As the owner of a busy vocal studio in Portland, I see singing students of all ages and levels on a regular basis. I am often asked by prospective clients who are looking for singing lessons for kids, how young a student will I take.
I’d love to say I have a tried and true age restriction on studying singing, but in all honesty, I don’t.
The short answer is that if the child has the desire to sing and can be focused and engaged for a 30 minute lesson, they are ready.
The real key for me is the DESIRE to want to sing and to learn how to sing better. I can teach any student at any age, if they truly want to be there. In other words “ I can’t teach them, if I can’t reach them”! This holds true for students of all ages.
I truly believe that good singing technique can be taught at an early age. Healthy singing habits, development of the head voice and chest voice and learning how to bridge the two together by creating a mixed register, are invaluable techniques that can only enhance the young singers voice.
Too many young singers (like myself, back in the day) only know two ways of singing “LOUD” or “BARELY AUDIBLE”. In other words, they are encouraged to “BELT IT OUT” and sing “LOUDER” in their chest voices, which can cause damage to sensitive vocal cords, or they attempt to sing high notes without a healthy development of their head voice, and only end up whispering notes, which also can cause damage.
In my vocal studio, I start with the basic techniques, encourage the students to practice the exercises at home (even for 10 minutes a day), and I choose songs for my younger students that are in their correct keys. I also encourage each student to find songs on their own that they want to sing. I encourage a feeling of ownership when learning a song. Of course, I also make sure they are picking songs with age appropriate lyrics, and I always check in with the parents to make sure they sign off on the song choices.
I have successfully trained many young singers of contemporary voice, from age 6 upwards.
I have also had to release a few students of various ages because they did not have the desire to be there.
When making the decision to start singing lessons for a child answer these questions:
- Does my child have the desire for singing lessons?
- Can the child stay focused for a 30 minute lesson?
If your answers are yes, then you should give singing lessons for kids a try.
Find a teacher who regularly works with young children such as myself, and ask them for a trial lesson.