Buying a voice

One of the greatest singing teachers: Porpora

Over the last six months, I have observed a number of young singers learning from two singing teachers at once. Often, without the singing teachers agreeing to this or, even worse, being told!

This trend is understandable if the teachers complement each other and work together. For example, one teacher is a classical teacher and the other has the knowledge to add some cross-over techniques to the tool kit. However, this is, the majority of the time, not what I am seeing. Rather, I am noticing students learning from more than one classical singing teacher.

In other words, some students (or their parents) believe one can buy a voice.

Unfortunately, nothing is further from the truth.

First, a voice is a gift. Secondly, the training of the voice takes many, many years. During these years, one must have faith in their chosen teacher.

One classical singing teacher is enough. This is because classical singing is athletic. Accordingly, the singing teacher will have a method that they will follow step by step. Building slowly, slowly.

By all means, find a movement teacher, piano teacher, Italian teacher, French teacher, German teacher, Spanish teacher, Theory teacher and personal trainer etc. But, another classical singing teacher? What for?

A student should seek the right teacher for them and then be prepared to stand up, face the mirror, find a starting note and practise what their teacher has asked them to do. Paying two, twenty or two hundred singing teachers will not change this fact.

I strongly discourage singing teachers from allowing themselves to be part of this practice. This practice will confuse the student.

This will not work.

One cannot, and I repeat, cannot, buy a voice.

Published by Deborah Wai Kapohe

I am a classical singer and guitarist. I have created a project called 'The Lilli Lehmann Project'. The project, lasting from 2020 until 2023, aims to refresh my voice and prepare me to be a singing teacher. The scope of the project is that I am studying Lilli Lehmann's singing book, bibliography, recordings and her reviews, as well as other historical vocal pedagogy. I have chosen this platform in order to blog about my discoveries, demonstrate techniques and exercises, and perform pieces of music. I have done so because I wish to be transparent. I think that if a student is prepared to learn from me then I should stand up to public scrutiny.

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