I have been teaching voice lessons in the Northwest since 1994. I have a studio on Capitol Hill in Seattle, and also teach at home in West Seattle.
In addition to my private studio, I am an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Voice at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, and Adjunct Voice Professor at the University of Puget Sound, in Tacoma. Currently, I am also the bass soloist at Seattle’s Temple Beth Am.
Do you have a ‘method’?
All singing is based on diaphragmatic breathing, extension of the vocal range and refinement of resonance. I try to avoid imagery in teaching, and work strictly on the physical process of sound production. I am wary of any ‘method’, especially if the instructor insists they have ‘discovered the only way to sing properly’.
What outcome should I expect from a concentrated period of voice lessons?
I would expect the singer to have access to a wider range, a richer singing tone, more stamina and increased flexibility vocally.
What ratio of the lesson is given over to technique, rather than strictly working on repertoire?
Each student comes with different goals. In general the lesson would be divided 40/60:
40% Technique: breathing, scales, vocal exercises, tone, placement
60% Repertoire: phrasing, pronunciation, rhythm, legato.
However, a student may primarily want to work on technique in the initial lessons, or conversely, only repertoire.
Are there any other benefits from taking voice lessons? I don't want to be a soloist - I just enjoy singing!
Other benefits would include a more resonant, confident speaking voice, better posture, and especially in the case of teens, more poise or sense of grounding in their body. Also, because of the way we utilize air, the body becomes saturated with oxygen in a way we rarely experience in day to day activities. Singing really does make you feel great!
How young is TOO young to train the voice?
My own feeling is that the voice has to weather the shoals of puberty by a couple of years before doing any intensive solo training with an instructor. Singing in a youth choir, one could learn many aspects of musicianship and not be required to singing beyond the capabilities of the young vocal instrument. In general, I wouldn't want to work one-on-one with a singer much before age 15.
What if I only want to work briefly towards a specific goal: a church solo, highschool ' contest ' or an audition CD for college?
I am happy to work with any singer, even for a brief period of time. The beauty of individual instruction is that the student is not competing with anyone, and there is no set curriculum, with goals to be met within a certain time frame. I simply assess what the student is bringing to the process and we build from those strengths.
What if I decide it's not a ‘good fit’ and wish to work with a different teacher after a time?
I am the least territorial instructor you will ever encounter. It's so important that the student and teacher ‘click’. I was a student myself, and remember how vital it was that I could trust what the teacher was asking me to do. I am committed to providing a safe and supportive environment. The student should always be able to make experiments and take risks vocally. Sometimes students reach a plateau in their growth, and want different input. Sometimes students feel the teacher is insisting that they sing in a way that they instinctively feel is wrong for their instrument. Sometimes students simply want a ‘break’. I personally feel students are in the best position to know what is working (or not working) for them, and they are well within their rights to move on to a different instructor at any time.
As a parent, am I allowed to sit in on lessons?
Is voice instruction expensive?
For all questions about fee, schedule and location, or any question about voice training, I welcome your e-mail:
Public Domain Downloads of Art Songs:
Seattle Public Library:
UW Music Library:
BOOKS ABOUT SINGERS/SINGING:
The Grand Tradition by John Steane
Great Singers on Great Singing by Jerome Hines
The Inner Voice by Renee Fleming
5,000 Nights at the Opera by Sir Rudolph Bing
Vocal Wisdom by Lamperti
INFO ON COMPETIONS, YOUNG ARTISTS PROGRAMS, ETC: