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What do The Smiths, Oasis, The Chemical Brothers, New Order and The 1975 all have in common? At first glance, not a lot, other than the fact that they’re related to the music scene.
Yes, but what else?
They’re all artists from Manchester, and chances are that they all relied on singing lessons before they launched their respective careers.
So, will you favour a singing school, a more general music school, joining an association to forge special bonds at the same time that you empower your vocal chords, or rather a private tutor? In any case, there are plenty of opportunities for you in Manchester!
Many different vocal coaches propose private one-on-one lessons in the Greater Manchester area. Some of these include Jonny Block, Paul McFadden, who also offers two audition workshops with limited places each, and Casby Studios.
Several different themes can be highlighted during individual lessons, such as vocal coaching on specific effects, like voice warping or saturation, working on your voice and learning how to sing on key.
And that’s not all, since you will also be able to work on areas that aren’t necessarily tied to your voice, such as creativity, stress management, and the best exercises to do to warm up.
Both technical and theoretical, one-on-one lessons are a gold mine if you want to make quick progress.
If you prefer to join a joint programme, where you will be in classes with other students, you can check out “Heather Baker Singing Studios”, which offer various different workshops centred around different themes, such as:
“[Heather] made it easier for me to reach the higher and harder notes. [She] also helped me sing songs I would never imagine singing! Which brings me to my brilliant first place result in the Junior Song For Europe Final! I would like to thank Heather from the bottom of my heart not only for being a fabulous teacher but for being a great person and dear friend!” - a former alum
Day-long group workshops represent a perfect complement to your regular singing lessons and are actually proposed all year long around specific themes (how to sing harmonies, Amani singing, etc.).
Regarding pricing, hourly rates are naturally higher for private lessons (between £40 and 75£ an hour), than for the group activities (£6 to £8 a week, although the total is paid at the start of each term). All-day workshops also vary widely in price, as there are various factors involved, so it is better to inquire directly with the school offering the workshop.
Music schools are multidisciplinary, and don’t only focus on singing. They are ideal if you want to learn how to sing while jamming to guitar riffs or playing the drums at the same time.
This is the case, for example, of the “Maunders School of Popular Music”, which proposes piano, guitar, bass and drum lessons, on top of their singing courses. The big advantage here is that you can advance on your own, if that’s what you prefer, but you can also make progress alongside other musicians, using their sound-treated vocal rooms.
The “British and Irish Modern Music (BIMM) Institute” is Europe’s largest leading music education institution. With campuses all over the country, BIMM boasts of graduates such as The Kooks, James Bay, Isabel Torres and George Ezra, and has important contacts across the industry. Aside from the established curriculum, the institute holds a variety of Masterclasses throughout the year, open to all of its students. Some of the biggest names in the industry’s are brought in to speak about their experiences, answer students’ questions, and sometimes even give live performances. If what you’re looking for is a place to kick-start your star-studded career in singing, then this is the place for you. You can choose between a 2-year diploma and a 3-year degree, where you’ll learn a variety of different techniques and music styles through courses mixing theory and practice to help you perfect all of your musical skills.
“Chetham’s School of Music” also proposes a large offering of instrumental studies (strings, brass, woodwind, keyboard, jazz, percussion, and even composition and accompaniment) alongside their vocal curriculum. Vocal students receive one-on-one classes every week, to learn proper singing technique, and also participate in workshops with their fellow students, such as “movement and communication”, “language skills”, and “harmony ensembles”. The music school also hosts the “Manchester Vocal Weekend”, a mini-festival including guest performances and tons of vocal events, open to all.
The “Manchester Choral Society”, for example, is a non-profit community choir that seeks to promote various styles of choral music through performance and community outreach programs. While an audition is required to integrate the MCS, you will be joining one of the region’s most respected choral organisations. Auditions are held by appointment only, and you will be asked to prepare a piece in your preferred vocal part, and then to do some vocal and sight-singing exercises. Rehearsals take place once a week for about two hours, and dues are £150 for the year (students pay £75, and there are scholarships available on a case by case basis). The Second Generation Manchester Choral Society offers a similar option for children aged 9 to 13. Auditions take place twice a year, and rehearsals are held once a week for an hour.
Another organisation, ”The British Association of Barbershop Singers (BABS)” is a charity that supports male and mixed barbershop quartets in the UK. If you’re interested in singing four-part harmonies and learning this unique style of music, you can join one of the two registered BABS clubs in Manchester: The Rainy City Chorus and the Mantunian Way. Annual subscription costs are £48, and they have a special price of £26 for young members under the age of 26.
When we talk about musical excellence, we inevitably think of the conservatory of music. Indeed, it’s probably the most effective track for those who wish to pursue a complete approach to their musical education, perfectly combining theory and practice.
At the Royal Manchester College of Music, it’s not just about becoming a good singer that perfectly controls their voice, but about obtaining a complete musical training. In this way, you’ll be able to take saxophone lessons, become a talented pianist, or learn to easily accompany your voice with a guitar.
At this national conservatoire, you can obtain your BMus, MMus and MPerf in Vocal Studies, as well as an array of post-graduate diplomas. All students receive one-on-one sessions, as well as group classes in various different languages, including Italian, German and Russian.
The majority of the options that we just detailed out for you are predominantly group courses, or include an ensemble component. However, you may want to consider finding a private tutor with an instructor fully dedicated to your progress.
Like in any domain, the offering is quite varied. On any tutoring platform, you will find self-taught instructors, as well as many others holding a slew of different diplomas and certifications. Certain tutors will favour a more general teaching method, starting with music theory to teach you how to read music, while others will prefer to concentrate exclusively on practical experience.
On Superprof, there are 25 private singing tutors in Greater Manchester. The average hourly rate is £21 the hour. Keep in mind that, with a less experienced instructor (like a current student, for example) it’s possible to reduce the hourly rate by about £5 or £10.
Also, make sure you take advantage of a first free lesson, which all of our instructors in Manchester provide. You can use this “test lesson” to determine if your tutor’s teaching methods correspond to your learning objectives before moving forward!
Whatever route you choose, there is definitely some work to do, so get cracking!
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