because many singers recommended this person doesn’t necessarily mean they are right for you.
3) Ask around. Visit some clubs and when you hear a singer you like a lot ask them if they study and with whom. If they don’t study, perhaps they are familiar with a teacher in the area who comes well recommended. Don’t rely on credentials alone to influence your choice. Some of the worst teachers for pop and rock singers are professors at major universities. The same goes for the teacher who is known for working with all classical or opera singers. They may be great teachers, but they probably won’t be great for you.
4) Don’t pick a teacher just because they charge less. You’re better off taking 8 sessions with the right teacher who also charges $100. a session than you are wasting time on 50 sessions with a less qualified teacher. if your budget demands, take 4-8 sessions and drop out for a few weeks to regroup financially. Discuss this with the teacher. Consider this: the guitar or keyboard or drum player in a band is constantly investing in new and better equipment. Lessons are your investment in your equipment.
All too often there just isn’t a qualified voice teacher in many areas and towns. So what to do? You should consider downloading my SINGER’S BIBLE, a power-packed 9 session course in singing, created for pop, rock, Broadway and country singers. (Some great stuff for classical singers also) My concepts and techniques are both time-tested and modern, and geared to singers of today’s music.
Like doctors all voice teachers are not qualified to teach you. Make the right choice and save much money and a lot of wasted time.