What to expect:
No two voices are alike and therefore no two lessons are alike. In each lesson, warm-ups and repertoire selection are carefully chosen and designed around the individual vocal needs, age, and skill level. Vocal exercises, repertoire and instructional methods are all built around the goals and challenges currently facing the student. Each lesson begins with breathing, physical, and vocal warm-ups and most likely includes ear training, sight singing, theory, vocal technique and performance styling. I also have curriculum prepared for "non-singing" lessons when the student is well enough to attend but not well enough to sing. Many valuable activities happen in a "non-singing" lesson.
Training and Memberships:
National Association of Teachers of Singing
Actors' Equity Association
BFA in Music Theatre, Elon University
MFA in Music Theatre, San Diego State Univ.
Chief Requirements for the Teacher: Experience, a sensitive ear, and the gift of intuition and individualization.
-Giovanni Battista Lamperti, The Technics of Bel Canto
I get a lot of questions about my pedagogy. First of all, what does that word even mean? According to dictionary.com, pedagogy is "the art or science of teaching; education; instructional methods". In my journey as a singer and voice teacher I have, of course, studied the science and anatomy of the voice, which I do believe is crucial to being able to teach my students how to sing. Equally important to anatomy and science is a study of training history and current trends in vocal instruction. Although some college level pedagogy courses seem to disagree, science should be the what and pedagogy should be the how.
Every voice is different, every teacher is different, every technique is different. In my 16+ years of studying and teaching voice I have gathered a variety of pedagogical approaches and added them to my teaching tool box. My main concern, at all times, is with the freedom and health of the voice. I have found that techniques that try to directly control the voice give the singer muscular tension, stiffness and a narrower range with less natural individual authenticity. With time, patience and diligent work, the true voice will naturally reveal itself. In lessons I aim to guide the student through a process of training where they understand the reason why we are doing particular exercises so that they may understand the journey. My goal is to work in a way that my students can explore many different genres with a healthy approach as well as with musical and vocal skill.
Our bodies are our instruments and I believe that singing truly comes from our soul. My goal is to give my students a safe, compassionate, and empathetic environment. Fear of failure can create huge barriers for a singer. Risking failure is highly encouraged and once we get past that fear I feel that is when my students really grow!
60 min. lesson
90 min. lesson
45 min. lesson
30 min. lesson
Consistent study and technique are important for every singer.
I am dedicated to giving my full attention to your lesson time and keeping my rates competitive.
Payments may be made via check, cash, Venmo and PayPal
All payments will be due and collected at the start of the lesson. This makes for a quicker transition from lesson to lesson and allows us to utilize our time together until the absolute last minute of the lesson.
CANCELLATION/ LATE ARRIVALS:
All cancellations must be made 24 hours in advance. If there is a cancellation less than 24 hours in advance the student is responsible for the full lesson fee. All lesson start and end times will be honored regardless of the arrival time of the student and no refunds will be given for late arrivals.
We are a team and communication is key! Please be open with me about any concerns you may have regarding your lessons.
I am available Monday-Saturday 9am-8pm. During this time I will be available to respond to emails and phone calls in and around my working hours (which vary each day) and additional responsibilities. Sunday is my day off from teaching and I really try to stay true to that.
My preferred way of communicating is via email or phone and I find phone calls lead to the least misinterpretations. I find that sometimes I will open a text and read it and not have time to immediately respond and then forget about it by the end of my teaching day.
If you are running late you may text me at 828-230-0277. This is a method of communication that I can glance at without it interrupting my current teaching. I do not return texts or emails during my teaching hours unless I have a cancellation or a break.
I teach, music direct, and act in various locations each day so please allow 24 hours for a response.
Please inform me of any physical, emotional, or developmental challenges that may affect processing information or response to circumstances. Consideration will always be given to provide the best possible learning environment
Students may enter the back gate a few minutes before their lesson time and wait on the bench provided. Please respect the personal space of our back yard. There is no need to knock at your lesson time - I will come to the door. If I am more than 3-5 minutes late (by the time on your phone) you may knock to remind me you are there. Parents/Guardians of minors are always welcome to observe lessons at the discretion and comfort of the student. I want to make sure you get the most of every minute of your lesson and, in my experience, having siblings in a lesson tends to be a distraction.
Weekly students shall have scheduling priority, followed by bi-monthly students. Students taking an occasional or additional lesson may schedule online by visiting my scheduling site. If you have a last minute audition that you need help preparing for and you do not see a time on my schedule that works, then please contact me and we will try to work something out together.
Recitals and Master Classes are always voluntary, though highly recommended as an integral tool to assess and test your hard work throughout the season. They are a unique opportunity to work and perform with a live pianist, to share your repertoire with an appreciative audience, and achieve the immense satisfaction of a public solo performance. They are also excellent practice for auditions and competitions.
PARKING/ STUDIO ENTRANCE:
To get to the studio, please enter the large white vinyl gate to the left of my home. Please close the gate behind you for the safety of my son and dog. The studio door is the first sliding glass door you will see as you enter. Students may park in front of my home near the side gate entrance to the studio. Please do not park in or block the driveway.
FEES FOR MATERIALS:
I will sometimes provide copies of sheet music; however students will also be required to print PDFs or purchase music to build their own libraries and comply with copyright laws. I will always check in with the parent/guardian of a minor before making these purchases.
Some helpful resources include:
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
I often receive requests for career advice and audition information. I am so happy to share my knowledge with you during your lesson time. I will always do my best to inform you of auditions, masterclasses and workshops that come my way however I do not actively seek them out for you and I do not consider it a responsibility of the voice teacher to inform you of audition opportunities. I also find it is good career training for both performers and parents/guardians to know how to find this information on their own as they will when they enter the "real world".
MULTIPLE TEACHER POLICY:
Honestly is ALWAYS the best policy. Students taking voice lessons with multiple teachers must inform me as well as the other teachers that they study with that they are taking with multiple teachers. This policy is in place for several reasons; most importantly, all of your teachers want to ensure that you are getting the best, most consistent feedback possible. Vocal techniques and methods vary greatly and it can be confusing for the singer and the teacher if we are not all on the same page. I have found in my teaching that younger singers (ages 6-18) typically benefit most from studying with one teacher; it is hard for the young singer and their parents to compartmentalize the feedback of multiple instructors. After voices, methods, and techniques have been developed, it is safer and very beneficial in most cases to take in feedback and instruction from multiple sources. Lastly, you will find that most San Diego voice teachers are also very involved in the artistic community, and many of us are good friends who work together throughout San Diego. Teachers love to talk about their wonderful students and it can be an uncomfortable situation to find out that we are both teaching students without knowing it.
Stay healthy! You are a vocal athlete and your body is your instrument! It is your responsibility to maintain optimal health. Avoid overuse of your voice, drink lots of water, choose good nutrition, stay physically active, and get plenty of rest. Please do not attend your lesson if you are ill and contagious. Viruses can quickly spread from just one contagious student who brings an illness into the studio. If you are NOT contagious, but still not in perfect voice, do consider attending your lesson. There are many lesson activities that do not require singing including ear-training, comparative listening to singers, choosing repertoire, theory, etc.
Quality and consistency is emphasized over quantity when it comes to practicing. Specify your goals and intentions before you start your practice. Set a timer or check a clock. You’ll be surprised how quickly the time flies when you are focused on achieving a specific goal, and how much more successful you are at progressing technically and artistically. Your commitment to practicing outside of your lesson time is directly related to your development as a musician, technician, and artist. Regularity of practice and good concentration during practice times are absolutely essential to good progress. Please set a definite period for practice, and see that you have privacy while practicing.