“I Am The Greatest”

“I Am The Greatest” worked as a slogan for Mohammed Ali. He actually delivered the goods to back up his claims.

There are a few singing teachers here in New York who boldly announce that they have “THE” voice studio. They are “The best”, “The most famous”, “The most important”, etc., etc.

Generally speaking, the people who decide this about themselves are NOT the most anything, except perhaps the most egotistical and narcissistic . The people here who have the most students, the biggest reputations and the most well-known students don’t advertise at all. Some of them don’t even have websites. One thing they do not ever do is claim to be “The (fill in the blank)”. They don’t need to.

I have twice had students who came to me from two different singing teachers who both claimed to be the “only famous” singing teachers in New York and both of those students had learned next to nothing useful. Both teachers continued to claim these students in their ads long after they had stopped studying with them. This is borderline unethical. When they were studying with me, I didn’t discuss it.

If you are foolish enough to study with someone who has decided (based entirely upon his or her highly inflated opinion) that they are the best or only teacher of singing, RUN AWAY. RUN AWAY.

Teachers of singing who know what they are doing have a wide variety of tools and techniques, based on vocal function and voice science, vocal hygiene and the requirements of the music business. They respect their colleagues, even when they disagree with them, and they are not egotistical or, yes, stupid, enough to make up exaggerated claims about themselves. It is shameful that teachers of singing can make such fantastic claims based only on their own ideas of their self-importance, but they can. There are no laws against it. They can also advertise themselves on the internet claiming to teach every human being on earth how to be a vocal star in 6 lessons or less. There are dozens of teachers like that. Can’t stop that either.

If you are seriously interested in learning to sing, before you decide that any one teacher is “perfect” and before you let that teacher convince you that he or she is THE ONLY person who really understands singing and how to teach it, take lessons with at least 5 other well established teachers (with a solid reputation, going back at least 5 years, preferably longer). Read about them, question others about them. Do not be sold a bill of goods.

Here in New York City there are probably at least 1,000 people teaching singing, with new ones emerging every day. There are many others who “coach” who are not really singers (they never sang) but work with singers. Some of the teachers have been around a very long time. There’s a reason why that would be so.

If you end up with someone who has convinced you that he or she is THE ONLY teacher who can teach you, or claims to be THE BEST or THE MOST FAMOUS or THE FIRST, and that person turns out to be not nearly as good as they convinced you they were, it’s your fault if you stay.

One more thing: the teachers who really know what they are doing are not going to make you sell your first born child to raise money to pay for a lesson, either. Expensive is not a guarantee of effectiveness. If you know someone studying with a teacher who claims to be “the best, most famous, most important and greatest” singer teacher who ever lived send them a copy of this post.

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