With everything moving online because of the pandemic, the voice coaching industry is on a massive learning curve. Coaches are trying to decide how to keep doing what they know how to do but online, and performers shifting into coaching are feeling overwhelmed by a new career – but also, having to do it online seems daunting.
If they were able to master the technology piece, their studios could flourish almost uninterrupted. If they’re just starting out, they can rest easy knowing that they have one less thing to worry about. Also, since online coaching opens so many more opportunities, the earning potential is significantly increased.
Today, I will share three tips with you that will help you feel more like a pro when it comes to online teaching.
CHALLENGE# 1: SOUND QUALITY SUFFERS ONLINE
Laptops traditionally have pretty terrible speakers. There’s just little to no volume, which makes it really hard to hear the details of the singers’ voices.
Also, I used to have decent headphones, but if the landscaping people were running leafblowers, or if it was trash day, or if the neighbor’s dog was barking incessantly, all that sound would cover up my client’s voice making it challenging to hear the details.
My favorite solution to this challenge is my Bose noise-canceling earbuds. They not only block out all sound that could be interfering on my end, but they help isolate the sound I’m trying to hear – my client.
Another option is to get a Bluetooth speaker, but it doesn’t solve the problem of canceling noise that interferes with what you’re trying to hear.
CHALLENGE #2: THERE’S A DELAY BETWEEN WHAT YOU PLAY AND WHAT THEY HEAR
Most instructors accompany their clients live on a piano. However, online, there is a delay, making that extremely frustrating for you as the coach. The student experiences no delay, but if you are playing the piano, they are going to start singing along a couple of seconds later, which will throw off your ear completely.
It becomes almost impossible to accurately critique your client AND stay in tempo with the accompaniment while they are singing along a couple of beats behind you.
This is a problem whether you are doing vocal exercises or singing actual songs. For vocal exercises (when I first started online), I made mp3 recordings of all my exercises because I was planning to make them available to clients digitally. This really came in handy with the delay. Now the client could play the exercises on their end, sing along, and all I had to do was watch and listen intently, which caused me to be a much better coach because my attention wasn’t divided between their voice and the piano.
When it comes to songs, you can make recordings of those as well, but YouTube is a wealth of a resource for karaoke and instrumental tracks. If you have a client with a strong enough internet connection, you can send them the link to a track for their song and they can play it via YouTube on their end and sing along. Or, if they don’t have the best internet, there are free tools online that will take a YouTube video and convert it to an mp3 so you can email them an mp3 to play on their end. Simple!
CHALLENGE #3: HANDS-ON IS NOT A THING ONLINE
In person, if you need to demonstrate something that would best be learned from feeling, or if you need to feel if your client is doing something correctly, you just place a hand wherever you need to check the technique. Obviously, online this is not possible, and the fear among coaches is that the learning will suffer because there’s no way to accurately confirm it’s correct.
This is one of my favorite solutions because it actually causes the client to learn MORE than they do the in-person, hands-on way. We do this by inviting your student to participate in checking technique. We ask them to place their hands where we would place ours and describe what they feel. We can watch the movements of their shirts or their hands or both and rely on the explanations they give of what’s happening.
The best part about this is that the student’s body awareness increases because we’re forcing their minds to think about things they might not if we didn’t need their answers. When you ask them to participate in any part of this, they are learning what to feel for and how to memorize sensations which causes them to make changes much more quickly.
HOT TIP: Make sure you tell your client to never wear black on a session day because it’s very challenging to watch hand or shirt movements when the shirt is black. Any other color works great!
If you want some help figuring all this out, I’ve got you. I’m going to offer a free training at the end of the month that will give you some very valuable tools for figuring this out. We’ll talk about:
- What your potential clients really want
- How to give it to them
- How to structure it so it works efficiently
- How to decide how much to charge
And a bunch more. It’s going to be awesome, and you should join me!
If you want in, click here and enter your information. OH! It’s also going to ask for your mailing address because I’M GOING TO MAIL YOU A SPECIAL GIFT. I’m not going to tell you what it is, only that it’s a kit of “Power Tools” to help you get the most out of the free class. And it’s AWESOME.