Finding the right voice teacher. - How?

All topics musical, not specifically piano-related

Postby Tranquillo » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:33 am

Just took a lesson and called a voice teacher and have no idea on what is a good voice teacher!
The principals in finding the right piano teacher is basically all over the site. I am calling many different teachers around the area finding out their qualifcations and experience they had also what style and study they do.
I just saw one today ... but I am questioning if I should try another. Because piano and singing are instruments of great difference I wonder what does constitute to a good singing teacher ... What should I really be looking for in the way he/she teaches?
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Postby 112-1182392787 » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:03 pm

What kind of feedback and impression did you get from this one?
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Postby Tranquillo » Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:41 am

pianissimo wrote:What kind of feedback and impression did you get from this one?

Well the voice teacher I saw the other day left me with the impression that he was very proffessional and a has a nice personality (the right personality to teach).
First he shook my hand, introduced himself, I introduced myself ... smiled - a good note.
Then afterwards he got me to sit down, and we talked to each other. He asked me what background do I have? What have a learnt in the past? What style I am interested in? Am I learning any other musical instruments? - SO basically he got me to talk about me.
Then he talked a bit about himeself ... and asked me if I have any questions about him.
After that he went to the piano and got me to come along. He played notes going up and down the keys and got me to sing along to figure out my range... Soprano.
Then he taught some excercises like humming ones and pronunciation of vowels and words.
The studio was set up very neat and tidy and trendy, there was a picture of Schbert on the wall and a rug that had music notes on it. - Very proffesional and spotless spacious as well.
By the end of it I felt I learnt a lot and he was very patient, thorough and flexible.
The one thing that I am not sure about is that fact that he is really a student teacher. He is a singing teacher that is still taking lessons, quiet young and this appears to be his first year teaching. So, really not that much experience. He is studying voice with further education - Tertiary, university, or as the Americans like to call it college.
He hasnt got much experience it seems but I think ... you've got to start somewhere ... Well tell me what your thoughts are ...
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Postby 112-1182392787 » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:54 pm

Becibu,
I found this:How to Find a Voice Teacher
It's put together by a performing singer, and the advice seems sound. On the bottom he writes what singing technique is actually about in simple and plain terms.

I don't know anything about voice teachers myself so I can't tell too much from your description, though it sounds like he was giving you technique for singing and first took the time to find out some things about you. It doesn't leave a bad impression.
edit: I've just read through the rest of the site. It is chock full of information about singing.




Edited By pianissimo on 1196653967
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Postby Tranquillo » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:39 am

Becibu,
I found this:How to Find a Voice Teacher
It's put together by a performing singer, and the advice seems sound. On the bottom he writes what singing technique is actually about in simple and plain terms.


Thanks... it was quite interesting ... I dont know how I would classify my teacher ... but I have a student teacher ... that is: a vocal student in further education (college) that is teaching me. As I mentioned before he is a great teacher ... I'll try him for now ... I think he is a great teacher
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Postby 112-1182392787 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:00 pm

That's good to hear, Becibu!
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Postby Tranquillo » Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:58 pm

:)

... Pianissimo, did you take voice lessons before ... I think I can recall something on vocal lessons from you but I cant remember ...
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Postby 112-1182392787 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:34 am

No, I haven't. I was in two choirs, and in one of them the choirmaster dabbled in being a voice coach without having the training, and since I'm very responsive to such things, I ended up choking every time I tried to sing after a while. I found out later by reading about the Alexander Technique that he was using something that has been discarded for bringing too much air into the vocal cords and could actually hurt them. That's when I became cautious. I almost didn't get into the next choir I auditioned for because the auditioning choirmaster wanted me to do something technical and since I didn't know his background yet I didn't know whether to trust him, upon which he said "In my choir, everyone does suchandsuch." I learned that he was a highly trained vocalist and fully qualified in instructing us and then I gladly accepted whatever he had to say. But prior to that had I had been in lesser choirs where in each case somebody who didn't know what they were doing had dabbled, and people's ability to sing was compromised.

In this choir we had both the choirmaster, but who spent most of his time with the men, and a young opera singer with a growing career (she would disappear for engagements in Carnegie Hall and other places) who had been trained by top vocalists from across the world. She was soloist for the piece we were producing, and she also led us in singing exercises, and made herself available as time permitted for individual questions on technical problems. I didn't stay long in this choir because of other commitments but I benefited from what I learned there. We were shown how to stand to open up the breathing aparatus, we sang vowels, did glissando exercises, various warm-ups, and sometimes we were given certain technical exercises to do that would help us sing some of the more difficult passages. There was one exercise that required a lot of trust in the instructor, because when I first did it, my singing became harsh to my ear, but after a week of it I discovered I had a control that I had not had before, and could dance lightly and quickly in the big interval jumps of the passage we were singing, hitting the notes spot on.

So that is my experience. I would love to have the time and money to go into actual lessons.
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Postby Tranquillo » Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:41 pm

[/quote]No, I haven't. I was in two choirs, and in one of them the choirmaster dabbled in being a voice coach without having the training, and since I'm very responsive to such things, I ended up choking every time I tried to sing after a while. I found out later by reading about the Alexander Technique that he was using something that has been discarded for bringing too much air into the vocal cords and could actually hurt them. That's when I became cautious. I almost didn't get into the next choir I auditioned for because the auditioning choirmaster wanted me to do something technical and since I didn't know his background yet I didn't know whether to trust him, upon which he said "In my choir, everyone does suchandsuch." I learned that he was a highly trained vocalist and fully qualified in instructing us and then I gladly accepted whatever he had to say. But prior to that had I had been in lesser choirs where in each case somebody who didn't know what they were doing had dabbled, and people's ability to sing was compromised.[quote]

That is what my worry was ... Actually, my piano teacher says that I should be really starting in my late teens because the the delicate instrument that I am dealing with. My voice teacher says that "I suppose the worry is that your voice hasnt fully matured yet, hence the reason why people say that".
Anyways to cut it short he said voice teachers can do damage ... if they don't know what they are dealing with. I notice that his approach is very gentle ... I havent had any strains or scratchy throat when I took lessons. I actually feel more relaxed after I take lessons.

... I guess its ok taking lessons from a person that is getting a degree ... and who has studied voice for some time. Also, I am mainly being trained in technique, to me technique is the foundation.
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