Belfast is a city of contrasts.
Also known as Linenopolis for its staggering linen production, it played a major role in the first Industrial Revolution... but it was not granted city status until about 50 years after the period that saw such great advances in manufacturing.
At one time, Belfast was home to world’s biggest shipyard – the one that built the Titanic; its focus has since shifted from the sea and onto the skies; specifically on the aerospace industry.
In spite of being known as one of the world’s most dangerous cities in the latter half of the 20th century, today, statistics show Belfast to be one of the safest cities in the whole of the United Kingdom.
Yes, there were Troubles in Belfast... but through them and still today, two opposing facets of the human experience dominate the city’s culture: industry and the arts. Music, to be exact.
Belfast’s music scene is well-established and growing, with facilities such as the Oh Yeah Music Centre providing up-and-coming musicians with a place to get started in the music business.
What about you?
Do you often amble through the Cathedral District and cast a longing eye towards Oh Yeah? Do you wish you had the confidence and the vocal power to kickstart your career as a singer?
Or do you just want to sing for the fun of it and the health benefits you could derive?
No matter what their reasons for learning how to sing, Belfasters are not lacking in doing so.
Now we uncover the best places in Belfast and some of the best singing teachers giving vocal lessons to students of all ages.
The Belfast Music Academy
Obviously, the search for vocal and singing lessons starts here.
These guys don’t give you a bunch of musical theory; only enough to get you on the path to great singing.
They don’t make you sing classical music unless that is the genre you are most interested in and they won’t leave you in the lurch should you be preparing for an audition or school entrance exam – all of their tutors are available 24/7 via text and email.
Imagine for a second the average person looking for music lessons.
For those wanting to play an instrument, there are guitar lessons, piano lessons and even drum lessons, and the prospective student has his preferred instrument to cling to (or hide behind, as the case may be).
If the learning doesn’t progress satisfactorily, s/he can always blame the instrument or learn to play a different one.
How might an aspiring musician feel if the instrument in question is his/her voice? They can’t simply switch out their vocal cords!
The tutors at Belfast Music Academy know just how to quell those first-time nerves. They are masters at putting aspiring singers at their ease.
During your intake interview with them, you will be asked why you want to learn how to sing. Do you have an ongoing friendly rivalry with your mates on karaoke night?
Have you often been told you have tons of raw talent and aspire to take centre stage at BarBacca or the Stiff Kitten – two Belfast locales particularly hot on the indie music scene just now?
Or have you just been promoted at work and, now that you’re in a management position, consider voice training a part of your career development plan? Yes, that is valid a reason to take singing lessons!
During that initial meeting, you will also be prompted to talk about what type of music you would like to sing. Opera? Jazz? Standards or pop music?
Whatever your preferred style of music, you will surely find a suitable teacher at Belfast Music Academy, located at 155 Northumberland Street, in the Spires complex.
Singing Lessons Belfast
If you are serious about your future music career or that of your children, you would surely want a voice coach with an excellent education in music.
Maybe somebody from the Royal Academy of Music; perhaps even someone who has studied acting at the Royal Conservatoire in Scotland... because, what is a show, even a musical one, if not a performance?
Furthermore, you would want your teacher to have a bit of stage experience, either as a singer or a stage performer. And, s/he should have a bit of experience in teaching her craft, too.
If such a pedigree is tops your list of requirements in a singing teacher, then surely Pauline Carville fits the bill.
Working with individual students or in small groups, Pauline will teach you:
- Proper posture: a very important aspect of controlling your wind and projecting your voice
- Breathing technique: ever wonder how some singers can hold a note for what seems like forever?
- She will also show you breathing exercises you can do at home.
- How to train your ear: an absolutely vital skill if you want to be able to determine a pitch.
- How to increase your vocal range – you will be surprised at the notes you’ll be able to hit!
- How to read music: many singers sing ‘by ear’ by serious musicians like Pauline like to do things the right way!
Not that there is anything wrong with learning how to sing without knowing how to read music, as we will soon find out.
Even if you don’t plan to make a career out of singing, there is still a need to learn at least a little about music theory, and Pauline will be happy to share all you need to know and then some.
Are you feeling an irresistible urge to sign up for singing lessons? Hurry to Pauline’s studio on Castlereagh Road, at the Appollo Art Theater, or call her at 0345 869 0679.
Were you curious about how singers find lessons elsewhere in the UK?
Learn Singing with a Choir
Perhaps one of the best ways – one of the most fun and engaging ways to train your voice is by joining a choir.
If you are looking for an outlet for your stress as well as your effusive energy, meeting up regularly for vocal exercises and a few soaring melodies might just fit the bill!
Choirs aren’t all made up of classically trained singers ready to sing Bach or Haendel; in fact, quite a few choirs around Belfast have a diverse repertoire of pop songs as well as a few more funky numbers.
The Big Belfast Choir, directed by Aoife Cormacain, is a sterling example of how people from all walks of life can find common ground in music.
Worried you can’t read sheet music? Nervous about auditioning in front of a room full of strangers?
For one, the people of the BBC (that’s Big Belfast Choir, not the other one) won’t be strangers for long. Besides singing, they excel at handing out warm welcomes to anyone who wants to join them.
And they won’t put you on the spot by making you sing in front of everyone, either.
What they will do is take you through warmup exercises and introduce you to a few songs from their playbook, which you will learn to sing by ear. You may join in or not, as you wish.
We’re guessing that you will eventually join in, seeing that you went there to sing!
Eventually, as your confidence grows and you become more comfortable, you might join their pop up sessions: at various locations around the city, these choristers and fun lovers will congregate, belt out a tune and then disperse.
Could singing get any more fun than that?
The Alive Community Choir
Northwest of the city centre, Edenbrooke Primary school is host to a curiously named singing group: they’re Alive! By no means are they suggesting through their name that other choirs might not be...
The Belfast city motto: what shall we give in return for so much
What’s so awesome about this group is that they take that question to heart. They use their group and vocal talent to give back to their community through various fundraising events.
To date, they’re raised several thousand pounds for charity. Wouldn’t you like to help them continue?
They too require no audition or previous singing experience – in fact, it is a point of pride with them that they don’t always sing in tune!
Apparently determined to bust all of the stereotypes one might have about choirs, they aver their focus is less on singing ability than on fellowship and community, with a dab of self-development thrown in for good measure.
Don’t they sound like a group you might drive out of your way to sing with?
The Open Arts Community Choir, the Belfast Community Gospel Choir; youth choirs and boys’ choirs and girls’ choirs and... there is a choir for every taste in Belfast!
Find out how choirs in Nottingham compare...
Find Your Singing Voice with Private Singing Lessons
Our pages, unfortunately, do not permit the wholesale listing of every voice teacher in Belfast because there are so many talented voice teachers available!
Of the many opportunities for voice lessons, one musn’t leave off private lessons with a tutor.
Independent tutors, such as you can find on the Superprof platform, are equally skilled at giving voice lessons.
Even though some Superprof tutors may still be enroled in a school of music and learning to sing themselves, they would have plenty to teach you about vocal techniques, breath control and musicianship in general.
There are 7 Superprof singing tutors in and around Belfast, most of whom would come to your home for private lessons.
Besides them, you will find countless tutors on the Superprof platform who would be happy to provide you with online singing lessons.