is a unique form of expressing yourself unlike any
other. It involves the physical, psychological, and at
times the spiritual parts of who we are. In order to
make progress in singing, a student must work in all of
these areas. Sometimes it’s not easy, but the rewards
can be tremendous. And, yes, everyone can sing!
want to take lessons, then you are saying that you want
to improve, which involves change. This means that by
taking voice lessons you will be pursuing an
ever-changing path. This is not meant to discourage
you, only to prepare you to achieve what you truly want.
this because it is borne out in my life. Just when I
think I have mastered something, an opportunity presents
itself that nudges me out of my “comfort zone”. There
are times when it is uncomfortable. . . The good news
is, that, just like a downhill skier, the more skilled
you become, the less daunting the task. . .you know how
to navigate the rough patches. You just put into
practice what you know and then learn to do it better
may seem simple, but it is an art that has been
developed over the centuries. And each individual voice
has its own needs for developing and expressing itself.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do it on your own. As an
experienced performer and teacher, I have been through
much of this process already and can help you to
progress effectively. Think of it as having your own
personal tour guide on a trip—there is less chance for
getting lost and more opportunity for having fun and
enjoying the ride.
The Art of
voice is a vehicle for communicating in ways that
nothing else can match. But your communication will
only be as good as your instrument (your voice). So we
want to make sure that it has the strength and
flexibility it needs to operate optimally and healthily
no matter what the style! That is what technique and
practice are for, and that is why it is important to
have a teacher who knows how to work with and develop
are some things to bear in mind as you consider studying
is a skill that is developed over time—and it involves
the whole body and the mind (as well as the heart)!
Very few singers have a
natural gift and sing with healthy technique
instinctively—most of us have to learn how to do this.
In lessons, students learn healthy technique that takes
care of the voice--breath control, flexibility, range,
musicality, and expression--these are key aspects of
singing regardless of what you sing—musical theater,
pop, rock, or opera. Singing involves the whole body.
It is not enough just to know what to do, the
singer needs to constantly train the muscles to actually
do what is necessary.
Nothing can replace
consistent, attentive practice of vocal exercises—these
are the tools necessary to build the foundation that is
critical to reaching your goals. Thus, singing is an
active discipline that requires full attention, physical
stamina, and commitment.
2) Old habits can
change—but it takes repeating the new!
It takes lots of
repeating to learn any new skill, and science has proven
that our bodies and brains learn best through careful
repetition. Often our natural habits will get in the
way, and a teacher is needed to identify these habits
and give remedial exercises. So even if a student is
working on a “simple” song, there are usually several
underlying skills being developed. In fact, the simpler
the song, the easier it is to focus on improving one’s
technique of healthy singing.
You will get back as much as
you put in!
This means that
regular, consistent practice is key. Like any
muscle, the vocal apparatus works best when it is in
good condition. The teacher gives guidance, but it
is up to the student to do the necessary work. Progress
will happen if the student is committed to practicing
and improving his/her technique. Just remember,
“quality versus quantity”! It is more important to
repeat mindfully than to “put in the time” !
4) The joy of learning—be
willing to risk!
Besides developing the
singing voice, the student also needs other capabilities
to be an effective musician and performer, unless you
only plan to sing in the shower! Depending on his or
her goals, the student learns musical skills—everything
from how to read music, to phrasing and interpreting, to
discovering varied genres of repertoire, and perhaps
even singing in foreign languages. New vistas are
opened and a lifetime of exciting discovery begins.
Students work on songs chosen by the teacher as well as
by the student. Work on performance skills and
presentation are emphasized for those singers who have
as a goal to perform in public. Acting skills are also
very important and give the student the dramatic choices
that are critical to a convincing performance in any
Performing can be scary.
Some people are naturally gifted in this area. However,
if you are not one of those people, there are techniques
that I can teach you that will help you overcome some of
the anxiety that most people have to deal with when they
perform. A student can learn skills to optimize the
adrenaline that one needs in order to perform well
without becoming overwhelmed and incapacitated by it.
Again, a firm footing in vocal technique is critical.
If you know that you have practiced your warm-ups
regularly and are in “good voice”, and if you know that
you have sung the song the way you want to many times at
home, then with a little practice performing in front of
others, you will be able to perform well and with ease.
teacher, I am constantly improving my own vocal
technique by studying with experts in the field and
frequently performing in public. I also regularly
attend local, regional, and national conferences and
institutes to learn the latest in science research. Not
only does this keep me up to date, but it keeps me
honest as your teacher. . .I am doing the very things I
ask you to do, and I can relate to your struggles and
appreciate your accomplishments.
focus in lessons is on mastery of technique and
performance skills. Progress can be steady, but
students should realize that performing at a high level
usually takes years to attain. Students may be assured
that the teacher has their best interests at heart, will
challenge them, but not expect immediate mastery, since
it is an unfolding process. Mindful repetition is key
to breaking old habits and establishing new, healthier
ones, both in lessons and in practice time outside of
the studio. Note that six months is the minimum
length of time for any student who is beginning voice
lessons, regardless of level. This is what is needed to
see improvement and begin to appreciate what is required
for serious voice study whether you want to sing in
talent shows, recitals, competitions, musical theater
productions, karaoke or just for the joy of learning.
Please be patient with yourself and keep an open mind.
The teacher welcomes any questions or concerns you may
have to help you achieve your goals.