Annoyingly, I've just been sent another email from some people launching a new singing app. Take my word for it, anybody claiming to be able to teach you to sing via an app doesn't care about helping you - or, for that matter, know what they're talking about!

Learning to sing is considered the most difficult instrument to learn and to teach. Why? Well, it's common sense really. If you were about to start piano or flute lessons, you probably wouldn't even have bought the instrument - but everyone comes into singing lessons saying that they love singing and they do it all the time (I think I may have mentioned this in an earlier post in a different context). New students demonstrate some or all of the following:

a huge amount of bad habits (everyone!); bad technique; no clue how to access the top of their range; damage to the voice - usually due to bad training; problems with pitch ie the ability to sing in tune (which cannot be corrected but people are unaware that once pitch has settled during childhood, that's it, it is what it is - same goes for timing); problems with their timing (which cannot be corrected);

How on earth can anyone expect, therefore, to learn from an app when it can't correct what you're doing? One of the things the email I received this morning said was that it included a pitch corrector so that you could hear when you were in tune. This says it all because people with quite severe problems CANNOT hear when they're not singing in tune. As such, it's irrelevant to say that the pitch corrector can help!!

Back to the main point online app or video is a bit like saying "okay, I'm going to teach you to walk a tightrope by using an app on your phone"!! It's actually crucial to have somebody there (who knows what they're talking about), to be able to answer any questions a student has - and they generally have lots of things they want to know about or that I as a teacher need to explain to them.

Students are surprised at how difficult it is to break the bad habits they've got. These habits are usually deeply embedded and it takes time and practice to break them - only then can students start to make progress. In the beginning they really need to be looking in a mirror to see what they're doing.........

As for learning technique, it's worth it but it's not easy - and neither should students expect it to be any easier than learning any other instrument, but they do because of the huge amount of nonsense that is promoted all over the place.

SO..........PLEASE avoid all teaching videos or phone apps - THEY WON'T HELP YOU! They'll probably give you more bad habits! Rant over!

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