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Vocal Coach Or Singing Lesson? What Is Vocal Coaching + Top Coaches

Photograph of the blog post author, Hannah Jaap

Hannah Jaap

26.2.2020

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For every singer, whether professional or just starting out, having lessons with a singing teacher or vocal coach is super important! But how do you decide which, or even where to start? Keep reading to find out the difference between a vocal coach vs singing teacher and our top picks for both.

Firstly, you might be wondering “why should I get a vocal coach?” Singing seems so easy to a lot of people, but there are so many things to consider which you might not have realized.

Lessons are vital for any instrument, and especially for singing – the voice is your instrument. Consider the techniques that can take years to master, and are then easily forgotten. Just take a look at the most popular and influential singers throughout history who have still had vocal problems to overcome.

Vocal technique is simply the term used to describe how healthy the use of your voice is when singing or speaking. This is one of the main areas a coach or teacher can help with.

Let’s discuss what the big deal is about choosing a singing teacher or a vocal coach, so you can decide which is best for you.

Both help with technique, though for a singing teacher it is the primary focus. They will work on exercises to learn or improve individual techniques like breathing, tuning, or range (how high or low you can sing). A vocal coach takes the technique and uses it in a song to get the best out the individual student.

This sounds fairly simple, but it’s only the surface. In the next section, we’ll look in detail at each role.

What Is A Singing Teacher?

To answer the question of what a singing teacher does, we need to look at the structure of their lessons. A session will always start with a warm-up (as should any type of singing!). Then they’ll take a specific technique, and teach exercises to practice.

An example of this could be ‘runs’. A vocal run is a fast melodic line, based on a scale, which requires flexibility and agility to sing. Have a listen to Whitney Houston or Christina Aguilera for examples. To practice runs, scales should be a part of the warm-up for agility. Split up the run into sections and sing slowly, gradually putting each section together and speeding up once you get the hang of it.

Next, you’ll choose a song that involves this technique and try it in the context of a full song. This lesson isn’t about finishing the song, but about the technique itself, so often you’ll stop and start. Singing teachers will set goals to achieve over a period of time.

Singing lessons are great for beginners, hobbyists, and classical singers – anyone who wants to solely work on technique.

What Is A Vocal Coach?

Vocal coaches are also brilliant to work with, but they are more style based. Let me explain – this could mean vocal style in terms of tone or finding the right song to sing. It usually helps to find and polish your personal sound. Vocal coaching also looks at performance style, audition tips and memorizing songs.

They focus on everything surrounding the technique.

Most vocal coaches will only take on students who already have good technique. They may or may not have the technical knowledge, so check their training before taking advice in this area. Sometimes a vocal coach will even be a pianist rather than a singer.

If you want to learn about musical or performance style, a vocal coach is for you!

Best Vocal Coaches And Singing Teachers 

Now you know the difference between the two, take a look at some of the top vocal coaches and singing teachers to find a good match for you. If you search ‘vocal coach near me’ or ‘singing lesson near me’ on Google, you’ll probably get a tonne of results. That’s why we’ve written this article, to explain how to find a good vocal coach or singing teacher, as well as review a few for you! We’ve even thrown in some of the best celebrity vocal coaches!

We will compare on technique, availability, location, and price. How much are singing lessons usually and what can you expect from vocal coach prices? This can range from costing £20 per hour to over £100 per hour (depending on the tutor)! We’ve added prices to each of the vocal coach and singing teachers reviewed below.

Best Vocal Coaches

Don Lawrence

Celebrity vocal coach Don Lawrence has worked with Lady Gaga since she was 13, as well as Christina Aguilera, Mick Jagger, and Axl Rose.

Technique: His approach is very technical, based on the Italian bel canto technique – focusing on both sound and performance, the technique includes exercises for breath support, range, skill and control. This is great for powerful, emotional and performative singers.

Availability: Given his level of stardom, Don is bound to be in high demand, although once you’re working with him, he’ll make time for you – he still helps Lady Gaga with her warm up every night, even if it’s on the phone.

Location: Don Lawrence is based in New York, which is perfect for any professional singers living or working in the city – of which there are plenty.

Price: With such a high status, this coach doesn’t need to advertise his services, so it’s not totally certain what he charges. It’s safe to assume the price is at the top end of the scale, at over £100 per hour.

Ron Anderson

Ron Anderson, American celebrity coach. Working with Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, and The Weeknd, this coach is usually touring with one artist or another, and primarily works with professional singers. That being said, he has set up an online interactive programme for all levels.

Technique: Vocal health and sustainability while touring is the main focus, so while his technique is great, he tends to lean towards exercises for the voice, warming up and down, and lifestyle choices for the voice.

Availability: If you can’t manage to meet this coach in person (it’s pretty difficult) there’s unlimited availability on the online coaching programme VoixTek.

Location: Again, with VoixTek, there’s no need to travel! Download it to your computer or phone and learn to sing from the comfort of your own home.

Price: To make an appointment in person, you’re looking at over £100, but the prices for VoixTek are listed below.

Gold (Beginners) – $9.99/month or $95.99/year

Platinum (Advanced) – $49.99/month or $419.99/year

Diamond (Professional) – $99.99/month or $719.99/year.

Jono McNeil

Jono is a wonderful person to work with. He only takes on professional singers, so if that’s you, you’re in luck.

Technique: This coach is a rare find. He takes a holistic approach and is well-equipped to help with technique when singing for long periods of time or on tour. But Jono even takes it a step further with his work on vocal styling and performance.

Availability: A coach like this is hard to find, meaning that he’s also hard to book due to high demand. Contact him via his website to let him know a bit about you.

Location: Working from Blue Door Studio in North West London, lessons are in a soundproofed professional studio close to Ladbroke Grove tube station or Notting Hill station.

Price: An hour lesson is £70, or pay £240 for a block of four. Can you really put a price on the industry experience and personal attentiveness students gain from Jono? We don’t think so.

Chris Johnson

Also for professional or experienced singers, Chris wants to help people to sing with ease, and he can do it in any genre you want.

Technique: Chris has a very scientific approach to the voice which he combines with practical work to put techniques into practice. Able to perform a vocal massage, this vocal coach can cover all bases when it comes to the voice. Sadly, performance work isn’t a part of his teaching.

Availability: On his website, it’s really easy to book lessons…however, Chris is often very booked up. If that’s the case, you can always sign up for the waiting list.

Location: Find lessons in London or Brighton, both wonderful cities for music and easy to reach.

Price: Getting higher in our price range, an hour lesson is £85. Get in quick before you miss out!

Singing Teachers

Soho Vocal Tuition

Kicking it off with a joint business, Ed Staunton and Anna Stubbs make up Soho Vocal Tuition. Let’s jump straight in with a bit about their technique.

Technique: At Soho Vocal Tuition, technique is their specialty. They work to the needs of each student, teaching all levels. Ed has a degree in music as well as a science degree focused on the voice, while Anna has a licentiate in music performance and has taught singing at degree level for 12 years.

Availability: Whoever you decide to go with, their website has a great booking system that shows their personal schedules. Perfect for busy Londoners, right?

Location: As the title tells us, the lessons take place in their Soho studio, located in central London. The studio is very accessible to anyone in the surrounding area, as it’s close to Piccadilly Circus.

Price: The cost of a 55-minute lesson with either of them is £75, or you can book a package of 6 for £410. A very reasonable price for the standard of teaching they provide.

Anna’s main genres include pop-soul and jazz, and she has extensive experience in performing and vocal recording. On the other side of things, Ed’s sessions are based on rock, and he prides himself on vocally preparing singers for anything. Depending on what type of singer you are, this may sway your decision.

Guy Elliott

This singing teacher is regularly working in the music scene; you might even catch him performing at opera and classical music events over the next few months. Alongside his professional work, he enjoys imparting his incredible knowledge of singing to students of all ages and abilities.

Technique: As a classical vocalist, Guy’s technique is perfect. Need we say more? We will, just to convince you! He trained at the Royal College of Music and has worked with the education departments of English Touring Opera and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Availability: Though he’s a very busy person, it’s easy to email Guy through his website and check availability for lessons. Unfortunately, this is the only way to find out. Is this too complicated for modern life? We’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Location: Based in Clapham (South West London), the closest tube station is Clapham Common.

Price: What’s great about this teacher is that he has so many lesson options at great prices. Check them out below.

30 minutes – £30

60 minutes – £40

90 minutes – £50

Overall, Guy is perfect for you if you want an in-depth education on vocal technique in a classical and music theory context.

What About Online Singing Lessons?

Online vocal coaching is quickly a growing platform, some even go through a vocal coaching app. If you’re unable to travel or don’t have the time, online singing lessons are very popular and easy for everyone. Some online coaches or teachers post on YouTube, while some online teach privately through Skype or other forms of remote teaching.

Tristan Paredes Vocal Coach

Tristan regularly posts videos to YouTube critiquing celebrity singers, and coaches privately in Germany or online. He has also worked with YouTubers, most namely Gabbie Hanna.

Technique: Tristan does have knowledge of technique, though his videos are mostly fun and not too technical, so that everyone can watch and understand. He also tends to focus on the performance and style more than vocal technique.

Availability: Tristan is available for Skype lessons, but he doesn’t appear to run these very often, his main focus is his reaction channel.

Price: The price is unknown for private lessons, but watching his reactions are completely free! You can watch his videos on his YouTube channel.

Cheryl Porter Vocal Coach

Cheryl posts her sessions on her YouTube channel, working with students including YouTuber James Charles. Though she calls herself a vocal coach, she in fact teaches lessons as well. She teaches in Italy, where she lives – check out Cheryl Porter to get a feel for her style.

Technique: Trained in opera, Cheryl’s technique is classical perfection with a modernized feel. But what really makes her amazing is her ability to adapt to her student’s level and understanding, as well as her well-rounded experience.

Availability: Although she’s busy with vocal students, this vocal coach has many slots during the week.

Price: To discuss the costs, contact Cheryl through her website.

Charles Michel Vocal Coach

Based in New York City, Charles’ main focus is on the voice and technique when speaking, believing that his methods can help non-performers as much, if not more than performers.

Technique: This vocal coach’s technique is wonderful, but as he says on his website, more suitable for voice-over work (speaking) than singers. His approach involves physical, musical, and imagination-based ‘triggers’ to help with breathing

Availability: Send an email to discover his availability – as there are many voice actors around the world and specifically in New York City, I’m sure Charles gets booked up fast.

Price: Charles’ rates are unavailable online, so drop him a quick email and he’ll get back to you!

Sam Johnson Vocal Coach

YouTube vocal coach Sam Johnson has a brilliant insight into the music industry, auditions, and vocal technique. He reviews celebrity singers, understanding when their issues were due to bad technique, or simply due to technical difficulties, illness, or an off day.

Technique: Sam has a degree in vocal performance, and has taught singing to both amateur and professional singers with a focus on technique. He teaches a wide range of genres including pop, musical theatre, R&B, and classical.

Availability: You can easily book a lesson online through Sam’s coaching website, though all of his sessions are through Skype or FaceTime. He has a good amount of availability.

Price: The lessons are $60 per 30 minutes, making an hour lesson $120. This is high on our scale of prices, but his knowledge of the voice is incredible.

What Should You Take Away?

Ok, we’ve given you all the info about singing teachers vs vocal coaches and more. Hopefully, you now have a clear idea of what you want.

But if you’re still unsure, here are the most important things to remember.

Singing teachers are best for you if you’re a beginner or need more help with vocal technique and health. Vocal coaches are for you if you have experience in technique or if you’re a performer. Finally, if you’re given advice by any tutor, make sure they have the right education to be giving it to you.

If you’re confident and ready to start planning your music career, we’re here to help! Find people to collaborate with, store your music and promote your music as well as finding opportunities such as getting your music in film, TV and more or send your demos to labels, publishers and other gatekeepers! Try this for free now by simply signing up – no strings attached!

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