Tuning Up | The Surprising Impact of a Vocal Coach
It has long been a dispute for people with singing talent whether or not working with a vocal coach is necessary to cultivate this talent. Being a singer can put a lot of demand on your voice, and even the most talented of singers don’t always know the proper methods to keep a healthy, strong voice that can easily withstand multiple performances. However, there is much more to taking on a vocal coach than just having a healthy voice.
Since many of us can only see the singer in his or her full form, entertaining thousands (or millions), you don’t always think about what it takes for a performer to get to that point. The reality is that vocal coaches are utilised and have also been shown to make a large impact on their students. Expectations don’t always live up to the hype that is built, but there are numerous ways that working with a voice coach can help and should be considered essential for singers.
Famous Singers Who Worked With Voice Coaches
When Lady Gaga performed at the Oscars for the Sound of Music tribute in 2015 and (ultimately) dominated that performance, she not only worked with a vocal coach—she worked with one every day for a full 6 months. This is a great demonstration to all singers that not only is she dedicated to her craft, but she also works extremely hard to achieve her goals and demonstrate her amazing vocal abilities as a performer.
Emily Blunt surprised us all with her singing voice when she played the Baker’s Wife for the musical-turned-movie Into The Woods, but in order to even audition, she made sure to work with a vocal coach extensively, taking many lessons to prepare herself. This later carried over to her taking on the iconic role of Marry Poppins for the remake in Mary Poppins Returns, where she was tasked with working even more with voice coaches to not only sing, but learn how to sing with the proper Mary Poppins accent.
Even the iconic Beyoncé is a perfect example of an accomplished singer with exceptional talent, and her talent did not come without a lot of coaching from a voice teacher. She has actually been working with a voice coach since she was only 8 years old, which is a true testament to her advancement and talent. There is no doubt that vocal coaching has aided Beyoncé in her singing career, as starting that young has only helped her with many years of proper voice training and performance stamina.
What Can a Vocal Coach Do For You?
So what is it that a voice coach can do for your voice? There are many things. The biggest and most important part of helping your voice is through exercise. Coaches know how you need to manage your voice from all aspects of finding your range, to identifying tone, and how to create your desired sound. But it all starts from the perspective of warming up and exercising your voice.
Much like how one might stretch before running a marathon so they are not susceptible to injury, singing cannot simply begin by just singing. Singers have to “stretch” out the vocal folds and practice breathing so as not to injure their voices. Vocal health is the number one concern of a vocal coach because without a healthy voice singers cannot perform well, let alone advance.
Another aspect of learning that comes from working with a coach is that of knowing your voice. Having knowledge of your limitations, abilities, and your skillset can assist you in your vocal journey. Besides keeping a healthy voice, your coach wants to be able to guide you to improve your sound and quality, as well as performance, utilizing your voice to the best of its ability.
The more knowledge that you have about your voice, the better you can become at choosing good songs that will showcase your talents. This also helps to keep your voice healthy so that you’re not straining by singing something out of range, or at too high a level of difficulty.
Work on Problem Areas
Identifying areas in your voice that you struggle with is yet another big impact that can come from taking music lessons with a coach. Where your range can be extended, how your timbre or tone can be altered to change the sound in a different genre, and connecting emotionally to your song are just some of the vocal tools and techniques that you can work on diligently, and ultimately master. When you are unaware of your vocal troubles, there is no way to improve upon them, and it is very difficult to identify these on your own.
Singing Lessons Online
Since the global pandemic of COVID-19, many voice teachers and coaches have had to make some major pivots within their businesses, the biggest of all has been to move their lessons to an online platform. Music has been cut from virtual learning, so many parents have enrolled their children in music lessons on an individual basis.
Though it can be a concern for many, singing with online lessons is actually a great way for someone to learn how to improve their voice. There are some limitations, but overall voice coaches have learned the proper technology to embrace in order to continue improving all areas of the voice. There are also opportunities such as virtual concerts and live streams online so that you can still perform in a somewhat ‘live’ setting.
One great benefit to online lessons is the ability to take lessons from coaches that are not local, which can be great if there is someone you want to work with that doesn’t live in the same town, county, or even country. The opportunity is much greater in the online world to find that perfect vocal coach to help cultivate your talented voice and make your performances flawless.
It is very clear that working with a voice coach has a strong impact. Simply singing and having talent alone cannot bring you exposure or multiple opportunities for performing. With a voice teacher, you will be able to not only identify and work on your voice, but also receive guidance to obtain the sound that you desire your voice to have while maintaining your vocal health.