Q. What is my typical process for working with a new student?
A. I begin with basic exercises both for the voice and with breathing for the first few lessons (no repertoire) to get the singer used to the basic technique, especially the connection between the breath and the voice. We then start on repertoire that is suitable for that singer’s level where he/she can apply the exercises to the arias or songs he/she is working on. You will work hard, but you will get results.
Q. What education and/or training do I have that relates to my work?
A. I went to a prestigious conservatory in Manhattan and was trained by some great teachers, coaches and conductors. I have a lot of experience onstage, so I know what pressures singers are under when they perform. I am constantly sitting in on coaching and voice lessons of colleagues and their students, and attend seminars and master classes regularly. And I listen a lot: recordings, online videos, etc. I learn a lot from that. On top of all of that, I learn from my students!
Q. Do I have a standard pricing system for my service?
A. It’s very straight-forward, the price you are charged is based on an hour or 45 minute lesson. I also have package pricing.
Q. How did I get started doing this type of work?
A. I’ve sung since I was 5 years old, and still love it. My desire to go into classical singing came about naturally – my mother used to watch TV shows with classical music, and I fell in love with the music and wanted to sing it. My father had a beautiful, operatic voice but never was able to train due to financial constraints. I also have loved (and still love) the technical challenge. After all these years, I’m still learning, and will learn the rest of my life even as I continue as a professional. And I learn so much about singing when I teach students like you.
Q. What types of students have I worked with?
A. I’ve worked with singers of all genres – opera, musical theater, pop, jazz, latin, rock (including heavy metal), experimental, and even middle eastern (arabic). The basic classical technique I teach will help you sing in any style. If you want to continue in opera and classical music, we can go there, or we can apply what you have learned to your genre.
Q. What advice do I give you, the student, in looking to hire a teacher?
A. Find the teacher that will get you technical results, not necessarily the one who has connections. Even if it takes you a couple of lessons with a few teachers, do it. Don’t just trust a teacher blindly. Hard work and focus is essential in getting anywhere in any creative field. “Luck” is created through hard work, improvement, and getting yourself out there when opportunities arise. Seizing opportunity is huge when you are ready, yet it’s important to know when you are ready and when you are not, and to be patient with yourself to get you to that place.
Q. What questions should you think through before talking to a prospective voice teacher?
A. You should ask yourself, “what do I want to accomplish with my lessons…do I just want to learn arias or songs, or do I want to improve my technique using well-established, thorough exercises that will get results quickly if I practice? Can this teacher help me accomplish both?”