Do top singers take lessons?
So why do people take lessons? Isn't singing a natural thing which you can either do or not?
Well sure we can all do pub singing or shower singing, and some people can do very good singing without ever getting a single lesson.
But singing is a complex, precision skill that can be learned with practise, guidance and patience. What few people realise is that when we get the coordination right, something very special happens in the vocal tract to produce the singing voice.
What is involved in a singing lesson?
If it's your first lesson, your teacher will chat to you a bit to discover your goals and musical tastes. Very soon you will start with some initial exercises, when your teachers will find out where your voice is at.
All of the teachers at Voxbox locations are trained to quickly assess your vocal training needs, and you will soon start on your vocal development work. This consists of exercise patterns, usually a vowel/consonant combination sung on a specific scale or arpeggio. Each exercise will be selected by your teacher to achieve a change in the way you use your voice.
You teacher will explain to you as much as they think you need to know about each step they are taking, as good vocal use depends on both 'muscle memory' as well as understanding. If you need to know more, just ask!
If you are ready to sing, you will spend about half of your one-hour lesson working on a song. You will be able to choose from a wide variety of songs on the studio's list of backing tracks.
It's my first lesson, I am nervous
Here are a few things to cheer you up:
- You teacher is an experienced professional who loves helping people to sing. They have heard many hundreds of singers at all levels, and they will certainly not judge you in any way... every singing teacher learns by experience that singers grow and develop in amazing ways with good tuition.
- Every singer, no matter at what level, is working in the same way toward the same goals: relaxed, accurate vocalisation resulting in great tone, flexibility, expression and range. Every singer has issues that trouble them. The only real difference is just how far along in the process they are.
What songs do we work on in lessons?
The eventual aim is of course for you to be able to sing the songs you choose or need to sing, and we would like to get to those songs as soon as possible. During your vocal development, your teacher may suggest alternative songs which may be more appropriate to your development: every song has something to teach you, and exploring repertoire can sometimes lead you in exciting and unexpected directions.
Isn't 'good singing' a matter of opinion?
Definitely not. Whether or not we like a singer's work is another matter, but there is a way of producing the singing voice in which a very special thing happens... the voice becomes powerful, flexible and free of breaks and weak areas. That is what we work to achieve. It is definite, measurable and recognisable.
What style of singing do you teach?
We teach you how to make a good singing voice, and how to use that voice to create style in song. What style you prefer to apply your voice to is your choice. Our wide range of teachers means there is a specialist in every style.
Do you have any performance opportunities?
Yes! We have regular Performance Parties, Live Band showcases, and a regular singing group, The Friday Sing.
Do I need any special equipment?
Only a small digital recorder to record your lessons... although some teachers will do this for you... please ask at time of booking.
Is there homework?
Well of course if you practise you are going to get better quicker, without a doubt. We don't give out any generic 'Warmup CDs'. Rather you teacher will normally record you lesson and email you the MP3 file. This means you always have the latest exercises which apply to your voice at that specific time. As your voice changes, so do the exercises and songs.
I need to make a demo - can you help?
Yes we have a state-of-the-art recording setup at Camden Studios. You can work with Voxbox director Leon or your own teacher on your recording project. We can also record your band... our basement course room gets a great drum sound!
Do you have teachers at other locations?
Leon is available in Folkestone on Saturdays. Some teachers also do lessons by Skype -- please enquire
Do you teach microphone technique?
All Voxbox branded studios are fully equipped with recording facilities, microphones and studio monitors. Unless you are studying classical or musical theatre styles, you will be using the mic regularly.
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