WHY STUDY WITH A VOCAL COACH?
There are numerous reasons why a singer may wish to take voice lessons. In general, if your voice is not capable of coping with the needs of your genre of music, if you have problems with pitch, a pronounced break in your voice, a limited range or if your voice gets quickly fatigued in the course of a performance or rehearsal, you could benefit from singing lessons.
The most vital motive for taking voice lessons is to bring out your natural voice. Great singing doesn't come from using your voice in a brand new way, it comes from getting back to using your voice as you originally did as an infant. Your voice from infancy was strong and resilient. Ask your mom, you could wail all night long at extremely high pitches without wearing out your voice.
AVOIDING FATIGUE, STRAIN AND INJURY
Injuries to the voice are commonplace, especially among untrained or improperly educated singers. Strain, fatigue and vocal cord lesions, which includes vocal nodes (calluses at the vocal folds due to overuse or wrong use), vocal fold polyps and vocal fold cysts are the injuries most singers get.
Signs of vocal fatigue or damage may consist of a "cracking voice" - this can additionally be a signal of insufficient hydration. However, if your "cracking voice" is due to insufficient hydration, then hydrating yourself should clear it up rather quickly.
With proper vocal technique and the right vocal care, the worry of damaging your voice will significantly decrease. Because a singing student is taught how to sing properly, s/he could be getting to know to use the precise regions of the "vocal anatomy" at the correct instances and in the appropriate ways, preventing the throat and vocal folds particularly from suffering strain or injury, which include vocal nodules.
In cases where a singer has already sustained damage to his or her singing apparatus, a fairly skilled approach teacher with experience in vocal rehabilitation can assist in undoing the damage gently and naturally, and help the singer keep away from surgery (from which maximum singers never completely recover). A singer can discover ways to take better care of his or her voice while recuperation from his or her injuries.
Additionally, a vocal coach can regularly provide excellent pointers for keeping a voice strong and healthy, and proper vocal care is the first step to avoiding injury.
Other benefits of learning with a vocal coach are improvements in vocal tone, range and freedom as well as consistency in vocal quality and thus, confidence in one's voice. When a singer trusts that his or her voice will do whatever s/he desires then
s/he will experience a marked reduction in performance anxiety and more confidence in his/her voice.
For example, having prepared specific songs with a vocal coach and having gone through exercises that explore pitches that far exceed the highest notes in the song, will reduce the likelihood of "anticipating" the high notes and straining or falling flat on those notes.
In general, improving your singing ability will reduce your stress and anxiety related to singing in front of others
One vital purpose for taking lessons with a reputable voice teacher is the invaluable remarks that he or she will offer as an expert listener. There are limitless areas in which a vocal coach's comments could make a major difference for a singer.
For instance, an instructor, in watching the posture and movements of a student's ribcage, shoulders, chest, jaw and lips, can discover improper respiratory and support techniques that could lead to unwanted tension in the body and ultimately restrict the student's technique and stamina. He or she might then assist the student correct this trouble spot and gain better breath support and efficiency.
Voice teachers are unique from all other music teachers in that they could hear what their students commonly cannot. If the tone that a guitar student achieves is shrill or "squeaky", for instance, the musician him or herself can normally hear this unpleasantness and, with the help of a violin teacher and a few adjustments, correct the problem over the course of time.
However, because the voice originates inside one's own body, a singer can't always be objective regarding their own voice.
This is why people often cringe when they hear themselves speaking in a recording and often remark, "Is that actually how I sound?"
An untrained singer doesn't have an accurate picture of how his/her voice sounds. Therefore, a breathy, throaty or nasally tone might sound suitable to your ears, yet be ugly to the ears of listeners. A vocal coach can help a singer get a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of his/her voice and aid him or her in achieving a better tone.
Pitch errors or sing out of tune is another area where a vocal coach can be very helpful. The instructor can teach the student to catch pitch mistakes and to perfect any technical mistakes or weaknesses that might be making it difficult for the student to stay on key. With their ability to pinpoint even the slightest straying from pitch, singing teachers can help a singer in achieving one of the very basic goals of singing - singing on pitch.
I actually have heard several singers not be capable of detecting (and thus adjusting) minor pitch errors that they make. While most people can hear pitch inaccuracies when listening to someone else sing, most singers cannot hear their own pitch inaccuracies while they are singing. It takes a great deal of time to perfect this skill.
THE IMPARTING OF KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERT SOLUTIONS TO VOCAL PROBLEMS
Students hire teachers for numerous subjects due to the fact they realize that they would benefit from the instruction offered by an expert who knows and understands more than they do regarding a specific issue or skill. In the same manner that we would take a course in coding so that we'd learn from a seasoned professor's knowledge or take classes from a musician who plays proficiently, we'd hire a vocal coach to provide us with specific knowledge and train us to improve our singing.
Hiring a vocal coach is tantamount to admitting to our personal limitations (lack of talent) and insufficient information base (theory). This humble acknowledgement of one's own barriers and need for guidance is not a precursor to developing a dependence upon someone else. The pupil who takes the coding course or studies piano with a piano teacher will walk away from those lessons having obtained a new set of skills, and knowing much more than s/he did before taking the course or classes.
Many students who try to study these skills on their own fail because the reliability of the sources on the internet or in books is frequently questionable, and due to the fact that they haven't yet learned what to research when it comes to singing to find a suitable and wholesome approach. This is wherein a knowledgeable, trained vocal coach comes in.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A VOCAL COACH
A good vocal coach needs to have two characteristics.
S/he must have struggled with his/her voice and learned through coaching and experience how to sing properly. Not every great singer makes for a good coach since most naturally talented singers do not understand the struggles of non-talented singers.
s/he must have a good voice now after training. S/he does need to have the best voice in the world but they need to have some vocal qualities that you envy and would like to acquire in your voice.
Furthermore, good teachers will impart scientifically based information to their students and offer them practical solutions to their vocal troubles so that they are able to continue to apply the techniques after they have ceased lessons.
ACHIEVING FASTER RESULTS
Oftentimes, a singer who learns with an amazing teacher will improve at a appreciably faster rate than an untrained singer desiring to educate him or herself. The vocal coach can quickly pinpoint weaknesses and issues in a singer's approach, but he or she also has the expertise and teaching experience that allows him or her to skillfully guide the student toward development by applying practical solutions. A singer left on his or her own may not have the self-awareness necessary to make the appropriate changes to their singing approach to make dramatic improvements.
Furthermore, the discipline of collaborating in ordinary lessons accelerates development because the singer is practicing and focusing directly on vocal improvement each week, at regular intervals. My best students actively think about what they're studying during their instructions and attempt to practice their new abilities whenever they may be singing between instructions, whether it is in practice in their choir rehearsals or in their cars. Consistent reinforcement is critical to gaining the muscle memory necessary for great singing.
Adam Mishan is a YouTube Vocal Coach with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and has personally coached hundreds of students to improve their voices.