By Lisa L Peters
I have a confession to make: I’m a bargain hunter, a corner cutter, a deal sniffer. I’m always looking for more bang for my buck. Especially when I hit the World Wide Web. But that doesn’t mean that I’m cheap. Ultimately, any penny-pincher worth her sea salt knows that the trick to successful virtual frugality is finding the best value. This holds true whether I’m on a quest for that perfect pair of shoes, a killer coffee grinder, or the quintessential voice lessons online.
There’s so much more than money at stake. As a singer, you know that you also need to economize your resources, time, and energy. So finding an online voice teacher with the right virtual studio setup is crucial. My bestie Lisa Kay (LK) Fletcher, a vocal coach for professional singers working out of The Mona Lisa Life in Fort Worth, TX, gave me the skinny on the top SIX things to look for:
The Technical Savvy: You want a vocal coach with a solid grasp on technology. Because you won’t be together in the same physical space, look for a teacher who’s considered every angle...literally. This means more than just the standard video conferencing app. Your teacher should be able to seamlessly provide an online lesson that feels as close to being there as possible.
The Equipment: A state-of-the-art virtual studio is outfitted with great audio mikes, headphones, multiple cameras to enrich your visual experience, quality recording capabilities, and hopefully some whimsical tchotchkes to make you feel right at home.
The Digital Tools: Your voice coach should have an expert grasp on apps like Garage Band and Appcompianist. This allows for the two of you to create top quality multi-track recordings. And don’t discount YouTube! A good coach will use what’s out there to enhance your lessons...and you should, too.
The Flexibility: All singers are not created equally. That is to say, depending on your genre and style, you’ll need a different studio experience. A good coach will have the sophistication and flexibility to accommodate your needs. LK has multiple studios to accomplish just that.
The Resources: A seasoned professional coach will have an extensive digital music library at their fingertips. This includes personalized playlists, warmups, recordings, translations, etc. Look for someone who can pull up your favorite obscure French Cabaret love ballad in 30 seconds or less...or at least the entire score to La Traviata.
The Right Chair: Lets face it, a comfortable coach is a happy coach. LK had a little confession of her own: she still hasn’t found her perfect place to sit.
The bottom line is this: Don’t skimp when it comes to something as important as finding the right professional vocal coach online. Do your homework. Ask for a virtual tour of the studio(s) and sit in on a lesson before you sign up. LK is happy to walk you through it. Contact her now to schedule your personalized consultation. And brownie points if you can recommend a great chair!