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Teachers in tune with singers' needs.

What does a career as a singing teacher involve? As a singing teacher, or vocal coach, you would teach vocal skills, singing, music theory and musical appreciation to individuals and groups. You could specialise in a style such as choral, opera or pop.

Your day-to-day tasks could include coaching individuals for a particular role in a play or musical; planning lessons and organising resources; teaching vocal and breathing exercises and techniques; instructing in melody, harmony and improvisation; and helping students to prepare for music exams.

As a self-employed teacher you would also have to market your business and keep accounts. What personal skills are needed? You need excellent vocal skills and a good knowledge of singing styles, patience and enthusiasm.

Good communication skills are needed, plus self-motivation and good organisational skills.

You may have an advantage if you can play one or more musical instruments.

What training do you need? You would usually need a teaching or performing diploma from a specialist music college, or a music degree.

Diploma courses at conservatoires and music colleges are mainly based around performance training, but also have some academic content. They usually lead to a graduate qualification that is equivalent to a degree.

You can complete a degree course at a conservatoire, music college or university. You should choose a course which concentrates on performance rather than theory.

To get onto a music degree or diploma you will usually need both of the following: five GCSEs (A-C); two A levels including music, or equivalent qualifications.

You will also have an audition, and it can be useful if you can show evidence of recent music study or work on a music project.

What are the opportunities for career progression? You can develop your skills and show your ability by gaining teaching qualifications such as the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) Certificate of Teaching.

The ABRSM qualification is a one-year part-time course which covers music theory and practice. What is the salary? (Guideline only) Private teachers charge an hourly rate, between pounds 20 and pounds 30 an hour, but can be pounds 50. ISM advises members on tuition fees. More information Conservatoires UK Admission Service, Incorporated Society of Musicians, ABRSM, Details provided for information only. Jobs not necessarily available.


Singing teachers can train individuals or groups in a wide variety of styles, teaching musical theory and appreciation as well as vocal skills
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 22, 2009
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