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BWW Blog: Finding a Good Voice Teacher is Like Finding a Good Therapist

After being a voice student for most of my life, I have come to find that finding a good voice teacher is similar to finding a good therapist, and here’s why.

BWW Blog: Finding a Good Voice Teacher is Like Finding a Good TherapistI have been lucky enough to take voice lessons since I was six years old (I'm now twenty, so it has been fourteen wonderful years). I started singing when I was three, and after seeing my passion for the art form, my mother was kind enough to set me up with voice lessons at a young age. Over the years, I've had six different voice teachers for a multitude of reasons. I have loved all of them dearly, but some of them could not continue lessons with me because they moved away, had surgery, or got a new job. I feel that voice teachers are the best people. They're kind, fun, easy-going, and usually very very concise and clear in their teaching. I have been fortunate enough to only have good experiences with voice teachers, so I know that I can't speak for everyone, but I can't gush about them enough. Although all of my past voice teachers served me well, my last voice coach was by far the one I grew closest to. We worked together for five years, and she saw me through the end of middle school and all of high school. During my most formative years, she not only taught me how to sing, but I believe she taught me how to sing from the heart. I laughed and cried in our voice lessons, and she never once judged me. She supported me both professionally and personally, and I will be forever grateful for that.

In addition to being a voice student for most of my life, I've also been in therapy since I was a little girl. I am not ashamed of this, but in fact, proud. I feel that therapy is for everyone and I truly believe that it's healthy to talk about your feelings with someone who will not judge you. Speaking with a therapist has really helped me overcome many emotional hurdles and find ways to alleviate my anxiety. In my experience, my past voice teachers have also filled similar roles for me, even if it wasn't directly in their job description.

I truly believe that voice teachers need to have many qualities that therapists posess in order to train their students and prepare them for a successful career in the theatre industry. For instance, a teacher who is patient and understanding is great because vocal improvements take time. A voice coach should be able to recognize your insecurities and give constructive criticism that will allow you to move forward and grow. A voice teacher should also be receptive to how you're feeling and how you like to work. I believe that a student and a voice teacher need to have an emotional connection in order to work together. For instance, if the student feel doesn't like their voice teacher and they don't vibe personality-wise, they may not be the most receptive to the teacher's adjustments and suggestions vocally. Most importantly, a voice teacher needs to be able to access your emotions in order to teach you to sing from the heart (if you are too stuck in your head).

At the end of the day, singing should be fun. I started singing because I was so passionate about my emotions that words alone weren't enough to express them. Although we are training for careers in the theatre industry (which happens to be highly competitive and rigorous), we all wanted to work in the theater because singing makes us happy. We train and study with teachers because we love it, and I truly believe that you should always have fun and take something positive away from voice lessons. So, find a voice teacher like a therapist, and you can't go wrong.

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