Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat You Need To Know
“What should I expect at my first lesson?”
In our first session we would have a chat about your previous singing experience, any lessons/tuition you may have had, and your aims for your lessons/career/education. I will ask you to perform a short song to show me where you voice is at the moment, this is nothing to worry about and doesn’t have to be polished just so I can hear you. We will discuss ways to move forward together and I will show you a few technical exercises suited to your vocal needs to get you started. I am very aware that you may be very nervous and this is completely normal, the main aim for the first session is to get to know each other and to make you feel comfortable before we start our training properly.
“I am just starting out and really don’t have much confidence, I do find it quite difficult singing in front of new people but want to over come this, do you think this is something you can help me with?”
Absolutely, I work with a lot of singers who struggle with their confidence, in our sessions we would work to your own speed and will build up your confidence gradually through the lessons, you are not expected to do or sing anything you aren’t ready to and that includes both vocally and how you are confidence wise. We would discuss what affects your confidence and find ways to overcome them together. I have singers who swore they would only ever sing in their rooms when they first started with me, they are now out gigging regularly!
“I have sung for years but have never really had any professional training, I have an upcoming audition I’m a little concerned about the singing element of the audition and need some advice.”
I work with quite a few singers / actors / dancers who are preparing for auditions, I would suggest trying to spread your lessons out as evenly as you can before your audition, weekly if possible, maybe more often if time is limited before the audition. In the lesson we can discuss the best song for your audition which is usually half the battle, with good practice and dedication you will be more than ready for your audition.
“I had singing lessons for years but have recently started struggling with my high notes and losing power, I am currently gigging regularly in a local covers band and I feel I have a pretty solid understanding of technique but think I need to have someone else with a different perspective to throw some ideas at me, do you work with singers who have already been previously trained?”
Its very common for singers to go through this, sometimes we become complacent and habits creep in, sometimes one off night and a bit of a sore throat can set our technique all out of whack while we are trying to compensate for other things. As you probably already know the hardest part of our training is layering our techniques (breathing, vowel shapes, placement etc) sometimes going back to basics and rebuilding our thought process during singing can make all the difference. If your struggling with high notes and losing your power it may be a sign of a bit of a tired voice, together we can look at your vocal load (how much you are singing/required to sing) we can form a vocal routine and vocal hygiene plan to help get your voice back on form. If you have had previous training I’m confident that it wont take too long to help set your technique back on track and maybe even show you a few new tips and tricks along the way!
“I am constantly suffering from sore throats, and my voice always gets dry when I sing, its been getting worse for a while now, people say no pain no gain but ive read on your website that isnt the case, I sing in a rock band and sing hard and loud and rarely sing without feeling the strain, but I’ve been told in rock singing thats normal, could you shed some light?”
I always say singing is just an elevation of speaking, when we speak we do not push or strain so why would we in singing? When we sing in any style it shouldn’t hurt, sure some styles do put more strain on your voice and its been proven that different styles will tire your voice out quicker than others, but with good technique you should not be feeling any pain. A dry voice could indicate that you let to much air out as you sing, maybe a little bit of damage and in some cases that you could be singing in the wrong key. In rock singing (and pretty much any other style) I would always start with a good breath support to help control the pressure you are putting into your throat. Its important to understand that any tension in your body will stifle your sound so we would also work on some vocal relaxation techniques. I have worked with many rock singers who would regularly loose their voices at gigs and rehearsals before they started their lessons, together we built appropriate vocal workout routines, vocal safety plans and with my relaxation and strengthening techniques my singers found their voice growing in both range and power remember strain kills all power/volume/tone!
“My daughter is only 6 and has been singing for a while now and were keen to get her lessons, but have found a lot of teachers are unwilling to work with young children, do you teach children?”
Its a very fragile time for childrens voices, a lot of teachers worry about the potential to damage but mainly it is because of the attention span of children. It can be quite difficult to try and teach children techniques and keep interest. I do teach young children and my lessons are tailored to the age and attention span of each individual, I do offer 30mins or 45 mins sessions for children as the hour is usually too long, my main aim is to help children enjoy music and begin to develop pitch, tone and control, we would do this in a gentle way for the voice and by using a more game/activity based session. I have had a lot of success working in this way with younger children and as the lessons progress we start to work on more advanced ideas. I would also recommend ensuring your daughter works with a teacher who understands vocal safety in children’s voices and focuses technique appropriately as I have worked with quite a few young singers who have been taught by others who have been pushed to work on songs and exercises that their voices just aren’t ready for, its a shame but it is becoming more and more common to see very young children with serious vocal problems due to improper training.
“My band is getting ready to record over the next few months and I’d like to brush up on my technique, do you take on short term students? I am also looking to maybe have someone come into the studio to help keep me on track on the days were laying down vocals, is this something you do also?”
I can certainly help, I do recommend to try and fit in as many weekly sessions before your recording as possible as to get the most from learning technique is to have the time in between lessons to develop and strengthen the techniques I would give you, also your voice is a muscle and would need time to stretch. I do support students in the studio, when working in the studio I will ensure you have warmed your voice adequately to record but not so that you will tire you voice quickly, I can offer tips and tricks as you go and I have a quick fix routine ready for when your voice starts to feel a bit tired but you still need to continue. Short term lessons can never provide you with a good lasting technique but with practice of the exercises and advice I give it will certainly ensure your recording sounds the best it can!
“People always tell me i’m too quiet when I sing, I have worked with countless singing teachers over the years but have never seen much difference, will I always be quiet? do I just have a little voice? I’ve been told before that it might be because I have little lungs, is this something that can be helped?”
The size of your lungs shouldn’t make a huge difference on your sound – Ive never come across anyone who couldn’t improve their volume with good technique no matter what their size or ability! Being too quite is usually down to being too breathy and carrying a lot of tension in your mouth jaw throat or shoulders. Some singers just havent found the confidence to “unlock” their voice. Some singers need to build the strength in their vocal cords and I have plenty of exercises to support this. Some singers need to find their best placement to help “throw” the sound forward. Volume in singing is usually down to the amount of contact in the vocal cords – the more contact the louder the sound, if there is inadequate support – breath gets in the way of a “good closure” and creates a quieter sound. Like I said, I have never worked with a singer who couldn’t improve their volume and projection with good technique.
“What is your availability?”
My availability changes week to week but if you have a specific time / day you’d have in mind I will see what I can do to accommodate you. My Usual teaching hours are:
10am – 8pm – Monday – Thursday
10am- 6pm – Friday
11am – 4pm – Saturday and Sunday
“Where do you teach?”
I usually teach from students homes, I find that this helps my students to feel a little more comfortable during their lessons.
“I work awkward and sometimes sporadic hours is it possible to book our sessions week to week?”
Absolutely, a lot of my singers are regularly gigging and cannot commit to a specific time each week, some students prefer to keep their lessons to a regular slot each week but for most I do book in week to week.
“Could you tell me how much your lessons are?”
My lessons depend on location of lesson and length of lesson, If you let me know who the lessons are for and where you would like your lessons taught I can give you a personalised quote. If you would prefer to pay in bulk through Paypal I can then send through an invoice with the correct fee for each lesson.
“I come across a shy person and need help in being more confident when singing. I am not actually sure I can sing but I have recorded my voice several times and I think that I sound ok, Any tips on whether singing is for me as I love music with a passion?”
I believe my lessons are for anyone who gets enjoyment from singing and those who want to get the best out of their voice they can. The fact you have said you love music with a passion makes me believe that singing really does mean something to you, and when it means something you are willing to work at it. My students who are most passionate and practice and take my advice make more advancements in my lessons compared to those who take up lessons as a requirement rather than for enjoyment or to develop something they love! Lets see what we can achieve together!
“I feel I need some guidance with finding my voice/range/style and i’m not sure about maintaining it, can you help please?!”
You’ve come to the right place. My lessons cover all essential areas on technique required to develop your individual voice, my emphasis in lessons is usually ensuring your singing within your right voice type and understanding your tessitura (the sweet spot in your singing voice) We will always discuss appropriate vocal routines for you as well as vocal safety tips. If you are unsure in what direction you’d like your voice/style/potential career to go in we can discuss what may be right for you and what options you may have.
“I wanted to know if it’s possible with lessons to reinforce my voice and make it more enjoyable.”
Absolutely, I find my students who are learning more about how their voice works and how different techniques can help improve them the more they are enjoying their singing, my students who practice their technical exercises and apply what they have learnt in their lessons are achieving things in their singing they never thought possible, one of my singers are reaching notes in songs they said they would have never dreamed of before their lessons, others are exploring music they never thought they could sing. I have found in my students the more they understand and the more they practice the more they want to learn!
“I’m looking at buying a few one off lessons as a present, my girlfriend loves to sing and I would really like to do something different for her, Can you help?”
That’s a great idea! for gifts or a couple of one off sessions I put together mini masterclasses to cover basics and to help set singers on the right track for their vocal progress. You can purchase gift certificates from my store or request a quote for multiple purchases.
Where can I find your Terms and Conditions?
My Terms and Conditions can be found here If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to get in contact.