What are the qualities of a great singing teacher? The really good ones seem like ninja’s!
Take a minute and jot down the qualities that come to your mind. Then compare them with this list from the most recent participants in the January 2016 online Be A Singing Teacher course.
- Good listener
- Sets personal boundaries
- Passionate about teaching and voice
- Client-centered teacher
- Individually tailored instruction and interaction
Nowhere on this list is “can explain how the vocal folds function well” or “knows the acoustic science behind how the voice works.”
I am a giant advocate for voice teachers understanding the anatomy, physiology, and physics of the larynx, lungs, articulators, vocal folds, and resonators. Only when coaches really know how the voice works can they give the client precise, specific tools to help them find the nuances in singing that they want and need and do so in a way that is safe. But if that knowledge is not combined with the attributes of a great teacher, most clients will never experience the transformation in their singing that is possible for them.
The human brain has an amazing capacity to change its form and function in all stages of life. It used to be thought that by adulthood, if you didn’t have a certain aptitude or skill, you never would. We now know this to be untrue.
The brain’s ability to change its form and function is called neuroplasticity. What that means for our singing clients is:
- The way they think about their singing can change
- Habits they have that are hindering their potential can be left behind
- New coordination and habits that enhance their singing and performance can be made
- Their perceptions of themselves as performers, singers, and artists can change
When our clients come to understand and to believe, at a deep level, that things can change for them, and they start experiencing those changes, they initiate a transforming positive feedback cycle.
For clients to risk change, they have to feel safe. Attempting change puts them in a very vulnerable spot. They WILL bobble around some while learning new ways of thinking and doing and being.
It is the singing teacher’s job to create an environment in which the client feels and is safe. That’s where those qualities of being a great singing teacher come into play.
In the embrace of these qualities, the client can take the necessary risks to learn new behaviors and create new habits. Then we can much more effectively teach them new technical aspects of singing. Those new behaviors and habits create new neuropathways in the nervous system that get stronger and stronger with repetition. With time and commitment, transformation occurs.
What do you want for your singing teaching and coaching so that you can best help your clients become their very best? What qualities and skills do you wish to develop?
To get more tips and info like this, enter your name and email address at the bottom of this page or request your FREE consultation. I can’t wait to help you get what you need to become the teacher and singer (or both!) you want to be.
Shameless Singing founder, Lisa Haupert, is a teacher to teachers. Lisa established the first teacher -training program for vocal majors at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. She is one of 5 certified Be A Singing Teacher trainers. Lisa passed the first of three masters courses in Vocal Science the Summer Vocal Institute run by the world’s foremost vocal scientist, Dr. Ingo Titze. She is passionate about helping teachers get what they need to be their best.