Philosophy

Pursuing voice lessons can provide many benefits, both musical and otherwise. Musically speaking, voice lessons will help to free up the vocal mechanism to help the student reach their goals. Lessons provide a vast study of repertoire, open the range and help the singer to find the best way to utilize the tone they naturally possess. Aside from the musical benefits, voice lessons can instill in a student a sense of discipline required for improvement, as well as confidence, and can provide a creative outlet.

In my studio, we will focus on improving tone and range, and will explore repertoire. I will cover multiple aspects of voice and music including sight singing, rhythm reading, stage presence, diction, vocal health, the anatomy of the voice mechanism, phonation, and breathing along the way. I expect my students to practice outside of our lesson so that when we are together we can polish the technique used.I do not expect my students to be able to read music when they come to me, as I understand that not everyone has been exposed to musical training. Because of this, I will teach my students to read music and will teach basic music theory as needed. We will study together both pieces used solely for educational purposes, as well as pieces that appeal to the student’s personal style.

My teaching style is rooted in the classical technique. Depending on the interests of the student, we will also explore contemporary styles of singing, but will largely use classical techniques to learn and develop the vocal instrument. I look forward to working with you and joining you on the journey to developing your own voice!

Lessons

Students will have 1 lesson weekly. It will be scheduled at the beginning of the year and the lesson will recur at the same day and time each week. Lessons are 45 min each.

Lessons will consist of vocal warm-ups, general music education/vocal technique, and work on repertoire.

Please take care of business at the beginning of the lesson. For instance, anticipated absence, information update, etc.

Fees

Each 45 min lesson = $18

4-Week Month = $72

5-Week Month = $90

Payment will be accepted at the first lesson of every month. I will send an invoice via email prior to the first lesson of every month and issue a receipt upon payment.

Materials

At the beginning of each year, I will request a $50 materials deposit for your student. This is in addition to the typical lesson fee. The Materials Deposit will simply be held in each student’s account (I will not keep any of it personally) and will be used to order Music Workbooks and Songbooks for your student to keep. This will allow me to order materials for your student directly and to utilize the teacher’s discount when available at our local music supplier. Once that deposit is depleted, I will request additional funds as needed for your student.

Theory Books-It is my firm belief that learning the language of music will be invaluable in the endeavor to maximize your student’s musical potential. I will ask that my students complete Music Workbooks to better understand music theory and reading. Learning to read music will allow them to participate in myriad situations with other musicians and will not be used as a substitute for, but rather in tandem with the function of the ear. Their ability to read music is essential to effective home practice assignments, to be able to articulate what key in which they will sing, to follow along with instrumentalists or accompanists, and to enable them to explore composition should they choose that path. Additionally, should the student choose to pursue music in college, an understanding of theory and sight-reading will give them the proverbial “leg-up” in their classes, especially for those students who do not have the option to study this in their local school.

Music Books-at the first lesson of each year, I will learn the student’s range, musical interests and goals. To comply with copyright laws and to maximize the student’s private study, based on the information gathered in the first lesson, I will order music books for the student, making use of the student’s Materials Deposit mentioned above. Books of sheet music provide several pieces that will work distinct aspects of the student's voice, different material to apply to performance opportunities, and, at the end of the day, it turns out to be less expensive to purchase a book than individual sheets- after using about 3 songs, you have recovered the cost. 

Practice

The student’s progress is dependent upon his/her commitment to home practice.

Parents are asked to hold their child(ren) accountable to his/her/their home practice time and to set up a consistent practice schedule and space. Here are some tips for effective home practice:

  • Practice in small, consistent intervals. For instance, 15 min each day is more effective in the long run than one 2-hour cram session at the end of the week. I encourage you to consider setting up a routine practice time that is the same every day.
  • Suggested Regimen:5-7min warm-up (using warm-up sheet provided by instructor) followed by 7-10 min work on songs. I would encourage students to work on sections of their songs at a time rather than simply singing through the entire piece in one sitting and moving on. Once the piece is learned, a simple run-through to maintain it in your voice is sufficient.
  • Set up a rehearsal space. Since most of the music we will learn will include an accompaniment track (CD or Download), this space may have the following    
    • CD Player or Bluetooth speaker and device with internet connection (or both depending on your music books)
    • Mirror to check alignment and mouth positions AND stage presence
    • Private, quiet place- practicing an instrument (especially voice) can be a very vulnerable thing. Often, it’s helpful to have a private space in which to practice so that you can feel free to make mistakes and try new things without others listening.
    • A music stand is helpful for singers to have so that their bodies are free to stay properly aligned and expressive while singing. Holding music during practice can create some restrictions.
    • Consistent- having a space that is consistent set up with your practice materials will ease the practicing process. A dedicated space allows the student to simply walk in and begin their study without having to hunt down the materials they need.

Assessments

Periodic assessments will be given to students to test their progress. Students will keep a portfolio of their accomplishments and I will track their improvements. The reason for assessments is threefold. First, assessments allow me, as the instructor, to see strong and weak points in my students and to be able to tailor our lessons to a specific vocal or performance function. Second, assessments provide a check point for parents to ensure that their student(s) is/are making appropriate progress. Finally, assessments allow for fine-tuning in my studio at large, to recognize trends and properly address them.

Make-Up Lesson Policy

If you are not able to make your lesson time, a 24 hours notice must be given to receive credit for the lesson.

In case of emergency, if the student is unable to come to the lesson with less than 24-hours notice, the lesson may be made up if missed for the following reasons:

Sudden illness

Family emergency

If student simply forgets to come to a lesson, fails to give a notice at all, or gives less than 24 hours notice for any reason other than the two mentioned above, the lesson will not be made up and the student will be charged.

If the teacher must cancel a lesson for any reason, every effort will be made to reschedule at a mutually convenient time at no additional charge.

Note: Only two make-up lessons will be given per semester.  Unfortunately, I can issue no refunds.  Please remember I am holding a spot in my schedule for you each week whether you come or not.   Make-up lessons will be scheduled when the missed lesson is due to the teacher’s absence.

Behavior

The expectation for behavior in the studio is that each student will conduct themselves with respect, courtesy, and cooperation. With mutual respect between student and teacher we can ensure a fun and productive learning environment.

The studio is what I will call a “safe space.” Students can feel free here to take creative risks, to come out of their shell a bit and throw out ideas without feeling awkward or vulnerable. However, there are boundaries we will keep to preserve modesty and appropriateness. If clarification is needed, feel free to speak with me in person.

Being respectful of your time is of paramount importance to me. For that reason, I will do my best to stay within the time frame of the scheduled lesson so as not to cut into your lesson or the person after you. By the same token, I intend to make use of each moment, so there will likely be a minute of overlap going from one student to the next. To ensure that we stay on track, when it is time for your lesson, please knock on the doorframe so I am aware you are there and I will wrap up with the student before you.

Preparation

Students are expected to come to each lesson prepared to demonstrate progress on the assignments given the week prior. We will warm up in the lesson.

Communication

Feel free to contact me via email, phone call, or text. Please do not call or text before 9am or after 9pm. 

Recital

The studio will host at least one recital at the end of the year to showcase the progress of each student. While students are not required to participate in this final performance, it is highly encouraged as it provides a goal for the students, a celebration moment for all of their hard work, allows friends and family to see the progress they have made, and builds confidence to be in front of an audience.The recital date is provided below, and more details will be given as that date approaches.

Recital Attire:

The spring recital is a formal event; please dress accordingly. No jeans, tennis shoes, or t-shirts. Females may wear a dress or skirt and blouse combination, knee length or longer, no strapless or spaghetti straps, and dress shoes. Males may wear slacks and button-down shirt with dress shoes. Please wear the appropriate stockings.