In today’s article I hope to take away some of the mysteries and anxieties of booking that first singing lesson. No matter what brings you to singing lessons, it is completely normal to feel nervous about that first leap into the unknown! So here is a quick breakdown on what you can expect to happen in a singing lesson.
1. Meet and greet
The first thing I will always do in a first singing lesson, and in any further lessons, is chat. I know this seems obvious, and further down the line may even feel like a waste of time but it gives me so much information on who I am teaching and the kind of day they are having. For beginners especially, the first lesson is a very nervous experience so the last thing I want to do is make you sing in front of a complete stranger the moment you walk in the door! We need to build some sort of rapport, so I will probably ask you questions about why you want to learn to sing, what music and singers you like, what you do for work or anything that I think will help us get to know each other. Only when I think you’ve settled will I move on to the actual singing part of the lesson.
2. The Siren
First things first, what is a siren? A siren is basically a hum from your lowest note to your highest note on an “ng” sound, like at the end of the word “sing”. In your first lesson, and in all future singing lessons, I will always start with your siren. In your first lesson we will start with the piano and siren major fifths up and down your range. This gives me a clear indication of how healthy your voice is and what you already know. I can usually hear if you’ve had any previous vocal training and can tell what your vocal range could be. This is a great starting point so I can tell the best place for us to start work. And it also gets you used to singing in front of me and with a piano. It is not a test! Just do what comes naturally.
3. More chat
Over the years that I have been teaching, I’ve realised that coming to a first singing lesson, for most people, is such a personal journey so I’ve changed my practice slightly. At this point I used to wiz off into a full blown singing lesson and get excited with a new voice for me to play with! Seriously, I do love it. But, I’ve realised that people really like to hear what I think at this point, so now we sit down and have another quick chat about what I’ve heard, and what I think is already working and what I think needs to be worked on first.
4. Sing a Song
Now we get to the fun part! In your first lesson I would like to hear you sing a song. It can be absolutely anything! Something you love is usually the best choice. If you have any sheet music then bring it along and I will accompany you on the piano. Or you can always bring a backing track if that makes you more comfortable. Failing that you can sing me something a Capella (unaccompanied). Don’t over think your choice. I just want to hear how you handle singing a song. Most people sing songs completely differently to how they sing in vocal exercises.
5. The Work
Once I’ve heard you sing your song, I will give you a few tips to help you improve how you sing the song. If I think it is a good song for you to work on then we will delve a lot deeper into it and do some vocal exercises within the song to help you produce a healthy vocal sound, while singing the song that you love. If, for any reason, I don’t think the song you brought with you is appropriate, then I will help you pick something else. This could be for a number of reasons, but usually it’s because the song is for the wrong vocal range or the song is too complex for a beginner. So, the rest of the lesson will be spent working on your song, or a new one, using specific vocal exercises chosen to suit what you need to work on and the best approach to begin to train your voice.
And that’s it! You’ll be surprised how quickly your first hour goes. There really is nothing to worry about and I Hope this article has helped you decide to take the next step and book a lesson. Any questions then please get in contact directly or leave me a comment below. Happy singing!