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Getting Started: Successful Singing

Becoming a successful singer requires dedication and patience from both student and teacher. At Kansas City School of Music, our voice instructors have consistently shaped their students into great singers by providing them with the tools necessary to achieve their goals.

Practice at Home

The weekly voice lesson is the model for practice at home. Exercises and methods presented at the lesson should be recreated during daily practice. Focused practice requires a space where distractions are limited and a place where the student feels comfortable singing aloud. The amount of daily practice will be determined by the teacher based on the student’s age and experience level. The frequency and quality of practice is essential to progress and is foundational to becoming a successful singer.

Music Reading

All voice students will be expected to know or learn basic music reading and piano skills which are essential to the development of a well-rounded musician. Piano skills are especially important for singers to assist them in maintaining proper pitch. It is also helpful, and sometimes necessary, to play the melody on the piano when assigned new repertoire. Students deficient in these areas may be required to take 45-minute lessons since additional time will be necessary to teach these skills. Assignments for developing music reading and piano skills may also be included in daily practice at home.

Vocal Health

Our instructors’ goal is to provide each student with a healthy vocal technique that will serve as a solid foundation for a lifetime of successful singing. Voice lessons teach breathing, phonation, resonance, versatility, diction and musicianship. Within this structure the student will learn to know his/her own voice and how to produce beautiful sound with ease and freedom. The choice of repertoire will largely depend on the student’s voice and personal preferences and may include many styles such as musical theatre, art song, opera, jazz, blues, folk and country. Repertoire that is deemed unhealthy for the voice will not be allowed. Unhealthy vocal habits can be extremely difficult to break and can cause severe damage. Our instructors want students to enjoy music making through song and progress toward a healthy voice concurrently.

Parent/Teacher Interaction

Parents are always welcome to sit in on their child’s voice lessons, provided that the student feels comfortable and it does not distract from the instruction. Parents who do not sit in on lessons may communicate with the instructor regarding their child’s progress at any time. If there are concerns or questions on the part of the instructor or the parent, open communication is encouraged.

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