Want to find your singing voice?
The human voice is a powerful musical instrument. Everyone has one, but most people don’t use theirs to its maximum capacity.
Voice lessons can help you:
access a stronger and more beautiful vocal sound
increase your vocal range or develop ease and consistency throughout the range
develop or enhance your musical skills
find music that suits your interests, abilities, and unique voice
express yourself through song
I offer singing voice training in my home studio in Downingtown, Pennsylvania (Chester County, located about 40 miles west of Philadelphia). I offer both Private Voice Lessons and Small Group Classes. Anyone may register for classes, but prospective private students must start by booking an Initial Fit Consultation.
FAQs about voice lessons
Q: Why take voice lessons? Can’t everyone sing?
A: Pretty much anyone who can speak can sing, but most people don’t use their voices to full capacity. Voice lessons teach singers how to control their breath and vocal resonance for a fuller, healthier, and more beautiful sound. Lessons also teach general musical skills. Read more about why aspiring singers need a voice teacher’s guidance.
Q: Can’t people improve their singing on their own or by using books, CDs, or DVDs?
A: It is possible to improve without a teacher, but it can be difficult and even dangerous. The voice is a delicate instrument, and misusing it can cause pain and even damage to the vocal cords. A voice teacher can make sure your technique is healthy and can also 1) hear your voice accurately (you can’t fully hear your own voice since it resonates inside your head), 2) monitor your singing posture, 3) guide your progress, and 4) introduce you to great music that fits your voice.
Many singers take voice lessons throughout their adult life. Even professional singers (including highly trained opera singers) rely on teachers to provide feedback about their voices. Read more about why singers need voice teachers.
Q: What is the right age to begin voice lessons?
A: Most classical teachers recommend that girls begin lessons around age 12 and boys after their voices change. However, I think it’s great for students with a strong interest in and talent for singing to start lessons earlier. I have taught many incredibly accomplished young singers, some of whom perform professionally. Parents should be especially careful in selecting a teacher for a younger child. For more on this topic, read my blog post about deciding when to start.
Also, it’s never too late to begin lessons, but most professional, classical singers start private study somewhere between age 12 and their early 20s. Students who are considering studying classical singing or musical theater in college should begin lessons by age 15 or 16 at the very latest. The oldest student I have taught is over 70; the youngest was 7. (Please note: I do not recommend private voice lessons for children under 7 years old, as many are intimidated by one-on-one lessons and do not have a long enough attention span.)
Q: What else can I or my child do to improve as a singer?
A: There are several things your child can do to improve his or her singing.
Join a choir. A good director will teach the basics of vocal technique (how to stand, breathe, sustain the voice, etc.). Plus, singing in harmony will develop the musical ear. If your child’s school doesn’t have a choir for younger grades, try to find a community or church choir instead.
Take piano lessons. Piano lessons will teach your child to read music and to develop musicality and practice skills. When he/she begins singing lessons, these skills will make him/her a well-rounded singer and enable him/her to learn songs quickly and independently.
Listen to music. Expose your son or daughter to good singing and instrumental music in a wide variety of styles: classical, opera, country, bluegrass, pop, jazz, etc.
Sing! Encourage your child to sing along to recordings and to sing with friends or family. Folk songs, patriotic songs, and religious songs are generally easy to learn and are a great place to start.
Q: I think I’m tone deaf. Will voice lessons help?
A: Most people who think they’re tone deaf actually aren’t. True tone-deafness does exist, but it’s very rare. People who are tone deaf can’t tell the difference between high and low pitches. They can’t even recognize songs. To them, music just sounds like a bunch of noise.
If you can recognize songs and enjoy music, you’re not tone deaf. You probably just have difficulty matching your voice to the notes you hear. Anyone can have this problem, but it’s more common in guys, especially after their voices change. Some people are born with great musical ears. Other people struggle to match pitch, and some people can’t carry a tune at all. The good news is that anyone can improve!
With guidance and regular practice, you can learn to sing with confidence. Lessons will include exercises in:
listening to several pitches and determining which ones are high or low
hearing pitches and singing them back
exploring the many sounds the voice can make
experiencing the sensations of the voice
Q: What musical styles do you teach?
A: My own training is mostly in classical (including sacred) music and musical theater. Unlike singers of other styles, classical singers almost always receive years of highly technical training in such areas as vocal technique/pedagogy, voice science, song literature, music theory/history, and foreign languages.
However, now I mainly teach musical theater, with a special focus on children and teens. I also teach popular music, although here I focus more on vocal technique (my strength) than on musical style, repertoire selection, and interpretation.
Good vocal technique can apply to any singing style! As a teacher, my goal is to assign songs that match a student’s interests, abilities, and unique vocal sound.
Q: Do you teach adults?
A: Absolutely! Whether they’re experienced or beginners, adults are fun to teach since they’re intellectually mature and usually very motivated.
Q: Do your students perform?
A: Yes. Many of my students perform in local musicals - often in leading roles - in community theater or at their schools. A few have even performed in professional musical theater productions! Others have their own bands that perform locally or regionally. Also, I hold a yearly recital for my students.
Q: Is your Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance is up to date?
A: Yes, it was last updated in December 2017.
Have more questions?