Classical versus contemporary voice lessons

I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again. I’m thankful I never took classical singing lessons when I was young.

I did sing in choirs up until about the age of 15. I respected my choir directors very much. I sang alto and learned great things about posture, head voice, reading music, tone, dynamics,  and blending with the other singers. It was great fun.

At the same time I was jamming with my sister in a local dance band. I sang everything from the Carpenters to Helen Reddy to Bill Haley and the Comets. This, too, was great fun. I was not using my “choir” voice in the dance band. I definitely had two very different voices as a young singer.

Eventually, I stopped singing in the choir but continued singing contemporary rock, pop and country music. My “choir” voice went away. I was happy to replace it with my “band” voice.

I tell you this story to make you aware of the many different sounds any singer can make. They are not made the same way, and any classical teacher who tells you they can teach you how to sing pop, rock or country better be able to prove it.

There are some teachers who can teach these two very different voices, but many cannot. So, be clear what you want and how you should get it.

If you have any questions, let me know. I’d be glad to point you in the right direction!

2 thoughts on “Classical versus contemporary voice lessons

  1. I think it is so unfortunate that universities do not offer training or classes on modern vocal technique. The singing voice of today needs to sound “current,” since that is what the music industry is looking for. As a singer myself, who is passionate about singing pop/R&B/soul styles, I wish there were more education opportunities for myself and others who love to sing these genres. I once auditioned for a Jazz program in Toronto, and the professor said that I was talented, but that I sounded too “pop.” I was not accepted into their program because I sounded too “pop.” I think that’s wrong, and all singers should have the freedom to be versatile, especially in school. Universities should offer both classical and modern vocal technique training. It would be up to date with famous pop singers of today, plus it would make a singer become more prepared when entering the music industry (a versatile voice!). I’m surprised no one has developed a school within Canada that focuses on only modern vocal technique… there needs to be a school dedicated to pop singers. A pop singer should have every right to receive a university degree in modern vocal technique, as much as a classical singer can receive a degree is classical vocal technique. I’m hoping that change will happen one day!

Leave a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *