When I first meet with a client, I always ask them to share with me the goals that they have for their voice. They usually mention the singers that they most admire like Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, or Beyonce. Sometimes they will then say, “I’m sure they wouldn’t need voice lessons!” It’s always a delight for me to let them know the truth: yes, even they do!
There is a widespread misunderstanding towards the art of singing that has declared the skill as something that people either have or they don’t. Either you were born with ability, or you weren’t. This assumption is inaccurate, and it is one of my greatest joys as a vocal coach to unlock the potential that rests in each person’s voice.
Think about it – in every other arena of skill it is understood that professional training is imperative for improvement. My niece just started gymnastics classes this week. I’m sure no one will be surprised to know that her coach didn’t just put her on a balance beam and tell her to do a dismount. If they did, they would have one angry uncle on their hands! 🙂
No one is surprised to hear that professional athletes have personal trainers. Does Tom Brady have a trainer because he doesn’t know his way around a gym? Obviously, that is not the case. It has nothing to do with his ability to lift weights or run on a treadmill. It has everything to do with the infinite value of having another person watch your back and make sure you are maintaining a technique that will provide you success and longevity. No one is surprised that nurses and health specialists have to go in for continuing education in their craft. Is that because every year or so they completely forget how to do their job? Of course not! It is simply an opportunity for them to stay fine-tuned with their skill set.
Professional vocal coaching is exactly the same. I have worked with everyone from beginners to Grammy winners. Even the most talented singer benefits from vocal exercises that help strengthen and maintain one’s vocal prowess. Celine Dion still has a vocal coach. Beyonce was with her first vocal coach for 11 years! Michael Jackson trained with the same vocal coach for over 30 years! Is it because these people were tone deaf and clueless about how to operate their instrument? Child, please!
Voice lessons are for everyone. With some clients, I provide guidance to give singers new skills they didn’t possess prior to coming in. With others, I am helping them maintain healthy vocal technique and a regimen that will allow them to survive the demands of touring. Others I support in developing their personal artistry and individual sound. And for some, it is all of the above!
So if you have ever wondered who voice lessons are for, wonder no more! The answer is: everyone! We can all benefit from the invaluable guidance of a professional pointing us towards success.