Learning to sing takes committment
Learning how to sing naturally isn't difficult....The difficult part is putting in the effort it takes to see good vocal development. Practice has to be consistent. If you don't practice, you will have to work twice as hard to regain what you've already learned.
A lot of people are under a misconception about the voice....If you know how the voice works, you would know that it takes consistent practice to develope a voice and that this takes time. The voice is THE most complex instrument ever created. You don't expect to pick up an instrument you don't know how to play and just start playing it? Then why do people think they can do that with the voice? Because the voice is a natural instrument, people expect to just be able to play it. It doesn't work that way. You forget that you had to learn to talk! You also have to learn how to sing. For 90% of us, singing well doesn't just happen - it is something we have to learn. Most of us learn by mimicking. This can be DETRIMENTAL to a singer, as we can learn both good and bad singing techniques by mimicking others. We also tend to RUN before we can WALK and before we are ready or able to do so. This is the number 1 cause of damaged voices and bad technique. It takes a long time to unlearn bad techniques, especially if you've learnt to shout, instead of sing.
As a vocal coach, I can teach the techniques necessary to improve a voice and I specialise in helping people unlearn bad techniques and combat vocal damage - but if you don't implement and practice what I show you on a consistent basis, lessons won't help you.
Another misconception about the voice, is that some people can sing and others can't. That is a lie. If you can talk, then you can sing. How WELL you sing - is the variable. That can be taught. The voice can be graded (or measured) up to grade 8 to varying degrees/levels of improvement (as with any instrument). What level you wish to be on - is your choice. The voice progresses in stages. You can sing "badly", "good" or you can go on to sing "great" - its up to you what "level" you progress to.
If you think you have an ugly sounding voice - you can change it!!! You have to make the ugly sounds before you know what the beautiful ones sound like anyway! You just have to be taught HOW. Everybody can sing - but not everybody WANTS to sing. The desire has to be there or you won't committ to the effort it takes to develope your voice. A lot of people don't sing because they were told by a misinformed singing teacher that they are "tone deaf", "false", "off key", or just plain that they can't sing. Real tone-deafness is rare. 99% of students can be taught to sing on pitch. It takes patience and practice from both student and teacher to overcome any vocal problems, but it CAN and HAS been done.
To be an accomplished, professional singer is a life choice. It isn't something that will happen in 3 months. It is something that becomes a part of every day life. To see a real improvement in the voice, beginners are encouraged to take a minimum of 6 months of singing lessons - anything other than this is a waste of time and money, in my opinion. There is a lot involved in singing - self confidence and other psychological factors have to be taken into account too and if there are any bad habits, those have to be dealt with.
Most people want to sing, but they don't want to do the exercises necessary to improve their voices. I can't state this more bluntly - if you don't do the exercises, singing alone won't improve your voice to a professional singing level. Most of the exercises are perceived as "silly" and most people think they are stupid and non-essential to singing. They do not connect the dots and see what the correlation is between the exercise and the singing voice. If they knew how the voice worked, they would be more enthusiastic to try and perfect each exercise instead, as they know that each exercise is specifically formulated to improve an area of the singing voice. That is why singing is a passion and not just a past-time - it is something you WANT to learn about.
Most people think they can improve their voices just by singing along to songs. That is a very big misconception. You have a unique voice, meant to be used by you in your own way. By singing along to other singers' songs you will also be learning their techniques that may actually harm your voice. You don't sing the same as somebody else - you may not have the same vocal range or voice type and singing their songs may be causing you to learn some bad habits that you will have to unlearn. First learn how to use your OWN UNIQUE voice and sound, develope a good vocal technique and THEN apply it to others' songs - or better yet, write your own songs for your own voice!
If you learn the correct natural techniques, you should be able to apply them to any contemporary style of music - to any songs. You would be able to sing in a relaxed and powerful voice that rings clear throughout your entire range (which should be a minimum of at least 3 octaves). Your voice would be resonant, round and pleasant to listen to and you would be able to portray the message of the song.
Dispelling some of the myths surrounding singing is one of my greatest passions. I hope that more students of the ART of singing will take the time to learn more about their instruments. Knowledge is power and if you know how the voice works, you will also know when someone is trying to pull a fast one on you!
Singing should NEVER hurt - never feel strained and you should never have to PUSH unnaturally from ANY part of your body! Singing should ALWAYS feel enjoyable and liberating!
My advice to anyone considering taking singing lessons is to find a teacher who can sing themselves. They should be able to practice what they teach and they should serve as their best example. Find someone who is passionate about what they do and who will care about your vocal progress. Find someone who will teach you about how the voice works and who has the knowledge necessary to help you. Find someone who you are comfortable with. Ask questions, and make sure to check that you are getting correct answers. Guard your voice - you only have one.