I've also trained voice teachers with our New York Vocal Coaching Teacher Training and Certification. And then I've employed some of the fiercest, finest, most ferocious voice teachers to our staff at New York Vocal Coaching.
So at this point I feel fortunate to be able to say I know a thing or two, I think, about finding a great voice teacher. And so today I'm gonna share with you guys some tips for what to look for in a great voice teacher.
And our very first tip is that teaching is their passion.
In nature we have hunters and gatherers. Hunters would be something like a lion or a shark or a wolf. Gatherers would be something like a squirrel or an ant or a bee. At New York Vocal Coaching the voice teachers I look to hire are hunters AND gatherers.
Katerina, you want a voice teacher who can discuss the muscular antagonism between the cricothyroid and the thyroarytenoid muscle. [hits piano] You want your voice teacher to be able to discuss the role the palatoglossus muscle plays in laryngeal stability. [hits piano] You want your voice teacher to wax rhapsodic at the dysphonia
and its source of vocal fry, false vocal cords, or aryepiglottic folds. [hits piano]
In other words Katerina, you want a voice teacher who's hungry for vocal knowledge and who can answer your question. And if they can't answer your question, someone who's gonna go out and get that information to help you.
Voice teachers need to have superhero kind of hearing. You want your voice teacher to pick up on vocal habits right away. You want them to hear cricothyroid. Bam! Digastric. Pow! Sternocleidomastoid. Zap! And get it right away.
And this is another reason why you want to find a voice teacher that's passionate about voice teaching first and foremost. The only way to get your voice teaching ears to that level is to be devoted to this job, to teach teach teach teach teach.
If I can share personally, back in the day when I was cutting my chops as a voice teacher I used to teach twelve hour days, this is insane. I used to teach twelve hours without a break. From 10:00AM to 10:00PM the entire day, every day. That was my teaching day.
Now it's okay to take two steps forward sometimes and then one step back, two steps forward. But you really want to know what progress you're making and know that your voice teacher is communicating that. So a teacher that gets results.
Now it seems like common sense, but I think it's worth saying. You should like the sound of your voice teacher's voice. You should say that voice is pleasing to me. I think they have very good vocal technique. I admire what they can do with their voice.
If your voice teacher is going to ask you to do it they ought to be able to do it themself. Your voice teacher should be able to demonstrate various vocal coordinations for you in the exercises and in songs. You should say this voice teacher has a voice that I think is healthy and demonstrates good vocal technique.
Voice teachers are not just teachers of voice but also teachers of music. So you need to find a voice teacher who's also a great musician. Somebody that can explain musical concepts to you and also who knows and understands your style.
But most voice teachers are going to be competent on the piano enough to give you great vocal exercises to work on and ideally to accompany you a little bit. But in any case you want to have a voice teacher who you admire as a musician not just as a singer.
Now Katarina, no two singers are the same. No two voices are the same. And no two people are the same. So while vocal methods can be helpful, we don't want to get lost in them. You want to find a voice teacher who's able to adapt to you and your needs.
I know that when I train voice teachers I try to train them and mentor them to be able to change their ways, change their methods, to be able to best help the person standing in front of them. Find creative strategies to help them get to their goals. So you want to find a voice teacher who can adapt to you.
When we study singing we're not just studying how to make the muscles do what we want them to do. But we're also bearing our souls. And so you want to feel really good around your voice teacher. You want to trust them and you want them to create a positive and safe space for you.
You may notice your voice teacher becoming something of a mentor or a friend, or a therapist, a confidant or a professional guide, or many of these things. That's why it's so important that the voice teacher creates a very positive space for you to explore those places in your soul and those places in your physical technique.
Because, for example, if a top surgeon gives away his surgical techniques that doesn't mean that another doctor is going to be able to do surgery. Great voice teachers are not copycats. And great voice teachers are not in it for the money. They're in it to help you.
You don't want a voice teacher that's showing off their voice or showing off their knowledge, or teaching at you when they're supposed to be working with you. No, you want a voice teacher that'll leave their ego at the door.
A voice teacher who when they're in the audience doesn't secretly wish that they were up there but instead is the one with a tear rolling down their cheek because they're so so proud of you and all that you've accomplished. That's the voice teacher that you want.
As we've been talking about, find a great voice teacher in your area. Or if you guys are in the New York City area or you'd like to Skype with one of us, you can visit us at www.NewYorkVocalCoaching.com.
And if you are a voice teacher or an aspiring voice teacher, I encourage you to check out VoiceTeacherTraining.com. It's the New York Vocal Coaching Voice Teacher Training and Certification. A great chance for you guys to have the training in vocal pedagogy and in voice teaching that you want to start a very successful vocal studio, hopefully all around the world.