Deciding to have singing lessons can be a big decision. It takes courage, confidence and commitment. Exposing your voice to a total stranger can be very scary. Voices are personnel things which give away so much about ourselves. If you are willing to be open to criticism, analysis and personal scrutiny then you want to be sure that you have the right teacher for you.
Finding a teacher can be daunting. Knowing where to look can be the first stumbling block. If you Google ‘Singing Teachers’ you get page after page of websites offering different types of singing lessons. This can be confusing and can end up being a wild stab in the dark. Sometimes there is so much choice that you need to be sure of what you are looking for. For instance, what kind of singing am I interested in? What kind of repertoire would I ideally like to sing?
Undoubtedly the best way of finding a teacher is through recommendation. If you know the person and trust their judgement then you are half way to finding a good a teacher. However, one singing teacher does not necessarily suit everyone. Everybody has a different approach to learning and one teaching technique does not work with everybody. Some singers respond well to the use of imagery in their instruction and others find detailed physiological facts are the easiest way of getting results. A good teacher should be able to quickly find out what kind of learner the pupil is and adjust their teaching techniques accordingly. This does take skill and experience especially if a teacher can naturally produce a sound without actually knowing how they are doing it.
A trial lesson is the best way to see if the teacher is the right one for you. It is a chance to get a flavour of their teaching techniques and also to see if you can connect on a one to one level. There should be an element of a rapport between student and teacher so that the student feels comfortable and able to ask questions. Singers only produce their best when they are at ease so being frightened to death of the teacher is no good. Teachers are used to giving trial lessons so don’t be embarrassed to decline lessons after the initial meeting.
Take your time in finding a teacher as the voice can be a delicate instrument, especially in the young. It can take a long time to undo a bad technique so you need to be 100% sure in your choice. Once you think you have found the teacher for you, you can enjoy the fruits of their knowledge and make a start on your journey of singing. Good luck!