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Articles about Singing
Finding a Teacher in YOUR Area
So many people have emailed me asking for recommendations for voice teachers in their area, that I'm including this section on my website. I hope it will prove useful to anyone who doesn't live in my area, and is seeking a good voice teacher.
One way to find a teacher is to ask around. When you hear great local singers, don't be shy! Ask them if they're studying, and if they'd their teacher. You can sometimes also get good recommendations from local school teachers involved in music and theatre or opera. If a certain teacher's name comes up more than once, this is a good sign.
Pick From A List
There are several places to go online to find a teacher. You can begin by going to The Music Teacher's List (www.teachlist.com) or NATS (www.nats.org). But you'll have to use your noodle when wading through such lists. Just because a teacher belongs to a certain organization or is on a certain list, doesn't mean they're good. (Check out NATS' qualifications for membership, and you'll quickly see this.) Also, don't pooh-pooh the telephone directory; many competent and successful teachers advertise. You'll find them listed under "music," "voice," and "singing."
No matter where you find a teacher, call and ask for references. Then be sure to actually call the students you've been referred to and find out how (and if!) they've improved with the teacher. Also talk to the teacher about what her methodologies are. If you have particular concerns about your voice, be sure to mention them and see what the teacher says. (You're not looking for free information about how to correct problems, just an idea of how they might deal with your personal singing issues.) It's also important that you're personally comfortable with the teacher.
A few teachers even offer a reduced-price first lesson, or will let you "sit in" on another students' lesson. This can be helpful if you already know something about solid singing technique.
Once you choose a teacher, assess your lessons frequently. After the first month you should notice an improvement. In fact, within a week or two you really ought to be able to feel things are moving in a better direction. (I'm not saying you should have mastered technique, but you should feel, when the technique is applied, that singing is easier and sounding better.) If not, discuss this with the teacher.
And if you still notice no real change after another lesson or two, it's time to move on to a different teacher.
(c) 2002 by Kristina Seleshanko