What qualifications do you have to teach me singing lessons?

Here is the short answer.

Degrees do not Qualify you to Teach Singing Lessons

I studied two years with a teacher who had her Masters Degree in vocal performance and had her own album. I studied at the university with a man who had his masters degree in vocal performance. I had a vocal group class with a man who had his PhD in vocal performance and performed opera regionally.

Listen to my first teacher:


None of these teachers with music degrees could help me sing higher and bridge into my head voice. Seth Riggs (Michael Jackson’s teacher and Vocal Coach of the Stars) had the same experience. He had 3 music degrees from prestigious music programs in the Eastern U.S. and upon graduation he still could not bridge into his head voice.

What If the PhD Can’t Sing Correctly? Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 3.09.33 PM

I recently found a recording on YouTube of a PhD vocal professor at one of the universities here in Utah. On the recording the teacher could not sing into head voice without pulling chest voice and spreading vowels.

I admit I was shocked and shaken. Why would they hire someone like that? Just because of the degrees? Does the whole department produce the same kind of singing? What does it mean for this PhD’s students?  If the teacher can’t do it correctly, how can the teacher teach others how to do it correctly?

I shared this recording with Seth Riggs and told him how surprised I was at the pulled chest voice and the spread vowels of this professor of vocal performance. He listed 3 universities in So. California who’s faculty were producing this same poor singing.

I think it is tragic and supremely disappointing. I say it’s tragic because of the students who enter the schools hoping to study with someone who really can help them excel as a singer and instead they inherit that professors vocal limitations! Arrrrrrrrgh!

Bottom line?   Bachelors, Masters and PhD Music degrees don’t guarantee you are a good singer.  And these degrees don’t guarantee you know how to teach correct singing.

You will not want to take voice lessons from me if you want to learn what (not how) to sing. I will not teach you classical and operatic repertoire.  I am not going to be as good as someone with a university degree in vocal performance if you need help with repertoire.

You will want to take voice lessons from me if you want to learn how to sing, including how to apply this technique to any genre of music! Yes any genre of music!

What Qualifications do I have to Teach Singing Lessons?

What qualifications do I have to teach you singing lessons?  After 43 years of not being able to sing into my head voice Seth Riggs and his teachers have taught me to do exactly that and have taught me to teach other singers and teachers as well.

  • If you want to learn how to sing
  • If you want to learn to sing from your lowest register (chest voice) into your highest register (head voice) through the middle area of your voice (the bridge or passagio) without cracking, straining, pulling or breaking into falsetto
  • If you want a smooth, connected, powerful singing voice with a technique that can be applied to any genre of music
  • If you want to be taught the same technique used by over 120 Grammy winners, including Michael Jackson, Bernadette Peters, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, David Archuleta, Josh Groban, and many others
  • Then you should study with me or let me recommend one of my teachers.

My journey from failure to success gives me a unique insight into vocal problems and challenges faced by so many singers today. I can help you and save you from the frustrations I experienced.

Try a Free Mini-Lesson on any Saturday Afternoon

It is possible to be a great teacher and not vibe well with the student. So I provide a way to do a free mini-lesson with me. I do it as part of a weekly free Saturday introductory class at 2pm at the Bountiful Studio.  It only lasts an hour so there’s not time do individual mini-lessons with more than 6-7 people so I ask you register so I can close the class if it’s too full.

Register for the free mini-lesson here. It’s weekly on Saturday at 2pm. It’s a great way to check things out before deciding on lessons. I think you’ll be impressed and you’ll have fun too.   Register now

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Chuck Gilmore as Mysterious Man from Into the Woods

Well that’s it. In the last 17 years I’ve performed in over 33 musicals with many leading singing roles. I’ve been teaching full time since March 2009. I currently have over 63 students and have many testimonials of success. The simplest and easiest way to determine whether I’m qualified to teach you is come and try it out!


Once while training with Seth Riggs he said he frequently feels like a beginner teacher (He’s been teaching for over 50 years!). He went on to explain that he was always learning and trying to improve and that this should be my approach to teaching.

I am not saying that I know everything. Far from it!  Physicians are in what they call a Medical “Practice”. I’m in a Vocal “Practice”. I’m striving to continually learn and improve as a teacher. Hopefully this approach serves my students and helps them succeed.

I know there are strong contrasting views on this subject. Please feel free to comment below.

Register now for the Free No Obligation Mini-Voice Lesson

About Chuck R. Gilmore

My personal singing journey from failure to success gives me a unique perspective and special insight into the problems you face as an aspiring singer. Everything from not being able to sing high notes to lack of confidence singing in front of others. Because I've solved them in my own voice, I know how to help you.


  1. I love how you said that ‘because you’ve overcome certain challenges, you can help others do the same.’ As a voice teacher, I can relate and appreciate that honesty. Also, I had a similar experience listening to fellow music majors at their senior recitals who, sadly, couldn’t sing! I won’t mention the name of the University, but you’re right – a degree means very little when it comes to vocal technique. As a fellow voice teacher in a different area, if you are reading this and looking for a voice teacher, I recommend Chuck!

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