Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of vocal study?

Not all students who take voice lessons will develop into fine solo singers.  However, many of them will find that as a result of this training they will be able to exhibit much more musical self-confidence.   Many former students have found that this background has made them influential members in youth choirs, church choirs, community chamber ensembles, college vocal groups or musical theater organizations.  Visit the Studio page for more information.

Do you offer opportunities for recital?

Yes! Students are given the opportunity to sing monthly for each other for comments and growth. There is an annual student recital in which all willing students take part.  Furthermore, for those students for whom performance is a primary pursuit, individual recitals are a part of the goals set forth.

How much do you charge per lesson?

Please click here for the Policies and Pricing page.

Are visitors allowed to attend voice lessons?

I always welcome parents to voice lessons anytime they wish with the student's permission.  However, you must understand that with some students this will be an unnatural situation and they will not be as relaxed and responsive as they usually are.  You may feel free to call me to discuss the vocal progress of your son or daughter at any time.

For other circumstances, friends are generally not permitted into the lesson without prior consideration and consent.  This is for some of the reasons listed in the previous paragraph, but also for professional reasons; they are receiving information that the student pays for, without having to pay for it themselves.  This is not fair to the visitor as what may pertain to one individual's vocal progress and knowledge may not necessarily apply to another, particularly if they have not laid the groundwork for the lexicon and vocabulary that is used.

Who chooses the music to be worked on by the student?

Choosing music is a mutual pursuit. I encourage students to bring music they would like to perform, with the condition that I may veto it if the music poses a threat to their progress. In addition to assigning music with performance in mind, I also assign music largely for pedagogic reasons - to help students master specific technical goals. 

What is the cost of music?

From past experience, I have found that students and/or parents inquire about extra costs involved in the purchase of music.  Because of the costs of music, I try to use books whenever possible, as opposed to single song sheets.  Three pieces of sheet music often equal the cost of an entire book, yet from time to time sheets will be used because many songs are not included in book collections.  Until I am sure of the vocal range of a new student, I may use individual songs before deciding on definite books.  An estimate of music costs for each year of lessons would range from $50-$100 depending upon the progress, age, and ambition of the student.

What are the musical expectations?

In all cases, it is the exercises and vocalises which play such an important part in building the voice and developing good vocal technique.  This technique is gradually transferred to songs.  Some students prefer to work with these exercises in privacy.  If you are the parent of a student and they prefer privacy, it is much better that the student be left alone in the room while practicing.  Several short periods of practice a day are acceptable in the early weeks of study, rather than one long practice period.  Each student can expect to bring one CD-R so that the lesson can be recorded for use in daily sessions, OR I can email them an MP4 of the lesson.  I expect the student to listen to this recording at least once between lessons.  The digital recording will also enable the student to practice before the next lesson in a room without an available piano or keyboard.  Continual practice is necessary for full benefit of lessons.  Students with disciplined and organized regular practice sessions make the most progress!  Occasionally, a circumstance may arise where a student may not be able to practice as much as usual; in this case, the lesson will be a supervised practice session, not a missed lesson.

How often are lessons given?

When students first begin, at least weekly is preferred, though not required. After a period of 3-6 months, most students take a lesson every other week.