What is a singing lesson?
Generally in a singing lesson you will warm up your voice with some exercises, then move on to working on a song (or songs!). This could include particular exercises to develop tone and strength during a small section of the song, singing it through start to finish to work on stamina or even some performance work, depending on your particular requirements.
Each student and each teacher is different and so everyone will have their own way of working.
There's no way you could teach me to sing
I believe most everyone can be taught to sing. There really are very, very few people who are genuinely tone deaf -so if that's what you come to me saying, we will spend the first lesson, or lessons, working out if that is really true! As long as you can recognise a difference in pitch, you can be taught to sing.
Your voice is an instrument, and singing is a muscular event. Just as in sport, or dancing or any physical activity, you need to train the muscles to go through specific motions, the same can be said of singing. Of course there are some people with natural talent, but hard work will always win out (and if you have talent and like to work hard...even better)!
Lesson one, how does it work?
So you've decided to come for a singing lesson. This may be in your own home, or mine -depending on your preference. Some students are more comfortable singing in their own space - for some that is their idea of hell! You may have had some lessons in the past, either at school or privately.
I like to spend lesson one figuring out how you work. Where you're at skill and confidence wise, and where you'd like to take your voice. I will always ask you to come prepared with at least one, if not two songs you already know, that you enjoy singing.
I will always start your lessons with some warm up exercises. Just like any physical exercise (do you see the pattern emerging?) you can't expect to walk in the room and smash your personal best, lift double your body weight etc, without warming the muscles up properly. If you do that you're asking for an injury. Warming up your voice gets you ready to work, and helps to strengthen the voice, and develop your control over it.
Then we get to the fun part, the reason you're really here - cracking on with your chosen material. This helps me gauge what kind of voice you have, what kind of songs you like to sing, and find a good starting point.
Once we have done some work on those songs, we'll have a chat. I always want to know how you feel, if you noticed any change in your voice, if you understood why some things sounded the way they were. We'll discuss how you want to proceed - if you want to work purely on your singing, or if you'd like to throw in some performance skills too, if you want to work towards building you're own repertoire, if you're looking to show off your developing skills at any point with a performance and I will, in theory, be able to answer any questions that crop up.
From then on, it's all about you! I can be pretty flexible with lesson times, given enough notice. I offer half hour, 45 minute and hour slots. Anything longer can be discussed as necessary.
Can I teach you in your own home if you don't have a piano?
I am not an accompanist, I don't bring a little keyboard and music stand to lessons, I work from an ipad and a speaker! It allows me to travel to my students without requiring them to have a piano, or me to lump my keyboard around. I focus on the physical side of singing - so I need to focus on you 100%. It can be slightly unnerving at first, to have someone's focus be solely on you whilst you sing, however it allows me to do my job! I can see where things are going wrong, make little tweaks, without worrying that I might start to play the wrong notes and REALLY put you off your game.
Singing is a passion for me. I believe it should be fun and empowering at all times. It is difficult and at times can seem like you're going one step forward and two steps back. If you work at it, and don't give up, the rewards are simply amazing. There is honestly no better feeling than singing to a live audience, being (just a little!) self indulgent in your voice, enjoying the moment. My goal is to give a little bit of that feeling to as many people as I can possibly reach- everyone should experience this incredibly special feeling at least once in their life!