How to Make the Most Out of Your Voice Lesson
Let’s face it. Voice lessons are an investment of your finances, time, and energy. Most importantly it’s an investment in the development of your vocal skills, singing, and performance, just to name a few areas. Being strategic in what you do before, during, and after each lesson will greatly support your vocal development.
Here are some helpful practices to implement to maximize your lessons, and even though some of these may seem quite basic, they really make a difference.
Lesson time and location
This is a given if your lesson is in-person. When taking lessons online, treat it with the same respect as in-person. Be a few minutes early. Have a quiet, distraction-free, well lit space. It is very helpful to warm up your voice for a few minutes prior to your lesson. Hydrate ahead of time, and bring a bottle of water. Schedule your lessons at a time when you can get comfortable be there without being rushed.
Be self-aware and proactive
If you want your lesson to have a specific focus, communicate this advance. (This is like making a meal request at your fine restaurant.) Consider what needs addressing and what you need support with. Look at how things are going in all aspects of your vocal practice and singing journey.
Document each lesson
Capture and reinforce your understanding later (through taking basic notes in the lesson and audio or video recording, then filling in your notes from listening later) Your intellectual understanding drives your practical application. Think of it as creating a resource you can return to again and again. Even though it’s a private lesson, treat it like a class.
Ask your instructor what is required of you
This will be helpful in developing a more collaborative approach to your working relationship
Get guidance from your instructor in establishing daily vocal routines
Over time write down, work, and adjust your daily routines around your voice to foster consistency, forward motion, and growth. Many of us creatives initially have a disdain for routines! It’s the thing, however, that will help keep you focused and accountable. Some key areas to develop general plans for include, for example: Vocal Health, Vocal Gym, and Performance Training.
(For step by step instructions on how to build a routine that works for you, click here.)
Practice right after your lesson
Do I mean the same day as the lesson? Yes! Leave space at the end of your lesson time, if possible, or later that day to practice a few minutes to begin reinforcing your learning right away. This is something I’ve learned from my piano study that carries over well to vocal lessons. It also starts a momentum of practicing in between your lessons right away!
All of the above areas require a particular mindset of self-responsibility.
Self-Responsibility takes great willingness.
Be open to grow your willingness in these areas:
- See yourself where you want to be vocally. Then get to work daily to support you in realizing your dreams.
- Keep looking nonjudgmentally at your perceived limitations, fears, challenges as they arise. Work through them, and keep going!
- Take 100% responsibility for your singing journey. No teacher has all the answers and NO one can do your work for you.
- Trust in your innate Wisdom, and never, ever give up on you. No matter how long (or brief) you take lessons, see each voice lesson as a valuable support on your journey.
- Remember to laugh, have fun, stay present, and enjoy the journey