Throw a rock in any direction, and you are bound to hit a voice teacher. They are everywhere nowadays, each one peddling their own brand of pedagogy. I am simultaneously amused and dismayed by the large body of ad copy on the Internet promoting the latest “new and revolutionary method” which will supposedly make one a star. Youtube is awash with videos aplenty by the gurus du jour espousing why they and only they are capable of taking one’s voice to the “next level and beyond” and why every other method but their’s is a failure. Often these videos describe how one can sing like this or that celebrity. Ask yourself if you want a “teacher” who is full of empty promises and constantly cutting down other studios, or if you want a teacher who truly understands how the voice works and who can help you to find YOUR voice.
Of course, everyone deserves to be paid what they are worth. I believe that teachers who have dedicated several decades studying, training and honing their understanding of the human voice deserve to be paid well for their time. However, the motivation of great teachers is always service first, and money second. Regardless of the school of singing a teacher comes from, I support vocal studios who care primarily about the voices of their students, not just selling them a self-study program.
Too many upstart teachers are more interested in courting celebrities than they are interested in raising the standards of singing technique in the world. Would you like to know which celebrities I teach? You will never know. Why? Because I don’t believe that voices of celebrity clients are more important than any other voice in my studio. Hobbyists and professional recording artists are equally important to me, as well they should be to any serious educator.
I am very fortunate to have one of the most successful vocal studios in my region. I don’t take my success for granted for one second either. I firmly believe that my success is rooted in my deep and undying passion for helping other people to sing well, and also in my genuine interest in helping other teachers establish successful studios.
One of the greatest things I ever learned very early in my career was that the one and only way for me to successfully market my studio is to be the best teacher I can be. That’s all I have ever tried to do and I think that’s the only way for any teacher of substance to conduct themselves.
What’s the point of all this? I simply want to impress upon those who are new to this whole business of of vocal study that there is more to understanding the voice than a flashy website, self-study program or celebrity client list. Look for a teacher who is well trained, can get results and is more interested in your success than their own. There are plenty of us out there!