Ringing in the New Year, you made a silent resolution: you would take the stage at The Fringe this August and sing your heart out. You didn’t tell family or friends; nobody knows of your secret ambition.
While it’s been relatively easy for you to wow the crowds at karaoke you realise that, if you’re going to be a smash at Edinburgh’s most popular performing arts festival, you’d better make sure your vocal skills are in tip-top shape.
That means it is time for you to find a voice coach.
Of course, you needn’t have planned to stake your entire career and reputation on such a public display of singing talent to need voice or singing lessons. It could be that you’ve been promoted at work and now have a team to lead.
The boost in confidence that you’d get from voice training fairly guarantees your leadership skills will also benefit from those vocal lessons – to say nothing of how improving your posture and speaking in a warm voice would help you present yourself as supremely assured.
Whether you want to learn how to sing for the health benefits you could derive, for advancement opportunities at work or to sing, loud and proud, in public, you have many choices when it comes to taking singing lessons in Edinburgh.
Learn to Sing in a Music School
Glasgow may get props for being the home of the Royal Conservatory of Music but Edinburgh is no slouch in having an impressive directory of outlets where you can learn to sing.
Your Voice Studio
Here’s something you don’t hear about every voice teacher...
Tom and Laura, directors of Your Voice, pursue continuing professional development.
Some people might think that a singer is a singer is a singer, and that’s that. Once a vocalist masters breathing technique, controlling their pitch and expanding their range, there is nothing else for them to learn. Wrong!
The Institute for Vocal Advancement is a global network of singing teachers who constantly strive for excellence both in the production of music and the development of singers.
To that end, they host seminars and administer proficiency exams to music teachers around the world to ensure that they are up to date on the latest in vocal pedagogy.
Your Voice Studio is home to the only Certified IVA instructors in all of Scotland.
If you’re thinking lessons there would be pretty pricey... think again! A one-hour session with Tom, the facility’s advanced IVA instructor, is about the same as you would pay for an hour with any other voice teacher: £45.
Additionally, you can purchase a block of lessons and receive a discount that averages to £6 per lesson. Students enjoy a discount too, by the way, whether they pay on a per- lesson basis or buy a block of time.
What will you get for your money?
First, your vocal coach will assess your voice: what is your vocal range? This will be determined through structured vocal exercises suited to your voice.
Next, you will pick out a song to work on – your voice instructor will not dictate which musical style you should embrace.
You will leave your first lesson with a recording of your session and recommendations to improve your voice.
That initial meeting will set the pattern for subsequent lessons: learning new vocal techniques and mastering breath control, ear training and improving your tone quality.
Through it all, there will be a focus on vocal health.
Sing for Smiles
“Whether you are a complete beginner or a serial shower singer...” from the school’s web page.
Just the name of this music school evokes glee... but don’t let their name fool you: they are very serious about teaching people who want to learn how to sing.
If your voice always cracks as you attempt to hit the high notes or if you run out of breath while trying to hold a note as long as your fav recording artist does, the voice teachers know just what you need to do.
Especially if you are preparing for a university entrance exam or other singing audition, going ‘round to Smiles is advised.
Those teachers customise their lessons to your individual needs and, should the aspiring singer in question be younger than 16, they have special music programs for them!
For adult students, the price for one on one lessons is £33 per hour, but if you purchase a block of lessons you will receive a £3 per lesson discount.
Likewise, students may benefit from a block of 10 lessons costing £260 or pay £29 per hour of instruction.
Visiting the extended list of places you could improve your voice has been a lot of fun; too bad we don’t have room to feature all of them!
With no particular endorsement or recommendation, we now list other singing schools you might train your voice at in musical city:
|Name||What They Teach||Physical Address||Web Address||Phone number|
|Your Voice Studio||Musical theory, exam prep, adults and youths||2 Links Gardens Lane|
Edinburgh EH6 7JQ
|www.yourvoicestudio.co.uk||0783 570 7337|
|Sing for Smiles Vocal School||under 16s and students, adults, exam prep||89 Giles Street|
|www.singforsmiles.co.uk||0781 855 3081|
|Most Entertaining||Vocal workshops, music theory, exam prep||Summerhall,|
The Meadows, Edinburgh
|www.mostentertaining.com||0131 477 7821|
|Morningside School of Music||Children and adult classes, musical theory, exam prep||138 Comiston Road|
|morningsideschoolofmusic.co.uk||0131 447 1117|
|Discover Singing||Music theory, exam prep adults and children, religious singing||136 Upper Craigour, Edinburgh EH17 7SH||www.discoversinging.co.uk||0131 468 2035|
Discover also where people learn how to sing in Nottingham!
Finding a Choir to Learn Singing With
As noted above, this city does not lack for artistic outlets, including those for learning how to use your voice.
However, if you feel that voice lessons are not your best singing solution or if you want to see if you have potential before spending tons of money on lessons, you might cast your voice with one of Edinburgh’s many choirs.
Some great reasons for joining a choir include:
- a relaxed atmosphere: choristers gather to lift their voices, not put each other down.
- no auditions: for the most part, choirs are not exclusive groups; they welcome everyone.
- more informal coaching: you would be mentored by the choir directors as well as members
- less on theory; more on ear: most choirs do not require their members to read music or have formal training
- more performance opportunity: as a choir member, you would perform with the group rather than looking for your own gigs
- less performance anxiety: singing in a group is far less stressful than taking centre stage!
- community and fellowship: singing together is a great way to forge lasting friendships
Whether you are new to the city or a lifelong resident, you could surely find a place among any of the choirs so prevalent in this city.
The Edinburgh Contemporary Choir
You might worry that, in singing with a choir, you will have to wear a robe and sing classical music. Let us put those fears to rest: this dynamic group’s repertoire consists of pop/rock tunes that they perform in a variety of places, wearing coordinated clothes – not robes.
This choir is currently looking for new members!
You may join them for a free taster session; membership for a 10-week term is only £25.
Find out if Belfast also has such a magnificent choir!
Sing in the City
With 14 active groups across the greater Edinburgh, this is not so much a choir as a choir collective, whose focus is jointly on community outreach and charity.
That’s right! You too could sing to raise awareness or money for a cause!
They too offer a free taster session, so whether you are looking for a friend or wanting to sing great songs in good company, singing with an ‘in the City’ group might just be the place for you.
The Got Soul Choir
They describe themselves as passionate, fun, energetic and raucous. If you describe yourself in those same terms, you may have just found your singing outlet!
With a songbook that includes hits by Stevie Wonder, the Pointer Sisters and Chaka Kahn, it would be a sure bet that you won’t be singing any show tunes or ballads.
Their focus, besides having fun, is community outreach – making sure nobody feels the sting of loneliness or the pain of isolation.
Now, that’s something to get passionate about!
Revelation Rock Gospel Choir
Here, you’ll find no conductor or music director, and no songbooks. This choir is democratic; if you wish to sing a particular song, suggest it! There’s a good chance it will make its way into their next performance.
Are you ready to solo? With RRGC, that option is open to you. How about conducting? Of course, you can take your place as the leader!
In learning to sing with a choir, all but one of your options are open.
Take Private Singing Lessons with a Tutor
So far, we’ve discussed one obvious and one not-so-obvious path to learning how to sing. Neither of them offers the benefits that taking singing lessons with a private singing tutor could bring.
For one, the choir won’t come to your home... but your tutor will.
Let’s say you are truly intent on keeping your artist development a secret until you explode onto the music scene and take everyone by storm.
You would stand a better chance of doing so if your music teacher came to your house... or, better yet, gave you online singing lessons via webcam!
The voice teachers at Your Voice Studio, mentioned above, offer lessons via Skype, as do countless other singing teachers throughout Edinburgh.
And then, there’s Superprof voice and singing tutors.
In person or online, Superprof singing teachers present you with a wide range of skills and experience sure to boost both your repertoire and your ability to sing it.
With Superprof, you get individual instruction from a professional musician or someone training to become professional.
Currently, there are a dozen Superprof music tutors in the Edinburgh area and countless more standing by, ready for your request for lessons – either online or in person.
What are you waiting for? August is only a few months away and The Fringe won’t wait for you...