Why Are You Taking Voice Lessons?

This is one of the questions that I always ask potential voice students when they come to my studio.

Why are you taking voice lessons?

What do you want to get out of studying voice?

Sometimes this question stumps a student at first, but most will realize that they do have specific goals in mind. (If they can’t figure out an answer, this makes a great take-home assignment.)

Judy Rodman’s All Things Vocal Blog featured a great post earlier this month about “How to Make it in Music Business.” In it, she explained the varying types of “success” for someone who studies voice (or any instrument, for that matter). I found her ideas interesting, and could see how my students fit into the different categories.

With Judy’s permission, I made her list into a printable take-home for students. Click HERE for the PDF format.

Maybe your student wants to feel more confident during choir or musical auditions, or perhaps they want to major in music at a conservatory and need help preparing an Italian aria. Others might want to start singing with a local band, or maybe they just want to avoid offending their dog or neighbors while they’re singing around the house.

Whatever the reason, it’s important for a voice teacher to know their students’ intentions. It probably won’t change how we present the foundations of singing, but it will help us keep goals in mind, and it will encourage both teacher and student to keep track of progress towards those goals.

What other reasons have your students given you?

Why are THEY taking voice lessons?

Discuss in the comment section below.

P.S. If you don’t know the answer to that question, maybe it’s time to have that discussion with your students! It’s not too late to have them fill out a 2014 Student and Teacher Goals worksheet!


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  • by Melissa Posted January 30, 2014 3:48 pm

    I had an initial trial lesson/interview last week with a student who said that her goal was to learn to sing a few of her favorite songs (by Adam Lambert) better. She was very specific that she had no interest in learning anything about theory or technique, and no interest in learning any songs except for a few of her favorites. This is VERY different from the way I approach lessons–I feel it would be unethical to not teach a student ANY theory, and especially unethical to not teach them any technique! I also can’t quite figure out how she intends to get better and the songs she likes without just plain becoming a better singer–those things tend to go hand-in-hand. In the end, I didn’t budge. While giving her as much reassurance as I could that 1) Yes, we would work on the songs she liked, 2) No, none of this was too hard for her, and 3) Yes, her fears and insecurities are very normal, I still told her frankly that in lessons with me, warm ups are not optional and I simply cannot remove helping the student become a better singer from my list of goals. She decided not to pursue lessons.

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted January 30, 2014 7:38 pm

      It sounds like she was just looking for someone to play the piano while she sang! I’ve had a few of those students walk through my doors in the past. Thankfully I’m becoming better about putting my foot down about these sorts of things from the get-go. Good for you for not budging on technique and warm-ups!

  • by Sarah Posted August 26, 2014 11:27 am

    Another reason would be to start a new hobby. Singing is a joyful act and can be very relaxing and calming. I’ve had students who want to learn just because and sing there favorite songs.

    • by Sara @ Sara’s Music Studio Posted August 26, 2014 12:22 pm

      You’re absolutely right! Singing can be very fun and even therapeutic to some people. It’s a great way to de-stress and focus on the good things in life.

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