voice lessons

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

voice lessons

Postby eline » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:52 pm

This is somewhat a continuation of my earlier post, but I could see that my previous post is now headed into a different direction so I though I would start with a fresh topic. I’m now looking into getting myself a voice coach, but I’m not certain I know what I’m looking for. Is there anybody out there who has gone through voice lessons? What sorts of things should I be looking for in a coach? How long should I expect to take lessons; that sort of thing. I know these are questions that I should ask a prospective coach, but I want to make sure I’m a little educated about what suppose to be going on. I don’t want to just sign up at the local music store just to find out later that the coach is running some fly-by-night operation. Anyways, any help is good help.

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Postby allanlummox » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:21 pm

I worked with a voice coach a few years ago - specifically, I needed to figure out how to sing for long periods of time, LOUD, without beating my neck up too bad. I worked with someone who had studied Jazz and Classical singing, and was acredited to work as a speech therapist as well as a voice instructor. She knew her stuff.


I also worked with a coach, briefly, many years ago. She taught me some basics like the difference between singing from the head and singing from the diaphragm.

I think that the key thing is figuring out exactly what you want to learn from the voice coach. The better the quality of the question, the better the quality of the answer.

It does seem that one or two sessions can go a long way, if you're singing a lot anyway.
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Postby songdog » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:32 am

Hey Eddie, being in Calif. I'd think you have a good selection of schools to choose from. I would suggest you start by looking in the yellow pages under Music Schools or Voice Lessons and see what the options look like in your area. I'm sure you'll find a selection ranging from personal instructors, that work from their home, to acredited music schools.

I've been thinking about voice lessons too. A good friend of mine took some lessons recently. He said they were structured to start from scratch and go as far as he wanted to take them (kind of a pay as you go system - starting with the basics of breathing, dynamics, finding your range, etc.). I think he took 5 or 6 lessons and was very happy with the results.
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Postby cheap_jazz_box » Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:15 am

Also keep in mind that just like any other instrument, continual practice is needed to get and keep up your chops. I was a vocal music major in college (20-whatever years ago!), and once I left college, I stopped singing. Now, I can't carry a tune in a bucket. My wife, a shower singer with no musical training, has a beautiful voice--she sings all the time, effectively "practicing" her vocals. Be prepared to put as much time into your vocal training as you did into your harp education.

(...a message from the Peanut Gallery... :D )
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Postby jeffl » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:32 pm

A woman used to go to our church who was a frequent soloist for our city civic choir; occasionally on my lunch break,while running an errand at my church, I would catch this lady being worked out by her vocal coach in the sanctuary. I wuz amazed at how hard this coach drove this 65 yr. old woman. It wuz like watching a gym workout; but,she had a helluva voice,too.
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Postby barbequebob » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:46 pm

One of the most important things you will be learning is proper breathing tehnique and as I've said in other postings, it will also be invaluable for harp playing because most people often have very poor breathing technique for both. In fact, with any reputable vocal coach, that's gonna be one of the very first things they will be looking for and heavily concentrate on, and this is something I highly recommend to EVERY harp player and I can tell you from my own personal experience, this is the truth!!! You'll also learn that your vocal range will change gradually and becomes more noticeable every 5 years. With male voices, they tend to lose the top of their range as they get older, but gain a bottom end in return they couldn't do when they were younger.
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Postby NEONMOONY » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:22 pm

allanlummox wrote:
I also worked with a coach, briefly, many years ago. She taught me some basics like the difference between singing from the head and singing from the diaphragm.


I think that the key thing is figuring out exactly what you want to learn from the voice coach. The better the quality of the question, the better the quality of the answer.


You need to figure out what you expect to accomplish and then find that teacher.

My daughter sings in the high school choirs, regular choir and "show" choir and she also performs solo on stage singing pop type music with her guitar or keyboard. She has taken voice lessons from choir teachers and an opera singer. She also takes lessons from a coach who performs on stage as a singer songwriter with a strong, loud technique and has an idea of what you need to work on in order to perform on stage as a solo singer for 4 hours. The "pop" coach has been very helpful and dramatically different from the choir type coaches.
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