Singing/Voice Classes

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dziuniek
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Singing/Voice Classes

Post by dziuniek » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:47 am

Hello fellow Bglhdz,

I've recently been reacquainting myself with playing the keyboard, something I used to do as a child. At the age of 4 I played all the Christmas Carrols, but right now I might as well be using my feet. This will take time.

That being said, has anyone taken singing classes? If so, what's the cost in your area and what's your opinion after taking them? Just curious if it's possible to go from zero to at least acceptable in a few years.

Cheyenne
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by Cheyenne » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:23 am

dziuniek wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:47 am
Just curious if it's possible to go from zero to at least acceptable in a few years.
If you displayed musical talent at an early age it's most likely possible if you work at it. The only way to know for sure is to take instruction for a while (a few weeks or months) to see how it goes.

A440
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by A440 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:04 am

Join a church choir. It's free. :D

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rcjchicity
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by rcjchicity » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:45 am

A440 wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:04 am
Join a church choir. It's free. :D
+1

I took voice lessons from 7th grade through my mid-20's, and have sung semi-professionally in college choirs, symphony choruses, civic groups, and, of course, church choirs.

I have no idea how much cash my parents dropped for lessons when I was a kid. Once out of college, I studied with vocal major grad students. I don't remember the exact amounts (it was > 15 years ago), but it was definitely a few hundred for a 6 or 8 week session.

I would say without a specific goal for why you want the lessons other than just wanting to sing, they'd probably be a waste of money. A church or civic choir meant for people who are enthusiastic singers, but not necessarily trained or even able to read music is the way to go.


(BTW - I don't sing in any organized groups now, and use all of my training to sing lullabies and "Let it Go" from Frozen to my kids :D )

GmanJeff
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by GmanJeff » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:51 am

If your interest is relatively casual, you might try using an instructional CD containing vocal exercises suitable for your vocal range. That can help you learn to stay on pitch and can be relatively convenient and inexpensive.

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JupiterJones
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by JupiterJones » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:13 pm

I took some singing lessons back in the day. Don't remember what they cost, and it was so long ago that it would be useful even if I did remember.

But they were helpful, if only to ground myself on a few fundamentals (breathing, etc.)
Stay on target...

Dottie57
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:34 pm

If you have the least bit of interest join a choir. I did ( no auditions) a community choir. I was the least talented there. It is fun, engaging and breathing needed makes you feel good afterward. This is the biggest wish - to be born with some singing talent.
Last edited by Dottie57 on Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Hyperborea
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by Hyperborea » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:38 pm

I took some singing lessons for a number of months. I play a couple of musical instruments and I wanted to sing along with my playing. The lessons were very helpful. My instructor helped me to sing better to pitch - it's a muscle memory type of thing where you need to learn the right way to produce the sound. I stopped lessons because I moved away from the area where I was taking lessons. In a VHCOL area (SF bay area) the lessons were $160 for 4 x 30 minute lessons per month.

Another option to consider is taking group singing lessons at a local community college or an adult education class from the local school district.
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123
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by 123 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:50 pm

rcjchicity wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:45 am
... A church or civic choir meant for people who are enthusiastic singers, but not necessarily trained or even able to read music is the way to go....
+1 Church or civic choir is definately the way to go. You learn a lot by observing others as well as they learn. Less intense than private lessons. Additional options might be an local adult education class in signing/choir, a voice/choir class at a community college, community sing class/events at a local senior center. There seem to be a lot of ad hoc singing clubs or groups that make the rounds (weekly/monthly) and provide entertainment at local assisted living homes or nursing centers - they are sincerely appreciated by their audiences.
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rjbraun
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by rjbraun » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:05 pm

I took singing lessons with the hope they would help my piano playing. My limited singing range made it very difficult for me to sing / hum the melody while practicing piano. Also, I figured that voice lessons would help to improve my breathing and overall speaking, even for non-musical activities. I would say the latter has resulted, which pleases me, more than having developed much of a singing voice.

I took lessons similar to what's shown in the link below. I think the studio has subsequently become more commercial in nature (thanks to a McKinsey study, I heard), so prices have risen from when I attended. I don't know, maybe I paid $275 for 10 lessons.

https://hbstudio.org/classes/musical-th ... g-voice-1/

goodlifer
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by goodlifer » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:34 pm

My daughter just finished a round of lessons. It is $300 per month for two weekly lessons. One lesson a week is private and the other is with a group with about 2 hours a week total. The lessons are grouped into sessions and she was only in the summer session, so I really haven't noticed any improvement yet.

dziuniek
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by dziuniek » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:25 am

Thank you all for the responses. I think I'll give it a shot!

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Jazztonight
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by Jazztonight » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:05 am

dziuniek wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:25 am
Thank you all for the responses. I think I'll give it a shot!
I encourage you to take lessons and sing. Voice is the instrument that we all have access to.

Many people don't realize that there's more to singing than just, well singing. If you want to take it to the next level, it really helps to know what you're doing. Vocal students learn to breath correctly, read music, perform with other musicians, and become familiar with the repertoire from different musical periods. Performing in small and large ensembles as well as solo adds to the enjoyment of singing.

I've composed and arranged for vocal choir. As in instrumental ensembles, there are different levels of choirs. (A good comparison would be sports teams; you can play at the lowest amateur level "for fun," or you can play at higher levels where individual and team skills are called for.)

Before getting a BA in music in my late fifties, I took private voice lessons and was amazed at what my teacher showed me. In school, all the students were expected to have basic vocal skills, and many of us sang in vocal ensembles regardless of our instrumental majors.

I'm sure that with the motivation you're expressing, you'll get a lot from your lessons.

Regarding cost, voice lessons will be on a par with instrumental lessons in your area. I wish you the best of luck!
Last edited by Jazztonight on Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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investingdad
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by investingdad » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:18 am

dziuniek wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:25 am
Thank you all for the responses. I think I'll give it a shot!
I certainly would if I were you. I'm taking a similar journey, albeit with instrument, and I'm fairly certain that up to 80% of what I perceive as musical talent is simply a combination of desire and serious effort. The balance is the natural talent some possess. But I think you can do a lot with hard work, determination, and a healthy dose of patience with yourself.

Jags4186
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:36 am

The big difference between singing lessons and instrumetn lessons is that everyone can sing, even if badly. You can sing a song at tempo, have fun, and laugh if it sounds bad.

If you don’t know how to play an instrument you can’t even fake making the tune, you can’t play at tempo, it isn’t enjoyable. So if you’re just looking to have fun, I agree with everyone above, join a chior. If you’re looking to have fun on an instrument you’ll need to learn how to actually play.

Texanbybirth
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:16 pm

I think a free church or civic choir is a good idea for your first stab at singing, but it can depend on the director/leader. Our parish's music director is fantastic, and loves to spend time coaching (for free) outside rehearsals, but we've been to a couple parishes where that just isn't the case. I like what others have said that singing is a lot easier to "fake" than playing an instrument!

My wife is a famous professional singer. She has told me there's no hope for my voice, so no I wouldn't pay for lessons. :D :D :D

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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by nisiprius » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:54 pm

I would strongly encourage giving it a shot. My experience was: a) in elementary school, (bad) music teacher tells me that "I can't sing." Believed that for about forty years, because when I tried to just sing, without any training or experience I didn't sound good. b) Was at a Fortune 500 company that had a corporate chorus (!) and saw the magic words "no audition necessary," joined, they didn't kick me out, I enjoyed it. No actual voice training at all apart from the fact that we did do a warmup. c) Took an adult ed singing course at the local high school, not a very big deal, I think it might have been twenty weeks, two hours each, and I think the cost was trivial, maybe $30, something like that. That was very interesting because I finally got it that singing is 1) a skill, that 2) can be taught and learned.

I'm not ready to quit my day job, but before I took those lessons, I really hated to hear a recording of myself singing. After taking them, I can stand to hear myself.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:18 pm

Private voice training from a professional is well worth it and where you can make the most improvement.

Also, have an idea of what type of singing you have in mind and/or what various scenarios you have in mind to sing.
IE: the shower, the car, singalong, group, or performance with a self played instrument solo, group, in public, on stage, in a recording studio, etc. And, what style of singing you most admire and would want to emulate. And, what repertoire you would want to build on.

It can be tremendously rewarding if you can develop your keyboard skills and vocal skills such that you can entertain others. :D

vveat
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by vveat » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:38 pm

Just to weigh in on cost, since my daughter went last month through a few lessons to prep for an audition. One teacher was $30 for 30 min we had to go there. Another was coming to our home and was $45 for 30 min. I am not musical myself but was impressed by the techniques they showed her, including the very different way of breathing.
She is now starting group voice lessons which are just $20 for 1 hour. We are in NJ, a HCOL area.

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CyclingDuo
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by CyclingDuo » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:27 pm

dziuniek wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:47 am
Hello fellow Bglhdz,

I've recently been reacquainting myself with playing the keyboard, something I used to do as a child. At the age of 4 I played all the Christmas Carrols, but right now I might as well be using my feet. This will take time.

That being said, has anyone taken singing classes? If so, what's the cost in your area and what's your opinion after taking them? Just curious if it's possible to go from zero to at least acceptable in a few years.
Depending on your age and genetic natural coordination of using your voice - it can indeed happen rather quickly with the right tutelage and guidance. True, to master your technique and be at a professional level takes years of study. However, a good master teacher can get you aligned and making a coordinated sound to show off the natural beauty of your own unique voice with regular study and practice in a fairly short amount of time (at least compared to what you mention as a few years).

Expect to pay between $20 and $50+ for a 30 minute lesson depending on where you live. More in areas such as NYC. Check out the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) "Find a Teacher" page to locate qualified teachers in your area:

https://www.nats.org/cgi/page.cgi/find_teacher.html

CyclingDuo
(Been in the Singing Business for the past 33 years)
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helloeveryone
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Re: Singing/Voice Classes

Post by helloeveryone » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:10 pm

dziuniek wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:47 am
Hello fellow Bglhdz,

I've recently been reacquainting myself with playing the keyboard, something I used to do as a child. At the age of 4 I played all the Christmas Carrols, but right now I might as well be using my feet. This will take time.

That being said, has anyone taken singing classes? If so, what's the cost in your area and what's your opinion after taking them? Just curious if it's possible to go from zero to at least acceptable in a few years.
At a local music school for all instruments & voice:
$130/month for 30 minutes weekly
$105/month for 30 minutes weekly with 12 month contract

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