Effective and constructive communication in voice lessons

Summary of a lecture for a vocal pedagogical seminar (GPZ) of the National Association of German Vocal Pedagogues (BDG)

The voice lesson stimulates pedagogues on a very special level: You communicate with your students about a physical, phonatory, artistic and emotional process.

The ability to assess the frame of reference and intellectual capacity of the students is essential to finding a working language or mode of communication that is productive and effective.

The more a person in the process of learning feels recognized and understood, the more able he or she is to build trust, feel strengthened and grow in such a learning environment.


Through successful communication, based on respect and careful attention, you can positively influence the learning process in a significant way.


With regard to the holistic view of the Humanist Psychology and Transaction Analysis (TA), these few ground rules of leading discussion in teaching are given:

  • Come to clear agreements and clarify expectations.
  • Formulate common, realistic goals.
  • Establish contact; detect even nonverbal signals from your students.
  • Be able to ask concrete questions about the inner, subjective experience of the instrument.
  • Learn to listen. Seize impulses. Use positive reinforcement. Be able to take critical feedback and utilize it to solve problems.
  • Formulate field-specific, technical terms and pedagogical instructions in such a way that they can be understood with certainty.
  • Alternate physiological, functional explanations with sensory suggestions that stimulate the imagination.
  • Convey security and support without condescension.
  • Couple seriousness with warmth and humour.
  • Foster an attentive manner of dealing with criticism.
  • In the working process, try to give only concrete praise. Avoid flowery language.
  • Self-reflection: Scrutinize and think critically about the effectiveness of projecting one’s own experiences, technique and inner images.
  • Seek individual solutions with empathy and awareness, without losing sight of the universally accepted fundamentals of healthy singing.