This week I started a singing teacher training course for singers who want to teach privately. These days singers need to be versatile and use a wide range of money earning strategies to survive. What better way to share your experience and passion than by helping someone else to sing and build confidence singing?
For me the role of a singing teacher is simple, to feed a passion or fix a problem.
If you are a singer and considering going into teaching singing I suggest you start with these fundamental questions:
1. Why do you want to teach?
2. Who do you want to teach?
3. Where do you want to teach?
4. When do you want to teach?
5. What’s your current experience?
6. How do you plan to start?
7. Where do you want to take it?
One of the singers on this course answer these questions as follows
1. Why do you want to teach? I want to teach to earn a living from teaching people what I love to do, and grow my own business. I want to encourage, nurture and ‘give back’ to those who have the same love and need to sing that I feel. I have been incredibly lucky to learn what I have and I feel I am at a point where I can pass that on well. It is also increasingly important to me to work my own hours and for myself, and I feel this is a rewarding way I can do that.
2. Who do you want to teach? I am open to teaching anyone who wants to learn. It has been really rewarding thus far to be able to teach people who are experienced and not, both young and old for many different reasons. The beginner’s are amazing to see progress and it is so rewarding to see them excited & confident at feeling their voice getting stronger, and on a more personal level I enjoy teaching people with a background in singing already to share with them knowledge of song writing and performing and other, perhaps more ‘professional’ aspects of singing, which I also have a lot of experience in. (Far more than I had realized!). I would like to teach artists who are getting ready to record and/or tour as well. I don’t mind focusing on jazz vocals, or not. I feel it is great to explore all types of music.
3. Where do you want to teach? Not from home. I have my own studio where I teach from now, and I enjoy the separation from home. I would like to have a ‘nicer’ studio one day that I run and where lots of music is taught? I want to teach from a place that feels comfortable for me and the student and that makes me seem professional. (Now to just be more so!). But, I feel more professional teaching in a studio. I am open to teaching in institutions also, although not on a full-time basis.
4. When do you want to teach? I want to teach on my own schedule as much as possible, while still maintaining a high work ethic and dedication. Ultimately I would like to teach a few hours a day, during the day (afternoon) and early into the evening 3 – 4 days a week. I would like to have 8 students on average, but definitely not have my life engulfed by teaching. It is important to me that I create more time in my life to practice my own craft of singing, songwriting and being a professional musician. I would like to create a lesson plan that is based around the school year so that I can have set and specific times to organize recording and touring without interfering in my students learning. It is important to me that if they come to me that I am available to help them to grow and get to where they want to, and at the same time, do the same for myself.
5. What’s your current experience? Not extensive. I taught a little while I was in University and beyond, but definitely did not have the confidence or knowledge to feel like I could do a good job. Something has shifted though, and I now know I am ready to teach. (Those lucky peeps!! Haha!). I have often been put in the role of teacher though, -teaching after hours in high school, teaching classes in craft, teaching and training people for jobs, – so I think it must be something which is quite natural for me, without my having realized it so far!
6. How do you plan to start? I have started so far by putting ads on Craigslist, but that to me is not so much the ‘start’. I have sat down and really thought about how I am going to teach and how the time in each lesson is spent. I want to understand more about teaching voice. I understand singing and performing and know I have a lot to offer, but it is important to me to be a good teacher. So, I feel like I am starting here. Although, already having started teaching has given me more confidence in the fact that I already am somewhat, to some extent, an ‘expert’. But I know I am an expert that doesn’t have as many skills in teaching, and that is what I would like to learn as I move forward – how to be a good teacher. As I feel I am better at this I would then like to put up more ads over the place, and perhaps approach schools. I have a contact who may be able to get me students who want to apply to the ‘fame’ high school in NY, and that would be super fun for me. I also would like to use contacts in the recording industry and film industry to get students that way, too.
7. Where do you want to take it? My thoughts are not clear on this yet. I want to give back and I want to inspire and help people find their ‘voice’. Singing is such an important part of my life, different from playing other instruments, that I understand how amazing it is to be able to use your voice as a form of expression. I like helping in this way, and I want to be good at it. I also want to continue as a performer, and hope that both can go hand in hand. Perhaps through workshops as I tour, as well as teaching throughout the year. I see singing and yoga as going hand in hand, so I am interested in taking the thought further of combining them in some way.
The more detail your answers the more likely you are to succeed. Use SMART to set specific goals. Identify you strengths and weaknesses and get started on filling in the gaps.
This introduction to becoming a singing teacher 5 week course will be available online, let me know if you are interested in taking it. Alternatively if you are in London or near Guildford I will be running more courses in the new year so drop me a line to register interest.
Spread the love of singing!