Development of the Voice

The Foundation is often asked for advice about when to start training a voice for opera. Our recommendation is to leave formal training until late adolescence. If a child has an appealing voice and enjoys singing, encourage him or her to join a school or church choir. Don’t try and ‘force’ the voice, and resist the temptation to encourage your child to mimic adult opera singers. You run the risk of permanent damage to the developing vocal structures.

If your child is fascinated by opera and enjoys singing, you can help lay the foundations for a musicianship by encouraging him or her to learn a musical instrument. That means that whether your child develops a voice suitable for opera or not, they will have the lifelong advantage of an understanding of music.

By late adolescence, if your child is still interested in opera and showing promise, it may be appropriate to start some formal training. The music teacher at your local school will be able to advise you on how to find a good teacher locally.