Lesson Cancellation Policy: Please see my Lesson Cancellation Policy page for specifics.
Make Up Lessons: Make up lessons will be given upon request. If I must cancel a lesson due to emergency or illness, I will offer to reschedule the missed lesson at the student’s convenience.
Practice Time: Practice time is always a touchy subject, and unfortunately, there is no set formula that guarantees success. Students who are actively working towards a specific audition or performance, such as solo and ensemble auditions, NATS adjudications, or a role in a musical, will find that they must practice more than a student who is working towards a self-mandated goal. That having been said, fifteen minutes of careful practice is worth more than one hour of undirected singing. Practice time for voice lessons takes many forms: spending time working out notes at the piano, warming up the voice in the shower, concentrating on proper breathing technique and resonance during choir rehearsal, and memorizing songs on the way to school all fit under the heading of voice practice. I would suggest students try to spend at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, vocalizing by themselves. This way, they will become familiar with their own instrument and soon will be able to identify and correct many problems themselves. Throughout the school year, school work and other extra-curricular activities will not always allow for ample practice time, and I would never expect my students to compromise their grades in order to meet my weekly expectations. However, chronic irresponsibility may result in a conference with the student’s parents as to whether or not vocal instruction should continue.
Repertoire: There are many different types of voices in the world, and because of that, there is a great variety of repertoire available to us. Some students may be interested in singing strictly classical and Broadway pieces, where others may choose to study, in addition, more popular songs. My students are certainly free to suggest appropriate repertoire, and conversely, I am happy to choose for them. If I own a piece of music that the student is studying, I will be happy to make a copy for the student. I absolutely cannot, however, lend my own music to a student. Please remember that I am a classical singer, and the bulk of my library consists of classical rep with some Broadway mixed in. If the student wishes to study something in the pop genre, it is likely that he or she will have to purchase the music. Capitol Music Center, Kennelly Keys, and Mills Music are both local stores that offer fairly good selections. Another option is to purchase the sheet music on the internet, either by downloading the song directly, or by having it delivered. One of my favorite sites for this is musicnotes.com, but there are many sites such as this online.
Health: as a singer, your body is your instrument, and like an athlete, you must take care of your body if you want it to perform at its best. Healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep each night really do help prevent illness. Other good habits to begin with are: drinking lots of water and monitoring caffeine intake, washing your hands often-particularly before you eat, taking a good daily vitamin supplement with vitamin C, and limiting whom you eat or drink after-particularly if that person is sick! I also wish to remind my students that smoking cigarettes does untold damage to the many organs involved in singing-just don’t do it.
Lesson Termination: I reorganize my schedule three times a year- once in September when school starts, once at the beginning of January, and once in June when school lets out. If you are no longer able to continue voice study, I would greatly prefer that you wait until one of these times to quit, so that I do not have gaps in my schedule. Please see my lesson cancellation policy for specifics.
Who Should Study: I accept singers at all levels of study, from the beginner who wants to learn to match pitch consistently and expand his or her range, to those who have been studying for many years and hope to pursue a career, or perhaps are already pursuing a career, in the vocal arts. However, I do wish to stress that I require my students to be at least twelve years old!!! The vocal cords are muscles and need adequate time to develop and strengthen. You risk serious vocal damage if you put too much pressure on underdeveloped vocal cords! If the prospective student is under twelve years old, I highly recommend joining a church/school/community choir and taking piano lessons until he or she is of age. That having been said, beyond twelve, I welcome all ages! (I would advise boys to wait until their voices have changed to begin lessons)