Many of us struggle with the first lesson. There can be a lot of pressure to dazzle the student or their parents so they want to come back and study with us for the next 5 years. (Or 5 weeks, or whatever they need.)
So, how do you Dazzle a new student so they want to come back?
- Show interest in them from the get go.
- Ask about them and their music background
- Make eye contact
- Listen to Every Word
- Ask questions to find out exactly why they are here and what they want from you!
- Let them sing a song for you
- This will often tell you more about their voice and vocal habits than scales will and will help break the ice. It also helps them feel like you value them and their current stage of vocal development.
- Make sure you listen the entire time and do not to stop them, unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Pick ONE thing in the song and give them an exercise specifically targeted to help them with that one challenge.
- This should be something you know you can accomplish in 5-10 minutes of the time you have left with them.
- Don’t pick something that is going to take weeks, months or years to over come.
- Pick a single phrase or a vowel that is problematic for them and show them how to modify it by using an appropriate exercise.
- Once they have properly executed the exercise, turn it into the phrase they are trying to sing.
- Once they can sing the phrase on the exercise, transition to the word.
- They will most likely be able to execute the task flawlessly. If not, go back to the exercises and repeat the process.
This shouldn’t take that long, and because it doesn’t take very long, they will think you are a genius and love you forever.
In reality, this is the same process we follow for most lessons, with the exception being that usually we begin with exercises because we now have a better understanding of their voice and what they need to overcome.
The student gains more knowledge about singing better each week and feels closer to their goals. Their muscle memory improves as they practice what you have given them. Their self esteem gets a huge boost and they are ready to conquer the world. Dazzle: Done!
This sounds simple, but this is truly how you Dazzle a student on the first lesson. So, to sum up, remember:
1. IT’S ABOUT THEM, not you.
2. LISTEN to them sing and what their needs are.
3. HELP them get there one step at a time, one word at a time if necessary.
4. REPEAT weekly for best results.