I’m sure you’ve noticed: vocal lessons are not cheap.
In fact, lessons with a well-known coach can be prohibitively expensive.
It makes sense, then, to ask if they’re worth it.
What can you learn from a vocal coach that you couldn’t learn on your own?
And is what you learn worth paying so much for?
We’ll answer these questions and more. By the time you get to the bottom of this page, you’ll have a much better idea if vocal lessons make sense for you.
What Vocal Lessons Teach You
The following are the main things good vocal lessons will teach you. I also included a section for each that lets you know how easy or difficult it is to learn that skill on your own, without the help of lessons.
Vocal Lessons Teach You How To Breathe
No matter what style of singer you are, you need to know how to breathe properly. Breathing is the most basic and important fundamental skill in singing.
Breathing correctly allows you to sing longer phrases, adds power and resonance to your voice and improves your intonation. Learning to breathe correctly leads to an immediate and large improvement in your singing ability.
Can you learn to breathe on your own?
Yes, you can. There are plenty of videos, both free and part of paid courses, that teach you how to breathe. The main advantage of having a coach is that they can spot problems immediately and correct them before they become bad habits that end up taking a lot of work to correct once they’ve become ingrained.
Vocal Lessons Teach You How To Extend Your Vocal Range
One of the biggest frustrations of beginning singers is not being able to hit all the notes in their favorite songs. A vocal coach can help you extend your range, especially on the high end, without sacrificing your vocal cords to do so.
They will teach you how to switch seamlessly from your chest voice to your head voice in order to sing those high notes in your full voice without putting undue strain on your vocal cords.
Can you expand your range on your own?
Yes, you can, but the risk of damaging your vocal cords is obviously much higher without direct, professional guidance. Progress is also much slower when doing it on your own.
Vocal Lessons Teach You To Find Your Own Sound Instead Of Imitating Others
A good vocal coach will teach you how to use the vocal tools you possess in the right way, to get the best possible results. This is ‘your sound.’ Finding your sound is essential to maximizing your potential as a singer.
Most beginners try to imitate others and end up frustrated when they fail. But everyone’s vocal instrument is different and needs to be used in its own unique way. A good vocal instructor understands the vocal mechanism and can use this knowledge to bring out the best in your unique voice.
Can you find ‘your sound’ on your own?
Unlikely. If you have an in-depth understanding of the vocal mechanism, then you can. But since you are considering a vocal teacher, I’m guessing you do not. A vocal coach will not only help you find your own unique sound, they will also help you understand the mechanics behind the voice. That said, you can try it on your own with exercises like these.
Vocal Lessons Teach You How To Properly Care For Your ‘Instrument’
The vocal cords are a delicate instrument and using them incorrectly can cause damage. A singing coach ensures you learn the proper warm up and singing techniques to avoid harming your voice.
Can you learn how to avoid damaging your voice on your own?
Yes, you can. There are plenty of guides out there on caring for your voice. A teacher helps by identifying any problems immediately, before they cause damage.
Learning on your own, you could easily be doing something wrong without even knowing it, until it is too late. You could end up with a cracked voice or much, much worse. With a teacher, you learn the right exercises to prevent things like vocal break.
Here’s a video that might help you out in finding your own voice:
Final Thoughts On What Vocal Lessons Can Teach You
It is perfectly possible to teach yourself how to sing, but vocal lessons will speed up the process. Working with a coach will also help you avoid picking up bad habits that can be very difficult to correct down the road, because a coach will catch those mistakes before they become habits.
If you’re just starting out with singing and are not yet sure how seriously you want to pursue it, it makes sense to learn on your own. Why pay when you’re not yet sure about it. But if you know for sure that you want to be a singer, I highly recommend investing in some vocal lessons.