Is there a difference in the way voice lessons are taught? If so, how do I take the lessons that are right for me with what I want to do with my voice?
This is an excellent question to ask yourself when considering voice lessons. There are actually two different kinds of singing methods, classical and contemporary. The two methods produce different sounds and are taught a slightly differently.
First, there is the classical singing method. The main goal behind classical training is to accomplish a predetermined higher standard of vocal quality for the student. This sound is one that uses a relaxed jaw and throat to create a rich, open sound that is rich in vibrato. This is the technique a lot of professional musicians such as opera singers and Broadway stars use. People who have this quality of voice don’t typically tend to make it on Billboard’s Hot 100 list (with maybe the exception of singers such as Josh Groban or Michael Buble).
For those who seek to be more like singers such as Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and other pop artists, classical training may not be what the desired when they signed up for voice lessons. For them, they are seeking more of contemporary training. For contemporary singers the more a person can add to their voice (grunge, rasp, edge) the “better” the singer. Singers who focus more on contemporary music styles tend to have lighter, breathier sounds, and sing more from their chest voice, rather than their head voice as classical singers do.
Can either style cause damage to my voice?
Through our studies, it is not what styles damage a voice, rather it’s the technique behind the style that can hurt a singer’s voice. Opera singers can push their sound too hard and damage their vocal cords just as easily as a singer who presses their vocal chords to produce an edgier sound. Therefore, what’s important to consider is how you are producing your sound; are you using the proper technique? If you are, you can flex between both genres and styles and still not harm the voice.
So which style is right for me?
That all comes down to a person’s personal preference; a singer who wishes to achieve a radio rocking voice wouldn’t like it if the teacher handed the singer a French opera piece. The same way a singer whose goal is to sing a solo in Handel’s “Messiah” would not like to be handed a piece by a pop artist. Here at Premier Performing Arts Studio, our teachers are trained more on how to enhance the voice, rather than injure it. All of our teachers have a good understanding on what can cause damage to the voice and will teach their students the proper singing techniques regardless of the genre!