FAQs

Freedom First Notes Academy

How old does my child need to be to start singing lessons?

There are many differing theories regarding how old a child should be, before they start singing. Our philosophy is that if your child is singing constantly at home and loves listening to music, it’s time to start. Children can often strain their voices trying to imitate the sounds of their favorite singers. Therefore, it’s important to give them some direction on how to use their voices safely as soon as possible. The Foundation Voice classes held at our Freedom First Notes Academy (6-15 year olds) are perfect for young people to start learning great technique in a supportive and fun environment.

How many children are in each class?

A minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 children in each 30-minute class. This is to ensure all children can get a great learning experience but still feel well supported within the group.

My child really wants private lessons. Can we start these instead of attending the Academy?

All new students will attend a 30-minute consultation prior to starting in a group. This will enable us to assess their current ability. After the consultation, the teacher will suggest a path moving forward. For most students, starting in the Foundation Voice class containing children of similar ages and abilities is beneficial. Our Foundation Voice classes enable the student to ‘try out’ singing lessons in a safe and enjoyable environment. If they consistently show great enthusiasm and commitment, we will aim to place them in a private lesson time as soon as one becomes available.

Can parents stay and watch the classes?

Our teaching room isn’t very large. Therefore, we do ask that parents sit and wait for their children in the foyer. Every now and then, we will invite parents to come in and listen to a song we have been working on. If there are special circumstances where you need to stay with your child, please let us know.

Do the teachers have a Working with Children Check?

Yes, absolutely.

How can my child practice at home?

All parents will be provided with a link to a Google Drive folder. This will contain some conditioning exercises that children can work through at home, as well as the songs that we will be working on both with and without lyrics. Students will be provided with lyric sheets and a folder to keep them in at the beginning of term. This sets the students up for good practice at home and gives them the ability to learn the songs prior to class so we can focus on technique, style and performance in class.

I want to book in but we are going away during term. Can I only pay for the classes I attend?

Unfortunately, no. We’ve worked out a reasonable price for the terms based on the groups and regular attendance. It costs the same amount to run our classes whether a member of the class is missing or not. Of course we understand things do happen during the term and students may not be able to attend every class. However, if you wish for us to hold your place, the entire term needs to be paid for. Students are allowed to ‘make up’ lessons by attending other classes on the timetable.

Do the children have a chance to perform?

Yes! We hold concerts in June and December so all children have a chance to take the stage and show their family what they’ve been working on.

Private singing lessons

Do I need to have singing experience before I start lessons?

Absolutely not! Complete beginners are very welcome. All we require is that you enjoy singing and you’re open to learning more about it!

How many lessons do I need to have in order to sound good?

That’s a very tricky question! It all depends on where you start and where you want to go! We do ask you bear in mind that your instrument, your voice, is a body part. Therefore, once you stop training, it will begin to decline in strength, stamina and flexibility. Whilst you’ll have the skills to use your instrument, it’s overall quality will decline if you’re not regularly training.

Can I prepare and take an AMEB or ANZCA Examination at Freedom?

Yes, absolutely. Exams aren’t for everyone, but those students who wish to undertake an AMEB or ANZCA examination can prepare with their teacher.

Can you help me prepare for my VCE singing recital?

Yes, certainly. We have coached many students over the years towards their VCE performance exam in solo singing. Our instructors have done courses on the curriculum and have many resources including all the required vocalises and technical work. We also have VCE Voice Examiner contact who we can ask to clarify finer details at any time.

My voice feels really sore and croaky. Should I sing?

This all depends on the circumstances causing this condition. At your first vocal assessment, we will ask a series of questions and request you to sing a few scales that will help us to determine your vocal health and ability.

If I’m really terrible and it’s not worth continuing, will you tell me?

We hear this so often! Our answer is… ‘Why would we expect you to be good at singing when you’ve never had a lesson?’ If you were having a guitar lesson for the first time ever, you wouldn’t walk into the room and play a whole song! So, we don’t expect this from a singer who is just beginning either! In our experience, everyone, no matter what their natural ability can improve with lessons. So relax and enjoy yourself!

Do you have a particular singing technique or style of teaching you use?

As a singer, your instrument is part of your body. Therefore, not only do you need to learn how to play it, you also need to train it regularly to promote muscle memory and keep it in peak physical condition. Learning voice is no easy task! Your instrument, the larynx, is hidden inside your throat and hardly any of it is visible from the outside. Therefore, our method is based heavily on what you feel and the trained ears of our vocal coaches.

The methodology used by our singing teachers is based on 17th and 18th Century principles of singing. Our signing lessons aim to train voices to sing in a free and natural manner, smoothly, from the bottom of the range to the top with no breaks or sudden changes in quality. This technique gives the singer access to all dynamics, with tonal clarity and flexibility. Our private singing classes help to improve a singer’s range, endurance, stamina, breath control, resonance, vocal strength and vocal quality across all styles of music without fatigue or damage to the voice. These results are achieved by training the singer to find a balance between airflow and intrinsic muscular resistance, all within a resting laryngeal posture.

What styles of singing do you offer?

Private guitar lessons

Do I need my own guitar to start lessons?

You certainly don’t need your own guitar whilst you are at our studios. We have guitars here you can play; however, you will need a guitar to practice with outside of your lesson time. Basic entry level guitars can be purchased at a very reasonable price. When you come in for your Free Trial Consultation, we can give you some guidance with your purchase and even suggest some local retailers to visit.

What guitar styles do you offer?

Our lessons can be adapted to suit any style or genre you desire to learn including electric guitar, acoustic guitar, lead guitar, rhythm guitar or classical guitar. If you want to follow and examine under the AMEB system, we can happily accommodate this. We can also coach students undertaking VCE Music Performance on the guitar.

How often should I practice?

Little and often is best. Try and pick up your guitar almost every day, But don’t wait until you have a spare 30 minutes. Utilise a 5 minute gap whilst you’re waiting to use the shower or pick it up to relax ten minutes before going to sleep. Constant revisiting of the content taught in your lesson is far more effective than one large block of practice once or twice a week.

Does playing the guitar hurt?

It can be quite hard on the hands at first. Firstly, the tips of your fingers will feel sore as they work to hold down the strings. Over time, they will toughen up and it will get much easier. Your hand may also ache initially as you hold firmly onto the fret board. With guidance, good technique and persistence this will subside as your hands get stronger and more proficient.

How long does it take to sound good and play a song?

The hardest part is persisting through the initial ‘beginning’ stages. Playing guitar is harder than it looks. Once your hands and fingers become ‘fit’ it will become much more enjoyable. Forming chord shapes takes practice. But if you put the work in early, you will become more accurate. Future chord shapes will be slightly easier to master. Keep working hard and don’t give up. It’s worth the effort.

Can I learn the songs I choose, or must I stick to a particular curriculum?

We want you to enjoy your playing and to maintain your interest. So our lessons are tailored to your goals. In the first few lessons, we will tap into your musical tastes and goals. From here we will aim to get you playing compatible material as soon as possible, whilst ensuring you have great technique and musical knowledge of course.

General Information

What if I’ve ever never done music lessons before?

We offer a free trial consultation to all new students. This way you can come and see if you’ll enjoy it, before spending any money. So give us a call. We’d love to help you improve your singing and follow your dreams whether it be preparing for the big stage or just to sound better whilst singing in the shower!

Contact Freedom Music Studios to enquire and book your free trial consultation

Are there group lessons as well as private?

We offer group singing as well as private lessons. These tend to be a more cost effective alternative to private singing lessons. They also act as a stepping stone to ensure the student is fully committed to learning privately with one of our expert singing teachers. At the moment, we do not offer group guitar lessons.

Do you teach other instruments apart from singing and guitar?

Not at this stage. However, we can recommend you to some great teachers of other instruments in the area.

What times do you offer classes?

We offer private lessons from:

  • 12 noon – 9pm Monday to Thursday
  • 12 noon – 6pm Fridays
  • 9am – 5pm Saturdays

Classes at Freedom First Notes Academy are run to a timetable:

  • Monday-Thursdays between 3.45 and 7pm
  • Saturday mornings from 9am-12.30pm

Do I have to participate in performances?

Absolutely not. We never force anybody to perform. Our performances are designed to motivate and inspire our students. So if performing isn’t for you, we are more than happy for you to come and just learn for your own goals and achievement.

How much do lessons cost?

Our prices are competitive. However, we much prefer to show you what you are getting for your investment rather than shopping on price alone. So please give us a call so we can have a chat, discuss your needs and arrange a ‘no obligation’ free trial consultation.

Do you have a privacy policy?

Yes we do, you may view it by clicking HERE