The Myth of ‘Affordable’ Lessons
your life is too short to learn slowly!!
How Much Do Singing Lessons Cost?
I’ll get to the point. Average price for an hour session is $70 dollars per lesson….in the U.S. This is pretty much standard and easy to assess.
What About Vocal Training Outside of U.S.?
- Italy- 78 Euros per hour. Currently about $84 U.S. dollars
- UK- 36 British pounds per hour. Currently about $46 U.S
- Kenya- 600 KSH (Kenya Shilling) per/hr. About $4.88 U.S.
- India- ₹1,922. (Indian Rupee) per/hr. Currently $23.30 U.S.
- Argentina- 4645.86 ARS (Argentine Peso) About $27 U.S.
- Russia- 1725.60 Russian Ruble per hr. Currently $26.65 U.S.
- Egypt-85 EGP (Egyptian pound). About $3.44 U.S.
- South Korea- 362925.73 (Korean Won). About $275 U.S.
- Mexico- 415.27 pesos. About $21 U.S.
It’s clear that economies differ as much a methods.
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What Determines Singing Lesson Costs?
When someone asks me ‘how much are singing lessons?’, my response has changed throughout the years. I believe the proper answer is this……
Cheap lessons are like cheap food. It won’t taste good and you won’t feel good afterwards. In other words, the most expensive lessons I’ve ever taken were dirt cheap. These lessons cost you far more than money. The real expenses are in the 3 T’s.
- Time- this is the currency of your life. If you had a billion dollars and had to spend 999 million to extend your life for 1 year, you more than likely would. In other words, life is precious. And life is measure in how you spend your time. Nothing is more expensive than that which wastes your time.
- Talent- you truly get what you pay for. The problem is that people often think they should start with a beginning cheap teacher. But if you have a talent—discovered, undiscovered or covered—how will you ever know if you trust you time and talent to an inexperienced coach with no track record. Another question you might ask is this: if you absolutely knew you had a million dollar race horse, would you search the internet for the cheapest horse trainer? It’s a matter of how much you believe in your potential.
- Treasure- I’ve often heard that you can tell what’s truly important in a person’s life by how they invest their hard earned cash. I knew a kid who was extremely athletic and was a jiujitsu phenom. He came to classe with a bunch of guys I’d invited and I was able to easily submit them for at least 3 months. Then, they got better. But one of these guys tapped me out (also called submitting… in other words he beat me) in a very short time. But he was addicted to online gaming and so all his time talent and treasure (his money) was used for this unrewarding addiction. What a waste of the 3 T’s.
Justifying Expensive Lessons/Beware of Fakes
Track record! Effectivity. Results. Private voice lessons should be taught by serious voice coaches. Discerning this can be a little tricky. I’ll explain.
Some teachers will say they teach price music lessons, which include: private lessons wearing the hat of voice coach, teacher of piano lessons, drum. guitar, flute, performance, acting, songwriting and basic to more advanced techniques to read music.
There’s a saying that “the dog who chases 2 rabbits catches neither one.” This is brilliant because top teachers spend 10’s of 1000’s of dollars on singing teachers. They know that vocal skills are not something you merely have or don’t have, but need to understand a pedagogical (system of teaching) in order to not screw up someone’s voice.
If this sounds blunt, I’ve done my job. I know 100’s of brilliant voice teachers around the world. But I also know many pretenders who’ve hurt singers pretending to be expert singing teachers with no real knowledge of how the voice works. Worst of all….. some of these guys (and a few gals) charge up to 500 per hour. Often they think because they can sing, that they can and should teach. Why not (they reason) the money is good.
Someone like this is a……
- a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge. “a wealthy literary dilettante”
- A dilettante will always pose as an authority without being able to ‘explain’ what they do in concrete terms.
- Someone claiming an esoteric, indescribable, mystical methodology. These people are charlatans. Persuasive with no real substance.
I have people in my own studio say they learn more in 1 or 2 sessions with one of my $100 per hour coaches thank with all the vocal instructors they’d worked with for many years. And some of the previous coaches were several hundred dollars per hour.
Unless someone can make a huge difference in your singing—so much that everyone who hears you says that you’re singing better—then you should seek out a different singing instructor.
So how much should it cost to take singing lessons? In my 35+ years of experience, I believe the average prices for professional, effective and reputable private lessons cost anywhere from 100 per hour up to 2000 per hour. But I think the anything above 500 per hour is ‘usually’ paying for guru status and cult of personality.
To be sure, there are hidden gems out there (I know plenty of them) who charge 50 to 75 for an hour voice lesson. But a teacher who is busy because of reputation will not burn out his voice teaching for less than they are worth.
3 More T’s
In justifying how much you’re willing to invest, here’s what a great teacher should have
- Technique- A great voice teacher may or may not have a music degree. While college can be a phenomenal experience (mine was amazing and awful…more about this in my blogs titled Nashville voice lessons) I’ve had college grads completely lost in the music industry. I’ve had others with no college whatsoever who became masters of teaching. Technique doesn’t care where its taught. Just that it is communicated effectively. This includes a diverse understanding of the performing arts, different singing styles and an ability to demonstrate your own ability to sing for the student. Although, overall, talent isn’t a prerequisite for students. Often music is so intuitive that the training eventually transcends the coach and the singer. Also remember this quote from Albert Einstein: ‘If you can’t explain is simply, you don’t understand it.’
- Track record- There should be some recording artists, leads in musicals, American Idol and The Voice (and any other singing shows) and possibly some award winning singers training with these teachers.
- Testimonial- Before and after testimonials speak more than a coach could ever tell you. Most students won’t say anything or give horrible report if the method doesn’t work.
Singing Teacher Level
Different levels of proficiency and ability for the instructor can be determined by multiple factors.
- Example- Are the voice teachers still developing their own voice, learning from a mentor, working to understand piano it the role of singing style, basics of reading music, (though MOST commercial artists don’t read music, this absolutely gives a deeper advantage…. BUT its not a necessity. A child sing well without it).
- Diversity of style- How many songs ther teachers know and in how many genres? Jazz, opera, country, rock, R&B, pop, indie and other music genres should be understood. All my voice coaches have some sort of experience in all of these styles. Yes! Even opera 😉
- Confidence- effectivity, educantion and experiene bring confidence. Whether teachinng a child, working in the recording studio, teaching in schools or directing and coaching a play, a voice teacher can add to their resume. Also, I’ve given TONS of free online tips on YouTube (and watched countless colleagues as well) and that was a glorious free opportunity for a new singer to develop a new vocal coordination.
In-Person vs. Online
I’ve been extraordinarily blessed to have coached Leona Lewis sporadically for the last 8 years. 97% of these were online singing lessons. While in person has a certain advantage that should be obvious, singing lessons online are far better than ineffective, in person lessons.
Online group lessons can be real cool and relaxed as well. This allows you the stressless advantage of being in your own home and learning from others as well. All of my voice teachers have done this.
It is a little tricky because the music quality doesn’t come through as clearly in the lesson, but it the teacher is competent, he can actually even teach a student over the phone. I did plenty of these before Skype.
Recorded vs. Live Lessons
Private voice lessons should be recorded so the student is essentially always with the teacher and can practice the methods learned from each subsequent lesson.
However…. recorded lessons or music courses, whether singing or any other type of music lessons can cut cost, give the student the ability to cut cost and take a ‘lesson’ with a teacher they may never have access to. They should start easy enough for a child to perform the exercises.
My bestselling vocal training Singing Success 360 has given a well rounded (hence the 360 😉) approach to learning. So much that some who’ve done the deep dive desire to become a singing teacher.
Typically, sessions with your singing teacher should be 1 hour. But if you lack the funds to pay, some will allow 30 minute lessons. A child with a shorter attention span and less endurance might want to start at 30 minus.
Often recording artists can handle doing a 2 to 3 hour lesson. But these are rare and not always helpful unless the coach has experience in this duration. I’ve taught one Artist 15 total hours in 5 days. She returned to the UK with Mariah Carey range and style. Singing lessons are an investment, so you should be extremely diligent when binging voice lessons.
Minimum is once a month if funds are limited. But 2 to 3 times a week is professional study. How much you do on your own will give you return on your investment.
Should a singing lesson always be private? Well, group lessons are a great way to alleviate costs and you get to learn vicariously, watching others learn and they get to learn from you. Also, the group-feel allows singers to match pitch with others, like in a choir, but while learning technique and style.
Why Should I Get Singing Lessons?
Absolutely. Nearly every recording artist will take a lesson every time their voice gives them an issue. And the megastars take countless lessons to give them an edge and maintain vocal health. It’s important because most people don’t find all their singing potential on their own.
The Most Important Factor In What Voice Lessons Cost
Reputation. Simple as that! Singing lessons cost less than vocal repair surgery.
When Should I Start Getting Vocal coaching?
Depending on maturity level and attention span. For some, a child can start at 4 years old (often in a group and it has to be FUN). But more often teens or college age is preferable. But my studio has had people start lessons as late as 80. It’s your life, so do your passion. That’s what life is about. Living it to the fullest.
What To Expect From Taking Voice Lessons?
A quick and effortless warm up that gives you additional flexibility, tonal stability, quality and control and an increased confidence to sing your song! No need to understand music in the beginning. You should focus on unlocking the voice to make new sounds. You should be in discovery mode for the first month…. and 150th!
How Many Lessons Will I Need?
At least 10 sessions in a strong methodology can be effective. But if you’re serious about becoming a better singer, plan on the rest of your life. Occasionally taking time off to give yourself a new perspective. But you want to maintain your gift as well as improve it!
To schedule a vocal coaching session with me or one of my certified coaches, call us or email us at:
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