Online Music Advice: Is it bad to look for answers elsewhere? — Alex Taylor Lessons
Every so often, a students asks me a question about something they read or watch online pertaining to singing. Frequently they get nervous about revealing that they went searching for advice from someone other than their teacher. Yet, is it really a bad thing to look elsewhere for advice on how to sing or play?
Of course it’s not bad to look around and learn as much as you can! Singing well is basically just getting good at a handful of things and being able to do them simultaneously and consistently. This takes years of practice to master, of course, but most voice teachers are talking about the same things, just in different ways. It can be really helpful to seek out other sources of information because they may talk about something in a different way that makes sense to you. This is not limited to advice from other teachers; seeking advice or interviews from great performers talking about their practice can be enlightening and enrich your overall understanding as well.
Be careful of bad or misleading information. There are a lot of methods online that “guarantee” you’ll have results using their program or video series. While these products do usually cover the same concepts you’d cover in private voice lessons, they’re far too general. They might be good to learn some basic concepts of singing, but you’re much better off spending your money on a private teacher who can teach you the same things more efficiently and practically.
You should also be careful of taking lessons from two different teachers at the same time. While this might seem like a good way to get a more well rounded education, it is usually really confusing and causes some kind of tension in your thought or in your studio. Teachers take pride in their students! If you feel like you’re current teaching isn’t working out for you, have a conversation about any adjustments you need or if you want to stop taking lessons from them. It’s can be a little awkward, but the teacher should handle it professionally and wants what’s best for you.
Seek out any resource possible to help you learn how to sing; however always hold that advice with a grain of salt. Anyone that says they have a “guaranteed” way to learn how to sing is just trying to make a quick buck. Once you do seek out advice, I would encourage you to talk to your teacher about what you’ve discovered. If they’re a good teacher, they’ll be able to do a couple of things.
1) Teachers generally adopt their own teaching vocabulary based on similar concepts, so a good teacher will be able to decipher another’s vocabulary and translate it into the same concepts.
2) Be able to tell you if the advice given is good or bad. Some teachers get really prideful and petty about other’s advice, but if they’re really looking out for you, they’ll be able to steer you away from anything unhelpful.
Your teacher probably does not have all of the answers, but they should have most of them. Taking the initiative so things make sense to you is incredibly important to being a successful singer, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Originally published at https://www.alextaylorlessons.com on August 24, 2020.