The difference between 'Singing Teacher' and 'Vocal Coach'
There is actually a difference between the two terms, even though the terms are used interchangeably among a lot of teachers. The main difference, in my opinion, is that a Singing Teacher is a technician and is there to help you improve your vocal technique. If someone is marketing themselves as a Singing Teacher, I would expect that person to have an extensive knowledge of how the voice works and more importantly how to improve the sound, quality and ability of a student’s voice.
A Vocal Coach on the other hand, is someone who will work primarily on musicality and performance of a piece. They won’t necessarily have a strong understanding of technique but they do know how to delve into the context of a song and will have the ability to find a great performance space for that piece.
A lot of Singing Teachers are able to offer a bit of both of these things but it is good to be aware of the difference if you are looking for something specific when searching for a teacher. If you are a beginner singer I would always advise that you look at getting singing lessons with a recognised, qualified teacher first who can help you with your technique. This is because, although a vocal coach may be able to help you to a certain extent with the performance of a piece, it is quite hard to be flexible with how you use your voice to achieve a great performance without a certain level of technique already established. When you are having lessons with a singing teacher they should be able to explain, what, why and how you need to change the way you sing and be able to demonstrate and communicate this effectively. Watch out for teachers who just use buzz words, get you to just sing a song over and over again, don’t know how to help you warm up or don’t go into detail about how the voice works.
Once you have established a solid technique you may want to then go and see a vocal coach as well as your singing teacher, so that you can use the time to focus on the performance and interpretation of your songs rather than the technique. However, singing technique is something that always has to be maintained, so I would not advise you stop seeing a singing teacher completely and I would not advise that you only see a vocal coach unless they are also technical teachers.
Ask lots of questions when you first find a teacher and don’t be afraid to shop around, a good teacher or coach will understand your need to do this when you first start having lessons.
If you are interested in having Singing Lessons in Norwich, then go to the Norwich Singing Lessons tab in the Menu bar or email RHVocalTuition@gmail.com for further details.