Manchester, also known as Cottonopolis for its history in the fabrics industry, has a sizzling hot other side.

Affectionately referred to as Madchester, it is the hub of a music and cultural scene that developed in the late 1980s, when the music industry was trying to find its new direction.

After the short-lived disco era, the global music scene floundered between acid rock and the so-called alternative rock, which currently dominates the airwaves (alongside rap).

Manchester is credited as the driving force behind the British Indie music scene, as alternative music was called before it became mainstream.

Famous names whose music roots lie in Manchester include: The Verve, The Outfield, and Simply Red.

The BeeGees, who grew up in Chorlton, achieved worldwide acclaim with their soundtrack to the movie celebrating disco, called Saturday Night Fever.

These are just a few of the acts who proudly call themselves Mancunians.

If we were to list everyone whose origins, musical or otherwise, are in Manchester, that would comprise the sum total of this article.

We are much more interested in helping you find your voice by pointing you to the many opportunities for learning how to sing in Manchester.

Join your musical peers at RNCM
At RNCM you can study classical or contemporary music Source: Wikipedia Credit: Rept0n1x

Take Singing Lessons in a Manchester Music School

In our efforts to provide you with the widest range of choices to realise your musical aspirations, allow us to present the Royal Northern College of Music.

RNCM, as it is affectionately called, is an internationally renown music conservatory that, in its current incarnation, is only a little over fifty years old.

Don't be fooled by that relatively short life! This institution has a substantial history of providing singing and music lessons.

In fact, it was established more than a hundred years ago, as the Royal Manchester College of Music. Only recently did it merge with the Northern School of Music, changing its name to reflect the union.

Today, RNCM is one of the world's leading conservatories, polishing such talents as: Jon Cristos, Mary Ann Kennedy, and Barry Banks.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, former Master of the Queen's Music, is also an alumnus!

Should you wonder about the formal tone such an institution might engender – what if you don't want to sing opera? - let us reassure you:

The Royal Northern College of Music is acclaimed as one of the most diverse and modern music schools.

Of its six areas of specialization, one of them is Popular Music!

With a teacher to student ratio of roughly 1:3, you can be sure to get the attention you need to cultivate your singing voice.

You will learn everything from breathing to performing, with lectures on good posture thrown in.

Many of the staff also serve as vocal coach with their Junior RNCM program, a Saturday music school for the aspiring young musician.

The Philharmonic Choir of Manchester

This is an already-formed choral society that regularly performs in and around Manchester.

What makes them so unusual is that you do not have to be a classically trained vocalist to join them!

All you need is a sincere desire to lift your voice in song and the ability to attend rehearsals regularly.

Where is the learning, you ask?

Because members of this choir are seasoned performers, they are not averse at all to sharing singing tips and offering vocal coaching.

You could say that the body of that group is in fact a band of singing teachers.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned performer with an extensive repertoire, the Philharmonic Choir of Manchester welcomes you.

Perhaps the best part of their programme is that they do not require you to audition as a condition of joining them.

Originally a mixed choir from Friends of the BBC Philharmonic, they have been helping aspiring singers develop their ear and singing techniques for more than thirty years.

If you have never felt inspired by formal instruction, why not join this fun group of informal voice teachers for singing exercises, and to increase your vocal range?

Choir members can help you practice your singing technique
Joining a choir is a good way to practice your singing Sourece: Pixabay Credit: Erdmann_Eu

Toning Your Vocal Cords with a Voice Coach

Perhaps you are a bit dubious about your tone quality. Maybe you have no time to matriculate with a world-renown conservatory.

What if you can't commit to a rigorous rehearsal schedule?

If that is the case, you could take voice lessons with a coach.

Singing Lessons Manchester

Jonny Black trained in musical theatre and voice at the renowned Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

Since then, he has spent more than twenty years in music, even fronting the 90's rock band, Dupe.

His wealth of experience, coupled with classical training makes him the ideal vocal coach for all of your singing needs.

Whether you want to belt out a show tune or develop the resonance needed to fill a large concert hall, this is the voice coach for you.

An experienced instructor for both male and female voices, he works with aspiring singers of all ages, one on one or in small groups.

From classical to contemporary, show tunes to lofty arias; if you want to learn how to sing better, Mr. Black may well fit the bill.

Maunder's School of Music

Active in the music industry for the past twenty years, Neil Maunder now puts his name to an unrivaled experience in vocal training.

His voice training school, located in the heart of Manchester, teaches vocalists as young as five years old.

If you live in Nottingham, check out singing lessons there.

His method is not unconventional: he has taught music in general and singing in particular in schools, colleges and, when requested, in private lessons.

Besides helping you refine your vocal techniques, his voice coaches can instruct on:

  • Jazz and Blues
  • Rock
  • Pop
  • Soul and Funk
  • Country

Of course, if you are hoping to join the Christmas Cantata this year, you may have to work a bit more intensively, no matter how qualified your singing teacher is.

If quickly building confidence to sing Christmas carols is your aim, Maunder's teachers will keep you from straining your voice.

Their goal is for you to find singing success.

As a confident vocalist, you could progress to advanced classes and even sing with others who enjoy the same musical style as you.

Even if you don't have a lot of time to refine your diction and delivery, Maunder's will be there to help you hit the high notes, on evenings and weekends.

Singing these notes is a snap with the right technique
A good voice coach will teach you how to breathe and push notes out Source: Pixabay Credit: ColiN008

In Single Notes: Elements of Singing Lessons

If you harbour the same wish as so many others, who want nothing more than to express themselves in soaring vocals – a la Shayne Ward, there are a few technical aspects to singing that you must master.

  • Breath control: being able to sustain a note requires you pushing air from your diaphragm
    • by contrast, softer, more wistful notes should have a breathy quality to them
  • Finding your pitch: You may well aspire to sing in a full-lyric soprano, like Charlotte Church
    • that would not be physically possible if you are an alto!
  • Cultivating a vibrato: Ed Sheeran is a fine example of this vocal quality, so necessary for a rich tone in singing
  • Ear training: Mandy Harvey is an exceptional singer who has internalized this skill so well that now, completely deaf, she is still able to sing angelic melodies as well as more peppy, contemporary adult rock numbers.

Any good music teacher or vocal coach can teach you music theory and help you develop your technique, but s/he cannot give you passion, so vital to learning to sing.

However, a qualified singing coach can help you cultivate that fire, all while uncovering and developing your singing abilities.

Learn How to Sing with a Private Tutor

Who are we kidding? This is Madchester: you could throw a rock and hit a singer/musician!

Not everyone who sings and knows musical theory is capable of, qualified to be a voice teacher. That is why it is essential to find the right guidance: the coach in tune with your voice and singing needs.

Superprof tutors are proficient at giving vocal lessons, both in the Manchester area and via Skype.

Whatever style of music you wish you work on, a Superprof tutor can take you from warm up exercises and how to breathe, through rhythm and pitch, to exercises for strengthening vocal cords.

You can take lessons in their home or in your home.

You could also take singing lessons online.

Many Superprof tutors offer their first lesson for free: a great incentive to opt for singing lessons online!

Are you doubtful of the efficacy of this method?

Brett Manning, the American voice coach whose pupils include Taylor Swift and Leona Lewis, has met with astounding success in packaging a full programme to learn singing.

It is curtain time: calling all Mancunians who want to start singing!

And for the non-Mancunians out there: find out about learning to sing anywhere in the UK, whether you live in Bournemouth, London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Belfast or Cardiff!

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A vagabond traveler whose first love is the written word, I advocate for continuous learning, cycling, and the joy only a beloved pet can bring. There is plenty else I am passionate about, but those three should do it, for now.