Singing lessons can harm young voices, can anyone advise on this?

(104 Posts)
ZZZenEggain Tue 02-Apr-13 11:12:16

I have been reading that it is unwise to really train a girl's voice before the age of 14, some say even 16 because it is fragile while they are developing and can easily be damaged. I don't personally know anything about this but it might be wise to investigate.

My dd is 12 and has started having lessons which she enjoys. I am a bit concerned now after googling it whether she shouldn't wait a couple of years. Apparently you can really damage the voice if you train it in the wrong way, too intensively or too early.

AFAIK she does some warm up exercises, is working with Vaccai bel canto course (which I think is singing scales) and then they sing a couple of songs. Does this sound alright for her age or is it better to leave it till she is older? I like the teacher and so does dd, she enjoys the lessons. Dd has quite a low speaking voice and the teacher does rewrite if dd is finding the higher notes difficult.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 13-Apr-13 14:16:57

After recently looking at the instruments offered at Chets, have found they rarely take singing as a first instrument until 6th form. After asking them why this is their reply was because they teach classical and it is not appropriate for younger voices to have a classical training.
Classical training is not just classical music it covers folk and some musical numbers. It is a style of singing, not music.
The advice I received was go gentle until puberty and concentrate on things such as breathe control.
I'm sure they know what they are talking about.

Theas18 Tue 23-Apr-13 16:37:33

My 3 have always sung a lot (choristers) including DS singing through his voice breaking and it's been fine. The eldest (19) is a fab singer in the cathedral chorister mould with a bell clear voice rather than a " big sing" voice IYSWIM

Totally agree re primary choirs and primary teachers though. None of mine did primary school choir as the " shout singing" was awful.

FriendlyLadybird Fri 03-May-13 22:27:57

I remember Vaccai! If she's using that and being taught properly, it'll be fine. My worry about school choirs is that they can tend to sing from the throat, rather than from the stomach, if you see what I mean. Classical singing is with a nice, open throat and the sound just comes out; most pop singing and musicals singing seems to get stuck in the throat, which is what does the damage. I always tell people to try to sing like Elvis -- immediately they relax their throats and start singing properly.

ZZZenagain Wed 08-May-13 17:01:46

Thanks Ladybird. They are going into a recording studio next week to record a couple of dd's songs, so I will see a bit of how they go about it. I feel confident now that the lessons are fine for dd at this stage of development, so thanks to everyone who contributed.

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