Voice Teacher Interview Topics: Music Styles and Accompaniment

When interviewing a prospective voice teacher, two of the topics you should discuss are their music style focus and the type of accompaniment there will be during the lessons.

Music styles

Find out whether the teacher focuses on different styles of music. For example, does the teacher understand belting and how to teach it for musical theater? You want to find out whether the teacher is interested in the same kind of music you enjoy. If he only assigns songs and doesn’t allow the student to choose, think about how you feel about his preferred style of music before you commit.

If you need help with a specific type of voice, such as a countertenor , or if you want specific kinds of help with styles of singing, such as jazz, pop, or belting, make sure that the prospective teacher can work with your voice type or the particular style of singing you’re interested in pursuing.

Accompaniment

Ask whether the teacher plays the piano or has a pianist play. Keep in mind that you’re seeking a voice teacher, not a pianist. Most voice teachers don’t play the piano that well; they spend their days training the voice and may have skipped the piano lessons.

However, you want to ask this question, because many voice teachers who don’t play the piano well hire a pianist to accompany their students. You need to find out whether the cost for this extra person is already figured into the cost of your lesson. Most times, it is. If it’s not, however, you need to decide whether you’re willing to take on the added expense.

If the teacher doesn’t play and doesn’t have a pianist available, find out what kind of system she has for working on music. Many teachers use accompaniment recordings for the students to sing along with.

Your teacher also may have a keyboard with songs already programmed into it. You may also consider finding a rehearsal pianist to record songs for you so that you can take a recording to your lessons and sing along.

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