For many of you looking into getting a vocal coach or voice teacher, a trip to Nashville may not be possible right now. Although you can manage an occasional Skype lesson or two with a Brett Manning certified associate from time to time, you still find you really want to have that personal one-to-one time that a good coach would provide to help with your development as a singer. So, what should you look for?
A Good Coach
A good vocal coach will assess your individual abilities and needs, and will help you set realistic goals. They will personalize your sessions so that you achieve short-term goals that tie into your long-term goals.
A good vocal coach provides instant feedback to ensure that you are performing exercises correctly to get maximum results and prevent injury. A good coach is patient but will also challenge you as necessary. And, a good coach both motivates and encourages while keeping you honest in your efforts to improve.
You need to be comfortable with the vocal coach, and you want to make sure that they will not do anything that needs to be undone down the road. So you need to evaluate potential candidates for coaching. You want to make sure that they are at least eclectic and open in their approach so that what you learn through Brett Manning’s method and programs can be supported by your vocal coach relationship. And, of course, we strongly suggest that you get Mastering Mix or Singing Success, along with other programs offered at SingingSuccess.TV, to help with your progress.
Interview The Prospective Coach
There are a number of questions to ask anyone you are looking into as a possible vocal coach or voice teacher. These questions cover everything from their qualifications to availability. You want the coach-student relationship to be as perfect a fit as possible, with a level of comfort and trust that invites challenge and growth without intimidation.
You also want to research fees of vocal coaches in your area to get a sense of the going rate. Be aware that expensive isn’t necessarily better, but cheap might really mean of poor or questionable quality.
A good strategy is to make a list of the best teachers in your area without considering the financial factor. You can then factor in your budget as part of your final decision. A more costly coach might mean taking fewer lessons per month. But, by supplementing your training with products from SingingSuccess.TV, that might be a workable plan of action.
Questions to consider when looking for a vocal coach are as follows: What are the coach’s credentials as a teacher, artist, and industry professional? Has the coach worked with other singers your age and at the same level of competence? Do you know anyone the coach has worked with?
Make sure they can provide you with a list of references. It’s recommended that you call a few of these references. Find out if any of their students have become successful singers or music industry professionals. Ask those you call if they were happy with their vocal development.
Bear in mind that singing and coaching engage two completely different skill sets. Being an accomplished singer is one thing, but knowing how to coach someone to develop their singing voice to its fullest potential is another. Make sure that your coach has not only performing experience and credentials, but teaching credentials as well.
Other questions include: Is the coach familiar with Brett Manning and SingingSuccess.TV? If so, what do they think of his approach? What hours does the coach have available, and what flexibility will there be in scheduling your sessions? What are the fees? What is the penalty for canceling? Is a trial session available for free or a low fee?
Never decide on committing to a vocal coach until you’ve had one trial lesson with them. If they won’t agree to a trial lesson or set of lessons, you might want to eliminate that coach from your list of potential mentors.
After The Trial Run
After your first lesson, you want to think back on issues of communication, support, and motivation, and evaluate the coach in terms of skill sets for each of these areas.
Questions to help with the evaluation are: Was the coach clear in explaining exercises and offering direction? Did the coach encourage or invite feedback? Did they listen to and understand what you said during the session and make adjustments based on your concerns or input? Did the coach understand your goals and seem eager to gear your sessions toward helping you pursue your goals?
Other questions for the post-trial evaluation include: Is the coach someone you feel can work with comfortably? Did they motivate you to perform better? Is this someone you’ll look forward to coming to work with, or are you likely to find excuses to skip sessions? And finally, will they challenge you?
Remember that how your start out is critical to the progress you will make. Those first few months of lessons will be the most important. If you are picking up any bad habits from your coach or sense that something is not quite right, remember that bad habits can be very hard to correct later on and some can cause irreparable damage.
When all else fails, trust your instincts. If you find that hesitation creeps in or a sense of uneasiness, ask yourself: Why do I feel that way? If you can’t put your finger on the reason for that feeling, there’s a good chance that feeling may linger throughout the duration of the relationship. It might simply be a personality clash, and that can be a problem when you’re working intimately with someone on something that is close to your heart.
Get To Nashville
As part of your coaching and learning, we invite you to visit Music City at some point and book a session with one of our coaches while you’re here. If traveling costs are an issue, try getting together will others you meet through SingingSuccess.TV, and book a group road trip for a few of you. You can share costs, solidify friendships, compare notes, and learn while you’re having fun. Just be sure to book lessons well in advance!
One To One + SingingSuccess.TV
One to one feedback that a vocal coach provides will help to keep you challenged and will keep your approach fresh and alive. Use the programs provided through SingingSuccess.TV to support and solidify lessons learned and progress made in your coaching relationship. The combination of the strong support tools available through SingingSuccess.TV and a positive relationship with a solid, experienced voice coach will help you accomplish the goals you set for yourself along the road to your singing success.