A voice teacher provides instruction in singing to people of all ages and levels of ability. Voice teachers are differentiated from vocal coaches who work with experienced singers to refine their singing abilities and prepare them for specific performances and events. While a voice teacher can provide this type of instruction, she or he is also capable of working with people who have no singing experience to develop their voices.
Voice teachers may work independently or under the auspices of a conservatory, college, university, or music school. It is not uncommon for voice teachers to travel to their students, although they may also provide lessons in their homes or in music studios. Teachers can work with students one on one to provide intensive instruction tailored to a specific student, and they may also handle groups, including choirs.
Instruction in voice can cover a range of topics. The voice teacher lays the groundwork for a strong voice, working with students on breathing, moderating pitch and tone, enunciating clearly, and pronouncing words properly. A voice teacher may provide foreign language instruction or refer students to teachers of foreign languages, and can also train students in various musical techniques and styles as they become more advanced. For example, someone who wants to learn classical singing would work with a voice teacher on classical technique.
Voice teachers can also provide instruction in music history, music theory, and similar topics. They can accompany students on musical instruments while their students train, help their students prepare for auditions, performances, and competitions, and identify music to which a student is well suited. The voice teacher must be able to identify someone's singing range and work on developing it and seeing if it can be pushed further while also getting to know the student to determine which styles of music the student might enjoy.
Some voice teachers are singers themselves, and all have at least some training in singing. Music schools offer training in musical pedagogy as well as music for people who would like to provide instruction, and a voice teacher may have an advanced degree from such an institution. In other cases, a voice teacher relies on years of experience in performance to provide training and guidance to students. Singers may utilize voice teaching as a way to generate extra income or dependable income while they develop their careers, and may also teach when they no longer want to perform.