In-studio voice lessons
Lehigh Valley | Easton, Pennsylvania

Phillipsburg, NJ, Easton, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Allentown, Emmaus, Hellertown, Quakertown, and the nearby area.

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Monday - Friday 4 - 8 pm

"One needs a voice teacher to learn singing technique, to solidify his singing foundation, and to add more delicate techniques as he continues his progress. Strengthening, training, and stamina-building are taught and drilled in the voice lessons. A voice teacher suggests and assigns repertoire; first, as a learning tool, later as a showcase to be added to the student's own portfolio."

Info. Taking Voice Lessons

Pradichaya Poonyarit Voice Studio | Lehigh Valley, Easton, PA

So you're considering taking voice lessons. You must have several questions,

so please ask me and I will do my best to answer them.

My twin goals are to help you improve and to provide you with a skill set that will enable you to continue to learn on your own. I am also obligated to be as honest and transparent as possible. The teacher-student relationship is built upon trust, and trust demands honesty and caring. If any potential teacher seems evasive, then he is not the person to whom you want to entrust your delicate, unique, and non-replaceable voice.

As for any student, you must understand that if you are asking to be taught, you are also opening yourself up to things you may find difficult. Yet there is no place for ego in the teacher-student relationship. Just as a teacher must be aware of and accommodate a student's strengths and weaknesses, a student must also accept the teacher's expertise and that what the teacher is saying and doing are for the student's benefit. He must accede to the teacher's judgment- within reason- but this is not difficult when open communication has been established between a teacher and a student. Then, the latter is more likely to try the former's suggestions: not only because he knows he can always ask for explanations and clarifications, but also because he will feel no trepidation in expressing whatever difficulties or confusion he might be experiencing.

It is important to understand what it is you are looking for, because if you don't have a goal effort is most often wasted. Equally important is that you convey to your teacher what it is you are looking for in taking lessons. Are you looking for a relatively quick fix? Or are you looking for a solid technique that will last a lifetime?

At the outset, I think it is very important to distinguish between three basic types of teaching. Understand, too, that these are not mutually exclusive from one another.

The first is the "singing lesson," in which the main concern is polishing what the student has already brought in with him through the door. Think of American Idol, or of the person who wants to sing in a talent show the following month: there is no time to dig into the nitty-gritty of what the student is doing. The concern might be about how one holds a microphone, or how one can quickly get the song across to the audience in a better way, for example, and offering to him quick suggestions of different things he can try to make it better immediately.

There is a definite place for offering bits and pieces of advice such as this, especially when it brings about quick and dramatic improvement. But it should not be confused with systematic, long-term study. It does not instill within a student much, if any, ability to self-assess, and it therefore does not provide a solid basis for lifelong improvement.

None of this is to say that a student can't learn through such an approach: but, compared to the others, it is far more piecemeal and it relies far more on a student's being able to decode everything and create meaning for himself.

Because this process is not systematic, it is also the one in which it is most likely for the singer's ego to intrude. The instructor's comments are more likely to come off as personal opinion rather than expertise, and a singer is more likely to feel that his own personal stamp on a performance is being called into question.

The second type of lesson is the "vocal coaching." In a vocal coaching, the concern is with the artistic interpretation of a piece of music. This is the artistic side of performing. Style, language, exploring various approaches- these all fall within the province of coaching.

Unlike other musical performers, a singer's message should always be very clear. This is not to say that other instrumentalists don't tell a story while performing: they do, and the great ones spend countless hours giving shape to their performances. Yet singers have words, and their impact on listeners is therefore qualitatively different. This is the reason why coaching, and everything involved in it, is so important.

Finally, there is the "voice lesson." This addresses the nuts-and-bolts technique of building the vocal mechanism so that it is stronger, yet more flexible. An overall plan of how one uses his entire body should be explored in this context so that a singer has more ability to express himself.

Implicit in voice lessons, too, should be the fact that a singer is always evolving. They ought to provide to the student a technique which he can call upon, himself, to deal with all the consequences that this evolution entails.

A voice lesson might be thought of as teaching someone to paint- introducing and demonstrating the tools, the different kinds of paint, and how they can be combined to do more complex scenes. A coaching would introduce different styles and would help to explore different ways to paint a scene. The first approach would be to walk up and say that an already existing painting is beautiful, but "I think it would be better if the blue sky were darker." It may well be correct that the sky should be darker, and a good reason might even be given to support that, but it would not be within a course of study that the suggestion was made.

Now, as I stated above, these are not mutually exclusive domains. Obviously, a teacher or a coach has his own personal idea of what's best, so they are always to an extent involved in providing a singing lesson. For their part, coaches need to understand the technical limits of a student, and voice teachers must provide a technique always with an eye toward the expression every singer is naturally trying to undertake. All aspects will be present during any lesson.

It is important to understand what it is you are looking for, because if you don't have a goal effort is most often wasted. Equally important is that you convey to your teacher what it is you are looking for in taking lessons. Are you looking for a relatively quick fix? Or are you looking for a solid technique that will last a lifetime?

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