Finding the right voice teacher or acting coach is not an easy task. It must be a good fit!
Here are some things to consider…
- Avoid teachers that approach every student the same. An entire curriculum should be built around what YOUR goals are.
- Does your teacher play the piano or will your lessons be entirely to track? How will you prepare for theatrical auditions without getting comfortable with live accompaniment?
Most people find their teacher by a friend’s recommendation. This can be awesome. This can also be very limiting. It’s very similar to any other service. You build such a bond with the person you study with and they’ve had your back for so long, you swear they are the best person on the planet.
Just like finding a therapist, not every teacher is a match for every student.
Boys in and around their voice change should most likely study with a male teacher.
Same Method for Each Student
I would avoid any teacher that has a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. Your lessons should be structured around your specific goals. And change as your goals change. That’s not to say that a teacher won’t nudge you in the right direction in certain aspects like spending some time to LEARN TO READ MUSIC! Ha!
This one is big… WarmUps… At David Anthony Coaching we prefer you to arrive to your lessons ready to go. We have seen many teachers spend half of the lessons on scales and exercises. That’s lazy and you are not getting your money’s worth. With that said, should you have an issue that an exercise can fix, that’s a different story. If you want to increase your range there are very specific scales and exercises for that. What we’re talking about is consistently spending half of the lesson mindlessly running your voice up and down the scales.
Teachers that have been teaching for a long time usually have a ton of wisdom, but they can become very stale in repertoire. While you should learn the classics to understand the art form and be prepared for revivals, most of your auditions will require a completely different set of repertoire. If you are still singing Oklahoma and Cinderella with your voice teacher you should run! (Or at least find some songs at http://NewMusicalTheatre.com and bring them to your teacher!) Students at David Anthony Coaching have the most exciting and diverse set of repertoire. Slightly obscure songs that always make an impression in auditions.
Length of Study
It takes a village to raise an artist. There are time when we think we have given a student everything we can and we encourage them to move on. Get a fresh set of ideas. Have someone with a new take on their talents take over. It’s so important. Students always come back. But it’s important that they go and get as much info from as many people as possible.
Teachers That Are Still Working Professionally
Some teachers have had amazing careers and settle down with family and other things. That’s great. But sometimes you are getting a stale disconnect from the industry if your teacher has been out of it too long. Also, some teachers that maintain 40 students a week are tired! They are also a lesson factory. As a pianist I am constantly playing professional auditions and seeing everything as it is happening from material, clothing all the way down to the latest trends in headshots and resumes… Stay relevant!
Some Things To Look For That Are Helpful
You will need love and support through the hard parts, but you need someone to whip you into shape as well. That’s the point after all. The best thing a teacher can bring you is clarity. To let you know exactly where you stand. What you do with the information is up to you, but the constant praise isn’t always helpful. I have seen students praised so much by their teacher that they are absolutely shocked they are no the lead in every production they audition for. Every modification you are presented with is a signpost pointing you in the right direction.
Students at David Anthony Coaching get noticeably better every month. For the duration of their study. All too often we see students performing at the same level year after year. Where are the breakthroughs? Where is the increased range? Where is the deeper understanding of the subtext to create a more layered performance??? You get the idea…