Voice hit inspiring capital's TV talent
Young Canberrans are lining up for singing lessons, inspired by the success of ACT musician Anthony Dellamarta on The Voice, and a chance at instant stardom on other television talent shows.
But some local voice coaches are concerned that television competitions are promoting only one style of singing, and potentially damaging young voices in the process.
Theresa Rayner, of Bright Voices Singing Studio, in Deakin, has been teaching singing for two decades and keeps a waiting list of eager would be students.
''Parents are knocking at the door and I just don't have room for them,'' she said.
Ms Rayner said that over the past four or five years, she had seen a growing number of young people considering voice training, particularly boys, for whom studying singing no longer carries the stigma it had previously.
''Those popular shows on television inspire people to have a go,'' Ms Rayner said.
Dellamarta, a piano teacher and voice coach from Holt, made it through the audition stages of The Voice before being eliminated last week.
But Ms Rayner said that the styles of singing promoted in television talent shows were narrow, with too little focus on vocal technique, and that classical singers were not given an opportunity to shine.
''There is a great demand [on talent shows] to push the young voices, the whole structure of the genre pushes them,'' Ms Rayner said.
''They'll ruin their voices, some of them.''
Local vocalist and singing teacher Jenny Sawer, who also has waiting list of prospective students, said that The Voice, along with Young Talent Time and the Idol franchise were behind a surging interest in singing in the capital.
''I've even had people calling me up for a few lessons before the auditions,'' she said.
Ms Sawer said that while television talent shows were promoting singing as an art form, which was valuable, she also had concerns about the emphasis they placed on singing dramatically, with big, booming voices and lots of high notes.
''The people who have beautiful, delicate voices get lost in that,'' she said.
Ms Sawer offers encouragement to her students who want to audition for The Voice or Young Talent Time, but also reminds them that there are other ways of making it in the industry.
''It's not the be-all and end-all; it's a good goal, but it's not the only goal,'' she said.