Why Voice Coaches Need Voice Lessons

The Importance of Quiet

It can be so easy to get wrapped into doing too many things at once, I wanted to take a moment today to talk about the importance of quiet.

When I was at my first university, the library had four floors.

The first level was for group discussion and socializing.

The second was quieter, with some places reserved for studying.

The third was even quieter, with just a few places you could talk.

On the fourth floor, talking was prohibited and all the space was dedicated to private study.

In 2016, I was doing tons of videos, blogs and podcasts in order to share my knowledge of singing with musicians.

It was my first floor.

Then I decided to study some of the things I had been taking for granted.

Rather than merely observing the results in my students, I began searching for that information I didn’t know I didn’t know.

So I took some time to be quiet and over three months I nearly doubled my understanding of some of the core concepts of teaching singing.

Now I’m able to share that knowledge with you.

The Problem with Noise

For a student, when it comes to something deep like singing, the temptation is to throw yourself in completely.

To shoot high, to overextend, to reach. Our drive and curiosity to master the unknown is one of the most amazing aspects of being a human.

However, sometimes it is a barrier to progress. Sometimes you need quiet.

Sometimes our drive can allow us to gloss over the small things that we had been taking for granted without question.

Let me give you an example.

I was teaching a lesson the other day to a student who was disappointed with her progress.

She was a brand new student and very excited to learn to sing as best she could.

I love these kinds of students because I’m also a high energy person.

When I asked her about what was discouraging her, it came out that she hadn’t been practicing along with the recording of our lesson, but rather was trying to understand the concepts analytically and then apply them to her singing.

My failure to instruct her to practice along with the recording was holding her back.

On the surface, it was such a small thing that it seems like it wouldn’t hurt.

However, her practice wasn’t optimized which meant we weren’t meeting her or my expectations of how she would progress.

I’m just so glad that we took a moment to question my assumption before we lost more time.

I can’t wait to see the results she experiences.

There Is Always More To Learn

You may have heard at one time or another in your education to take risks with your art. To keep pushing yourself. That to unlock that beauty inside you, you must put yourself out on a limb.

But how often do your teachers do that?

Teaching voice lessons can all too easily be correlated with being out of touch.

Or not making it pro.

Or a good fallback plan.

Bullhockey.

In my case, it’s true that I have to take voice lessons to stay certified. But more important, I have to take lessons to reinforce a very simple idea: I have more to learn.

All too often, teachers who have retired professionally go on to teach what they themselves learned and stop there.

You will find these teachers are very good at working with voices like theirs but maybe not so good at helping someone with a different set of problems.

The teacher who still takes lessons on the other hand, realizes that there is ALWAYS more to learn.

Always another way to communicate a concept. Always an exception to the rule.

Three months ago, I completed the final requirements to become certified to teach voice lessons with the Institute for Vocal Advancement.

It was a great achievement. Followed by 3 whole months of solid back patting.

Now that it’s a new year, I have begun taking lessons again in earnest and I am coming to realize one thing as a teacher: I cannot just teach without taking lessons.

They are the same mechanism.

Teaching is an irreplaceable ingredient in learning.

But many of us forget learning is also the irreplaceable ingredient in teaching.

student handing apple to teacher

What Assumptions Are You Making?

What are some of the small things that you’re assuming when it comes to singing? What questions do you have left unanswered?

Rather than singing in the same way you always have, maybe it’s time for some quiet, considerate study of your instrument.

One great way is having a trained professional listen to your singing voice and give you an honest assessment of your voice.

Consider booking your first lesson at Ramsey Voice Studio to find out if you’re missing anything.

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