Singing Lessons come in many forms and and at different prices.
You can find tons of free lessons online or you can pay for private voice lessons from a vocal coach. Or you can land somewhere between the two extremes.
- Free online lessons (cost: free)
- Paid online lessons (cost: $50 – several hundred)
- Online vocal coach (cost: $100 – $400 per hour)
- In-Person lessons (cost: $100 to thousands per hour)
A lot of people wrote in to ask me which type of lesson I’d choose, so I added this section. Personally, I would go with online lessons to begin with (I’d choose a paid course to save time and hassle). As long as you are able to keep yourself motivated, there’s no need for a personal singing coach in the beginning. You can get the basics down on your own.
Once you’ve worked your way through a course and you’ve passed on to the intermediate stage, I would hire a personal singing teacher. At this point, you want someone who can analyze where you are at and give you specific instructions on how best to proceed. Of course, you only want to do this if you’re serious about singing. Private lessons are not cheap.
1. Free Singing Lessons Online
You can find a ton of singing lessons online, including my own post on how to sing better. YouTube is also a goldmine of videos. But you will have to sift through a lot of bad ones to find the gems. And that’s one of the main drawbacks of free lessons.
You will definitely be spending some time tying to find the good articles and videos among all the bad ones. You also won’t have a set schedule that tells you what to work on and in which order. You won’t get any feedback on your progress either.
For these reasons, free videos and articles only work well for some people. For others, they don’t work at all. If you’re the type of person who can motivate yourself and work without feedback, they might work for you. You also have to give up your time just finding the lessons. If you prefer to spend a little money to save a lot of time, the next option might be best for you.
2. Paid Online Singing Lessons
This refers to a structured video or audio course by a professional singer, but not to actual one-on-one lessons. These singers create a course, then sell it to thousands of people. Like free vocal lessons, you still have to learn on your own and motivate yourself, but you get all the high-quality lessons you need in one place and you don’t have to go looking for them.
You also get a structured course that will start with the basics and tell you exactly what to work on and when to work on it. Most complete courses cost less than $300 and even many of the more expensive ones are sometimes on sale for under $100. Course like this are great for beginning singers. More advanced singers would be better off with a private tutor.
You’ll find a lot of these courses, but only a few of them are worth your time and money. The three below are the best online singing classes. All are good, but Aaron Anastasi’s Superior Singing Method is the best set of singing lessons for beginners. It gives you the most value for your money.
This course by Aaron Anastasi is the #1 rated online singing program. It costs $147 (he occasionally drops the price to $97) and comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free. There is also a free lesson available on his website to get an idea of his teaching style.
The course consists of over 50 videos and 31 dynamic vocal exercise audios, spread out over 8 modules. It is a comprehensive course that covers all the key areas of your voice. It also gives you daily vocal exercise routines, so you have an exact step-by-step approach to follow.
<< Learn more here >>
Singing Success 360 is the largest and best-known online singing course. It was created by Brett Manning, who has over 25 years of experience as a voice trainer and has worked with some of today’s top recording artists, like Leona Lewis, Hayley Williams, Jimmy Gnecco, Taylor Swift, John Michael Montgomery, Luke Bryan, Lauren Mayberry (CHVRCHES), Keith Urban, Mikky Ekko, Miley Cyrus and more.
Singing Success is hugely popular for a reason: it is a great course that works for any genre and style and even for children. The only reason I recommend the Superior Singing Method (above) over Singing Success is the cost. The list price for Singing Success 360 is $897, although you can often get it for as little as $360. Still that is a much higher price than the Superior Singing Method, which is also an excellent course.
One thing to look out for: Brett Manning’s course comes with a 6 month money back guarantee. That is by far the longest among online courses, but it is only applicable to the CD version of the course, not the downloadable online version. This is not made as clear as it could be on the course website and is something you need to be aware of.
<< Learn more here >>
The Singorama course is taught by experienced vocal coach Melanie Alexander. It costs $297, but is sometimes marked down to $97. It comes with a bunch of bonus courses as well as a 60-day money back guarantee. The core system consists of 28 audio modules that are combined with e-books, worksheets and tools designed to condition your voice quickly. This is the most comprehensive course available, but it is audio and worksheets only; there are no videos.
<< Learn more here >>
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Online Singing Course
I recommend the 3 programs above, because I am familiar with them and know they are excellent. That does not mean there aren’t other good courses out there. There are hundreds of courses overall and while most won’t be very good, some are probably great. So how do you know if a given course is right for you? Here are the main factors to consider.
Let’s just get this one out of the way immediately. Cost is important and you want to make sure you get your money’s worth. Two of the three courses above are sometimes on sale for under $100, but generally, you should expect to pay between $100 and $500 for a quality singing course.
You want to make sure the instructor has a lot of experience both singing and teaching. If you find a course with an anonymous instructor or one who does not list any credentials or have any testimonials from previous students, stay far away. Any good voice coaches are very open about their experience singing and teaching and about sharing the success of past and current students.
Instructor’s Voice and Teaching Style
Any good singing teacher will also have videos that demonstrate their own voice and their teaching style. If you don’t like the way they sing or the way they teach, look for a different course. The instructor might be a wonderful singer and teacher, but if their style does not appeal to you, you’d be better off learning from someone else.
Any good course will provide a breakdown of the modules on their sales page. It should tell you exactly what the course will teach. Make sure the course actually teaches what you need. If you can not find this information, stay away from the course.
You also want to check the format of the course. Some are available on CDs only, some are downloadable and some are available in multiple formats. Some courses contain only audio files, while others use videos. Verify the formats available and make sure the course comes in a format with which you are comfortable.
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. The sales page should tell you how the course is structured. Does it include daily exercise routines to reinforce what you have learned? Sure, you can do this on your own, but it is much easier if the course tells you exactly what to work on each day and how long to spend working on it. I would never choose a course that does not provide a structured practice routine.
This is important for two reasons. One, it shows that the instructor is confident in the quality of his or her course. They know few people will ask for a refund once they see how good the course is. Two, even the best courses are not for everyone. A money-back guarantee allows you to give the course a try without risking your hard-earned money.
3. Online Voice Lessons from a Private Music Instructor
The following are some of the better known vocal coaches who offer online lessons (most also offer in-person lessons). Personally, I would try to find a local singing instructor first. If you’re going to spend the money on private lessons, you might as well be in the same room as your coach. That said, many people live in areas that lack great instructors. In that case, online vocal lessons via Skype make sense. Here are a few of the best coaches.
Ken Tamplin is one of the most respected voice coaches in the country. He offers both private lessons in his singing studio and Skype lessons. The in-person lessons are naturally very expensive, but the Skype lessons are much more affordable. They still cost $360 per hour, but when you consider how much he charges for in-person lessons, you realize you’re getting a great deal.
Ken also sells online singing lessons like the ones mentioned above, but his are much more expensive and they do not have a money-back guarantee. Luckily, he has a ton of articles and videos on his site and his Youtube channel. If you’re thinking about his course, I’d spend some time browsing his free material to make sure his teaching style matches with your learning style. In the absence of a money-back guarantee, you want to be certain before spending your money.
Jamie is another well-respected singing coach, although he is definitely a few steps beneath Ken Tamplin in the name-recognition category. That’s actually a good thing, though. His lessons are much more affordable, with a 45-minute Skype lesson costing $100 (or 6 for $500) and a 45-minute in person lesson going for $125.
Jamie’s classes are especially well-suited for rock and metal singers, although anyone can benefit from his singing knowledge and experience. In addition to private lessons, he also sells a number for books and courses through his website, but none of them are the kind of comprehensive course like the three listed above in the section on online singing courses.
Kevin Richards is another pop, rock and metal specialist. He was awarded the coveted “Subject Matter Expert” by “The Modern Vocalist”, which is the #1 community for singers. He has been performing and teaching since the 1980s, but despite his extensive experience, his lessons are still relatively affordable.
He charges $72 for an hour-long basic lesson at his New York Studio or via Skype and $100 for an intensive lesson. The one negative thing I can say about Kevin’s courses is that his website is terrible. It looks bad and is confusing to navigate. I guess he spends his time on music, not web development, but he could still hire someone to bring his site into the 21st century.
Eric Bruner offers in-studio and in-home lessons in the Houston area, but he also teaches online classes via webcam. He has been teaching for over 25 years and specializes in vocal technique. His method of teaching works for any style of music.
In addition to private vocal lessons, Eric also offers online group classes and he has a number of singing courses you can work through on your own. He offers a 30-day free trial period on those, so you can try them out before you have to spend any money.
Cari Cole is a celebrity voice trainer and is one of the most in-demand music instructors in the profession. Her past clients include legends legends like Courtney Love, the band Journey, Grammy winners Donald Fagen/Steely Dan and Chrisette Michele, as well as finalists from The Voice and American Idol.
Cari not only teaches vocal classes, but also artist development and new business mentoring. As such an accomplished coach, her lessons do not come cheap. An hour-long class costs $325 and her 3-month vocal mastery program goes for $2700. She also has several e-learning courses.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Instructor
There are basically three factors you want to consider when choosing a vocal coach.
- Credentials — Who is the instructor and what qualifies them to be teaching others how to sing? Do your research and make sure to read testimonials from previous and current students.
- Style — What are the instructor’s singing and teaching style? Make sure they match with your needs and your learning style.
- Cost — How much are the lessons? Of course you expect to pay more for famous teachers, but is it worth it? There is no easy answer here. It just depends what you are looking for.
- Availability — Is the instructor available at the same times as you? This is less of an issue with online classes, but is still something you need to consider.
4. In-Person Vocal Coaches or Singing Classes
If you can afford them and if you live in an area that has good vocal coaches, this is the best and fastest way to improve. One-on-one instruction gives you instant feedback so that you can address any problems immediately. A good teacher is also able to create a lesson plan tailored to your individual level and learning style and they usually end up becoming close friends, i.e. someone for whom you buy a gift every Chrstmas. For factors to consider in selecting a teacher, see the previous section. They are the same.
Since in-person lessons are expensive, I usually recommend an online course for most beginners. At this point, you do not yet know if you are going to stick with it, so why spend a lot of money. Besides, any good course will do a good job of teaching the basics. Obviously a real-life instructor will do a better job, but for most people, the cost difference is not worth it.
Once you are past the beginning stages and you know for sure that you want to continue your studies, it makes sense to spend the money and get an actual teacher. Local lessons make the most sense, if good teachers are available in your area. If not, go with Skype lessons from one of the instructors listed above or from another quality instructor. There are many.
Whether you are looking to become a professional singer or you just want to improve your voice so you can nail your favorite karaoke songs, there is a course for you. As always, the more you pay, the more hands-on the instruction. Hopefully this article has helped you find the perfect singing lessons for you.