You want to learn to sing, so you do a little research online which produces a wide variety of classes, programs, coaches, and options, leaving you wondering, “how long does it take to learn to sing?”
There are several factors that go into how long it takes to learn to sing, some of which are not in your control. Let’s first talk about the ones that ARE in your control.
Factors You Can Control
With most things you’ll try to learn, the results you get largely depend on the amount of work you are willing to put into it. Learning to sing is definitely no exception.
Whether you are a beginner learning to sing as a brand new skill, or whether you are a seasoned performer wanting to learn to sing in a new way or from a new person, you’ll experience the most dramatic results once your body has committed the technique to muscle memory. This can only be done through repetition and practice, which is dependent upon:
- Your willingness to put in consistent practice time,
- Knowing what to practice and the most effective way to practice,
- Your complete understanding of the technique you are practicing so you are practicing correctly, and
- Your awareness of whether or not your body is developing the necessary muscle memory from practicing.
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Something else you can control that dramatically affects how long it takes to learn to sing is getting the proper support from a vocal coach. In addition to you being able to tackle the 4 things above on your own, your coach must be able to help you know exactly what you should be practicing, how to practice it, and how to monitor yourself when on your own to know if you are doing it correctly.
Your coach also will need to be able to identify when your technique isn’t correct and help you fix it so you don’t cause unnecessary damage to your voice or slow down your progress. Your coach will need to be able to see when your body is catching on as well as when it’s just not. And, they need to be unafraid to call you out if you aren’t holding up your end of the deal.
The last factor I’m going to mention that’s in your control when it comes to figuring out how long it takes to learn to sing is having a clear goal. When you have clarity about what it is you want to be able to do with your singing, you’ll be able to:
- Know when you’ve achieved it – this may seem overly-simplified, but so often singers get into a program to learn how to sing without having any end game, which can lead to losing interest in practicing, quitting before you’ve given it a chance, unrealistic expectations, and feeling like a failure. However, having a clear picture of what you want to achieve – your ultimate singing goal – allows you to measure your progress, to stay focused and committed to the work you need to do, and to recognize your achievements along the way to your goal.
- Identify the coaches and programs that are right for you and the ones that aren’t – with a clear goal, it will be much easier for you to tell if what a coach or program is offering you is going to get you to your goal or if it will be a waste of your time and money.
And here’s the thing about that: not everyone goes into this thinking about what their goal is beyond “getting better”, but what singers learn from their coaches can be dramatically different from singer to singer and coach to coach. Not all singers will have the same goals, and not all coaches will teach the same things. Choose a goal that you can quantify so you will be able to know once you’ve achieved it, and don’t settle for a coach who isn’t able to get you there.
Not all singers will have the same goals, and not all coaches will teach the same things. Choose a goal that you can quantify so you will be able to know once you’ve achieved it, and don’t settle for a coach who isn’t able to get you there.
Factors Out of Your Control
One of the most confusing parts of answering for yourself how long it takes to learn to sing is the fact that coaches aren’t on the same page about how long you should expect it to take. Most coaches don’t give any information about what you can expect to learn from them or how long it should take, and the way they list their program is just with an hourly rate, leaving YOU to decide how long it will take. If you knew the answer to that question, you wouldn’t be here looking to me for the answer! Of the coaches who DO list what you’ll get and how long it will take, there are a variety of lengths of programs with as few as 3 sessions and as many as a year’s worth of sessions, and everything in between.
Makes it as clear as mud, right? I can only share my opinion since I’m biased toward my point of view on the subject. What I will say is that I’ve learned that there’s a pretty big difference between how long it takes me to TEACH a concept to a singer, and how long it takes the singer to IMPLEMENT the concept into their daily life. For example, I can teach a singer how to belt in less than 5 minutes, but it may take that singer a few weeks (or even months) to master it in their singing. Also, singers don’t universally move at the same pace. This means I have to accommodate for the slower learners AND the faster learners when deciding on the length of my programs.
I have a group program (No Limits Academy) and several private programs (Perform Without Limits, VIP Vocal Health Clinic, & VIP Vocal Health Accelerator). No Limits Academy & Perform Without Limits both offer the same training, but one is in a group setting over the period of a year, and the other is in a private setting over the period of 6 months. My two VIP Vocal Health programs are both private offerings that offer the same thing, but the Clinic takes 3 months to complete where the Accelerator takes an intense 10 days.
The Academy takes a year to complete because sometimes inside a group program, the learning takes a little longer because there’s less individual feedback – something essential to your growth and progress in singing. Therefore, Perform Without Limits is only half that length of time. And it used to be just 3 months, but I consistently found that singers needed/wanted more time to fully master everything they were learning, so I modified it to be 6 months.
The Clinic takes 3 months because it is designed for someone who has the flexibility to take their time implementing what they learned with me by their side to ensure they’re doing it correctly. The Accelerator is designed for someone who doesn’t have that kind of time – someone who needs to make a dramatic transformation in a very short period of time. So it gives them exclusive and unlimited access to me for 10 whole days so I can help them get the technique solidly into their bodies and part of their muscle memory.
But you’re not going to find these kinds of offers or time frames to be universally offered by all vocal coaches. I mentioned I can teach someone to belt in under 5 minutes but not every teacher can. I recently taught a singer how to fix something in her technique to solve the problem she was having and it took her a couple of minutes to learn and implement it. She later thanked me, telling me that her previous coach told her it could take years to fix this if it was even fixable at all. That kind of inconsistency among what coaches have to offer is why there are factors out of your control when it comes to determining how long it takes to learn to sing.
With all the factors involved – those in and out of your control – it can be confusing to determine how long it takes to sing. My best advice to you is to get crystal clear on your goal and the kind of support you need to achieve it, then do your research so you can find the perfect program, and commit to practicing consistently so that you can develop muscle memory and achieve those goals in no time!
If you’d like to talk with me about working together, the best place to go to begin that process is www.getmypowerup.com.