So, you've decided to enroll your child in music lessons, but just don't know where to look for a teacher. Or perhaps you want to take some adult beginner piano classes, but really can't find anything close enough. I'd like to give you a few ideas for finding a music teacher in your area.
If you are a music teacher yourself, make sure that you can be found. Connect to your community through some of the avenues outlined below. You may open up a whole new market for yourself.
1. Scan some local newspapers
Often, teachers may have a small ad in the "Services Offered" section of the classified ads, or have a small ad in the Business Directory. If you can't find any teachers advertising, see if you can find an ad for a local music store. They may be able to connect you with a teacher in the area.
2. Search online
All you may need is a simple Google search to find a music teacher's website. Searching for your specific area may help. An example would be "adult group piano class, Anytown, CA". Including your town name may narrow the search results to help you find a teacher who offers lessons in your community.
Also, you can check out some online teacher directories. Some of the sites I've seen that seem to have a good amount of teachers listed include MusicPeeps.com, MusicTeachersDirectory.org, or if you want a nationally certified teacher you can check out the MTNA's Certified Teacher Directory.
3. Talk to music educators
You don't want to forget about the music teachers at the schools in your area. They can be an extremely valuable asset in your search for local music resources. Some of them may teach private lessons in their non-school hours, or they may know some other local music professionals. Call up middle schools and high schools in your town and ask to speak to the band director and/or choral director. Talk to local college music department faculty as well. Most often they will be glad to help a fellow musician.
4. Check with an arts center
If you are fortunate enough to have an arts center in your community, that may be one of the best places to start. In our community, there is a music business that runs all kinds of lessons for vocal and instrumental music students in the local arts center.
5. Talk to church music directors
You may want to contact the music directors at local churches too. Some of them are long-time members of the local music community, and if they don't teach music themselves they may know others in their church or town that are music teachers.
Whatever you choose to do as you search for a music teacher, don't be afraid to reach out to all the local music people that you can. Music is something that is designed to be shared. The more you know your local music scene, the better equipped you will be when you need someone with particular skills or resources.
To follow up on my previous post, here are a few more thoughts on the benefits of getting voice lessons. Whether you want to be a professional musician or not, voice lessons can give you some great side benefits.
1. Bless others through your music
For those of us who love music, there is not much that can compare to a well presented performance of good music. Some thoughts and feelings can be much more fully expressed through the power of the emotional connection of music. But seeing a church or community musician who is ill-prepared or does not yet possess good technical skill can greatly detract from the message that is being communicated.
The hobbyist or “just for fun” musician can deliver a powerful musical presentation when properly trained and prepared. It takes the time and discipline of good practice and learning the basics of a good vocal approach to get to this point. A music teacher can help you prepare to perform at your best level. This way, the audience won't be distracted by “that place where she always goes a little flat” or “the strained sound when he hits those high notes” but will be able to experience the enjoyment of the message in the music you sing.
2. Learn new approaches to finding your best voice
When I first heard a professional music teacher giving a presentation on proper singing technique, I was a young man in high school. Up to that point, I thought that I was a pretty good singer – at least, that's what all the folks at church told me. What I didn't realize is how much there was to know about singing! I had previously thought that, for the most part, people were just born a good singer or they weren't. What I later learned is that anyone can take whatever ability they have and improve it greatly by the use of time-tested principles. Even the greatest singers in the world still have vocal coaches and trainers, and they continually seek to improve.
What I was limited by when I was that young, naïve high school student was a lack of knowledge of singing, including how my voice really worked. By getting instruction from various voice teachers and choir directors in college, I really discovered how my voice worked. I also found out how to practically apply that knowledge to increase my enjoyment of singing and the enjoyment that other people had in hearing me.
3. Connect with new people
Becoming knowledgeable in a particular subject causes you to become more likely to be able to carry on a good conversation with others who have the same passion in that subject. For example, my wife has developed some great skills in photography (to see her website click here) and loves to talk about that with other people, especially when they can relate to the challenges of creating good pictures and share her love for it. We're all that way – we relate best to those who are like us.
At the same token, when you develop your skills in music you are far more likely to be able to relate to and connect with other people who are pursuing the same skills. As you get farther down the path to excellence in your music, you will be able to give encouragement to others who are facing the same challenges and experiencing the same successes as you. And there will always be someone who has more skill and experience than you, who will be able to come alongside and encourage you too. I have developed many friends and acquaintances who have the common denominator of a love for music. You can do the same!
While for some people (like me) getting voice lessons is the fulfillment of a life-long goal of learning to sing for an audience, many people do not have this desire and thus do not think that vocal training would be of any benefit. Here is what I know: voice lessons are not just for professional (or wannabe professional) singers. Anyone can benefit from some voice training.
So what are the benefits that everyone should consider about voice lessons? Here are a few to think about.
1. Voice lessons can boost your confidence in the daily use of your voice for speaking
Many people have concerns about their voices and are very self-conscious about the way that they sound. Others have bad habits in their speaking voice that have accumulated over their lifetime. The exercises and techniques that are used for opening up the voice for maximum singing potential are the exact same things that will benefit the speaking voice as well.
For those who speak publicly; such as teachers, pastors, business leaders, community leaders, etc.; vocal training can help them to develop power and projection needed to communicate to an audience. For others who use their voice as a tool for work every day in live presentations, phone conversations, web conferences and more, vocal training can help them to use their voice to maximum effect. As a music major in college with a minor in speech communications, I was able to see how the two arts of singing and speaking were inextricably linked.
2. Voice lessons can improve your overall vocal health
Those who depend on their voice to work for purposes of personal or business communication (which would be almost everyone) should consider the health benefits of vocal exercise. Our voices are meant to be a life-long tool that we can use. Roger Love, in his book Set Your Voice Free said, "The human voice is set up to speak or sing twenty-four hours a day without getting hoarse or strained or creating any physical problems."
As a voice teacher, part of what I teach my students is to treat their voices well, so that they can continue singing through their whole lives. Good habits required of a voice student are the same habits everyone should implement to maintain good vocal health. Some of these are things we know are right, but don't always follow, such as: drinking plenty of water, not using the voice for screaming or yelling, and getting enough sleep every night. Also, the vocal exercises used to both relax and strengthen the voice of the student are beneficial in reducing the strain of daily use for non-musical tasks.
3. Singing brings personal enjoyment
Learning to sing well can bring a great deal of personal enjoyment to music that cannot be experienced by someone who is not as confident or capable in the art of singing. Whether it be involvement in church or community music groups, singing has brought many people together to have a good time. I have found that as my abilities increased through my years of vocal training, my enjoyment of singing in groups also increased. I gained confidence in knowing what I was doing and was able to focus more on the people around me because I didn't have to focus so much on myself and my inadequacies in singing.
As you consider some of the benefits of vocal training, of which I have only mentioned three, consider getting some voice lessons yourself. Try it, you may like it!
Search the Blog
Subscribe via email
Find By Category