What is it about the vocal profession that drives practitioners to make sweeping promises about the ease of learning one of the most complicated tasks the body can perform? Here are a few possible motivations:
Showing off: Some people want to show the world how amazing they are, and what better way than with a Youtube series that demonstrates their ability sound like lots of people, or skilled techniques. Not to take away from their prowess, but to say that those kinds of skills take time, understanding, and patience to master. The fact that one person can accomplish them does not mean that they are immediately transferable to another.
Trust: The singer/instructor relationship depends upon a trust bond. Instructors know this, and strive to create it quickly, often by promising that they know how the voice works implicitly, and forcing that knowledge on singers. Building trust based on interaction and two-way communication can be much more challenging at first, but lasts longer, and is more fruitful.
2. The instructor’s approach to learning is very important. Do they constantly tell the singer what to do, or do they involve the singer in a body/mind learning process? If you spend 30 minutes with an instructor and they have yet to ask you what you’re feeling, or ask you to comment on your experience, that’s a big red flag. The singer’s experience should be the primary focus.
6. Be on the lookout for motivational speeches. Although life-coaching advice can be just what the doctor ordered, it often has less to do with singing, and more to do with how we approach singing. Listen for actual singing advice verses “go get ‘em” language.