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Frequently Asked Questions

What music styles does HOV teach?

HOV teaches all styles:

  • Pop
  • Contemporary
  • Rock
  • Indie
  • Folk
  • Classical
  • Musical Theatre
  • R&B/Soul
  • Jazz

HOV teaches all styles and associated techniques per style.

Students are encouraged to explore a wide variety of styles in which to expand their musical repertoire.

HOV is also happy to work through students original material to develop their style, technique and artistry within these.

Do I need to buy any additional materials/books?

Before the first lesson you will not be required to purchase specific books or materials.

However some beginner piano students may require certain books to follow, which your teacher will go through with you if applicable.

Depending on how you wish to customize your HOV experience for eg. Sit AMEB, integrate a theory/songwriting components, you may be advised of additional materials.

However HOV also has a large sheet music database and can provide you sheet music and backing where possible.

Why is technique so important?

HOV Philosophy states that if you would never build a house without first laying down the foundations, then why treat your vocal/musical training any differently?

Without the knowledge and integration of posture, breathing technique, placement, resonance for voice, or posture, finger positions, instrumental technique etc, you may be able to sing/play, but like a car that is never serviced or aligned, at some point is going to break down. And this can often have disastrous consequences for musicians and singers especially who have always performed without lessons and have begun touring/performing every night to discover their voice/playing technique is failing under the pressure. That is why integrating a solid technique in your isntrument as early as possible is so imperative to musical success.

By employing technique, you are simply getting all the components of of true musical efficiency to work for you – rather than against you.

Why continue to strain and suffer?

And by doing so, put something you love to do at unnecessary risk. Technique is important to your long term vision, it may be a hard work, but the benefits will far outweigh any excuse you ever had to avoid it.

At HOV integrating technique is always made fun!

Can students commence mid-term?

Students may sign up with HOV at any time throughout the term or year.

If there are no places available at the time of enquiry you will be added to our waiting list and contacted when a place opens up. Your term invoice will be adjusted according to the number lessons remaining from when you started the term.

My child/I am very busy. How much practicing do you expect?

Students should aim to play/sing at home three to four times a week to begin with, then we grow from there. We can work with you to create timetables and routines to make practise easy around your work/other activities. We also can show you smart and easy ways practise can happen around very busy lifestyles. If you are willing, we are able to sort a plan for any schedule.

Do you do trial lessons?

Yes we do. However they are not free.

Often Free Trials are just assessments with very little feedback or tools to go away with.

At HOV you book a trial, like a normal lesson. And you get a full lesson packed with info, resources, diagrams (if applicable) and music to go away and work with.

We encourage everyone to book a trial lesson and see if HOV is for you and that you are happy with the teacher etc.

From there, if you choose to continue we grab your availability and work you into the schedule to continue for the term.

Does HOV take Mature Age Students?

Its never too late to enjoy sing or play an instrument.

Developing your voice or playing with  good technique can be done at any age.

HOV works with your lifestyle: whether you are highly career driven adult pursuing corporate life, kids/family or other pursuits. You can still manage all these things and enjoy singing or playing piano/guitar.

Please don’t feel silly, there is really no need.

You love music and we would love to train you!

And in actual fact, you are not alone! There are many mature age beginners and intermediates starting lessons at HOV. Its never too late to do what you love and creatively express music in some capacity.

See it as a little bit of “you”time, the gifts voice brings to your life will offer you more than you even expected.

Can I watch the lessons/is there a waiting room?

For Piano and Guitar lessons, parents are welcome to sit in on lessons should they wish. However it is always easier for the child after the first few lessons to start nurturing a student teacher repour which is a little more difficult for the child to do, should the parent always be present.

Being so close to Hughesdale shops and Chadstone Shopping Centre most parents and partners choose to take advantage of this whilst lessons are in progress.

Unfortunately HOV does not allow parents to watch vocal or songwriting lessons, as it is important that the child/student establish a teacher student relationship and develop as an individual. To teach voice/songwriting and have amazing breakthroughs teachers require the student to push beyond self-consciousness/shyness through a variety of exercises. The student (even if confident) is never quite themselves when parents/friends/family are in the room. If the child/student is given the space to learn, be themselves and grow individually, there is remarkable improvement in not only the students voice but the child/student themselves. We are always happy to review the lesson with you afterward and via inhouse communication. Students also keep a detailed log of notes.

Can I reschedule my lesson?

On term signup, we give you your own timeslot to attend for lessons. If students need to reschedule, providing they give 24 hours notice, we can reschedule on elected “makeup days” as scheduled throughout the term specificially for makeups. Or as coordinated with HOV Administration. We do have a limit (with the exceptions) on the amount of lessons that can be swapped in a term without incurring a fee, as we have a lot of administration time to be paid when students are contently changing times.

How do I know which additional extras to pick?

If you are having difficulties assessing this, speak to your HOV teacher. This will be discussed in the first lesson when setting goals and gaging how your lessons can best work for you.

You don’t have to know this before your lesson, HOV can guide you to your best option.

How can I sign up?

Call HOV on 0427 374 354 or at info@thehouseofvoice.com.au

How do I pay?

Payment options: We invoice you and you can pay via Bank Deposit.

Please note HOV do not have a EFTPOS machine onsite.

Does HOV have a cancellation policy?

If students cancel within less then 24 hours, unfortunately this incurs the full fee of the lesson.

Please think carefully about your lesson time, traffic and public transport. Try and plan your time carefully to avoid these extra costs.

Can you help choose which piano or guitar I should buy for at home?

Yes of course! Ask your teach in lessons and he/she can issue you a list of suggestions so you can get a good deal for a quality instrument to fit your budget.

Is the studio near public transport?

The studio is conveniently situated less than 3 minutes from Hughesdale train station. With Bus Routes along Dandenong Rd and Poath Rd.

Where do you teach?

The House of Voice operates in Hughesdale studios entirely dedicated to The House of Voice.

Masterclasses, Workshops and Performances are held in affiliated external studios and performance spaces.

What hours do you teach?

12pm-10pm weekdays and weekends 9am-6pm however this does not apply to every discipline, enquire for specifics.

Does HOV work all year round?

We work to Victorian School Term outlay. So students study 4 terms a year with two weeks break between each and a little longer over the summer period.

What can I expect when attending HOV?

It is important all students get the HOV experience from the very beginning. So expect that your first lesson will be a real lesson and not just a paid assessment. You will be given tools and techniques to improve your instrument, even in the first week.

After your first lesson and in moving forward, a tailor made program will be designed to suit your musical requirements, goals, additional educational needs and overall development.

The difference between lessons at HOV and lessons with other music schools  is that HOV avoids the “template” programming, there should never be a one size fits all approach.

At HOV, lessons are custom designed to fit what your musical requirements, what specifically needs ironing out, what education is needed and also what additional skills can help you reach your goals as a musician and artist.

Nervous about your first lesson?

It doesn’t matter what stage of musical development, its normal to be nervous on your first lesson!

Rest assured you will be quickly put at ease by your HOV teacher and the relaxed/friendly environment.

Just remember, HOV teachers have been in your shoes so if anyone can relate, it is us!

The thing we often fear most is making a mistake and how we might look if it doesn’t go exactly to plan.

Try and think of it this way, if you are going to trip up or make a mistake, who better to do it in front of then a qualified coach who can help you!

In many ways we want to see those things, so we can provide you with tools to make easier for you in the future.

I’ve never played Guitar/Piano or sung before, can I start at HOV?

Of course! We all have to start somewhere. And lessons are for any age or stage of development!

Lessons will be designed to adjust to your level of development. In the first lesson, HOV can assess your musical needs and get you on the path to pursuing your instrument

What should I bring to my first lesson?

Water, USB, Notebook, Instrument (if applicable) and Pen

Songwriting required all of the above plus laptop, ipad/and or smart phone.

How many lessons would I need?

There is no set amount of time or lessons before a singer/instrumentalist has learnt all there is to know. A musical education should be viewed as a lifelong journey, even for professionals. HOV likes to encourage a continual expansion of the musician/performer/player/singer/writer no matter what level of development.

Changes are obvious in your playing/singing within each lesson as solutions offered create noticeable change. But obviously results vary person to person as practise time, body, habits, musicianship etc all take their own time to integrate permanently. Certainly in terms of foundational progress, this can be  set across the board in each instrument within the first 6-12months, if the student is committed to practise. Then it’s a process of growing, weeding out habits, finding efficiency, developing, extending, refining, polishing etc song to song. Even at an elite level there is always more to be learnt and refined at a foundation level.

We are all individuals, with different experiences/backgrounds, habitual body/vocal makeup, unique voices within our instruments, each taking various amounts of time to process information alongside our daily lives. So set your goals, stay on track but remember to be realistic when it comes to setting times on vocal/musical development, the time your body/playing needs to refine the coordination of all the techniques required to break ingrained habits in which to sing/play more efficiently.

My child wants music lessons, what age is a good age to start?

For piano, children can be as young as 3 or 4 to begin lessons.

For Guitar children can also be as young as 4, but on the basis they are great at focusing and are curious learners. Otherwise our suggestion would be 5 or 6 years old.

For vocal, if your child is singing constantly, you can start as young as 4-6 but again, this is only for very focused and curious learners. Otherwise our recommendation would be 7 and above. As it is a much easier process when a child can read and has an ability to focus/memorise.

Some parents are hesitant about starting their children too early in the fear they may hurt their voices or will be pushed too early. But if your child is already singing constantly, bad habits can be picked up even in children as young as 7– especially when trying to mimick their favourite singers without any knowledge of what they are doing.

Lessons will also foster your child’s passion and give them skills to lay the foundations of a good vocal technique early on.

Lessons are always designed to suit the child. HOV’s philosophy is entirely holistic (building vs pushing, ease vs strain) and care is always placed on choosing the right songs for children, allowing them to develop at a pace without pushing the voice to match that of an adult.

I am a recording artist how will lessons help?

Training your voice/instrument to reach its maximum potential is a continual process, even when you are a professional vocalist or musician

We live in the body that produces our sound and thus due to this and the continual expansion and growth as singers – maintenance is required as our lives, age, health and body changes.

As a recording artist you will always be required to better your musical product.

Being the lead singer/band/ensemble member, this should start with your voice /instrument– refining technique, extending the range and improving agility so you can easily adapt to new material and style changes.

With the demands of recording, touring, a musicians lifestyle: no sleep and late nights, it is very easy for technique and vocal/musical efficiency to fall by the wayside.

Singing/performing the same songs night after night with a tired body/varying sound engineers/venue acoustics and pushing the voice/body to extremes certainly opens up a breeding ground for nasty habits to sneak in.

Training at HOV will provide you with tools to combat this and stay in vocal/musical shape.

Being coached around recording sessions will also save your solo act/band time and money if you are at your vocal/musical peak. Less takes, less time spent with the engineer trying to make you sound better which cannot necessarily be followed through in your live shows. Vocal/instrumental training is a small price to pay in comparison to the major costs of an unbalanced instrument.

Being a recording artist is an even better reason to ensure your vocal/instrumental technique is working for you, rather than against you.

Can I get a regular time time slot at HOV?

After your first intital lesson, we will then grab your availability (match it against your teachers) and give you a time that suits both parties. This will then be your permenant time throughout the term. Having said that though, HOV can also adapt (where possible) to those students have varying schedules and need to schedule weekly. Please advise HOV and this will be best negotiated in-house.

How do I know if I should get vocal lessons?

Every singer beginner to professional, needs a teacher and/or coach to not only develop you but to keep you in good vocal health. Singers are athletes too, being they use their body. So what athlete does not have a coach?

Even those in good vocal health require teachers to ensure flexibility, vocal health, development in ranges and repertoire interpretation. Everyone needs someone to navigate the day to day use of a voice and help ensure the vocal health, longevity and stamina of an instrument in performance.

Key issues that 100% require singing lessons:

  • I get a sore throat after singing
  • I get a sore throat after singing for a extended periods of time
  • My range is not that large
  • I have no idea how to breathe
  • I am out of pitch at times/or frequently
  • My jaw hurts after singing
  • My voice tends to get locked onto one pitch
  • I frequently get a sore throat or laryngitis
  • I run out of breath whilst I am singing
  • My voice sounds breathy
  • My voice breaks or cracks often
  • My voice doesn’t last
  • I have no real power, that doesn’t involve yelling or pushing
  • My head voice or falsetto is weak or non existent
  • My chest voice doesn’t feel strong or is non existent
  • I feel tense and uncomfortable when I sing
  • I don’t how to sing with vibrato
  • I don’t know how to sing without vibrato
  • I can’t sing high notes
  • I can’t sing low notes
  • I can’t sing fast songs
  • I cant sing slow songs
  • I don’t think my emotions are coming across when I sing
  • I don’t think my style is original
  • I don’t know how to interpret a song
  • I need better repertoire for my voice
  • I don’t know how to use a microphone
  • I don’t know how to perform
  • I get shy and awkard on stage
  • I have stage fright

Can you help increase my vocal range?

As a result of integrating excellent foundations in air supply, flow management, aiding breaks in the voice, developing resonance, integrating placement and ironing out any nasty habits that may be preventing optimal vocal efficiency your range will invariably extend plus some!

Will taking singing lessons change my voice? I don’t want to turn into an opera singer or someone else?

At HOV we pride ourselves on maintaining and bringing out your unique sound whilst giving you efficiency in operating your voice. Unless you want to learn Opera, we will not give you opera techniques for eg. If you were wanting to learn Pop Music or Jazz. Whilst there are techniques which cross over between styles, we educate you in each particular style and to maintain your unique sound.

Why are vocal warm ups so important?

Start seeing yourself as a vocal athlete, because that is exactly what you are.

If a ballerina wouldn’t dance without stretching, a football player or runner wouldn’t play/compete without a warmup then you shouldn’t sing without doing the same.

You are using your body to produce a sound, it might seem unimportant because you can sing “cold”, but whether you would like to admit it or not, you are causing damage to your voice, and if continually repeated, can lead to vocal problems.

If you are using sets of muscles in coordination and wish to avoid injury, warming up is imperative.

Just because you aren’t walking with these muscles or cant see them, doesn’t mean you are not causing damage. HOV encourages athletic discipline and vocal artistry, and this starts with nurturing your body and respecting your voice.

How will I warm up and practise my songs at home?

HOV students are given complimentary warm up cds on their first lesson.

HOV can obtain most backing tracks for students songs at no additional cost to students.

Will my child be taught age appropriate songs?

At HOV we make sure that your children are singing songs appropriate for their age and experience. We also slightly adjust lyrics where necessary so that it falls in line with this also. We share the same concerns as parents when it comes to this, and adjust songs and/or selection of songs accordingly.