Voice Lessons

Your child loves to sing and sings all the time.  You all think she is pretty good and you want to encourage her.  Maybe this is a good time for voice lessons?  Just to be clear, my thoughts on this are cautionary. There are a few elements to consider.

How old is your child? This is very important because what I am really saying is, how old is your child’s instrument, their voice?  When your child begins to play the clarinet, as an example, you rent or buy a school instrument.  It is probably nearly bottom-of-the line.  It gets bent, broken, bruised.  You go thru reeds as if they were skittles.  If you can get thru the squeaking and your kid gets pretty good, you trade up or maybe add another woodwind.  You don’t “trade-up” voices. You have to grow yours and you only get one so be careful. Your vocal cords are delicate. A kid’s vocal cords are very delicate.

When kids, especially girls, decide they want to be singers, they are often inspired by the latest Disney Princess, or Annie, or the current pop star. My daughter’s star was Britney Spears.  My daughter sang thru her nose a LOT.  It made me grit my teeth, but she is my kid so of course we captured it on videotape. I am a singer. I am a musician. I am a mom.  It is pretty easy for mom to win on the emotional level.  If your child has not yet reached puberty, my advice is, give her musical support.

This means, make sure she learns to: 1. read  2: appreciate

You might need to hire someone to help with the reading music part.  Piano is a super instrument because it is very visual and you can sing along. Guitar is also a good option in the singing-along department. Knowledge is power.  There is just no way around that.

Appreciate?  There are a lot of different types of music:  show tunes, church, choral, opera, folk, rock, classical art songs, native pieces…  Listen to them.  With the internet they are all easily accessible.  Check out the choral program in your child’s school or religious institution.  I happen to live in a town that has fantastic choral teachers.  They expose the kids to so many genres of music.  They teach the kids how to sing in different languages.  They talk about voice production in terms of breath control and diction (two critical elements that will not injure a young voice).

What if your child comes home and complains that they don’t like the music they sing in chorus??  Ugh – this makes me crazy.  Parents fall for this all the time. Do not give in to this.  Your child’s choral teacher is exposing your child to music you probably had no idea ever even existed.  Embrace this.  Choral singing is about being part of a team.  Think of it as a sport.  Everyone does not get to be the pitcher. Choral singing is about blending and improving your ear and singing right in tune.  There are opportunities to try out for solos as you improve. Work on your fundamentals and maybe you will get to pitch for the big game.

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3 thoughts on “Voice Lessons

  1. Excellent! Love the team analogy. More importantly that you put a fine point on the reality that this is their ONE voice…to be nurtured, over time, and with TLC.

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