Singing studies begin at exactly the level of the individual student. This could run the gamut from a person who has trouble singing on pitch to a well grounded singer who has much experience. Lessons are tailored to the life experience and interests of the student. Lessons cover flexibility exercises, breathing study, vocal health, beautiful tone, pronunciation in English and some other languages, stage presence, projection and confidence. All styles of vocal music are covered according to the need to make progress as well as the desires of the student.
Voice students will learn about the voice in general and their own voice in particular. They will discover the quality and type of voice they have. In the lessons they will find their total range and the best part of their range, the tessitura. There are exercises to expand the range with care to vocal health. Breathing study is essential and there are breathing exercises as well as musical pieces that help to challenge breath control and support. These lessons will help performers who want to increase their endurance on stage and during recording sessions.
Many voice students bring in their own taste of music to study. This could be the church choir member or the middle school age student who wants to sing a song from the I-pod. With some of the music there are books but the popular music in many cases is not written in a form that is the same as the recording artist. This is an opportunity to have the students bring in the lyrics and we will work on this music by ear and find the chords on the piano and use it as a tool for teaching breath and pronunciation and diction and all the elements of good singing.
Everything the student does at the lesson is written in a lesson book by the teacher. This also includes what is recommended for the student to work on at home between lessons. This book will be saved as a personal reference for the student. Students are encouraged to bring in a recording device to record new songs or exercises for home practice. It would also be great if the voice student had a keyboard to work on at home since this will help the practice at times but this is not required.
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Christine Brown is a piano and voice teacher in the Rochester, NY area.