If you can’t find a local voice teacher (or can’t afford their fees), online singing lessons online may be a convenient and economical option for you.
You should choose an online singing course using the same criteria you would use to choose an in-person teacher. First, define your goals. What style or genre of music do you want to sing? Will you be singing with or without microphones? Where will you be singing–church, bars/nightclubs, or with a musical theatre?
There is a wide variety of online courses available. Your choice will depend on what you want to learn. Some programs offer a comprehensive education in music history and theory, along with vocal technique. Others focus more specifically on performance aspects, such as tone placement and resonance, stage presence, and emotional interpretation of songs.
Whether or not you will be using microphones and electronic amplification is an important consideration. Some courses don’t teach you how to project your voice without it. If you can sing and project without a microphone, it’s not difficult to adjust to using one. The opposite, however, is not true. If you don’t know how to project and the sound system fails, you have a problem!
The best online courses cost about the same as ten to twelve in-person lessons. They include both guided audio lessons and text material that explains the principles and rationale of the exercises demonstrated in additional audio files. Some even offer email support. Two of the best programs are Singing Is Easy by Yvonne DeBandi and Singorama by Emily Mander.
The early lessons should teach you how the human voice works and how to improve it, as well as the fundamentals of posture and breath support, tone placement and quality. You will also learn a variety of warm-up exercises .
If you’re eager to get to the fun stuff, you may be tempted to skip the “boring” parts, like the breathing exercises. That’s not a good plan–you’ll only be shortchanging yourself, and you won’t get your money’s worth from the course. Professional athletes can’t play at their best if they skip the fundamentals, and it’s the same concept with singing.
With an online program, you’re pretty much on your own. Your only accountability is to yourself; there are no deadlines and no pressure. If you work well without close supervision, that can be a good thing. But when you run into problems, it can be a real challenge.
Lack of support is the main problem among all online singing courses. With in-person lessons, the teacher can suggest alternate exercises if a particular one doesn’t work for you. That isn’t possible with online singing lessons.
Also, you can’t get immediate feedback on your technique or your progress. Because our ears are located so near our vocal tract, we hear our own voice transmitted through our skull and sinuses, not through air as a microphone or listener would receive it.
The only way to hear yourself as others do is to make an audio recording of yourself and play it back. This allows you to compare your sound with the audio examples in the lessons. The only issue is that it can be difficult to objectively judge your own voice.
If you are honest with yourself about your areas in need of improvement, you will get greater benefit out of singing lessons online.