Vocal Coach vs. Vocal Teacher
Often we hear these two terms used interchangeably, but there is a difference between a "Vocal Coach" and a "Vocal Teacher".
A Vocal Coach is often a professional singer or performer that helps other singers with style, performance, and performance practice. They pass on what they have learned and seen to help those around them, but may or may not have formal education to back up their expertise. For people who already feel they have a good grasp on vocal production, a Vocal Coach can provide valuable information into the inner workings of what it takes to be a mainstream vocalist in various settings. They have knowledge that helps with fixing certain vocal problems as they arise, and can help with specific goals. We most recently see Vocal Coaches on television shows like American Idol and The Voice, but Vocal Coaches have been around as long as there have been people interested in performing.
A Vocal Teacher is a Music Teacher who teaches technique, healthy practice, and vocal production. A Vocal Teacher may also be a professional, but they have gone the extra mile to study Vocal Pedagogy (the study of how we sing physically) and techniques that help singers increase stamina, sound production, bodily health benefits, and ear training. Their knowledge is more broad based and they use various techniques to make sure your unique sound is the best it can be. Vocal Teachers include Choir Directors and Private Teachers with a focus on Pedagogy.
While both are teachers, many vocal teachers fall under one "banner" or the other. Before deciding that you or a loved one wants to take "voice lessons", it helps to know what the goal is.
Do you want to learn to sing in a healthy and well sustained manner? Do you enjoy singing, but feel that you have a nasally sound, can't be heard at the back of a room, or can't quite match pitches the way you should?
Then a Voice Teacher might be for you. He or She will give you the building blocks needed to go down any path you may need vocally.
Do you already enjoy singing in various settings and want to learn to sing better in front of others? Have you been told you have a "great voice" but a little training would do you good?
Then a Vocal Coach might be more of what you need. He or She will give you confidence, make you think of things in a new way and possibly even be able to set you up with performance or recording venues to further your goals.
Notes from our Voice Teacher Audrey Allgaier
Mrs. Audrey Allgaier is a Vocal Teacher with SMI. She holds a Music Education Bachelors Degree from Armstrong University in Savannah, GA and focuses on healthy vocal production, matching pitch, reading music/sight reading, and techniques that can help students in both solo and ensemble settings.
Vocal Lessons are goal centered and based on what a student is willing to put into them. Vocal Lessons are grounded in learning to produce a healthy vocal sound, and basic musicianship associated with singing in different venues (church, school, auditions, stage, etc.) Relatively new and old music of many genres are used to achieve the many goals established in vocal production. Also taught are skills that many directors look for - like sight reading and vowel modification. These techniques take time and muscle training, so there is no "quick guide to singing" and the more you are able to put into it, the faster you will see positive results. If you are serious about improving your voice, it is expected that you practice and learn a little every day. Vocal training sometimes takes a really long time to sing with healthy habits and can be frustrating all around when we don't see/feel results as quickly as we would like.
We start students starting at age 12 and up and focus mostly on female singers.
If I take you on as a Vocal Student, I will be honest with you. I will help you to be the best vocalist you can be. I will also tell you if what we are doing is working or not, and we may have to try a couple different teaching methods to help reach our goals. The following is what I require for a Vocal Audition.