Everyone vocal student learns in a different way. Some are very logical. Explain to them how the mechanism works and what it does…they get that, and start to find out how to manipulate it right away. Others are visual and imaginative. They cannot connect to the “nuts and bolts” explanation, but give them a certain thought or visualization and they can take off with that and begin to feel what is happening in their throat.
Most students are a combination of both, in varying degrees. That’s why it is so important to find out what that individual needs. If a student is really serious about improving their voice, they need guidance. There is a LOT of good information out there in books and vocal method programs. Good ‘basic’ technique doesn’t have huge variance, but after that, students need someone to insure they are doing the techniques correctly, and to help them connect those techniques to their singing, their style, their expression.
Technique is for the singer. It is there to help them get the most out of their voice, so that their voice will do what they want it to do, when they need it. A friend and mentor said “no one is going to give you a dime for your vocal technique”, and he is right. It’s what is done with it, how it’s used to COMMUNICATE expression that counts. However, if the voice won’t do what the singer wants it to do, they won’t be able to do that effectively.
Finding the right vocal instructor, one that the student can understand and who meshes with them and their learning personality is very important. They aren’t likely to learn from someone they can’t relate to or respect. Take the time to find the right instructor. If they student cannot connect with the instructor, no matter how “famous” or respected they are, they should find someone else.
Lastly, the singer must put in the time. There is no magic wand. There is NOTHING any instructor can tell a student that will “magically” work if you they don’t practice. Giving students exercises that address specific problems is important, and giving them things to do that relate to the music they are going to be singing helps ensure they see the value in the exercises and will do the work.