Singing students…..should you go to university?

Did you take vocal lessons when you were younger? Are you happy with your voice now? Can you sing the songs in the style you want?

All too often children and teens taking singing lessons during their youth have high aspirations of being a “singer” in today’s music business. Their parents spend thousands of dollars getting them the training they think they should have. The students may even go on to university to polish their skills only to find out after graduating that their voice isn’t suitable to sing commercially accepted music. They find out their voice can’t perform the style for the bands they want to join, and they soon learn that their auditions for theatrical performances are being given to singers with a more commercially-accepted edge to their voice.

Let’s face it, musical theatre is changing. Newly written musicals are more often than not, wanting vocals with a strong chest voice in their mix.

Unfortunately, universities are not changing along with the times. Professors in vocal training at universities are teaching their students the same technique that they were taught….which can create a beautiful classical voice…exactly the type of voice they were taught to have. Unfortunately, these students soon find out that they are unable to enter the workforce in today’s music business, so they are left with the only other option and that is to teach others exactly what they were taught…..and so it goes….another generation of classically trained singers, who again go on to teach rather than perform in the music business.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree?


Where to study voice? Go to university? Study privately?

I’ve posted about this before, but it is so important that singers understand what they are doing with their voice. Your voice is your instrument of choice, and you need to learn and understand how to use it the way you want to use it. That may not make sense…read on.

You are told you have a beautiful voice…you must go on and study, study, study, go to university, you have such a bright future…..You love to sing……sounds like the best thing to do in the world. You are going to work your entire like doing what you love…..singing.

Careful now….let’s be really clear about what is going on here. 

You go to university and the professors tell you you have a lovely voice, but you must do this, and do that. They tell you if you can sing classically you can sing anything. They change your voice. You love singing classical music so you enjoy 4 years of singing, learning arias and practising diligently. Four years later you graduate with a beautiful classically trained voice and now you need to work.

You search for music theatre work and find out your voice is only suitable for certain plays. Most productions do not want your style of singing. You try to change your voice to suit what is needed for the shows but you sound phoney, different, and not yourself.

This is very common. Work is limited and hard to find.  Graduates, in turn, start teaching to young, naive students the very same classical technique that they were taught for years.

Classical vocal training is the most common teaching available because it is embedded in our history!   But…’s the big but, wait for it…….it’s out of date!!  There is very little work for classically trained singers. Times have changed. Musical theatre has changed. In order to stay current, singers must realize this shift is happening. The beautiful soprano head-voice is no longer the voice of choice. Instead, listeners are enjoying the beautiful, strong and powerful sound of chest voice high in the mix.

For the most part, this cannot be accomplished with classical training. Some singers can sing anything, but most singers need to learn and understand what they want their voice to sound like.

For more information visit this website and find a Speech-Level Singing teacher near you. You will not be disappointed.

I welcome all comments and questions. Speech-Level Singing is an up-to-date method based on the classical Bel Canto technique. It has been created by Seth Riggs to allow singers to stay current with information, and to help build a strong, beautiful voice that can sing ANYTHING!! Yes, any style of music!  This is the year 2010….Singers, get with the times!!  Universities are out of date!