If you want to improve your singing, you may be considering voice lessons. But how much are singing lessons? And is the investment worth the outcome?
Let’s answer the second question first. Voice lessons are an excellent way to learn proper singing techniques without stressing your vocal cords. You might have a natural talent for singing and think lessons are unnecessary, but there’s only so far you can go on raw talent alone. Singing lessons can teach you how to:
Control your breathing
Open up your vocal range
Stay in tune
Develop perfect pitch
Project your voice safely
Endure through a long song
Ultimately, if you really want to grow into the best vocalist you can be, formal voice training is critical.
Now, back to your first question: how much are singing lessons? Average prices for 30-minute lessons can range from as low as $10 to as much as $75. What’s with the large range? Several factors come into play. Ask yourself the following questions as you compare prices:
Where Do You Want to Take Lessons?
Prices vary across the country. Teachers who offer lessons in big cities – New York, Boston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, for example – tend to charge more for their services. Of course, you don’t want to drive hours and hours to reach your voice teacher’s home or studio, so you could end up stuck with whatever the going rate is in your city.
Fortunately, a great way to broaden your search and go beyond the bounds of where you happen to live is to find a teacher who conducts live, online singing lessons via video chat. This also affords you more flexibility in scheduling, especially if you live in different time zones. Additionally, cutting out driving time and taking lessons from your favorite teacher from the comfort of your own home – despite the miles that separate you – is an extraordinary feat.
What Level of Expertise Are You Looking For?
As you might expect, young teachers just getting started are likely to recognize their limitations and charge less than instructors with years of experience molding up-and-coming stars in Los Angeles or New York.
Then again, even someone with exceptional vocal teaching skills may choose to charge a lower rate because they want to give everyone the chance to take singing lessons, no matter what their finance situation is like. Think about your specific goals and intentions as you’re searching for your teacher, and what you need in a teacher. It’s also smart to read through ratings or feedback from previous students to get a feel for the instructor’s teaching style and proficiency.
What is Your Personal Vocal Training Experience?
Is this the first time you’ve ever taken voice lessons? If so, it may be wise to test the waters with a teacher that charges less. You’ll likely be covering basic techniques at the beginning, and anyone offering voice lessons can do at least that much.
If you have taken lessons in the past and want to pick up where you left off, a more qualified (and thus pricier) teacher may be the better choice. You’re beyond the basics now and need to advance your voice beyond your comfort zone – so an experienced teacher is critical.
How Long Do You Want the Singing Lessons to Be?
Most teacher offer varying lesson lengths, starting at 30 minutes. This is often recommended for beginners, but you’ll want to check with your teacher to see what he or she suggests. 45- and 60-minute sessions are the the most popular length, as it allows for adequate time for warming up before getting to more complex exercises and songs.
It may seem like common knowledge, but it’s important to compare different teachers’ rates with the lesson lengths they offer. Otherwise you could accidentally assume one teacher charging $60 for 60-minute session is twice as expensive as another charging $30 for a 30-minute session, when in reality the per-minute rate is exactly the same.
What is Your Ultimate Goal?
Not all singing lessons are created equal. If you have a specific singing style you would like to learn, look for it on your potential teachers’ lists of specialties. Examples include Broadway, country, gospel, classical, jazz, opera, choir, music performance, stage performance, musical theater, and ear training.
Also consider what you hope to accomplish with your singing lessons. Do you want to be a music teacher? Join a choir? Or is theater performance in your sights? Wherever you want your singing lessons to take you, it will be the most beneficial to you if you choose an instructor with experience in that particular area. The more specific knowledge categories a vocal teacher has, the more he or she can charge for lessons.
So, ready to get started? Take all of the above into consideration as you’re doing your research, and you’ll have an easier time managing your budget and finding that perfect teacher. Good luck!
Photo by Walter