Q. Do I have to sing opera?
A. Nope! Definitely not.
We are “classically trained”, which means we specialize in those styles of vocal music that are traditionally performed without a microphone (opera, oratorio, art song) and often with orchestral accompaniment. But we love all kinds of music–folk, jazz, musical theatre, pop–and we’re more than happy to help you work on the kind of music that makes you want to sing.
Many of the things you’ll be learning in voice lessons with us can be applied to any genre of music. What we really want you to be able to do is to sing with ease and flexibility so that you can express yourself freely.
Q. How long and how often should I practice?
A. As with many things in life, quality is more important than quantity when practicing singing. More and more studies are showing that short, frequent, mindful practice sessions are much more effective than just putting in the time to say you’ve done it. For younger children, aim for 15-20 minute sessions 4-5 times a week. For older voice students, an hour-long session broken into two half hour sections with a break between them would be appropriate.
Q. How long until I can expect to see results?
A. Since every student is an individual, there can be no definite answer to this question. Everyone comes from a different place and learns at a different rate. However, with dedicated practice, one could reasonably expect to notice improvement within a few months. It’s quite common to make new discoveries in one lesson, but it takes mindful repetition for those new discoveries to become new skills that you can depend on again and again in your singing.
Q. Why do I have to pay in advance?
A. When you schedule a lesson with us, we hold that weekly time slot for you. That means we can’t schedule other work during that time. If you don’t show up, we’ve lost that time and can’t get it back. It’s not unheard of to have 5 or 6 lessons scheduled in a day and almost all of them cancelled. Paying in advance ensures that you value our time and make the best effort to show up.
For more on this issue, read this great article by a parent of a student in music lessons. Vicky Barham, Ph. D. on Make-up Lessons from an Economist’s Point of View.
Q. I have an audition coming up. Can you help me prepare?
A. Absolutely! We’ve done a lot of auditions ourselves, so we know how helpful it can be to have someone help to tweak your auditon package. We don’t mind if you just want to come for a couple of lessons leading up to the audition.
Q. I sing in a choir. Can you help me learn my part?
A. Yep! We’ve had quite a few of you over the years. Community and church choirs are a great way to get your musical fix and can be a great social activity as well. We also know that everyone learns music at a different pace, and for some, the weekly rehearsals are not quite enough to feel secure with the music. We’re happy to give you that added individual attention you need to master your choir music.
Q. I have a cold today, but I can still kinda sing… should I come to my lesson?
Please stay home. This is an instance where we will make an exception to our cancellation policy.
We are both active performers and rely on our voices for our living. If we can’t sing, we can’t work. Being sick with a cold often means having to postpone or cancel auditions and performances. Please respect our need to remain healthy by keeping your cold and flu at home. Thanks!
Don’t worry, we still love you (even though you’re a drippy nasty germ factory! )