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How are an Accompanist, a Coach, and a Voice Teacher Different?

Three specialists can help you prepare your song or help you with singing technique. They have different skills and strengths; read on to figure out which one is right for you:

  • A pianist or accompanist is someone who plays the piano for you to practice singing but doesn’t offer advice on singing technique. An accompanist usually charges less than a coach does because this role isn’t as demanding. Their strength is great piano skills.

    The word accompanist is often mispronounced. The correct pronunciation is uh-kum-puh-nist — there’s no “knee” in the word.

  • A coach is someone who plays the piano well and can give you tips on your singing. During a work session with a coach, you may practice hearing the piano cue for your entrances in your song, work on the pronunciation of words, get tips on how to sing with the correct style, and find good places to breathe within the text.

    A coach helps with some basic tips on technique and supports the work of your voice teacher.

  • A voice teacher is a technique specialist. Although the coach may have knowledge of technique, the voice teacher is the expert. The voice teacher may not play the piano so well but makes up for it in knowledge and advice on your technique.

    In your voice lesson, you can expect to work at least half of the session on technique and the other half applying that technique to repertoire.

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