Qualifications for a Voice Teacher

by Anne Kinsey, Demand Media Google
    Voice teachers sometimes conduct choirs.

    Voice teachers sometimes conduct choirs.

    Voice teachers coach people on expanding their vocal range, singing in a wide range of situations and protecting their voice during illness, allergy, aging and times of stress. Voice teachers work with individuals, stage performance actors, churches and large choral ensembles. Choose the education and path that is right for you as you begin your journey as a voice teacher. Work as a private instructor, choral director or college professor as you accumulate experience and earn degrees in the field.

    Education

    Voice teachers begin teaching with a wide range of experience under their belts. Educational requirements depend on how much a teacher charges per lesson, who she teaches and where she teaches. High school students begin earning extra money after only a few years of singing by teaching their peers after school or on weekends. They charge less than older teachers who have graduated from high school or have a college degree such as a bachelor of arts in music or vocal arts. Teachers who have graduated from college sometimes work in music conservatories, conduct choirs and coach actors in addition to teaching lessons from home. Voice teachers holding doctorates are qualified to teach as professors at major colleges and universities, in addition to continuing to teach private lessons.

    Experience and Memberships

    Students expect voice teachers to have enough experience to encourage vocal and artistic growth without damaging the vocal chords. Some teachers join the National Association of Teachers of Singing, which requires its members to have at least two to three years of singing experience beyond a degree, or six years of experience without having earned a degree. Voice teachers can teach without belonging to this organization, but membership signifies certain standards of teaching to prospective employers. Teachers working in choral settings also elect to join the American Choral Directors Association to gain additional professional support and credibility.

    Pedagogy

    Voice teachers are not required to become well-versed in pedagogy, unless they're hired to teach in the public school system, where they must have a degree in education and a teaching license. Many voice teachers elect to study pedagogy, the art of education, on their own because it makes the teaching process more productive for both teacher and student. The late Swiss philosopher and psychologist Jean Piaget's theories are useful in teaching voice lessons and in troubleshooting problems with pitch, tone, expression, knowledge acquisition and communication.

    Advancement

    Advancement opportunities are varied within the field of voice instructions. Teachers move from charging small fees for lessons when just starting out to charging quite a bit of money after gaining experience and education. Teachers advance by earning degrees that allow them to secure jobs in undergraduate and graduate schools, and work through the ranks of seniority. These jobs offer stability through offering retirement programs and insurance. Private teachers work independently must secure these benefits on their own.

    About the Author

    Anne Kinsey has been a writer for 10 years, with her writing published in print newsletters, as well as websites including eHow and LIVESTRONG. She is also a minister and violinist holding a B.A. in religion and African American studies, and a M.Div. in pastoral counseling.

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