Some general information about vocal lessons
Sam West works with many singers, and over the years has trained a wide range of artists. Often singers aren't sure what to expect from a vocal lesson; below Sam outlines some key points on lesson content.
Each individual has their own learning pattern, and we all progress at different speeds. Whatever your learning style is, you will find that lessons are structured to help you develop and enhance your vocal skills, quickly and clearly.
Students will only progress by practicing what they have been taught. Lazy students are not welcome.
Often vocalists have specific areas that they wish to address; in addition to this, there are fundamental areas that are dealt with which apply to students of all levels:
Aural (listening) skill development. Students are taught how to enhance their listening skills. This is an area of musicianship that focuses on thought processes, and how musical sounds are perceived. Poor listening skills often result in intonation (tuning) problems. When aural skills are developed, singers will notice more about what’s happening within a song, (or piece of music) and will find harmonising easier
Familiarity with your vocal range. It is vital for a singer to know how to use the different parts of their voice effectively. Many people only use the middle area – which is the safest part, and neglect the lower and higher areas. You will be given vocal exercises to explore and strengthen the different areas of your range. Understanding your range is a vital area, and when achieved, makes an enormous difference to your singing.
Using resonance to: a/ explore vocal colours, b/ develop projection. Vocal technique involves focusing the sounds from various locations around the body, i.e. chest, mouth, and head resonances. When explored, you will be surprised at the different tones / colours that can be found, and applied to your songs. Resonance technique also allows you to sing with less effort, and more control, reach difficult notes (in your range) more easily, and stop straining your voice.
Breathing technique. This is an area that is of vital importance to all singers. You will learn to develop a correct approach to breathing, and to get rid of any bad habits (if you have any)!
The lesson also involves other areas – according to the student’s requirements; i.e. working on Vibrato, Diction (pronounciation), Agility (moving around the voice quickly), Harmonising, Recording studio techniques, etc. The latest equipment is used in the lesson studio, and students are encouraged to bring a USB stick – so that some of the lesson content can be recorded for their practicing / reviewing purposes.