In this series on vocal coaching so far we’ve considered why even good singers can benefit from teaching, what you can expect from singing lessons and what to look for in a good teacher. Now we ask how much singing lessons will cost.
Cost really does depend on what you want. Teachers will vary hugely in price dependant on location (in big cities quite often they will charge more), credentials (teachers with TV exposure or famous clients will likely charge far higher rates) and whether or not you go to them (if you want them to come to you there will often be a higher charge). Usually you can book on a week by week basis, and can be quite flexible with this sort of class, although this does vary and the teacher will probably charge a cancellation fee if the class is cancelled within 48 hours of the booked time. Also, the more popular teachers are likely to be booked up in advance, and it may take you a while to get a slot if you are time restricted.
If you want a more personal class with a lower cost, maybe find a friend and ask the teacher if they’ll run the session for the two of you. Whilst not being as fully focused on you as a one to one, you’ll only be sharing the time with one other person, and you can share the cost too. However not all teachers are willing to teach in this way, so be prepared to have to hunt around for one.
Group classes are often substantially cheaper than one to one sessions, although you may be asked to pay for a series upfront, and required to sign up for specific sessions each week. Held usually in schools, or community venues, group sessions can be great fun, and less intimidating than a one to one session for those less confident with their voices. However due to the nature of the class, they are unable to be as personally tailored to your own needs, and you may feel that you progress at a slower rate.
If the idea of paying out for classes every week isn’t realistic for you, there are other ways you can learn. Coaching DVDs are a great way to get a lot of information without the continual cost of paying for lessons. Combining working through DVDs with occasional face to face sessions can work fantastically, allowing you to learn and progress but with occasional input and personal feedback from someone who can tell you which bits you’re doing wrong or right.
The cost of coaching isn’t cheap, but it is an investment in yourself, and if singing is something that you really desire to improve in, then it’s a price worth paying.
If you’ve decided that physical lessons are not realistic for you, then using web resources such as this CAN help you in your singing if you are dedicated to it. I will soon be posting a series of articles about improving your voice on your own, including some information about how the voice works and the different things that are fundamental to singing technique, with some tips and ideas that you can use to improve your singing voice in just 10 minutes a day!
But if you are still considering lessons, make some enquiries. You’re not committing yourself to anything. Find out if there is a local music school in your area, or search online to find freelance teachers nearby. Ask anyone you know who has been going to classes, look into prices, times and dates, even call some people up – you’re not signing a contract. And remember – you call the shots. If you’re not happy with something, don’t accept it or ask for it to change. It’s your money, and it’s your voice. And I promise you you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results!