Today, I taught my first-ever voice lesson.  The student is a girl from my home church, whom I've known since she was five.  Her goals are modest; to be able to better sing the hymns at church, to be able to sing along with the radio.  She's only just 15.  This should have been a piece of cake.

But I've never taught before.

Oh, I was a nervous wreck!  She was a bit late arriving (but called ahead to let me know; it wasn't her fault) and I spent the extra time just stewing.  I'd never taught before.  I know how to sing myself, of course -- but how on earth to convey that knowledge to a rank beginner?  I was sure it would be a flop.

Well, we both survived ;-)  And actually I think it went fairly well, once I relaxed a little.  My student is bright, intelligent, and wants to learn.  She can also match pitch.  So we talked about breathing and proper placement and tone, and discussed confidence issues, and sang a little, and I did my warm-up sirens and lip trills that make me look idiotic, but I think it makes students feel better if their teacher looks a little idiotic once in a while, so that was all right.  She asked good questions, and I gave muddled answers, but she was patient with me, and she said I was helpful.  (I hope she wasn't just being kind.)

We're going to have weekly lessons for the remainder of the summer, until I go back to school.  Our goal is for her to be confidently singing hymns by August, with "Rock of Ages" the one she particularly wants.  It's got some tricky intervals in it, so it'll be a challenge, but I'm confident she'll get there.

And I'll be learning right along with her - not how to sing, but how to teach.  I'm pretty sure I'll end up getting more benefit out of the experience than she does!


  1. Oh how neat! I wish I could take voice lessons from you. I sing, but not professionally and my attempt at special music this past Sunday was ah. . .quite a flop. :( I get so nervous and then I flat the high notes. :( Soooo frustrating. Because I know full well I can sing it just fine in the privacy of my own home! (In this case, it was "He Hideth My Soul".

    Hope it continues to go well!I'm sure you will be a wonderful teacher!


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