What is a song performance coach?

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Hi! Welcome back to Dynamic Song Performance.  I’m Pepper Jay

What is a Song Performance Coach?  And, how does a performance coach differ from a voice teacher?  The function of a song performance coach is to help the singer excel at each of the vocal, physical & psychological performance skills in the toolbox.  The goal of a performance coach should be immediate results.

As the direct link between the singer’s goals and success, the performance coach works closely on the voice as one of the performance tools but usually refers the client to a voice teacher when basic voice instruction is required.  The coach should assist artists in overcoming easily correctable vocal problems as they are encountered, such as faulty breathing and voice placement; dissolving the “break” to obtain vocal fluidity, and quickly and easily improving singing range.   Song performance coaches utilize vocal exercises as “homework” but sparingly take up coaching sessions singing scales or other vocal exercises.   The performance coach helps the artist become aware of vocal qualities and how to balance and manipulate them.

A coach should train the singer for successful singing and acting/singing auditions and for professional interviews.  An experienced performance coach, in conjunction with the artist’s management, should be able to provide the talented artist with all of the tools to become a star.

How does a performance coach differ from a vocal teacher? A vocal teacher focuses almost exclusively on the voice without teaching vocal or physical performance or recording skills.   A vocal teacher should provide a working knowledge of your voice and how to use it.  A vocal teacher ought to be able to teach a student about pitch, head and chest registers, volume control, sounds (vowels and consonants), vocal quality, and how to breathe properly.  The vocal exercises utilized by singing teachers should help the student to become aware of those qualities.

There are literally hundreds of voice teachers but only a handful of skilled performance coaches.  Learn singing basics with the help of a singing teacher. If you desire heavy emphasis on vocal exercises and do not have the self-discipline to practice, there are usually numerous voice teachers in every major city who specialize in improving voice through scales and other vocal exercises.

Once you have the basics, develop the tools to be the best singer you can be from a song performance coach! Don’t settle. Mediocrity is an artist who is satisfied with just memorizing words and singing, hopefully, on key.  Your singing profession can be more satisfying than “good.”  Make it “great!”

Choose a voice teacher or a song performance coach in which you have confidence.  If your confidence is well placed, you will develop a long-term trusting relationship with professionals who will effectively assist you during your performance career.

Caveat: Often singers who have not “made it” in their own careers become “voice teachers.”  When choosing a voice teacher, try to select one from a recommendation or referral instead of from their website or the Yellow Pages.  Audition your voice teacher or performance coach.  Speak with them about your goals and how they can help you achieve them. Make sure you’re getting the real teacher and not the assistant.  Most importantly, do you like the teacher?  Is the coach someone with whom you’d like to have a long-term professional relationship?

Double Caveat: Every major city has private singing and/or performance schools. These schools are rarely for the professional singer and usually do not provide the personal attention required to become a professional singer. However, the schools can be lots of fun, particularly for young singers and hopefully will not do too much damage to a budding career.

Thanks for checking in with Dynamic Song Performance.  In our next song performance session, we’ll