Q & A’s

Got a Question?

If you are taking the plunge and booking singing lessons for the first time you will probably have a whole host of questions or concerns about what to expect.
We have hopefully answered the most common questions here but if not don’t hesitate to contact us for anything else you’d like to know.

Can I bring a friend or family member to my lessons?

Unless you are 16 or under and it is your introductory lesson, friends and family would not be permitted at your lessons, as for many singers, this can be very distracting and off putting, meaning you won’t get the most out of your session. After a number of lessons, if you have perfected a song that you would like to perform for a friend or a member of your family, time can be set aside at the end of your lesson for 1 person to watch and listen.

In the near future you will be able take a recording of your whole lesson and there will also be quarterly performance nights and talent competitions hosted by Vocal Ovation where all your friends and family will be able to attend and cheer you on!

Can I book less than an hour?

Lessons are available for a minimum of 1 hour per session as in our experience anything less than this doesn’t give a singer adequate time to cover enough exercises to develop their vocal technique as well as spending time practising and performing songs. For regular students this could be reviewed if time was limited and some additional help was needed as preparation for an audition or performance. Lessons can be booked for more than an hour per session however.

I’m thinking of making a surprise booking on behalf of someone else, what if they don’t like it?

The chance to chose from over 40,000 backing tracks, sing on a stage with a top of the range radio mic and PA and have professional vocal advice and coaching throughout – what’s not to like?

Seriously though, we would recommend that you do give the recipient of your very kind gift some notice so they can prepare for their lesson either that or simply purchase one of our Gift of Singing Vouchers then they can do the rest and book at a time that’s suitable for them.

I just want to prepare for a one off performance at my friend’s wedding, can you still help me?

The chances are your friend will have already picked the song he/she wants you to sing and will have only asked you because they know you’re going to do a good job, so providing you’re willing to put in some time for lessons and practice Vocal Ovation can absolutely help you do yourself and your friend proud and who knows where your next performance might be!

Could I get feedback on a performance offsite?

Absolutely! We know how daunting auditions, live performances and being under pressure in a recording studio can be, so schedule permitting, we can arrange to provide coaching and feedback wherever required – within reason! Please refer to our “On Location” pricing for more details.

Why do lessons have to be pre-paid?

The coaching schedule at Vocal Ovation is very busy and often with a waiting list so we need to be confident that if a lesson is booked it is attended. A “no show” without prior notice means we don’t have adequate time to open up the slot for anyone else resulting in them missing the opportunity to attend plus a wasted hour for us.

What happens if I can’t make it to my lesson, can I carry the slot over?

In order to maintain consistency and fairness for all our students, only in extreme circumstances will we deviate from our cancellation/refund policy.

I’d like to learn with a friend, is this possible?

Although one to one coaching is usually found to be the most effective we do appreciate that some people will be more relaxed with a familiar face by their side, particularly in the earlier stages of learning to sing and perform, when confidence may be lower. For that reason we offer our Duo lessons which caters for two singers together but still allows each one to really shine with some solo work.

How often should I come for lessons?

At Vocal Ovation we appreciate that time and budget will play a major part when deciding how often you are able to come to us. For that reason we allow you to pick dates, times and frequency to fit in with your schedule and won’t insist that you come every week on the same day at the same time.

We would recommend that you come at least once or maybe twice a month with plenty of practice in between times, however depending on your singing and performance goals this could fluctuate to suit your individual circumstances e.g. if you were preparing for an audition or performance you may want to increase your sessions.

Is there public transport to your studio?

One of the benefits of coming to sing at the Vocal Ovation studios is that we’re in relatively peaceful and rural setting, in addition to that, with state of the art sound proofing you can really sing your heart out without having to worry anyone will overhear! Although Stocksfield, Prudhoe and Hedley on the Hill are all within 1.5 miles or less of us we are not on a bus route.

Is there a waiting area as someone will be driving me to your studio?

There is no waiting area however we have many amenities just a stones throw away and some beautiful walks. Please check out our map of the area if your driver needs any inspiration on how to fill in the hour.

Should I come for my lesson if I have a sore throat or cold?

Although you may feel under the weather many cold symptoms won’t have a major impact on your singing therefore we would encourage that you attend and we will make adjustments to your lesson accordingly. If however you have chest issues, are producing excessive phlegm, experiencing pain in your when speaking or singing or there is any chance you may have laryngitis we would strongly recommend you seek medical advice and refrain from any vocal activity.

What if I have a specific song to learn that’s not currently part of your backing track library?

We do have 10s of 1000s of backing tracks already in our library but also have a multitude of online providers on hand with immediate download facility. Please ensure you include any special song requests when filling out our New Customer Registration form and we will do our utmost to acquire the song or songs you would like. In addition, you are more than welcome to bring along any tracks of your own which you’d like to sing.

I’d prefer to be accompanied by a pianist, is this possible

At an additional cost, we have a very experienced pianist who can be requested to accompany you for some or all of your lessons. Please refer to ourPricing Information for full details.

I’m really self conscious about singing in front of anyone, what if I can’t do it?

The fact that you’ve read this far proves you absolutely have what it takes to stand up and sing and although singing in front of someone you don’t know may be daunting, you’ll find your coach as someone warm and approachable who will very quickly put you at ease.

She’ll work with you at a pace that’s right for you so if you don’t feel confident enough to get up on stage and sing through the mic, she’ll wait until the moment’s right and you are.

I’ve watched X Factor, American Idol and couldn’t stand it if I was told I wasn’t a good singer, will you be gentle with me?

Coaching at Vocal Ovation is all about feedback which is constructive, will help you with your vocal development and improve your singing and performing. We will be very honest in terms of how far we think you can take your talent and therefore will help you set realistic goals that are right for your current ability.

If we feel you’ve set you sights way too high and therefore will inevitably be in for disappointment, we’ll help you focus on something more achievable and whilst this may take longer, could be the difference between you completely losing your confidence and giving up due to rejection or going on to do great things.

I’ve got a good strong voice and a great range but my nerves always spoil it, can you still help me?

It is both natural and useful to have some nerves before a performance as it shows you really care about performing well for your audience. Those who suffer from excessive nerves however, will know it can be completely debilitating. When nerves occur it’s usually out of a lack of confidence in some part of your ability, that dreaded high note that you always worry you’ll reach, that long note that fizzles away to a mere breathy squeak, forgetting the words and so on.

Having a vocal coach means you can perfect the mechanics of the song, get all the mistakes out of the way, really get into your interpretation of the song and have as many “dress rehearsals” as you need long before your live performance. Once you have that confidence and connection with each song you perform you may just be surprised at how much you look forward to singing to your next live audience. In addition you may wish to consider an “On Location” coaching session.

I’ve been singing for years, are you going to make me start again from scratch?

However long you’ve been singing, your voice will have certain characteristics unique to you which we would not want to change, only improve and enhance. The chances are if you have been singing for some time, you will have picked up some bad habits, either from listening to other singers, liking their sound and mimicking it or from changing certain vowel sounds to help you hit higher notes, or both.

You’ll be surprised that sometimes just a few minor tweaks applied to what you already possess can have a major impact.

How quickly will my voice develop and sound stronger and more in tune?

That won’t be an exact science and as with anything you set out to learn, much of your progress will be down to the time you can invest in practising. We do however, usually find, as a result of some simple techniques, that even during your first lesson you will experience some very positive changes in the way you sing.

I’ve heard people doing vocal exercises and think I’d feel stupid, can I just sing songs at my lesson with no exercises?

Singing safely and promoting vocal health is of utmost importance at Vocal Ovation. The vocal chords are delicate muscles that need to be cared for by warming them up with gradual stretches. Relate it to any top dancer or sportsman who relies on their muscles to perform; they only got to their peak by spending hours and hours of carefully planned training and never failing to warm up before every event or performance.

Imagine the damage an athlete could do if they sat on the sofa for a week then suddenly leaped up and ran a 400m sprint! The vocal exercises at Vocal Ovation are highly effective but great fun and have been designed to transition you from exercise mode into full song without you even noticing.

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