This is one of the most common questions potential voice students ask when considering committing to voice lessons? What does one actually DO in a lesson? Is it just singing scales the entire time?
The not knowing can make voice lessons sound potentially intimidating or downright terrifying to any potential client! While every teacher is different in their methodology and approach to teaching, I try to be very specific and clear with how I teach while including lots of opportunities and space for student lead explorations.
Here's a sample overview of how a first lesson will typically go in my studio:
The First several minutes of a new lesson are spent making the student feel safe and comfortable. Some people come in very shy, while others have a lot of excited/nervous energy and can't stop talking! My job is to see you on the individual level, and make sure I foster a comfortable, safe environment from the get-go.
After settling in, we will work on some basic vocalization exercises. This is really an opportunity for me to hear the voice and its current presentation..this can be nerve-wracking for many people, so we might try several vocal exercises using humming, sirens, and echoing. For others who feel a little more comfortable, we might do scales in a variety of keys, with the student singing with me and then sing alone. We will play with vocal range and tone, as I listen to your unique voice and potentially any issues or concerns the student wants to address.
I incorporate a lot of movement in my studio. Whether it is bouncing on a yoga ball, walking or moving in a specific way, we will add movement to a lot of our warmup vocalizations. We do not simply 'park' the body in one spot and sing! Singing IS a whole body motor activity that requires multiple systems to be coordinated and work well together. Moving can help us to sync our voice with movement and the breath.
After spending some time extrinsic your voice and various ways of making sound, we will devote the next portion of our time together to addressing you, the student, and any particular interests and/or concerns you might have. Some students have a specific song they really want to sing, but struggle with in some regard. Some students have a particular concern they might want to address, such as running our of breath frequent, straining in higher pitches, jaw tension, or performance anxiety. Others might have a general desire, like a desire to sing a certain genre or a desire to sing a specific range. Whatever the curiosity or concern, we spend time addressing these things and coming up with a plan together to begin working on these things.
If we have anytime left, we might spend it in a variety of ways: doing a vocal cooldown, working on a specific area of a song, addressing areas of tension or strain, or maybe the student wants to chat with me more. Before you know it, and hour has quickly passed and our time has concluded.
As you can see, there is no "one size fits all" approach in my studio, and there shouldn't be! You are not a robot, but a real live human being with a history, a story, desires and fears. My job and my HONOR is to hold space for you to show up exactly as you are, and to help empower you by giving you the tools you need to feel successful in your singing journey.
I hope this demystifies what a typical voice lesson in my studio is like. If you feel like you are ready to pursue individual lessons, please contact me for a free consultation. If I don't feel like I am best suited to help you and your unique goals, I can help point you in the right direction.