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Why Should (Or Shouldn't) I Take Singing Lessons?

A person showing why singing lessons

To sing or not to sing, that is the question. While I'm biased as a voice teacher and think everyone should sign up for lessons with me, I'm going to do my darndest to make this unbiased and fair. I'm going to assume that you are at least interested in singing as a hobby if you are reading this article and work from there. I'm going to break this down into reasons you SHOULD take lessons and reasons you would NOT take lessons. If I do suggest you not take lessons, I am going to offer alternatives that I would suggest instead of lessons. I cannot in good conscience ever suggest that singing is not for someone or that any lack of skill should gatekeep you from the hobby.


Reasons Why you Should Take Singing Lessons.

  1. You want to build your confidence singing in front of someone who won't judge you for you skill or lack thereof. Sometimes the biggest thing preventing success with singing is stage fright. If you're outright terrified of singing in front of someone or of the idea of someone hearing you sing, maybe starting with one individual will help. I've had students that were only willing to hum along with me while I sang for the first several lessons. Eventually though, they were able to come out of their shell enough to start singing and before long they were able to sing without me helping them out. If this is you, I highly recommend starting lessons with a teacher you get along with.

  2. You don't have a history with music. Music is really freaking hard. There's an older saying that "its not rocket science" is what most people say, but "its not music theory" is what rocket scientists say. You can watch YouTube videos are read blogs like this one or books from the "For Dummies" series (I actually highly recommend "singing for dummies") but having a real person to ask questions to and get clarification from makes a big difference. I've seen "beginner" YouTube videos talking about adding legato, but I guarantee you not everyone knows what legato is. A good voice teacher will be able to break down not only the singing technique, but also music in general.

  3. You want to learn fast. There are a lot of great books etc. like I mentioned above, but when learning on your own there is a lot of trial and error. A good voice teacher will speed things up significantly. In my personal studio, the only students I teach for longer than a year are the students who just enjoy taking lessons. I've even had to tell students that unless their goal is to become professional they probably shouldn't be paying for lessons anymore. You will improve much quicker with a good teacher.

  4. You want to be a professional singer. A true master of their craft is never done learning. There is always someone who knows more. I've been a voice teacher for 8 years at the time of writing this and I'm still taking lessons myself. In fact, I have more than one voice teacher (different teachers for different styles) and still actively read vocal books as well. If your goal is to make a living singing or to be a music teacher, you should be taking lessons. If you want to perform or already perform a a lot, you gotta keep everything up to date from another persons ear. Its like going to the dentist for a cleaning every year or 6 months, but usually more frequent than that.


Reasons Why you Should NOT Take Singing Lessons.

  1. You really just want to sing karaoke. If your goal is to sing and have someone tell you that you sound good and accompany you live, there are bands that do live band karaoke in Milwaukee I can recommend and plenty of community theaters. You don't need to pay me to do that. I'll take your money if you insist, but my goal is to help you sing better. If your goal isn't to improve but just to sing, don't pay for lessons.

  2. You cannot afford it. I hate to say this, but singing lessons are expensive. There are lots of cheap online courses and YouTube videos. I even started this blog partly to help out singers who can't afford lessons. If desired, I can even do a book review of my extensive library of singing books and journals if it helps someone. If this is the only reason you aren't taking lessons though, and you really want to, let me know and I may be able to help. Depending on your age and situation there are scholarships you can apply for in Milwaukee that will pay voice teachers on your behalf.

  3. You don't think you need the lessons. I feel like this one is obvious, but I get a surprising number of student passing through my studio who this applies to. If you are only taking lessons because your mom, a studio exec, your agent, or your director told you to, you're wasting both your and my time. I've had excellent singers sign up for lessons because their contract with their agent said they had to and I can tell you that they left at the exact skill level they had when they started. If you think that you have nothing to learn, you will not learn anything. I doesn't matter how well I teach or how bad you may or may not be, you will learn nothing unless you want to learn something.

While there are other reasons you should or should not take singing lessons, these are the ones I have encountered the most in my studio. The best students I have and the ones who improve that quickest are the ones who sign up for the above reasons. Similarly, the students I make no progress with are usually the ones who sign up for the second list of reasons. Do you think you fit in with that first list of reasons and want to sign up for a lesson? Click the button below or the "book online" button in the menu above and sign up today!

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