How do I find the telephone numbers of potential teachers?
( Here are some methods from best to worst: )
- Get a recommendation from someone you know and trust, preferably from someone with whom you have witnessed vocal improvement.
- Call the head of Vocal studies at your local university or college. He or she will probably be able to recommend a few teachers to you.
- Check the bulletin boards at your local actor's union (if you have one), dance and yoga studio, musical instrument dealer or library for posters and/or business cards.
- Check a local arts paper's classified section. (Toronto has NOW and EYE magazines.)
- If your town doesn't have an arts paper, look in your local community newspaper's classifieds.
- The Yellow pages. (I do not recommend this as your resource unless all others fail!)
When you find these sources, use your question sheet to write out any information that is already given to you. This will save you some time when interviewing the teacher on the phone.
Once you have collected the phone numbers of some potential teachers, talk with several of them to help yourself make an informed choice. Before you bombard the teacher with questions, let him or her know why you are calling and begin with:
Q: I have a few questions. Do you mind if I take up ten minutes of your time on the phone?
If for some reason a teacher can't talk at that moment, be sure to ask:
(This is always a great way to begin. It lets the teacher know, up front, that you respect his or her time. Most teachers will spend the time with you if they can and if they care about what they do.)
Q: Is there a more convenient time for you when I can call back?
(Most teachers will either say yes or offer to call you back. If they won't do either, you shouldn't pursue them.)