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How Frequently To Take Voice Lessons

How Frequently To Take Voice Lessons

How Frequently To Take Voice Lessons

I sometimes hear a new or potential student tell me that they, as beginners, would like to come in for a lesson every few weeks, and then once they are more advanced they will bump it up to weekly lessons. This is actually the opposite of how things should work, however. Always remember that the role of a teacher of singing technique is to help you train your neuromuscular habit patterns. What this means is that your voice teacher is there to correct and guide you, so you will develop good singing technique which is second nature.

Singing is a very complex process. The only way that a good singer can stop thinking about their voice and start thinking about the songs they are singing is by training their habitual vocal patterns to the point where healthy vocal technique is on auto pilot. Habits are the most powerful things there are, and new habits are developed very quickly through repetition.

The interesting thing about a habit is that, once established, it is very reluctant to be replaced by an alternate habit which contradicts it. This is why bad singing habits can develop in a singer very quickly and easily, but replacing them with good habits can be quite difficult and time consuming.

Therefore, a new student needs to be under proper guidance as often as possible; whereas a more advanced student who already has good, well established singing habits may be able to get away with having lessons less frequently.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, and probably prior, it was customary for a student of singing to have daily lessons with the maestro. It was common for student and teacher to train together, daily,  for upwards of eight years before the singer made their debut on the stage.

These days, we have the ability to record lessons on CD, MP3 or on a smart phone. With these recordings, the student can practice the specialized lesson plan the teacher has developed for them between lessons. These recordings make it no longer necessary for a student to have daily lessons; however, the time between lessons, unsupervised by a teacher, is fertile ground for a student to develop pernicious singing patterns which can delay their progress.

This is why I recommend that a beginning student have a minimum of one lesson per week with a qualified instructor; lessons twice per week are ideal if schedule and budget can allow it.  As good singing habits become more established, the student can taper off the frequency of lessons if desired, but only to the extent that they are able to maintain a healthy singing technique the majority of the time.

Most teachers offer special pricing for students who train more frequently.

Singers are athletes. Just like ballet dancers train in class daily, and olympic divers train with their coach daily, so is it necessary for serious singers to train regularly.