It’s happening again. Another singing class that says it’s for beginners but really isn’t.

Now and then I try out other singing instructors’ classes that say they’re for beginners. It’s good to know how other people are doing it — I’m always happy to find out about new ideas and approaches. But often I’m surprised — and not in a good way! When a singing teacher starts their first lesson with something like this, “Just sing this with me” and sings part of a scale or a short melody “Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do” they are not helping the real beginner. I see this ALL THE TIME (I poke around a lot to see how other people are teaching.)

If they don’t acknowledge that not only might the student not be able to match the notes, but that they might not even KNOW if they’re matching the notes, they’re doing that student a disservice.

They’ve just helped to solidify the very common idea (and even more importantly, the feeling that plagues beginning singers and “non-singers” — that they are hopeless. And if you think you’re hopeless, you’ll probably quit, right?

That’s why I do it differently.

I start by saying, “just make some sound with me”. What ever sound pops out is great! Let’s start by just noticing the feeling of that sound in your body, and the feeling of our two sounds together in the air (this even works over Zoom!). If you’re very uncertain about your skills, just starting to feel comfortable making any sound is a victory!

Children learn music skills in 3 ways: the modeling of the adults in their life (not are the adults “good,” but rather are they having fun and partaking); immersion (just being in music-making or appreciating situations; and PLAY (exploring, goofing around, and not taking it too seriously!). I believe that this is what beginner or self-conscious singers need as well.

Working on specific notes will come soon enough, but let’s start by making some noise and exploring your voice in a completely non-goal-oriented and non-judgmental way.

After all, if it’s not fun, why do it?!

Join the Fearless Singers Playground online membership program — a supportive and joyous singing community specially designed for beginners! When you join you’ll get access to great online skills & song lessons, as well as live sing-alongs, workshops, and open mics.

Such a great way to grow as a singer!