Ever wondered what happens in my vocal coaching sessions?
If you’ve never had a vocal coaching session, it can be daunting when you don’t know what to expect.
I thought I’d share a little bit about what I do in my vocal coaching sessions.
Our first point of contact is an introductory chat. We can get to know each other and I can find out what it is that you’re wanting to work on to make sure that I can give that to you.
You book a 30-minute chat (using my online booking calendar) which we can do via Zoom/Skype or on the phone.
I call you, we have a quick chat and it gives you the opportunity to ask me any questions that you might have about vocal coaching and about what I do.
There is a really clear curriculum for both my vocal coaching and my artist development programs but what I like to do is give you what you need first.
You pick the three things from the curriculum that excite you the most and we usually tackle that first.
I have an online artist questionnaire that allows me to see what are you doing for vocal care & general well-being, what your lifestyle is like and what you are currently doing in your vocal practice both for performance and from an artistic perspective plus what your goals are for your voice.
Need help with setting your singing goals? Check out this post on how to set & smash your singing goals.
Song Study/Video Performance Review
There are a number of ways that we can work together. A Song Study or Video Performance Review is a pre-recorded option. It might be a song you’re working on that you want coaching for.
Record yourself singing a song to camera and then I give you feedback in real-time.
You send me the video recording, I pop it into a program that plays your video and records my screen. I can stop the video, “rewind” it and play it back whilst giving you instruction and feedback on what you’re doing at that moment.
I find video an amazing tool to use in coaching and it’s something that I was opened up to when I had to do my training which I did online via Berklee.
Berklee is an amazing music school in Boston, Massachusetts so the only way I could submit my assignments was via video. It was an eye-opener and very helpful for developing my voice.
Every session is video & audio recorded
Every coaching session that I do, whether it’s in-person or online, is video and audio recorded.
Not only do you get the opportunity to document your progress (which you can repurpose as behind the scenes footage in a mic video or a doco about your life when you have blown up!) but you also get to watch back completely free of having to think about what’s going on in the session.
Watch from a different perspective, from outside yourself, to see what you’re doing and the nuances that you have vocally. Good and bad!
This was a key discovery for me when videoing myself and it helped me so much.
You also get the opportunity to review over and over plus practice any techniques that we’ve gone through.
Online Coaching Sessions
Online coaching sessions are done via Skype/Zoom.
I do online sessions for my clients that are overseas, when they’re touring, out of town or we just can’t get a session together at the same time.
Everything is the same as an in-person coaching session but the tools that you need are either a phone or a computer that has a great connection to the internet and a really good camera.
It helps if you have an opportunity or space where you’ve got sound isolated (rehearsal space, lounge room when no-one is home, garage, car or bathroom!).
You can also use a headset with the microphone attached to it like Apple headphones. That will make sure that you get the best out of the online coaching session.
In-person coaching sessions
In-person coaching sessions are done either at my home in my lounge room or at a studio that I hire.
There are different sessions available when you’re starting out with me.
90 Minute Sessions
With vocal coaching, I like to do 90-minute sessions. It sounds like a long time but it goes very quickly.
The first 15 minutes is a chance for us to catch up. We can settle into things and talk about what has happened since our last session.
I’m a massive fan of journaling and have a Singer’s Vocal Journal that I offer up to my students.
It’s a chance for us to review what you’ve been doing in the week or weeks leading up to our sessions.
We use the bulk of the session to learn new techniques or sing through and implement those techniques.
The last 15 minutes is an opportunity to ask any questions and plan for our next session.
We generally cover all the fundamentals in about four 90-minute sessions.
Vocal Coaching Curriculum
My goal as a vocal coach is to offer a toolkit that empowers you to craft & deliver amazing performances with complete confidence in your singing ability.
The focus is vocal health & efficiency of sound production. There is no right or wrong as long as it doesn’t hurt.
This overview is a guideline to follow in our sessions, but I aim to give you what you want & need first.
It is smart to cover these fundamentals on your artistic/vocal journey to have an understanding of all the moving parts.
You can then make your creative decisions confidently with a full singer’s toolkit at your fingertips.
Vocal Coaching Plan
Session 1 – Vocal Health, Daily Care Practices & Introduction to Singing Techniques
- Learn what to do (& what not to do), to look after your voice.
- Define a fast & effective daily vocal care practice to help release tension & develop your voice
- Introduction to the foundational singing techniques.
- Optional – Song Study – sing through a song you would like to work on
Session 2 – Assess Your Voice & Learn The Most Effective Vocal Warm-Ups, Workouts & Cool Down
- Complete a vocal range assessment
- Set goals for your voice
- Create a personalised practice plan with a vocal warm-up, workout & cool down for your voice.
- Optional – Song Study – sing through a song you would like to work on
Session 3 – Power Your Voice – Effort Levels & Breath Management Focus
- Learn breath management techniques to help release tension in your voice & utilise the right amount of air & effort for the vocal task at hand.
- Recommended: Review all daily practices & introduce a Song Study to overlay all techniques
Session 4 – Sound & Tone Creation
- Explore your voice using primal sounds that allow you to extend your voice & hit any note safely & consistently.
- Recommended: Review all daily practices, techniques & use a Song Study to implement new techniques.
Implementation Sessions – Song Study/Trouble Shooting
We look to continue practicing using song studies & isolating any vocal structures or techniques that need special attention to help you create the sounds you want – healthily, consistently & with ease.
Areas of focus may include:
- Jaw, tongue, lips or throat tension
- Additional breath management focus
- Onsets – functional & stylistic
I highly recommend you create regular performance opportunities to work towards. We can workshop a song or set, focussing on audience interaction, movement, microphone technique, monitoring and sound as well as how to get gig fit, rehearsal tips & managing performance anxiety.
I can also help you prepare for video performances for YouTube or live-streamed events.
Vocal coaching for emerging artists
My goal is to be your greatest cheerleader and your coach. However, everything lies with you and the effort you give to developing as an artist.
I’d love you to feel 100% confident about any sound that you make.
The focus is on getting your vocal health and technique strong, then you use your singer’s toolkit to explore & deliver your unique artistry.
Vocal coaching for established artists
I have clients that are more established artists who are professional musicians, that will come and check in with me, specifically in the lead up to any high-intensity singing opportunities like touring or if they have a show that is important that they want to nail.
We’ll go through a 30-day program of how to Get Gig Fit. That’s my Get Gig Fit Action Plan.
Usually established artists are doing everything right on stage. The technique is rock solid and it’s sometimes a reminder to set up support off stage.
Making sure that you are getting enough sleep. That you’re not stressing, you’ve got your team on the same page as you, you’re moving forward and you know everything that’s is happening so you can keep stress levels low.
Touring is often stressful! Here’s how to Keep Your Voice Healthy on the Go
We also like to review the techniques as well. Generally, it’s more about checking in with the fundamentals of vocal health and wellbeing.
Wherever you’re at, whether you’re an emerging artist or a more established artist you can get what you need.
I have a very clear curriculum outlining all of the options. As a vocal coach but also for artist development if you’re ready to do more work on your artist identity & making music your focus.
Topics such as crafting your artist identity, how you represent and market your music visually via social platforms. As well as any of the business practices that come along with being a professional musician.
If you’ve got any questions you can always email me firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in vocal coaching with me, book a free intro chat so we can chat about what your vocal goals are and how I can help you.
I look forward to hearing from you real soon!
Originally posted Nov 2018 – UPDATED 5th May 2020