What is required to be a singing teacher by Blair Kelly

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What is required to be a singing teacher by Blair Kelly

Hi there, my name is Blair (as you may have guessed) and I’m currently studying Musical Theatre at HN level in Edinburgh.  I’ve been singing for a few years now, and plan, to hopefully become a private singing tuter myself in the next few years, however, I am finding it really hard to find information on what qualifications are required and what grade of singing.  Any help and/or advice in this field would be really helpful.  Oh and I have laryngitis at the moment so any super strength extra fast remedies that anyone knows of would also be a huge help!  Thanks a lot!

Re: What is required to be a singing teacher by Sigrid Agosci

Dear Blair,

To give you an idea about what S.A.M. Voiceworks Teacher are learning at the World Academy for Interdisciplinary Training:

The S.A.M. Voiceworks Foundation Certificate Course is divided into four terms/modules: 1. Physiology; 2. The Speaking Voice; 3. The Singing Voice; 4. Communication; plus: The Voice on Stage, in Film, TV & Radio.

Each term /module has its own specific focus but is at the same time also always being put into a holistic context with the other sections of learning. 1. Physiology The first term is looking at the physiology of the body; the interrelation of the brain, voice, movements, breathing and the ear; voice projection and sound production. The student will learn to look at her individual habitual patterns regarding her own voice, movements, breathing and listening skills, and will be able to detect and correct all those patterns, that sabotage her body and preventing her from using her voice, movements, gestures and breathing in a natural way.

2. The Speaking Voice In the second term the student will learn to assess and project the speaking voice in different physical and psychological situations. Starting with the focus on speaking whilst sitting, standing and lying, the student will then learn to apply the right effort to each movement, posture and intention to communicate. Parallel to this process the student is taught the most effortless production of vowels and consonants, which is the basis for a confident and rich voice, ready to communicate.

3. The Singing Voice The third term takes the voice a magical step further: The student will discover the whole range of a voice without any force and breaks. S/he will learn to use the whole body as an instrument and to move all the muscles and sections of our skeleton involved in the way nature intended us to use them. The result is a subtle, dynamic and rich voice with a wide range and without breaks in transitional areas.

4. Communication; plus: The Voice on Stage, in Film, TV & Radio The fourth term is about applying all the skills and tools that the student has learnt so far to any situation, in which the focus is on communication. This can be an everyday-life conversation in person or on the telephone, an interview, a business negotiation, or it can be a role on stage or in a film, or a presentation and/or interview in radio and broadcasting. In the first term we had already looked at the physiology of the body and the brain, and how they collaborate and how we are processing information . In this section the student will also learn, how to stimulate both sides of the brain in order to make the most of all her skills in an ever-flexible way as an additional resource to her communication skills. The student has the option to take up all of the above areas of communication, performance arts and Radio-/TV-broadcasting techniques, or to focus on just one or more subjects.

I hope that gives you an idea, how versatile the work of a singing teacher is these days.

Regarding your laryngitis: Rest your voice, and try complementary therapies like Reiki-Seichem and homeopathic remedies like tissue salts. Also drink plenty of water, at least 2-3 litres per day!

Very best wishes, hope you get better soon!


Re: What is required to be a singing teacher by Frith Trezevant


I’ve been teaching and singing for years and years, and in my view some of the things required to be a singing teacher are:

Knowledge and understanding of how your voice works, at a physiological level i.e voice science based


An understanding of adolescent voice, as the vast majority of people taking lessons are children and adolescents

Reasonable piano skills

Good musicianship skills – aural, theory, an understanding of music history and popular music

Repertoire knowledge

An interest in people

Membership of a good association such as the ISM, partly in order to have some help chasing up those people who are reluctant to pay and partly for the help and support of colleagues

Good organisational skills – you will have to fill in your tax return, so filing receipts and bills is a must

A sense of curiosity about your subject – so much is being done in voice research and new ideas and ways of working are coming along all the time.  Some voice research also confirms just how good some of the older singing traditions are.

Good health, healthy lifestyle habits

Good communication skills – not everyone learns in the same way, so being prepared to modify the way you teach to make is relevant to the student

There are probably things I missed out, but it’s my birthday and I’m off to have an indulgent soak in the bath after an exhausting but productive day’s teaching.



Re: What is required to be a singing teacher by Blair Kelly

Thank you for replying Frith!  I just read through your list of requirments and they are all things I already knew I’d have to know or have.  So, lucky me, no extra stuff to do, yet!  If you can think of anything else, then it’d be really helpful if you could just post it, so I can make a big checklist of this I need to study up on.  Oh and Happy Birthday!  Hope you have a good one!

Re: What is required to be a singing teacher by Blair Kelly

Hi Ziggy, thanks for your reply.  After having read through what that course provides, it seems that it is all things I am currently studying or have previously studied in the past few years, which is excellent news that I’m on the right path!  Laryngitis wise, I feel as if I am finally seeing the end of it, although knowing my luck I’ll get it again in a matter of days!

Re: What is required to be a singing teacher by Frith Trezevant

Hi again

Just for interest’s sake, why do you think you’ll get laryngitis again in a few days?  I’m not medically trained, but laryngitis is a big deal for singers and singing teachers.

I used to get it from continuing teaching when I had a respiratory infection, like a cold.  At the time I was teaching solfa musicianship to lots of kindergarten-age children, so having to do a certain amount of crowd control as well as singing and talking on the illness, and I would lose my voice up to three times a year.  Horrible, and probably left me with some scarring.

I hardly ever get it now.  I am much more sensible about teaching on an illness, and I use the Estill voice model so am using less stress around the vocal folds and singing much more healthily.

I do hope you get better soon and that the illness doesn’t recur.  Advice from one of my mum’s old nursing friends; ‘Rest the part and treat the cause’.

Best wishes


Re: What is required to be a singing teacher by Sigrid Agosci

Dear Blair,

Regarding my earlier advice on laryngitis those measures suggested do not replace a visit to your GP. If you find, he cannot help quickly enough, then you can call the helpline of the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine for free advice. You can find their contact details on their website: http://www.bapam.org.uk

I wish you a speedy recovery,

Ziggy 🙂

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