Vocal Lessons for Singing? Try a Clinic

Lessons for singing “up-and-comers” are available in more formats than one might imagine. Most singers understand the need for private voice coaching to help them form a foundation of practical technique — breathing, support and resonance skills. However, singers may underestimate the value of group clinics, large and small, and summarily dismiss them as unnecessary or, quite frankly, beneath where they see themselves on the musical food chain. Instead, group classes can add a whole new dimension to a singer’s education.

Larger group settings of twenty-five or more singers may require a lecture format with perhaps a small number of attendees having the opportunity to perform to demonstrate important points. In addition to basic technique, these group settings may involve specialty techniques as well as insider industry information that could be very valuable to a singer who is working to build a career.

Not all private coaches have access to current music industry information and therefore could not normally pass it along in a private setting. A large master class or workshop is a great way for a singer to get a significant amount of information in a short amount of time, as well as the opportunity to network with others in the music industry. Large group clinics may provide the opportunity to receive lessons for singing from a high-caliber celebrity vocal coach otherwise unavailable to many singers.

What a singer gets in a small group setting that they don’t usually receive in a private lesson or a large group setting, is the opportunity to learn by watching and listening to other singers. Both seasoned and beginning singers get to hear and see themselves through the eyes and ears of others in the workshop. If there’s a technique that’s been eluding a performer during their private lessons for singing, they may grasp the concept when they see it working in another singer. The light bulb turns on.

Many vocal coaches prefer to present small group clinics which provide the opportunity for each participant to perform and receive positive critiques from them as well as the other attendees. When the other participants agree with your results, you’ll notice the room is full of “Bobble Heads” nodding up and down in agreement. Small clinics tend to have a more intimate feel than a larger class and the attendees often bond and continue those friendships outside the classroom.

When researching group lessons for singing, large or small, be sure that the vocal coach is well known and respected by others in the music business. Ask for a client list to see which artists they’ve worked with. If none is available, request to see references from past attendees. Ask about the format of the clinic; how many attendees are expected; will you have an opportunity to perform; will there be guest speakers; who are they and what is their specialty. Google them on the internet. A clinic may cost a bit more than private lessons for singing and might involve travel, but the right clinic can bring new information into the mix and make a huge difference in the career path of a singer.

Put what you have learned to use, but don’t throw away everything you have already discovered with your private vocal coach. You still can benefit from one-on-one private lessons for singing with the right voice coach, as well as from small and/or large group settings. Large group clinics provide a way for singers to obtain a lot of information in a short period of time as well as to learn about the music industry, and the all-important personal networking. Small group settings allow singers to improve their techniques while watching others, as well as through constructive comments when they perform. Choose your workshops or clinics carefully and you should find the benefits of attending more than worth your while.