Many people asked me this question: “How long will it take for me to learn to sing through my passages?”

Well, it really depends on where you start from, how frequent you go

for your singing lessons, and how committed are you to practicing in your own time. Because taking vocal lessons is just like you going into a gym, trying to learn a new way to exercise.

Know that there’s this thing called, muscle memory.


So let’s say you are now a 25 year old adult. Imagine for the past 10 years, you have always been using a certain way to sing or speak. That 10 years of muscle memories you have, will not be easily replaced by just having a few sessions with a vocal coach.

To change the way a muscle works, you’ll need frequent practice using the right voice exercises, and regular adjustments from a voice teacher. Remember when we were in our primary or high schools, how often do you have your physical education classes? At least twice a week, right? And how about if you’re involved in a tournament? I bet you’ll be training almost everyday!

That’s the same for your voice. Musical sound is produced by our vocal folds, which are two flaps of very small muscles (that forms the size of a Singapore 20 cents coin) in our larynx. They cannot be seen outwardly, and very often cannot be felt. You’ll need an experienced instructor to listen to your vocalising, and customise suitable exercises for your voice type.

Not to forget, there are people who adapt to changes more easily, while some resist every single change. I always tell my students, “Give yourself time to build the right muscles”. Some can take months, while some can take years. Even after you have learnt to sing well, you may still need occasional fine-tuning with your voice coach.

In the music world, professional singers don’t really ‘leave’ their coaches throughout their singing career; just like an athlete will always have their trainer accompanying them in competitions, making sure they use the right muscles for workout, thus achieving the optimal results. When you’re committed to learn, you will definitely improve and progress with the help of a good vocal teacher.


Author: Alice Wong