The nature of the voice means it’s important to not start private lessons until much later than most instrumentalists begin – middle school at the earliest, if not later.
The problem is, the practice habit that is so important to build in the early years of studying is far harder to build at 15 than it is at 5.
A fifteen-year-old novice voice student may take four years of high school voice lessons and make incremental progress unless they can develop the habits their clarinet-playing classmates solidified five years earlier.
The same fifteen-year-old could get exponentially more progress out of the same lessons if they had spent the time learning how to practice in elementary or middle school. Any instrument, though I advocate piano.
The problem of singers & practice is that they don’t do it. They don’t know the value, and they don’t know the method.
And since the number of American youths studying music is decreasing, more and more it is up to us in choir rooms to teach our students to practice. Not just why, but how, and even when.
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