How to Give Voice Lessons

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If you have an educational background in music, one career path that you may consider is becoming a vocal coach. Giving voice lessons isn't easy by any means, but there is high-income potential, especially if you work with older clients. You aren't limited to lessons for adults, though. You also have flexibility to work with children and teens. Flexibility is the name of the game, actually, since you'll get to make your own schedule and name your own prices. Here's how to give a voice lesson, no matter the age of your student or how long the lesson is scheduled to last.

Things You'll Need

  • Piano or Keyboard Sheet Music
  • Warm up your student. To sing well, you have to be relaxed and have good posture. Have your student roll his or her shoulders and neck slowly, and correct your student's posture throughout the lesson.

  • Warm up your student's voice. You don't need a complex warm-up system, but don't rush through warm ups, because that could hurt your student's vocal chords during the lesson. Start by humming; have your student hum a comfortable note, and then work up the scale. As your student warms up, move on to singing the word "ME" up and down the scales, and repeat with the "AH" sound.

  • Assess your student's current vocal skills if you have not worked together before. Have your student sing a simple, well-known song and watch for breathing, vocal tone and quality, vocal range, pronunciation and confidence.

  • Help your student build vocal range. Arpeggios are the best way to build vocal range with your student. Start with a comfortable key for your student, and have him sing as you play along on the piano. Work down with the arpeggios, getting lower and lower until your student can no longer hit the notes, then work up the scale higher and higher, until your student's voice is strained. Encourage your student to sing out (but not shout), and push your student's limits.

  • Help your student eliminate any nasal, tight sound. To achieve this sound, have your student yawn, but with a closed mouth. the throat should relax and the jaw and tongue should drop. When singing the note, your student should make an oval shape with the mouth.

  • Work on breathing techniques with your student. When singing, you need to support from the diaphragm. Have your student pretend to blow out birthday cake candles to understand how to force air from the diaphragm.

  • Choose music that your student can perfect in order to perform, either at performances or at auditions. Work together to determine trouble spots, make the sheet music for breathing patterns, and pronounce the words clearly.

  • Talk to your student about confidence when on stage. You want your student to be able to perform solo in front of a crowd. If your student isn't confident with this, start with small performances for friends and family members.

  • Tape performances and review them with your student.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't take on too many students. You should have time to show them all the attention they need to get better at singing.
  • Make sure that your student stays hydrated. Have your student drink plenty of water to avoid damaging the vocal chords.

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