Singing Lessons: Questions & Answers
Definitely. At your private lessons, I will take 5-10 minutes for ear training. I strike a note, you listen and try to match the pitch with your voice with an open mouth vocalization, for example: hm, aw, or a La. Then I'll train your voice with vocal warm-ups. After that, I'll select your first vocal piece to sing and make sure you enjoy it. I'll demonstrate the song for you so you get an idea how the song sounds. Step by step, you will be able to develop your music pitch.
Yes. I recommend singing lessons for children eight years old & up.
Yes, it can be dangerous if the teacher is not experienced with training children's voices or doesn't have an appropriate teaching method for the child's voice. In China, I successfully trained children's voices for many years, working through group choruses as well as private voice lessons. At each lesson, I would use warm-up techniques and exercise the child's voice at first. Then I would select vocal solo pieces that would match the child's vocal range and which the child would enjoy singing. Also I provide my "tips for voice home practicing" so the child could practice at home.
Yes, I can help you overcome that nervousness, which is very common. Some measures I may suggest, depending on the student:
At each lesson, I will spend about 10-15 minutes to exercise your voice with warm-up techniques. After that, I'll select 1 or 2 vocal solo pieces and demonstrate them for you so you can get an idea how they should sound. Then we will work on the piece.
It would depend on your age and situation. For children 8 to 10 I recommend about 45 minutes a week; for 11+ and adults, 1 hour per week.
Practice consists of exercises for controlling your breath; voice warm-ups; singing your vocal pieces; and singing your pieces in front of friends or family members.
Definitely. I can help you out.
I test a singer's voice range on the piano. Usually, I ask him/her to sing the notes from the lowest to the highest, then I can find out his/her comfortable singing range and vocal color or timbre. However, classifying a singer's actual voice type may take a little time, because with training and a lot of practice, a singer's voice may in time become higher or lower. In addition, a child's vocal range and tone can be changed by their physical maturing process. Voice types can be classified (from highest to lowest) into soprano, mezzo-soprano or contralto in female voices and tenor, baritone or bass in male voices.
Not at all. It is always interesting to try something new and fun.
Among the important qualities are a singer's breathing, volume, articulation, confidence, and resonance.
Of course. I teach my advanced students in voice using the Italian Bel Canto method, used all over the world.
It would depend on the student's voice type and interest. I am experienced teaching various English songs and Chinese repertoire.
Not necessarily. However, I encourage my students to study voice and learn to read music at the same time. Learning to read sheet music can improve your musical understanding, enable you to sing songs you've never heard before, and allow you to more easily relate your musical ideas to others.
Definitely good vocal technique is better. You'll learn to shape sounds with vocal exercises and then integrate these techniques with natural feeling and emotion. We also identify tensions to aid the singer in exploring their own potential and to sing in a healthy manner. As your technical abilities progress, you can turn to developing your own natural vocal style.
At every level, you'll learn how to relax, how to practice your pieces, how to take note of how the rhythm, tone, phrasing, articulation, and dynamics of the music inform your movements etc. This is what makes performing fun, entertaining and moving. Best of all, as you immerse yourself in the music you wish to recall, understand, and sing, you’ll become comfortable and familiar with its nuances. But it takes more than that to connect with the music and your audience. Be well prepared to experience true joy.
Each student is individual. It depends on your lessons' length, concentration, learning ability, etc.