Are singing lessons worth while if you ^really^ can't sing???

(14 Posts)
Takver Tue 22-Apr-14 21:28:00

DD (12) has asked if singing lessons would be an option, & we're struggling slightly to know what to suggest. Back story - we'd offered music lessons, she was interested in learning guitar or flute in primary but was overcommitted with other activities, now she's older she's got a bit more spare time so we asked if she was still keen.

Putting it politely, she definitely doesn't have a natural talent for singing. I know 'everyone can sing', and she did learn to sing primary school performance songs in tune, but only because they practice to within an inch of their lives. I'm very much the same, can play a couple of instruments reasonably well, but no natural ear for whether they are in tune or not. DH sings well & is in a choir, he had singing lessons as a child, hence DD's interest.

Also she loves drama, and not singing is a big disadvantage, as youth productions really do always tend to be musicals. Any advice welcome! Can singing lessons help someone who listens to a song over & over again, and yet sings something that truely bears no resemblance to is, to sing passably?

Katisha Tue 22-Apr-14 21:29:50

If she's still keen then definitely give it a go.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Tue 22-Apr-14 21:33:47

Bless her heart!

My totally tone-deaf brother had singing lessons when he was part of a drama group as a teenager. He needed to be able to sing passably to get cast in any musical shows.

He had lessons and learned to carry a tune, and even had one solo in a show once. So they definitely helped him under similar circumstances.

He's in his 20s now and we still make him sing his solo at family gatherings. Wine helps!!

Takver Tue 22-Apr-14 21:37:01

That sounds really encouraging, NinjaTurtle! I don't think she wants to be able to sing a solo, just carry the tune in a group more successfully!

She's undoubtedly got a great future in classic drama or tragedy, but the options for that aren't that massive when you're 12 grin

JulieMichelleRobinson Wed 23-Apr-14 11:23:18

My answer would be "yes, but you need to find the right teacher." You need a teacher who knows what he/she is letting him-/herself in for, and what your child's aims are - not someone who is used to preparing grade 8 classical singers, for example!

Lancelottie Wed 23-Apr-14 11:26:51

Hmm. This was DS up to the age of 8 or 9, enthusiastic but wildly off the note. But he did learn to sing in tune by himself in the end (and has sung solos both as treble and new, unreliable tenor voice), so though I know it's possible to learn, it might be more of a challenge with an older child.

KissesBreakingWave Wed 23-Apr-14 11:38:05

Being able to handle pitch - at least up to having good relative pitch, and some claim perfect pitch - is a learnable skill. Like any skill, some people pick it up without apparent effort, others struggle. I was one of the strugglers and for years thought I was tone deaf. I've got tolerable grasp of relative pitch now, after a lot of effort. Possibly I'd've found it easier if I'd had lessons earlier.

It'll help her with playing instruments, too.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 23-Apr-14 13:16:30

Dh teaches singing at a vocational dance college. It isn't always easy but he can give them the tools to get by if they are willing to put the work in.

When he worked in secondary he was given a boy who had opted for gcse music but didn't play an instrument & was classed as tone deaf!

This lad was never going to wow anyone but over the course of two years dh managed to help him get a C grade for his performance.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 23-Apr-14 13:18:05

He has also in the past taught singing to actors at drama school this is perhaps slightly easier as they find singing in character easier.

balenciaga Wed 23-Apr-14 13:20:57

Yes! In my 20s I was desperate to be in a band, I CBA to learn guitar, bass drums or anything and also couldn't sing blush

However I had a few singing lessons and got good enough to join a band, we played loads of gigs at different places and it was amazing. Also met dh through it as well wink

Takver Wed 23-Apr-14 13:27:57

"Being able to handle pitch - at least up to having good relative pitch, and some claim perfect pitch - is a learnable skill."

I think I'd definitely agree with that - I'm very much the same as dd in that I have no natural talent - but I played instruments from an early age & really enjoyed them so kind of got the relative pitch thing from there, if that makes sense (piano obviously being good for that as it isn't up to the player to make it be in tune!).

All your input is really helpful though, and I agree it would be important to find someone who is happy to work at dd's level - we are in rural Wales, singing is taken very seriously, and anyone with any natural talent is picked up in school & encouraged to take it further.

I think some basic tools is really what dd would like, and I'm sure she would put the time in to practice. She doesn't have any career ambitions on the stage, but its something she enjoys a lot, and I can imagine it very easily being a lifelong hobby. So if she can learn enough to get by eg to sing in an amateur panto, I think it would be probably more valuable than learning an instrument.

goonIcantakeit Thu 24-Apr-14 18:03:32

wish there was an audio.....

I'd send her to a good Kodaly teacher. This is what Kodaly is for! there is a British Kodaly Academy - they will find someone local.

I took my first singing lesson a couple of weeks back, age 24 smile I think if she's keen, go for it, but find a reputable teacher. I've got my next lesson on Monday and am very excited smile

Takver Sun 27-Apr-14 18:55:23

That's fab, Lollipop smile I'll check out the Kodaly academy as well, thanks for the tip.

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