What is the difference between classical and contemporary singing?
When people speak about ‘classical singing’, they are usually referring to opera and Western art songs (often sung in Italian or German), while ‘contemporary singing’ describes pop/rock/musical theatre/jazz music from the 1950s to today. The method of vocal production is consistent across all genres of music – it is the stylistic conventions that differ. Whether you learn one or the other depends on your personal taste in music and aspirations for the future.
Good technique is important regardless of the style of music. At SVA you will be taught correct technique that will allow you to get the very best out of your voice, and be able to sing safely without damaging your voice. Some people have the perception that contemporary singing equates to poor or no technique, but at SVA that is simply not the case.
It is important to learn with a teacher whose expertise is in the genre you want to learn. SVA specialises in contemporary singing.
Do you teach proper technique?
Yes. We have a strong emphasis on teaching students correct vocal technique to ensure vocal safety and longevity.
Do you teach music theory and musicianship?
Yes! We believe a firm foundation in music theory is important, and we are intentional in incorporating music literacy skills into our programs.
Do I need to have a singing teacher who is the same gender as me?
No. There is a common misconception that singing students should only be taught by teachers who are of the same gender. Vocal technique is consistent across genders and SVA teachers are trained to deal with the unique characteristics of each, such as the male voice ‘breaking’ (the female voice also deepens during adolescence, but not to the same extent). SVA offers male and female teachers as we recognise that some students feel more comfortable with a teacher of the same gender.
Can I have fortnightly private lessons? How often is ideal?
We do offer fortnightly private lessons, although we strongly recommend that students only take fortnightly private lessons if they also attend a weekly group class. Particularly for younger students, a fortnight (or even a month in the event of a missed lesson) is a long time to go between touching base with a teacher and receiving that all-important feedback, encouragement and direction. In our experience students are more likely to give up if they are having infrequent lessons.
I have a dance or drama audition and need to prepare a song - can you help?
Yes! Please fill in the registration form to arrange a casual lesson. However, please note that if you are going to be attending auditions regularly, you might like to consider having ongoing tuition. Taking two or three lessons in the week prior to an audition definitely helps students to feel confident and well-prepared, but doesn’t enable significant correction of technique or pitch inaccuracies.
What age should I start my child in singing lessons?
We get asked this question a lot! And the oh-so-helpful answer is… it depends! Factors to consider are:
- can my child sit still and concentrate for 30 minutes?
- can my child read? It’s not impossible for students who are pre-literate to learn an instrument, but it does generally require parents to supervise all practice sessions at home.
- to what degree am I prepared to help them practise at home?
- does my very young child show unusual interest or ability in music?
One of the most unhelpful things you can do is to have your child learn for a term or two, then stop during netball/cricket/soccer season, then try again for a couple of terms. Music education needs to be consistent for students to enjoy long-term gains, so we recommend waiting until your child can enjoy uninterrupted progress.
Will my child sing age-appropriate songs?
At SVA we are very careful to ensure that young students perform songs that reflect experiences and emotions that they might reasonably have experienced in everyday life.
What ages does SVA cater for?
All students are welcome at SVA – professional singers, aspiring professionals, students studying music at school, dancers who need to learn how to sing, and those who simply want to sing for recreation.