Article: How to Become a Voice Teacher

How to Become a Voice Teacher

article by Eric Bruner

So you’ve been thinking about becoming a voice teacher? Good choice! Becoming a voice teacher, vocal coach or singing teacher is a great career path that offers many rewards and challenges.

So how do you become a voice teacher?

Well, like a teacher of any other discipline, a singing teacher’s focus should be on the student, the singer. Your students will come to you with a wide spectrum of goals and abilities. It is your job to help them toward those goals. For some, becoming an amazing performer worthy of filling a stadium is their goal. A difficult one to be sure, but it’s their goal nonetheless. For others, they may simply want to sing better in the church choir, or on karaoke night, or just have more fun singing in the shower!

As a vocal teacher, you have to have the personal singing skill and training to understand your own voice first, THEN comes the study of the voices of others. Teaching is as much about “getting into the head and emotions” of the student as much as it is understanding the technical aspects of the voice and voice training. How a student feels when singing effects his/her voice dramatically. Understanding this goes a long way in helping that individual conquer their vocal technique issues.

Now, with all that being said, let’s focus on the two primary focuses you must have as a private vocal teacher. First, you have to understand how to train singers, and second, you have to understand business. It’s similar to a self-employed plumber. Not only does he have to be a very good plumber, he also has to have a steady stream of customers to serve, and that’s the business piece of the equation.

An experienced, effective vocal teacher can make a very good living. Even beginning voice teachers typically charge between $30-$50 per hour, depending on the market and their skill level. Experienced teachers can charge $100 per hour and up because of the speed at which they can make changes in a singer’s voice.

The Vocal Expertise First of all, you have to have your own singing voice together. In other words, you need to be able to sing throughout your entire vocal range without any vocal breaks or shifts in sound or tone quality. You have to have a solid, even voice, everywhere in your range. If not, you can’t expect to be able to teach others.

Second, you’ll need to observe an advanced teacher teaching lessons to many different singers. You should watch a good teacher work with singers of different musical styles, different age groups, different stages of vocal development (not just advanced students or just beginning students), male and female students, etc.

Although the principles of good vocal technique are the same across all styles, ages, and genders, each student is different and comes with a different vocal, emotional, and cognitive approach to the way they sing. As a voice teacher, you need to be able to help a student capitalize on what they already do well and to improve the areas of the voice that can grow. Observing many hours of the teaching of an advanced, successful voice teacher will shave off years of experimentation and trial and error. Such observation will steepen your learning curve dramatically and will help your singing students advance at a much faster rate.

Finally, you need to continue to grow as a singer and as a teacher. To do so, you should continue to take lessons yourself. You need a teacher who will specifically teach you how to teach and how to improve your communication with students. Learning how to sing well doesn’t make you a good teacher any more than knowing any subject matter means you can teach it well. You’ll need a master teacher to help you develop as a singing teacher. You’ll certainly have your own personality and style of teaching, but finding the fastest way to help students improve and enjoy singing more is vitally impo