Friday, October 23, 2009

Voice Teacher vs. Vocal Coach

For young singers and their parents, it is easy to be confused between the voice teacher and the voice coach. There has been much written and blogged about with regards to this issue but ultimately it comes down to the area of expertise.


The voice teacher (aka: singing teacher, voice pedagogue) is the person who deals with the technique of singing. A singing teacher will guide the voice through a series of exercises dealing with issues of breath, resonance, vowel placement, and tone among other things. The goal of the voice teacher is to establish a balanced, healthy sound appropriate to the age and experience of the singer.

The voice teacher will also deal with repertoire issues. They will assign songs that are appropriate for the technical level and maturity of the singer. Their overall focus is on tone production in addition to the musical, language and dramatic demands.

Finally, the voice teacher is someone who has had training as a singer, has taken vocal pedagogy courses and has had or currently is pursing a singing career.

The voice coach (aka: collaborative pianist) is the person who deals with the musical, language and dramatic demands of the vocal repertoire. They are pianists who have done training in diction, repertoire, collaborative piano and opera. The goal of the vocal coach is to serve as the other half of the music (piano part or orchestra reduction) and help the singing put everything together. They expect a singer to arrive with notes learned, language translated, and an idea about how the song should be presented. From there the coach is the musical "mirror" for the singer and reflects back what they hear and makes suggestions on how to make any necessary changes.

Check out Chris Foley's post on the Collaborative Piano Blog for his definitions as he sees it from the other side of the piano bench!

October 26 update: Chris Foley linked this post and received many great comments. Check out the posting here.

4 comments:

hypnosinging said...

Nice blog!! Useful for all who are learning singing.
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Alex said...

Hello, I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wish you best of luck for all your best efforts..
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Vocal Lessons Goals said...

Thanks for telling the difference between vocal teacher and vocal coach. One must set his vocal lesson goals before getting any guidance from them.

Cindy Dy said...

Thank you for the information. You have a very good article. I found it informative and useful. Keep up the good work and God bless!

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