Anyone who has been trained has a distinct advantage, and that applies to singing as much as anything else. But what does it mean if a singer is classically trained?
The Word “Classical” can Scare People Away
There are a lot of people as soon as they hear the word “Classical,” will possibly think about two things. Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven, and others will be one. Opera will be the other. Those, of course, are genres of music, but that is not the same as being trained using Classical techniques.
Not Most People’s First Choice
Classical music wouldn’t be the first choice for many people, especially when singing. Most would rather knock out a rock or a pop song or something from a Musical. But what you prefer to sing is not what we are concerned with here. What you sing doesn’t matter. It is how you sing it.
Are You Setting Lofty Targets?
Are you setting yourself a goal of becoming a professional singer? If so, you may well need the vocal techniques of Classical training. Classical training is about training the voice more than adopting a genre of music.
As we shall discuss, it is about giving you a solid platform for your vocals, whatever style. It is also about making sure you are protecting your body as you belt out these notes. But let’s pause for a second and just clarify something.
Classical Style and Classical Technique
No, they are not the same. Classical technique is all about using specific techniques to produce sounds. Using these techniques is not genre-based and can be used in any sort of singing. Classical style is singing in the style of opera and other classically-based genres.
When we discuss Classical techniques, we are not then talking about Classical style. If you want to be an Opera or Classical style singer, it will be quite a journey. Several years taking private one-to-one lessons. And that followed by a minimum of three years at a Conservatoire where the training will be intensive.
What is the Classical Technique?
Put Classical and Technique in the same sentence, and it begins to sound quite frightening. But it isn’t, and it isn’t as complicated and demanding as it may sound. It just concentrates on the correct techniques to give your voice the best chance. Some of the things that Classical training concentrates on are:
- Depth of Breathing.
- Articulation of sound, especially the vowels.
These skills that you learn give you a wide depth of ability and variance in your voice. From crisp and sharp pop songs to the deep, sultry, breathy tones of the great Cleo Laine.
Training in Classical Techniques
What it will do for you is build a solid foundation to develop your voice. And there have been quite a few famous names, just from the world of rock, who undertook this type of training.
- Freddie Mercury.
- Kelly Clarkson.
- Annie Lennox.
- Pat Benatar.
When Two Worlds Come Together
Just because you have received classical training doesn’t mean that you need to switch genres. Putting together great technique with rock or any other genre is only going to help your performance. The best of two worlds. Do you think Freddie Mercury would agree?
Having good technique can do nothing but help you. But, it will also help you improve your stamina for both rehearsals and that extra-long gig. You become what is known as a “vocal athlete.” You will be able to produce a great sound without screaming.
Warm-up and More
Good classical training will emphasize and teach you about the value of a good warm-up. These exercises cover a range of vocal subjects, including breathing, diction, flexibility, dynamics, and even vocal hygiene.
And don’t worry about thinking that a Classical vocal coach will try and turn you into something else. They will be sympathetic to your style and preferences. And they will teach you and how the techniques can improve you.
Here are some things that may help if you are starting out.
- Beginning Singing: Expand Your Range, Improve Your Tone, and Create a Voice
- Vocal Fitness Training Teach Yourself to Sing
- The Singing Athlete: Brain-based Training for Your Voice
The Classical Method
Let’s go back to our initial question, “What does it mean if a singer is classically trained?” Well, if a singer is classically trained, they achieve some very important skills that cross the genres.
Not breathing properly is one of the most common errors untrained singers make. This will affect most things about your voice. But especially holding notes. It can also cause injury and, at worst, even long-term damage.
Singers who undertake classical training will use their breathing to give them endurance and to be able to project dynamics. And most importantly, to do those things without damaging your voice.
An Increase in Vocal Flexibility
Vocal Flexibility is one of the great benefits you will get from classical voice training. The student learns about their vocal range and how to improve it. And once that flexibility has been achieved, they are then able to apply it to their genre of music.
A Broader Vocal Range
To do this, singers need to be able to step out of what they perceive as their comfort zone. But they have to do this in a controlled and safe way. Classical teachers can help students reach notes they thought previously out of their range. They will encourage and teach students how to utilize their “head voice” to achieve those broader ranges.
Further out of the Comfort Zone
There will be some activities you may never have considered. Certainly, in terms of the slightly different rhythms you will encounter in Classical music. But, also in some of the harmonies, you will learn. You will find these much more challenging than what you will find in popular music. Being able to sing those will add a whole new level.
And what about learning to read music? Have you ever thought you might do that? That is something that will be included in the curriculum of most classical voice teachers. And it might be a struggle at first, but how much better does that look on your CV.
Interested in Singing and Singers?
We can help you with that. Have a look at our handy guides on Types of Vocal Timbre, Voice Types Explained, Top Professional Vocal Coaches on Youtube, Fantastic Singing Schools for Aspiring Vocalists, Choose the Perfect Key to Sing In, and Singers That Sound Like Adele for more useful information.
And if you really want to sing, you’ll need a microphone. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Live Vocal Mics, the Best Cheap Microphone Under $50, the Best Karaoke Microphones, the Best Microphones For Recording Vocals, the Best Wireless Microphones, the Best Dynamic Microphones, and the Best XLR Microphones you can buy in 2023.
What Does it Mean if a Singer is Classically Trained – Final Thoughts
As a singer, being classically trained is all positive. There is nothing you could point to that might be negative. It is going to improve every aspect of what you do. And it will certainly make the future look a brighter place.
Until next time, let yourself be heard.