If you are lucky enough to have found a voice teacher with whom you really click, then your weekly lessons are probably a real bright spot in your musical life. Connecting musically with a teacher brings you joy. (Side note: your teacher probably loves it too!). Your teacher really listens to you, gives you wonderful feedback, and helps you grow into the best musical version of yourself. In a one-to-one voice lesson, it’s really all about you — as it should be.
It’s the in-person connection that makes your lesson so wonderful, right?
If you just found out that your voice lessons are being moved online, you might be feeling discouraged. You might even be thinking you should just cancel your lessons, silo-up in some great Aunt’s attic, reading The Decameron while curled up next to your new Spotify playlist entitled, “From a Distance.”
Don’t do that.
You can still listen to “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables” ad infinitum, but you need the mental health benefits of your voice lesson. You can still learn. In fact, you can rock this online lesson thing. Here’s how.
Set aside a dedicated space for your lesson. You may already have a practice area. If so, great. Spruce it up a bit. You might need to move in a couple of supplies — a mirror, a shelf or table to hold your laptop or phone, a music stand of sorts. Make your voice lesson space your happy space.
Keep your lesson time the same. Routines are good for your mental health. Keep this one in place and let the structure benefit you.
Make sure your internet connection is stable. This one may seem obvious, but do check. If you can stream via Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, then you can likely use Google Hangouts or Zoom with no issues. Find out. You can even test drive your platform with a friend prior to your lesson.
Ask for others to respect your lesson time. We know that this may be difficult if you have young children; we understand, but if you can take measures to have an uninterrupted lesson, you will stay more focused.
Consider learning some new/different repertoire. Yes, you need stability and a sense of normalcy is certainly called for, but a little musical adventure could be just what you need. Now could be the time to change things up a bit. Ask your teacher for suggestions, and have some actual fun. Or, now might be the time to get really serious about a musical project that you have been putting off.
Record your lesson. You should be doing this anyway. What your teacher says likely bears repeating. You also need to hear what your voice sounds like from outside of your body. Some video conferencing platforms allow you to record your online sessions. Make this time work to your advantage and capture your lessons.
Communicate with your teacher. Your teacher is a professional and will make the transition to online voice lessons go as smoothly as possible, but if you have a special request or concern, talk to your teacher. Together you and your teacher may even hit upon ideas that make online lessons a really wonderful experience for both of you.