What to Expect in Your First Voice Lessons

What to Expect in Your First Voice Lessons

By Kristen Seikaly

Voice Lessons, Voice Teachers, Philadelphia

Kristen is a professional vocalist and instructor with her Masters in Voice Performance and Pedagogy

You’ve signed up for your first voice lesson, and you couldn’t be more excited! Learning how to sing is a wonderful and fulfilling journey.

You may find that you’re nervous too, and that’s okay! It can be scary to open up and sing for a new person, especially when you don’t know what it’s going to be like. To help you prepare for your upcoming journey, here are some things you can expect in your first voice lessons.

#1 Expect a bit of conversation

The voice is a unique instrument in that each one is different (including yours!). Therefore, your teacher will want to take some time to get to know you, your past musical experiences, and your goals for voice lessons to ensure that they have the best understanding of your voice they possibly can. This initial conversation will help you to reach your goals that much faster.

#2 Expect to sing!

No matter how much conversation occurs, the best way for your teacher to get to know your voice is to hear it! They will probably take you through a set of vocal exercises to get a sense of your strengths and weaknesses. You don’t need to worry about sounding perfect. Your teacher just wants to know how they can best help you become a better singer.

#3 Expect to ask questions

Because the voice is an instrument you can’t see, oftentimes voice teachers will use metaphors or imagery to explain technical concepts. Therefore, their directions may not make sense to you right away. If you don’t fully understand, feel free to ask! Your voice teacher’s primary goal is to make sure you can continue to sing well outside of the studio, and understanding directions is important to that. Therefore, questions are always encouraged. Just make sure that you don’t get so bogged down in asking questions that you forget to sing!

#4 Expect to work and to be patient

It can be tempting to come into your first voice lessons wanting to be able to sing your favorite song like a pro by the end of them. Unfortunately, this is not how voice lessons work. Developing good posture, breath control, and vocal clarity are crucial to healthy singing in the long run. Therefore, it is important to practice the exercises and songs your teacher assigns you to get you to your goals.

#5 Expect to have fun!

Learning how to sing well is work, but it’s also fun! You probably started taking voice lessons because you love to sing, but you’ll find that each individual lesson itself can be a fun and rewarding experience. If you come in with an open mind and ready to learn, you’ll have a great time with voice lessons.

If you’re still a bit nervous, just remember one more thing: your new voice teacher was once a brand new student, too. As long as you let their experience guide you, you’ll have a great start to a wonderful and lifelong musical journey.

I teach voice. I started singing at a young age, first with school and community choirs, followed by high school concerts and musicals. I received my Bachelor's of Music at the University of Michigan in Vocal Performance, with a minor in French. Then, I earned my Master's of Music at Westminster Choir College in Voice Performance and Pedagogy. After my second degree, I moved to Philadelphia to pursue performance and teaching opportunities. I have performed in various Philadelphia venues including The Kimmel Center, The Academy of Music, and The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. I have also participated in operatic productions with companies such as Opera Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley Opera Company, and Princeton Opera Alliance. I believe voice lessons should provide a thorough technical, musical, and emotional understanding of one’s voice. Comfortable singing always comes first, which begins with breathing and posture. I balance imagery and fact based on how a student learns and understands. Singing is joyful amongst all else. While I urge all of my students to reach certain technical goals, my main goal is to make sure the student is always achieving their personal goals and enjoying themselves at the same time. -Read More About Kristen

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