Vietnamese people are increasingly enrolling in singing classes to improve their performance at karaoke bars. These trainees are primarily focused on delivering proper covers of their favorite songs in terms of tune, pitch, and timing, rather than pursuing a professional singing career.
Hoang Anh, a resident of Tan Binh District in Ho Chi Minh City, shared that her husband dedicates every evening to practicing karaoke vocals behind closed doors. He is diligently perfecting his rendition of the recent Vietnamese hit song “Dau Ai Chung Tinh Duoc Mai” (Love Doesn’t Last Forever). Anh further explained that her husband now prefers to follow vocal lessons on YouTube, featuring proper instructions, rather than simply singing along with his karaoke stereo.
YouTube-based vocal training lessons by renowned Vietnamese songwriters such as Pham Thanh Luan and Pham Huong have gained widespread popularity, with some clips amassing over a million views. Viewers often leave comments requesting instructions for their favorite songs. In addition to the free tutorials on YouTube, many people opt for premium vocal training courses with professional trainers to enhance their karaoke performances of beloved songs. However, pursuing a singing career is not a priority for these individuals.
For instance, Thu Phuong, the runner-up in Vietnam’s Sao Mai pop song contest in 2007, welcomes trainees to her apartment in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City. During a training session, Phuong provides guidance on breathing techniques and emphasizes the importance of emotions in enhancing a performance. Trainees like My Hanh and Tram express their desire to sing properly and join music clubs or participate in singing contests in the future.
While singing daily is considered more important than singing nicely in Vietnamese karaoke culture, there is a growing emphasis on vocal quality. A search engine query for karaoke lessons yields a significant number of results, indicating the increasing demand for vocal training. This trend has led music schools to offer karaoke training classes alongside their existing programs.
Thang, the director of a performance arts center in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, explains that his school caters to both professional and amateur singers. Many office workers with a passion for karaoke bar covers enroll in their courses. Surprisingly, music schools that primarily focus on instrument training for young learners have also started offering vocal courses for both groups and private learners.
Thu Phuong, despite having nine years of experience providing professional vocal lessons, has only recently ventured into semi-professional vocal training. She recounts a conversation with a learner who wished to improve their weak voice. Despite lacking tonal quality and timing, the learner’s passion convinced Phuong to provide them with instructions. Word of mouth led to the enrollment of more students in her class.
Teaching vocal training lessons requires skill and patience. Trainers must simplify their instructions and help students understand the mechanism of singing. Progress made on a daily basis is considered a measure of success.
In conclusion, Vietnamese people are investing in singing classes to enhance their performance at karaoke bars. While they do not aspire to become professional singers, their focus is on delivering proper covers of their favorite songs in tune, pitch, and timing. This growing demand has prompted the opening of karaoke training classes in music schools.