When voice students come into a studio, they expect to receive the traditional one-on-one voice lesson.  Of course, the reasons that most teachers teach one-on-one are very good ones: because each voice is different and because the process must be adapted to the singer, not the singer to the process.  Why, then, do some teachers also require students to come to a voice class?

Voice class is a very useful tool because singers do not hear themselves as their audiences hear them.  What the singer hears is filtered through the bones of the skull, and what the audience hears travels from the singer's mouth through the air to their ears.  When students hear the reactions of other singers, and especially when they hear what happens when another singer carries out a familiar instruction, they CAN hear the difference that a change of procedure makes in the vocal sound.  It is often a major relief to the teacher, who may have said the same thing to the same singer twenty times, to have the singer finally "get it".

There are more reasons that make voice class useful to a singer.  Many singers suffer from performance anxiety to one degree or another.  It almost never gets better until performance becomes more of a routine activity and less of a high pressure, "this time or never" situation.  Voice class is a place to try out new things and receive feedback from others who are in the same boat.  A visual presentation is hard for students to imagine, sometimes, without real people watching.  Having the courage to try out an emotion-charged song is more likely in a safe situation than when the criticisms are less likely to be kind.  The world is hard enough; let voice class be a safe place to try.