The musical score is one thing and the singing part is another. If you have the music in your head, and you sing it with your body, you'll be all right.
We owe these words to Luciano Pavarotti.
- Are you passionate about singing and do you dream of turning this passion into a career?
- Do you wish to share your knowledge of music and singing?
- Are you keen to accompany your students in their learning of vocal techniques and performance skills?
Helping students to find their voice, develop their vocal technique and believe in themselves are all key roles for singing teachers.
There are many ways you can become a singing teacher.
Teach at home, at a music college or in a state school, according to what best suits you!
So, what elements should you take into account before you make a decision on where to teach singing?
Teach Singing Online
The simplest solution for starting out as a singing teacher is without doubt offering online tutoring jobs to teach singing online.
The internet removes a lot of the usual obstacles when it comes to teaching.
Even the art of singing can be taught via a Skype call just as it is face to face, as teacher and student have the means to directly communicate over the internet.
This means that you can discuss singing techniques, exchange ideas, advise your pupil and teach them music theory without letting your geographical location stand in your way!
Teaching singing online offers many advantages for both teacher and student:
- Easy planning: internet gets rid of the problem of distance and travelling, so you have more time for teaching.
- An increased number of potential students: This is especially important if you live in a rural area as the internet puts you in contacts with students all over the world!
- Low running costs: Once you’ve invested in your own musical equipment, you’ll be ready to go with no need to lend any material to your students.
However, teaching at a distance does come with some disadvantages. Firstly, online lessons necessitate a very specific approach to teaching. This means that you will have to learn to share your knowledge using only your voice.
It's not always easy to explain the correct posture to a pupil using only words, nor the right way to breathe or how to control their vibrato. This means that you will have to find a way to adapt your teaching and make sure that your pupil has the correct resources.
Become an In-Home Singing Teacher
Another option is to provide private singing lessons, which are also incredibly easy to organise!
Becoming a voice teacher is a great way to turn your passion into a career and develop your own business whilst seeing your students blossom as performers.
And, of course, there are many advantages to being an in-home vocal coach:
- Managing yourself as a self-employed teacher
- Choosing your teaching methods
- Choosing your pupils
- Being able to work full or part-time
- Personalising your lessons
- Choosing the type of lessons you want to give and the areas you want to specialise in
As a private singing teacher, you can operate as self-employed. This means that you will be in full control of your pricing and what you earn.
You can teach in your home or travel to those of your students, depending on what works best for you.
It’s usually easier to deliver lessons from your own home, especially if you use a piano to accompany your students.
You don’t need any specific qualifications to start out as a home teacher. All you will need to do is give your clients an indication of your experience so they can decide whether you are the right singing teacher for them.
Teaching Singing at a Music College
Do you prefer the idea of becoming a full-time teacher in an educational establishment that specialises in music?
If this is the case, applying for roles in music colleges and conservatoires will suit you.
As a teacher at an establishment such as this, you will need the skills to teach a range of pupils of varying ages and abilities.
The aim of music school is to give pupils a full experience of the world of music and a high level of knowledge about their instrument. Their approach is traditional yet well-structured and, most importantly, thorough.
When it comes to the teaching of singing, as with any instrument, there is a great deal of music theory to learn as students’ ears become more musically intelligent.
There are also several options for singing lessons:
- Individual vocal coaching
- Group singing lessons
- Training in music theory
- Choir rehearsals
Singing teachers who operate in music colleges are usually qualified professionals, however, the level of prowess varies from school to school.
Become a Music Teacher in a State School
Another possibility for aspiring singing teachers is becoming a teacher in a primary or secondary school.
If you choose to follow this path, you should be aware that your lesson content may not be completely chosen by yourself.
Music education, like education in maths and English, is taught according to the national curriculum.
Having an official curriculum ensures that every child across the UK receives the same level of education in each subject. Though music, by nature, is still quite free, you will have to adapt your own knowledge to fit this system.
Among the main objectives of music education in schools are:
- Musical ear training
- Learning about cultural and artistic movements throughout history
- Learning to play an instrument
- Learning to play as part of an ensemble
If you’d like to take your passion beyond the classroom, there’s always the school choir! Most schools have a choir, and if yours doesn’t, why not set one up?
If you decide to teach in an educational establishment, you’ll not only be expected to teach your pupils about your area of expertise but introduce them to the world of music on a wider scale.
You should also bear in mind that teaching in a school means that all of your pupils will be children and teenagers.
This is important as you will need to rely on your previous teaching experience and adapt it to the school environment.
You may find that the difficulties you encounter as a school teacher are different to the ones you experience as a private singing teacher. In school, you may have to deal with:
- a lack of motivation from the students, who are required to be in your lesson by law and not by their own desire
- having a large number of students in each class which may make for a bigger challenge in terms of individual learning
However, with enough experience and appropriate training, you can easily overcome the challenges of life as a school teacher and appreciate the benefits of the profession.
One of these benefits of working full-time in a school is the stability of the pay. Unlike working as a self-employed singing teacher where your pay depends on the number of clients, your salary as a teacher is guaranteed.
If you want to teach music in a school, there are a few qualifications you need. Firstly, you’ll need to have achieved at least a grade C in your maths and English GCSEs, and you’ll need to have graduated from university with a degree relevant to your subject. The final requirement is that you have a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), which is a certification of your teacher training.
Starting Your Own Choir
Teaching ensemble singing is a brilliant opportunity to share your passion for music with others.
According to a survey conducted by Singing Europe, there are 37 million collective singers in Europe!
Choirs play an important role in school and community life. And for singing teachers, they mean an opportunity to:
- Develop a choral style and showcase their arrangement skills
- Choose a musical genre (classical, jazz, gospel, etc.)
- Work with a team of musicians
- Enter into competitions and win prizes for your work
Getting together and working with your own choir is an exciting and rewarding challenge.
It requires that you hold auditions, identify vocal styles and find your soloists.
You could also open your choir to amateur singers without an audition to help more people discover the wonder of choral singing.
Member of your choir will be able to work on their own vocal technique and as the choirmaster, it’s your job to oversee the development and progress of the group.
Regardless of your teaching and rehearsal methods, by joining a choir, your students will quickly learn the basics of singing and performing, including how to warm up their voices, controlling their breathing and mastering their vibrato.