Brazoswood High School
Should I study privately, outside of school time?
In a word: yes. Every student will see great improvement in his or her singing under the guidance of a voice teacher with the time and training to devote to improving your individual voice. However, to really see great vocal improvement, you must also be willing to spend the time it takes to improve--a half-hour or one hour per week in your lesson and at least a few practice sessions in between lessons.
But I don't want to be a professional singer.
Many people who take lessons are not taking them to become professional singers. They are taking them because they enjoy singing and making music and want to be better at it.
Will I have to sing like an opera singer?
Most teachers will teach you to sing using the concepts of classical training or "bel canto". Bel canto is not opera. Bel canto singing ensures healthy vocal habits no matter what the style of music you perform. Singing healthily will assure yourself a long career of singing, well into the rest of your life.
Once you learn the healthy vocal habits of bel canto singing, you will be able to apply them to all styles of music, including pop and Broadway, for example. It is important, however, that you are very forthright with your voice teacher about the styles of music you are most apt to perform. This wil help your teacher directly apply the concepts he or she is teaching to your preferred style of music. Remember--it is your voice, and your teacher needs to know what you plan on doing with it in order to maximize your potential! Always be candid and open with your teacher! You may need to start your singing career with some simple "classical" art songs. This is to provide you with an easy introduction to proper vocal technique. Ask your teacher if he or she will be willing to work with you on other styles of repertoire as you progress.
Is it expensive?
The cost of your lessons depends mainly on the teacher you select and the length of lesson per week you choose. Teacher cost can vary from $40 to $60 an hour, and wider ranges are possible. The typical cost in our area is $20 per half hour. In general, teachers with advanced degrees (master's or doctoral degrees in music) tend to charge more because of their experience. Far more important than teacher cost is the quality of the instruction and the rapport you develop with the teacher. That said, you cannot beat the price or quality of Brazoswood High School's Voice Lesson program.
How do I select a voice teacher?
Selecting a voice teacher is a very personal matter. Each teacher approaches the teaching of voice from a different philosophy and background, but all have the same goal--(1) improving the quality of the singing voice through proper and healthy technique; and (2) improving the expressiveness and musicality of the singer. Factors to consider in the selection of a teacher include the teacher's cost, the teacher's personality (and how well it will mesh with the student's personality), and the type of repertoire the student would eventually like to sing.
No teacher likes to take a student unwilling to practice between lessons. If you are not able to commit at least some extra time to practice between your lessons, you will find your lessons unproductive and boring. If your home is not equipped with a piano or electronic keyboard there are many times when private, sound-proof practice rooms are available at the high school. Just ask.
When do I take the lessons?
Voice lessons are offered during the school day and after school. Many students will take their lesson during their regular choir class time. The lessons are generally once a week and last 30 minutes. Other students prefer to take their lessons in the afternoon or evening. Almost any time is possible if you schedule your time early.
Are there teachers in our area?
There are a number of very fine voice teachers in the Brazosport area. Leslie Lundquist and David Hill work very closely with the school to schedule lessons. Several others are teaching privately from their homes or churches. We will be glad to provide you with any information that is available.