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FAQ about Voice and Verismo

Where are you located?

I currently teach at University Music Service in Hershey, PA and in my home in Elizabethtown, PA.

How long are voice lessons?

Voice lessons are taught in half hour and hour increments. I recommend half-hour lessons for younger students or singing voice rehabilitation sessions. I recommend hour lessons for high school students, or older students who are currently performing, or younger students who would like more intensive music theory and ear-training lessons in addition to voice instruction.

When do you teach?

I currently teach during both week days and evenings.

How often can I have lessons?

Typically, students receive weekly voice lessons. Once we decide upon a lesson date/time, it belongs to you each unless there are unforeseen circumstances that prevent the lesson from occurring. If you are not able to commit to a weekly lesson time, then I will attempt to work with you to find times throughout the month for us to work together based on my availability. If you are preparing for an audition/performance or receiving singing voice rehabilitation sessions, and if I have time in my schedule, I may provide multiple lessons a week in order to prepare you for important singing engagements. Once enrolled for a semester, it is expected that the student will maintain lessons for the entire semester. Singing voice rehabilitation sessions typically last anywhere from 4-10 weeks depending on your vocal injury, age, and rehabilitation goals.

What types of music do you teach?

I currently teach a wide variety of genres including classical, musical theatre, jazz, new-age, and contemporary commercial music. I am committed to the belief that a professional singer should be able to sing across a wide variety of styles with healthy vocal production. During your trial lesson we will discuss your musical goals and choose genres and repertoire based on these goals.

What ages do you teach?

I enjoy teaching novice and experienced singers of age 10 and older. Throughout my tenure as an instructor I have taught a variety of ages from 10 to 68 and believe that age should not be a factor in your decision to study singing or to rehabilitate your singing voice. You have a gift to share!

What methods of teaching do you utilize?

I utilize a combination of traditional pedagogical methods (ex., Vennard, Miller, Coffin, and Doscher) in addition to incorporating research-based neuromotor planning theory and contemporary methodologies. I utilize acoustic analysis, voice therapy techniques, tactile and auditory cues, aspects of Alexander Technique, and components of the Estill Method, in addition to singing health practices during both vocal instruction and singing voice rehabilitation.

What is a trial lesson?

I teach a free 30 minute trial lesson to individuals who express interest in vocal study or singing voice rehabilitation at my Elizabethtown, PA location. This lesson will include an interview where we discuss your experiences and musical goals. It will also include vocalizing and your performance of one piece that you are currently working on (or just something that you like to sing). This lesson is very informal and provides us with an opportunity to decide if we can build a trusting pedagogical relationship and if you are ready to start lessons. You are in way obligated to sign a contract to take lessons by requesting a trial lesson.

Do you teach performance techniques?

Yes! Learning to analyze a character or dissect the nuances of poetry/text are essential components of vocal study. I also address performance anxiety and provide students with opportunities to learn about vocal health and hygiene to take care of their instruments. I assist my students with learning their choral music for competitions/festivals, auditioning for roles, college auditions, or performances. I also research performance opportunities for my students in support of their overall growth as musicians and performers.

Do you have to have any prior musical training or read music to take lessons?

No. However, if you plan to take voice lessons, music reading and functional theory skills will be taught in tandem with singing to support your growth as a musician. If you have goals of singing in a choir, for your church, at school, or as a professional, you will need to learn these skills.

Do you teach music theory and ear training?

Yes and on varying levels. Some students may have no music experience and need functional music reading and theory skills. These are taught in tandem with voice instruction. Some students aspire to become professional musicians and audition for collegiate programs. These students may choose to add a half hour of theory lessons to their voice lesson time in order to sufficiently prepare for the collegiate music environment.

What is singing voice rehabilitation and is it right for me?

If you have been diagnosed with a vocal pathology and have sought medical treatment from an otolaryngologist and/or voice pathologist, you may be in need of singing voice rehabilitation. The aim of singing voice rehabilitation is to provide the appropriate bridge between traditional voice therapy and returning to singing. I am a speech-language pathologist and a vocal pedagogue with a specialization in singing health, and therefore have the education and expertise necessary to provide you with the support you need to return from the voice clinic to the stage. Singing voice rehabilitation sessions incorporate components of voice therapy and voice instruction based on your needs as a singer and on your vocal injury.

If you have not been diagnosed with a vocal pathology, but you have had persistent hoarseness, lost notes within your range, experienced discomfort when singing, or have more difficulty singing that you used to, I am able to learn more about your vocal health through a singing health examination, help you in find an appropriate medical provider, and even accompany you to your doctor, if you desire, to discuss your symptoms and vocal changes. I am not able to diagnose vocal pathologies and I am not able to take medical insurance. I am also able to work with you and your current voice teacher in order to support your vocal health and transition back to performing.

Are you available for speaking engagements on vocal health and singing voice rehabilitation topics?

Yes! I have guest lectured at various institutions and schools on vocal health, voice disorders, voice therapy, singing voice rehabilitation, voice science, prevention techniques and vocal hygiene. My lectures can be tailored for professionals, pedagogues/teachers, speech-therapists, and students of all ages. Please contact me for more information about speaking engagements.

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