So you’ve decided to take voice lessons and you’re anxious about your first lesson and wondering what to expect and how to prepare. Here’s the good news… this isn’t an audition! Take a deep breath (because you’ll be doing a lot of that in your singing lessons, so why not start now), and read these 7 tips to prepare for your first voice lesson.
1) Have a vocal goal. This will help your instructor focus your lessons and aim for particular benchmarks in your progress. Whether you would like to be able to sing “Happy Birthday” on key, tour with your band for a month without losing your voice, or improve your musicality, there are dozens of great goals you can have as a singer. Are you looking to sing a particular genre (musical theater, opera, pop)? Would you like to sing as a hobby or as a professional? Be ready to discuss these questions in your first lesson.
2) Be prepared to talk. Sometimes performing a perfect song means digging into the meaning of the lyrics you are singing. Translating, analyzing and applying your own personal interpretation of a song’s lyrics can help bring out the best vocal performance. So be prepared to have these discussions with your vocal coach.
3) Be prepared for the basics. Many teachers start their lessons with simple scales and vocal exercises, not only to warm up your voice to avoid injury, but to also give them an idea of your range, style and tone. You may not actually get to singing “real” songs for several lessons, or until your teacher thinks you’ve gained the vocal control to have songs as an effective part of the lesson.
4) Have compassion with yourself. Whether you aren’t hitting that one note, you hear yourself sounding pitchy during scales, or you are just surprised by the new sound you are producing, know that you are not on The Voice (yet) and that no one is judging you. This is a learning period. Working on your voice can be a vulnerable experience, so make sure you give yourself some space to grow.
5) You are more than welcome to bring your choice of songs to your first lesson. Just know that you may not be getting to them right away. On the other hand, some teachers may enjoy hearing you sing something you are comfortable with. If you need the sheet music, just be sure to bring an extra copy for the pianist.
6) Do the work. Your teacher may assign exercises, homework, research, translations, whatever it is that will help you move forward. To avoid a lesson that is exactly same as the last one, I strongly recommend you do the homework. Practice. The teacher is trained to know how to get your voice to the next level and that takes a joint effort on both your parts. Like I tell all of my students, you simply will not progress (or at least not at the speed you would like) without putting in the work in between lessons. You may even be surprised with the results once you do!
7) Enjoy yourself. Your voice is unique to you, and training it so that you can fully express yourself is a gift. So enjoy!
Knowing what to expect in your first voice lesson can definitely help ease you into the process of singing lessons. Every lesson and experience is unique to the student so go in with an open mind and knowing that your teacher is your teammate in your vocal journey.