Does your son or daughter love to sing? If you’re wondering when to start voice lessons, you’re not alone. Singing in the car or in front of the mirror is fun, but a professional teacher can take your child far! Here, online voice teacher Atalia M. shares her advice…
As a voice teacher, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is “When is the right age for my child to start singing lessons?”
The answer is that there is no correct age for a child to start singing lessons, but that there are different ways of teaching, different vocal techniques and exercises, different repertoire to learn, and different areas of the voice that should be trained in each stage of the development of a child’s vocal folds or cords. It is important to be aware of the changes and the proper techniques in each stage in order to keep your child’s voice in ultimate health and shape.
Every student is unique and has their own journey that they are on when it comes to music. Some students begin voice lessons at a very early age, while others start later in life. There is no specific “right” age to start voice lessons – it all depends on the individual student and what their goals are.
In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of starting voice lessons at different ages, and how you can know when the time is right for you or your child to begin lessons.
So let’s get started!
Are Voice Lessons Worth It?
No matter what age you decide to start voice lessons, either for your child or for yourself, they are definitely worth it, because:
- Voice lessons give you a finer grasp of musical style
- They teach apt performance techniques
- You can learn better breath support and increase your vocal range
- You’ll get better at singing with clarity and at projecting your voice
- You may get over your stage fright!
The benefits of voice lessons, at any age, are numerous. Sign up for singing lessons today and check out an example of what you’ll learn in the video below:
What is the Best Age to Start Voice Lessons?
What age is best to start voice lessons? The short answer is…well, it depends!
While there is no definitive answer to this question, most experts agree that the best age to start voice lessons is between 8 and 10 years old. At this age, children’s vocal cords are fully developed, but they are still relatively flexible.
As children get older, their vocal cords begin to harden and stiffen, making it more difficult to produce sound. In addition, older children often have developed bad habits that can be hard to break. However, starting voice lessons at a young age does not guarantee success. In order to develop a strong singing voice, it is essential to practice regularly and have a good ear for music.
Some people are simply born with better vocal cords than others. So while 8 to 10 years old is generally considered the best age to start voice lessons, ultimately it is up to the individual.
Here are a few other questions to ask yourself when deciding the best age to start voice lessons with your child (or for yourself).
How do a child’s vocal cords look like and act before puberty?
The young child’s vocal cords before the age of puberty are small and thin — with no difference between a pre-pubescent male and a pre-pubescent female. When an adult sings high notes, their vocal cords become thin and small, and the opposite is true when he or she sings low notes. Therefore, because of the nature of a young child’s vocal cords, their tessitura (the place where it feels the most natural and comfortable to sing) will be higher and lighter and they will have some difficulty singing lower notes.
What and how should your child sing at the age before puberty?
The pre-pubescent child — both male and female — should be singing and doing vocal exercises mostly in the higher range, and should be focusing on repertoire that sits high in their voice. It is important for your elementary-aged child to avoid singing songs that are too low, because the vocal cords have not developed in that area yet and will not be able to produce a healthy sound in the lower range. Singing too low too early can wear on your young child’s constantly developing voice, while not singing high enough will inhibit him or her from improving vocal range.
What happens to the vocal cords during puberty?
Puberty is the most delicate vocal developmental stage for the young singer. This is because both genders undergo a very dramatic change in their bodies, their emotions, and their vocal cords. The female vocal cords start undergoing changes from around age 10 to age 14. During this time, her vocal cords start to thicken, which results in breathiness, huskiness, and a little unsteadiness in the voice. A male’s vocal cords also thicken during puberty, resulting in a significant pitch drop in his voice. However, he is still able to sing in his previous high range, and should continue to do so during puberty in order to keep his upper range after puberty.
What and how should your child sing at the age of puberty?
For a female singer to successfully get through this change, it is important for her to focus on singing lightly (singing too loudly will harm the changing female voice), and explore singing repertoire in high, middle, and low ranges. The breathiness in the changing female voice is caused by an inability to properly close the vocal cords, and can be corrected by different techniques that focus on chord closure and that focus on preventing air from escaping through the vocal cords.
For a male singer to maximize range after puberty and to reach his full potential in range, he should sing low, middle, and high notes in the lower chest register, the middle mix register, and the upper “soprano” head register. The use of this last register is often neglected or forgotten in the male changing voice, but is the most important register to sing in to keep his high range in the future. In order to maintain a healthy transition into the mature adult vocal cords, the pubescent male should not sing too loud or too soft, just like the pubescent female. For both males and females during the pubertal stage of development, natural vibrato will find its way into the voice, but should not be manufactured or consciously made by any means.
What about after puberty?
While the vocal cords reach full maturity by age 18, vocal development does not stop for the majority of the singer’s life. Therefore, it is important to continue furthering vocal instruction and technique for as long as the singer would like to pursue singing. The most important technique that a singer should focus on throughout all the ages and stages of vocal development is correct diaphragmatic breathing and support of the voice with the body.
Signs Your Child is Ready to Start Voice Lessons
As a parent, you want to give your child every opportunity to succeed. Voice lessons can be a great way to help your child develop their confidence and vocal skills. But how do you know if your child is ready to start voice lessons? Here are a few signs to look for:
- Your child expresses interest in singing. If your child enjoys singing around the house or in the car, they may be ready to take their interest to the next level with voice lessons.
- Your child has developed good pitch. You may notice that your child is able to sing simple songs in tune. This is a good sign that they are ready for more advanced vocal training.
- Your child shows signs of stage fright. Stage fright is common among even the most experienced singers. If your child gets nervous when performing in front of others, voice lessons can help them overcome their fear and boost their confidence.
If you see these signs in your child, it may be time to consider voice lessons. With the help of a qualified vocal coach, your child can learn proper breathing techniques, how to project their voice, and much more. Voice lessons can be a great way to help your child reach their full potential
Tips for Starting Voice Lessons
Many people believe that they can’t sing or that they’re tone-deaf, but everyone is capable of singing with the proper training.
Voice lessons are a great way to improve your vocal technique, increase your range, and expand your repertoire. If you’re thinking about taking voice lessons, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, be prepared to practice. Like any skill, singing takes time and effort to improve. You’ll need to dedicate some time each day to warm up your voice and practice your vocal exercises.
Second, be patient. Don’t expect to see results overnight—it takes time to develop vocal technique.
Finally, find a good teacher. A qualified voice teacher will be able to assess your strengths and weaknesses and help you develop a personalized practice routine. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to becoming a better singer in no time.
Why Kids Should Take Voice Lessons
There are many benefits to taking voice lessons, especially for kids.
First, it can help improve their confidence. Singing is a great way to express oneself, and by taking lessons, kids will learn how to control their voice and project it in a way that feels natural to them. This can be a great boost to their self-esteem.
Second, taking voice lessons can help kids develop good posture and breath control. Proper alignment and breathing are essential for singing well, and voice lessons will teach kids how to stand and breathe correctly in order to produce the best sound possible.
Third, voice lessons can help kids learn how to control their emotions. When singing, it’s important to be able to connect with the lyrics and convey the right emotion. Voice lessons will teach kids how to use their voice to create the desired effect, whether it’s conveying happiness, sadness, or anger.
Overall, taking voice lessons can be a great experience for kids of all ages. It can help them build confidence, improve their posture and breath control, and learn how to better express their emotions.
When is it Too Late to Start Voice Lessons?
Many people think that you have to start taking voice lessons at a young age to be successful. However, this is not necessarily true. While it is certainly beneficial to start taking voice lessons at an early age, it is never too late to start learning.
Adults often have better control over their vocal cords than children, and they are also more likely to stick with lessons if they are motivated.
In addition, many adult students find that they progress faster than their younger counterparts.
So if you have always wanted to learn to sing, don’t let your age hold you back. It’s never too late to start taking voice lessons.
Can You Improve Your Voice With Lessons?
So what’s the best age to start voice lessons? There’s no single best answer to that question.
But one thing will always be true – voice lessons are a great way to boost your singing skills at any age.
That said, the most successful singers start their vocal instruction very early in life. If they are correctly instructed throughout the developmental stages of the vocal cords, the result of the mature vocal cords will be beautiful, healthy, and rewarding. So, to answer the question simply — there is no age too young to start voice lessons, but at every age different instructional techniques must be employed in order to create a healthy, strong, long-lasting, and beautiful voice.
Voice lessons are a great way to improve your singing voice, and they can be started at any age. If you’re not sure where to start, try following these tips: find a qualified vocal coach, practice regularly, and warm up before each lesson or performance. With some hard work and dedication, you’ll be able to see improvements in your singing voice in no time!
Atalia M. teaches singing, composition, ear training, music theory, and more via online lessons. She received her Bachelor of Music, as well as her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Redlands. Atalia has performed many opera roles and currently teaches online students all over the world. Learn more about Atalia here!
Photo by morgan.davis