The Voice Teacher VS. The Voice Coach. One in the same or completely different?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 by Thomas, Michele | Education

by Michele Thomas

Singing is something you do.  Your voice is the instrument in which you use to do it.

That being said, the difference between a voice and a singing lesson will ultimately lie with the teaching content that your vocal coach provides as part of your instruction.  This is more than just your instructor's personal style of teaching.  This is literally what they teach to you in your lesson.  For example if your instructor focuses mostly on…

  • - Song preparation & rehearsal
  • - Ear & pitch training
  • - Song interpretation
  • - Performance skills

…then you might say this is more of a singing lesson than a voice lesson.  Because these are the technical attributes that pertain to the creation and artistry of music.  The ultimate result is that the student comes away with the ability to give a great performance.  However if your lessons are more focused on….

  • - Vocal Muscle Conditioning through intensive vocal warmups & exercises
  • - Breath Support & Control
  • - A personalized vocal exercise regimen
  • - Vocal self-care and health

….then you are probably looking at more of a voice lesson, with the emphasis being put on the actual vocal instrument and how best to exercise it and utilize it.  With such attention to the conditioning of the voice the end result is more technical control of your singing, and better vocal health which translates to strength and stamina for the longevity of your singing life.

Ideally, one would hope to have a integration of both a singing and voice lesson as part of their overall instruction.  And in all actuality most vocal instructors aim to combine all of these components into their program of study.  Yet there is also the matter of the aptitude level of the student coming into the lesson, in other words, what are your musical and vocal abilities at the beginning of lessons?  This will vary widely from student to student depending on how actively the participate in singing, how much training and education they've had exposure to and any natural abilities they bring to the table.  (Notice I listed the "natural talent" factor last as it is not the single factor in the success of a singer…)

It is the culmination of many of these components that will most likely dictate whether your lesson looks more like a singing lesson or a voice lesson.  In cooperation with your instructor, you can get an assessment of your skills and learn what type of instruction might benefit you the most according to your goals and passions.