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If you’ve been thinking of taking singing lessons, now is an ideal time to try it. Online learning is proving popular in these times of self-isolation and lockdown and singing tuition is no different. Thanks to technology and video apps like Zoom, Skype and FaceTime, learning to sing with online lessons can be just as rewarding as in-person. 

What is different with online singing classes, and which may make you hesitant, is the sound quality. While there’s really no match for being in the same room as your teacher, singing classes by video are a great introduction for the curious. An experienced singing teacher still has a finely tuned ear to hear your voice and guide you to developing your own ear for music and song. They can still observe how you use your mouth and throat, and your posture as you sing and suggest improvements to produce better sound more easily.

So, if you’re curious about trying online singing lessons, here are some benefits – with some you may not have thought of:

  • You don’t have to travel. You get expert singing tuition right at home, and with a wider choice of timeslots for lessons. If you’re concerned about family or flatmates overhearing you singing during a class, I suggest you think of your online lesson as an opportunity to perform for an audience – whether they’re in the room with you or not!

    One of my students, Nick Barkl, loves this convenience: “I’m having a wonderful experience with my online singing lessons. The arrangement gives me the flexibility to continue my singing lessons from home without sacrificing the valuable weekly insights provided by Kathleen, as I work on my favourite genre, The Great American Songbook. Despite the physical distance, we are still able to practice technique, discover new songs and, most importantly, have fun!” 
  • Online lessons can have fewer distractions. Once you’re comfortable with the technology, singing lessons by video can be more focused and time-efficient. Sometimes you can arrive at an in-person class distracted and flustered. Not so with online lessons. We can jump right into your session, and get more done. 

  • With a smartphone, you’ll always have your music at hand. If you take online singing lessons with me, my accompanist Alison Cameron can record your songs: one version with the melody line and one with just the accompaniment. My students find this helpful because they can play the recording in their room instead of listening to me play it on the other end. They can also use the recordings when they practice. Apps like MyTempo let you set the tempo where you want it. 
  • You can record your lesson. Depending on the video app you choose, you can record your singing lesson and watch it later for a refresher on what we covered, and to also track your progress. 
  • Improve your sense of rhythm. Depending on the song, we might choose to work without musical accompaniment. This helps you strengthen your ability to keep the beat in a song, and is something my more advanced students choose. You might tap, body tap or foot tap the beat as you sing – which is as easily done via online or face-to-face lessons.

    Student Gina Cohen has been working on a song called ‘The Human Heart’ by Flaherty and Aherns. With its strong beat and syncopated rhythm, it needs extra practice, as Gina has found: “This song is challenging and even more so via online learning. I really have to work on the beat in the song. The syncopation makes me think harder.”  
  • Explore new material. If you already have some experience with learning singing, we can try extending your repertoire. Some students are more comfortable doing this at home with online lessons. One of my advanced students, Johanna Copeland says: “In my Zoom singing lessons with Kathleen, I am working on the most crazy, fun and technically difficult songs I have ever sung, such as ‘Tell me the Truth About Love’, written by my favourite composer, Benjamin Britten, with lyrics by WH Auden.”

Online singing lessons may require a shift in learning technique. And if you’re new to singing, a slow, step-by-step learning approach with a patient, competent teacher, who can listen for and correct any voice issues, will help you reach your goals.

If you’d like to explore learning to sing, why not try an introductory online singing lesson: a 30-minute lesson is just $60. Available now until June 12th. To take advantage of this special offer, get in touch.

Author:
Kathleen Connell is a Sydney-based singing teacher and vocal coach who trains both aspiring and accomplished singers in technique and vocal skills. She is an active member of ANATS, a writer and PhD candidate at Griffith University.

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