What is the difference between voice teachers, singing teachers, vocal coaches and voice teachers and which one is right for you?

There are lots of voice teachers, singing teachers, vocal coaches and voice coaches in NYC - how do you know which one to choose? First, let’s examine what these terms mean and the difference between them.
The term voice teacher is synonymous with the term singing teacher. It is someone who focuses on proper technique and application of it to the repertoire. Voice teachers work with students on specific vocal needs: pitch control, eliminating nasality, extending vocal range, building the voice, using breath support, engaging vocal resonances and applying the technique to styles. Some singing teachers will teach you how to prevent and correct a vocal injury, and more.
The term vocal coach is synonymous with the term voice coach. They often may be a pianist, music producer, conductor, or others in the music field, and have experience with musical performances in their respective genres. A vocal coach might assist with such matters as pronunciation, musical phrasing, performance practice, as well as assisting the singer to “own” the song. They will make cuts and arrangements tailored to each individual student’s strengths. A voice coach wouldn’t interfere with vocal technique. If there are any problem areas, a voice coach will explain to the singer what the issues are and advise the singer to discuss it with the voice teacher.
It’s important to note that while these definitions are very general, there is a blurred line between them. These terms have been confused by the profession at large. Some teachers are voice teachers but call themselves vocal coaches, and some voice coaches may call themselves singing teachers. Some teachers, such as myself, do both - train on technique and work on all aspects of performance. I generally refer to myself as a voice teacher simply because adding titles such as singing teacher, vocal coach and voice coach is confusing to the reader.
So if you want to become a professional singer, who do you choose? My advice is this - first learn the most effective vocal technique and perfect your diction. Then work on your phrasing, performance, voice building, etc. Ideally, you want to find someone who is both a singing teacher and a vocal coach. Someone who knows all there is to know about singing will be able to do both. If you are working with two people, you will wind up going back and forth and losing time. As far as selecting the best instructor, my advice is that if you don’t hear an immediate improvement in every singing lesson then you should move on. As a professional singer myself, I learned all the major and minor vocal techniques. I can assure you that when a mistake in technique is fixed on a specific song there will be an immediate improvement and often, it will be a major one. On the other hand, strengthening of the overall voice with exercises will take some time to take full effect. However, you should hear some positive difference promptly after completing the exercises.
In the first three months of training with a great voice teacher, singing teacher, vocal coach or voice coach, you should hear a very noticeable improvement. In contrast, if you’ve spent three months studying with an instructor and you are not blown away by your own improvement, then it’s definitely time to move on. Don’t believe those instructors who will tell you that it takes many years to hear a significant improvement. It does not. Effective singing lessons work fast. There are a lot of voice teachers and vocal coaches in NYC, don’t waste your time.

 

"Can anyone develop a big beautiful voice?"

Yes. Anyone with a speaking voice who is not tone deaf can develop a beautiful singing voice. The is a science of Beautiful singing call Bel Canto that holds the key. We all have similar body and great singers are doing similar physical things to produce a beautiful vocal tone. On Bel Canto technique, there are 3 core elements that will help you achieve great results: 
1.  Use proper breath support.  There are many schools of thought on what proper breath support entails.  The most effective method is one which follows the following progression:  Take a spontaneous open breath, passing through "Ah."  The lower abs should come out upon inhalation. As you sing a line of a song, pull your abs in gradually and then release the abs at the end of the sung line. Your neck, shoulders, and jaw should be relaxed and your shoulders should never come up.  Some vocal schools teach students to expand their ribs horizontally outward upon inhalation.  This is incorrect!  It will largely limit your vocal range and result in a  wobbly vibrato.  
2.  Sing pure and stationary vowels.  Pure vowels are vowels where the consonant following the vowel is not sung or blended into the vowel.  In contrast, dirty vowels, which occur when the consonant following the vowel is sung or blended into the vowel, make your voice smaller. Stationary vowels refer to the sound of each vowel having a form.  
3.  Utilize proper placement and vocal resonances.  Using frontal placement, focusing sound on the hard pallet, and engaging vocal resonances will amplify your voice.  These elements are brought together in three voice building tapes that my students do in their lessons and at home.  These tapes are incredibly effective.  They are not posted online due to the fact that they must be executed properly with a voice teacher.