Updated: Jul 21, 2021
Five questions you should ask a singing teacher
The search for a singing teacher can be daunting, especially if you've never had lessons before or you don't know anything about singing. In my experience, the first question most people ask are "How much do lessons cost?, often before they know how - or if - I can help them.
While the price of lessons is of course important, I wouldn't suggest that it be the deciding factor when choosing a singing teacher for yourself or your child.
Having studied with some of the world's most prolific voice coaches and singing teachers, and some not-so-strong teachers, and having taught for over fifteen years, I believe these are among the most important - and most frequently overlooked - questions that you can ask when making your final selection.
How long have you been teaching?
The more experience a singing teacher has, the better for you. They will have more tools up their sleeve to be able to help you reach your goals. They will have the skills to help you navigate the less enjoyable parts of learning to sing as well as joining you in celebrating the many wins you will have. Plus, they are likely to have more industry knowledge as well as contacts.
Do you have a professional teaching qualification?
Let’s face it, anyone can call themselves a singing teacher and stick an ad on social media. But how do you know that they can help you? You pay the best singer in the world to teach you but if they can’t actually help you to do what they can do you will not progress.
From my own experience and that of my peers and students, lessons with qualified teachers well planned and get better results more quickly than lessons delivered by unqualified teachers.
The difference between someone who teaches, and a qualified singing teacher is their knowledge of how voices work, combined with experience of teaching different types of voices and different types of learners, and their ability to use different approaches to get you to where you want to be. And to be honest, if they haven’t invested in their own learning, why would you want to invest with them?
Do you have insurance?
Having insurance is a big indicator of Professional Standards. Serious singing teachers should hold, Professional Indemnity Insurance. If they are a member of the Musicians Union they are automatically covered.
What successes have your students had?
Of course, past success is not a indicator of future results but teachers with successful students who have done what you want to do, are likely to be able help you achieve success too.
How can you help me in particular?
Every singer is different, and of course, every singing teacher is different. Each come with their own personality, style, and approach to teaching. If you are a quiet and nervous singer you may want to match with a teacher of a quiet disposition, or you may prefer a more flamboyant teacher who can help you to come out of your shell.
BONUS TIP: Don’t be disappointed if they say No!
A professional singing teacher will not be afraid to redirect you to another teacher if they can see that it is not the right fit.
Over the years I have said no to dozens of singers who had been referred to me by word of mouth, but who would definitely have gotten more benefit from a different teacher. This can be down to their style of singing, approaching deadlines or simply that the our personalities didn’t match.
Are you looking for a singing teacher for yourself or your teenager? Sign up for my upcoming free Masterclass to find out how you could start to explore your potential and whether singing lessons are right for you.
Sign up here: https://bit.ly/SingWithCarrie