Today, singing and talent competitions dominate reality television with shows such as The Voice and American Idol. Singing has always proved a favorite pastime and a visions of stardom hang as a far off dreams in every recent decade. But the meteoric rise of increasingly younger stars, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Selena Gomez and Justin Beaver to name a few, as well as new YouTube sensations like Lennon and Maisy have created a resurgence in the popularity of singing.
Back in the day I was the queen of a local karaoke club after work at a little bar/restaurant down the street from my job. Me and a bunch of friends would get in there and never stop getting up to the mic. Now, I would never but I love singing as do my kids now. When Dad isn't in the car, we GO FOR IT!
Television dramas such as the hit Glee (I love this show) inspire singing camps and talent shows amongst a younger and younger group of viewers from high school and junior high through the lowest elementary grades. Legions of inspired young ones have their parents hiring local vocal coaches and flocking to recitals in the hopes that one day their star will rise.
So what are some of the perks to hiring an actual singing coach and aspiring to a trained voice?
Voice As an Instrument
Just like any other instrument, learning voice and making music can aid in childhood development. It is also a step in creating an arts education foundation for many youngsters. And among older children and teens, participating in music through lessons and practice at home can provide a positive way to fill recreation time. Vocal coach Ruth Gereson writes that “singing and writing songs kept [her] sane as a child.” Furthermore, the pursuit of any musical skill like singing can lead kids to appreciate the process of practicing and growing their talents through hard work.
Hiring a Vocal Coach
Seeking an actual coach or private instructor to guide your young star in their vocal development can present some real benefits. Though almost everyone enjoys singing along with the radio, the art of vocalizing is a detailed science with many intricacies.
Studying under a trained vocalist can help your child learn how to protect and strengthen his or her voice rather than straining it or unwittingly causing other harm. While learning about the care and growth of their voices, children will also begin to develop an understanding of rhythm and a basic knowledge of music theory. They can learn the difference between falsetto and full voice, between belting the melody or choosing to harmonize instead. All they while, a good coach will hopefully be instilling confidence in and providing experience for your child.
Questions to Ask
When you begin the hunt for the perfect vocal coach for your child, make sure to ask some important questions such as:
•What is your teaching methodology?
•What are some strengths in my voice and how can these be further developed?
•What are some weaknesses in my voice and how can I grow these?
It may also be a wise idea to research your prospective instructor online and hear their own voice. But do realize that simply because a coach has a fantastic voice of their own does not make them a wonderful teacher. Teaching is a special and important gift different from vocal talent.
Finally, search for a good teacher with whom your child will feel at ease. Singing involves some funny exercises. It can also be an area of self-consciousness to sing in front of others and hear your own voice. A good vocal coach should ultimately be able to provide a safe place to learn, confidence to learn and positive instruction about how to grow and improve. With these essentials, your child will be on their way to gaining a rewarding skill and pursuing dreams.
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