Frequently Asked Questions
How does it work?
There are a few options. Pick the one that works best for you! Not sure? Let's talk.
How much is it?
While NEC Prep has their own pricing depending on when you register for their semester, my own lesson pricing is the area standard $30-35 for a half hour depending on your financial situation, $45 for 45 minutes, and $60 for an hour.
What happens in a typical voice lesson?
We will first always warm up the voice in a healthy, science-based manner than encourages efficient music-making as well as the longevity of the voice. My voice pedagogy background has prepared me to teach all ages using centuries-old methods. No matter where you are going in your voice journey, I want you singing as well as you can for as LONG as you can for as many years as you can. Long story, short, my lessons focus on building a solid, confident voice technique as well as provide the student with age appropriate repertoire. Having been trained classically, I will always defend a classical foundation, but I am open to teaching many styles and almost all of my current students also study musical theatre and contemporary pop music as well.
For younger singers under the age of 10, we mainly focus on fostering a joy for making music and also include musicianship skills and sometimes, some beginning piano so they may learn their songs independently and learn to read sheet music.
What performances are available to your students?
I think it is SO important for students of all ages to practice being nervous and to get comfortable being uncomfortable! Telling a story on stage isn't easy, but doing it regularly is the key to building confidence in front of audiences, at auditions, and for social emotional learning. For this reason, in my studio I schedule recitals and performances at least twice a year, if not more. This last year we had one every few months, including three live Zoom shows and one in-person, outdoor concert. This helps motivate young musicians to practice their songs with the intent to share them with other people, not just their showers... :-)
No one is required to participate but I highly encourage you to perform in at least one or two a year.
I heard that young children shouldn't take voice lessons...should I wait to enroll my child?
It is true that many voice teachers do not feel comfortable teaching young children to sing and they worry about damaging the delicate voices of elementary aged students. While I understand the concern, I offer the following response:
The bottom line is that every baby sings before she speaks, and dances before she walks. Music is an essential part of development for a child of any age. Kids use their voices to yell across the playground, repeat songs they hear on the radio and fight with their siblings! They cry, they scream. They're using their vocal cords with or without professional music education.
I have training and experience interacting with and teaching young children. My philosophy for young singers is that the most important thing is to build joy and creativity so that they may continue to love music as they grow up. Encouraging a young child to take pride in learning music, confidence and the skill of regular practice will absolutely be beneficial to them as musicians and human beings. Ultimately it is up you, parents, when to begin voice lessons for your child. Please let me know if you'd like to discuss this further!
What happens in a dramatic coaching or acting class?
Students will be assigned their own monologue, scene or poem and analyze the meaning and emotion of the piece. We will learn and put into action Meisner-based acting technique, which aims to get to the universal truth of a given work of theatre. Dramatic coachings and acting classes can be tailored to individual students' goals, such as auditioning for a play or simply developing the acting craft for fun. Students may also sign up for lessons as a group and work on a scene together.
What's this about piano and ukulele lessons?
While I am primarily a vocalist, I firmly believe that piano is an essential instrument any serious budding musician should experience. Ukulele is a great first instrument for children and often serves as a "gateway" to learning other string instruments like guitar or violin. I teach all musicianship skills with Kodaly-inspired pedagogy. Young piano students will learn scales, technical exercises and songs. If a student feels strongly about a song (for example: Star Wars music, a favorite band, etc) I'll always do my best to find them the music and assign that! Please note that I teach young students piano (ages 3-10) before they graduate from the "beginner" stage and I help them choose a new piano teacher to take over. Ukulele students (ages 5-18) learn strumming patterns, how to read tabs, finger-picking patterns, basic rhythm and essential chords to play their favorite songs. I often have my ukulele students write their own song as well.
What instrument should I buy?
Here are some of my favorite student ukuleles: https://kalabrand.com/collections/makala-ukulele
Here's an article about how to choose a piano: https://musiccritic.com/equipment/pianos/best-pianos-for-beginners/
Why should we take private lessons if my kid already takes music at school?
Through lessons your child will learn more than just how to play the piano, ukulele or sing. Private lessons highlight the connections between music and math and give your child the chance to explore numerical awareness, counting, and patterning. Your child will also strengthen their fine motor skills and coordination. These benefits all extend into other areas of learning in school and will help to set them up for success. In addition, private or small group lessons will offer your child much more individualized attention from an instructor than they are able to get from a classroom teacher. I say this from experience as a classroom teacher myself.
Why sign up for NEC Prep? What's the difference between this and studying privately?
New England Conservatory's Prep program offers a ton of workshops, recitals, and a network of other students and teachers. The benefit to studying through the program is a built in community and the opportunity to audition for other ensembles. NEC Prep has their own registration system and they follow the academic calendar of the Conservatory. However, if you study with me privately without NEC Prep, you don't have to sign up for a semester at a time or bundled lessons; instead you pay me directly per week. I schedule recitals for my students at least once a year. If you'd like to discuss the differences between the two more, please let me know and we can chat.
How to sign up:
For NEC Prep's program, please register and get more information here: https://necmusic.edu/prep
For my private studio at home, email me at email@example.com or contact me through my website here: