How vocal training schools can help singers learn to sing
A vocal training program in Ontario is giving aspiring singers a taste of what life is like at a vocal school.
In a pilot program, teachers teach vocal students a handful of songs, such as a ballad or a gospel, in a variety of genres, from jazz to classical.
Then they take the students on a guided tour of Toronto’s vocal music festivals, like the Toronto Jazz Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.
“There’s a real sense of belonging to the community,” says Kaitlin DeLong, one of the program’s teachers, who is also a vocal teacher at Toronto’s University of Toronto.
“It’s a way to connect people, a way for us to meet people.”
DeLong says vocal training programs have helped some vocalists reach their singing potential.
“The students who come in really have an idea of what it’s like to be a professional musician,” she says.
But others say the experience is not worth the money.
“I feel like it’s an expensive way to learn the craft, and I feel like I have to do it for free,” says vocalist Rachel Pecore, a student at the Vocal Training Institute in Vaughan, Ont.
She started singing in her teens but says she never went on to pursue a career in the industry.
Pecores voice is one of many in the program.
“My voice is a little more of a soft-pop type of thing, but it’s also a little bit of a full-on, heavy-hitting vocal,” she explains.
She adds that the program offers a learning experience for the vocalist, as well as a chance to practice her craft with other singers.
The program’s goal is to have 100 vocal instructors by 2025.
In addition to providing singers with a better understanding of their craft, it’s helping them to become better singers, says DeLong.
“If they were to do a singing class, I would have never gotten into the business,” she adds.
“And if they were going to go into a business and do a voice-training program, it would have been very difficult for them to get into it.”
In 2015, the Toronto Film Festival offered a special performance of “Love Me Like You Do,” a musical about the life of musician Louis Armstrong.
The production drew more than 1,000 performers from all over the world.