Frequently Asked Questions
How much are voice lessons and how do I start?
Rates are $85/hour, $70/forty-five minutes and $50/half hour (for children ages 9-15 as needed). To start send me a form on the "contact" page or call me at 845-548-9308
Do you have a cancellation policy?
Yes. I require 24 hours notice when you need to cancel a lesson.
How do I pay for the lesson?
You can use cash or a personal check for in-person lessons. For online lessons you can pay with PayPal or Zelle.
Students who purchase 10 lessons in advance are able to get a discounted rate.
Do I need to audition to become a student?
No. I love teaching those who have experienced vocal difficulties or are beginners. Some teachers only take "professions" or "gifted students", but that is not my policy.
Where is the location of your studio?
I am located in Fairfield, Connecticut
How do online lessons differ from in-person lessons?
Other than being able to reach out and appropriately touch you, there is no difference. I teach the same thing in either case and can hear you with quality speakers that are added to my computer. There is something extra-nice about being in person, but with the computer we can now do what was once impossible: teach the physically disabled, people who live too far away to come in person and so on.
What are some of your exercises like?
I've developed a set of vocal exercises to free the voice and surrounding areas in the body of tension and then have you make natural and free sounds. When we loosen tensions around the larynx we can then start to work on several vocal skills to produce any sound we need with freedom, power and ease! For example head dominant sounds with a high or low larynx, and the same with chest voice dominant sounds. Three types of vocal onsets, vocal flexibility, dynamics of the voice, and so on. It can only be described and experienced in an actual lesson. We will do a lot of vocal exploration and find your best and freest sound.
How often should I take lessons?
This depends on your goals and your ability level. I strongly suggest that new students have a lesson once a week when they first start (first 6 months) so that they learn to practice correctly as they are building their foundation of muscle memory learning. Students looking to audition for a music program or a singing part in a show often choose to come twice a week. Others come every other week.
What are vocal lessons like and what do students usually work on?
Depending on my students' needs I typically work on releasing holding in the body so that the breath is connected to and the entire body is supporting the voice. I do some yoga with breath work, upper body relaxation exercises with free speaking vocalizations. Keeping an open throat while having breath control without tension is the basis of most vocal technique. I work on gently releasing tongue, jaw and throat tensions which can interfere with resonance and articulation. I liken this to an artist prepping his canvas. The exercises develop vocal skill and vocal colors, like an artist's palate. We will work on songs or speaking material using exercises and approaches that develop a personal sense of expressiveness. This is not all that I teach, but an example.
What styles do you teach?
I have been teaching for 19 years and have experience with broadway, pop, opera and classical, rock, speaking voice coaching for actors, voice-overs, speakers with vocal fatigue and more. What ever style the students wants is worked on, including changing styles if that is wanted. Every style is taught in the healthiest, most expressive and freest way possible. All teaching is based on how the voice functions within the human body.
What is your policy on teaching children?
Depending on maturity levels, I teach children ages 9 and older. I personally think high school is an ideal time to start voice lessons, and is not too late. Very young children, who show a musical inclination can do very well with piano lessons which will help them tremendously when they are old enough to start studying singing. There are some wonderful singing group classes for small children and their parents that are appropriate. My exception to the rule is teaching children who are professionals. Kids who are currently on TV, in film and/or singing on Broadway can and are encouraged to come at any age.
When should lessons be cancelled?
If you are having a bad stomach virus, a high fever, a sore and painful speaking voice or laryngitis you should cancel. Mild colds, allergies, or mild hoarseness are not a problem and you should not cancel. Often these minor discomforts can be improved within the lesson. If there is inclement (icy or snowy) weather and you are unable to drive safely you can re-schedule or do an online lesson.
How long do students take lessons for?
There is no set time limit, the decision to take lessons is open ended. Typically people take lessons for a several months to achieve their goals, and many study with me for several years. It depends on what you wish to accomplish.
What other suggestions do you have?
Please drink plenty of water (around 8 glasses) a day. Please refrain from screaming, straining/pushing your voice, especially when in a noisy environment. This can cause hoarseness and eventually vocal health issues. Please dress in comfortable stretchy clothes for the lesson so that you can easily move, and so I can see your breathing. Please do not come more than 5 minutes early or late for your lesson.
Do you do vocal workshops at schools or other facilities?
I do! I have developed two wonderful workshops ideal for middle school, high school, college students, dance schools, yoga studios and acting classes. One is a workshop geared to teens through adults about vocal function and exploration of the speaking voice. The other workshop explores the spiritual aspects of freeing the voice. Please contact me for details.