I have been active in the entertainment industry since the age of 12, when I gave my first professional performance. Prior to that I was already being introduced to music with years of guitar, and then vocal instruction. I do not remember a time of my life when I was not singing somewhere; in the house, in the yard, in the classroom. That is perhaps why I identify so well with the young people who gather so much enjoyment from "just singing" at every opportunity. I studied professionally for over 10 years with renown soprano and voice teacher Sylvia Jensen, who was instrumental in the enhancement of my vocal knowledge and technique. She is now the Director of Education for the Miss Ohio pageants of the Miss America competitions, elevating many young ladies to the national spotlight. At age 14, I auditioned for, and was added to cast of a network television variety program, "The Gene Carroll Show", that was a television institution for over 30 years in the midwest. I was a featured performer on that program for over 7 years, all the while perfecting the art of "playing to a camera." This experience was invaluable, and the knowledge I gathered is now included in my curriculum. I also began performing a solo act in the nightclub circuit at the age of 15, performing up and down the "northcoast" from Cleveland, OH, (my home), to Erie. PA. At a very young age, I learned the difficult art of choosing musical material and pacing a show; also adapting to performing under a myriad of conditions with a vast array of musical accompaniment. After graduating college with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing, I assembled my own band, and took to the road. That experience eventually brought the act to Las Vegas in 1982. Over the years my show has been a staple in major casino cabarets in Las Vegas, and all over Nevada. Since my first engagement at The Landmark Hotel in the early 1980's, I have literally been up and down the famed Las Vegas Strip many times over. The Desert Inn, The Dunes, The Stardust, The Maxim, The Tropicana, New York New York, Mandalay Bay, MGM, Bally's, The Flamingo, The Imperial Palace, The Four Queens, The Golden Nugget, The Fremont, The Venetian, The Palazzo, and a three year engagement at The Riviera. My show is truly comprised of musical variety; classics, showtunes, jazz, rock, blues, r&b, country. Even a presentation of "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera, that I perform in full costume. It is this ability to successfully deliver an extensive repertoire that I am enthusiastic about passing along to the next generation of entertainers.
I have been truly blessed in my career to have experienced so many highlights; too many to document. From winning an understudy roll in the Broadway Musical "Platinum" starring Hollywood actress Alexis Smith, to performing our National Anthem at events ranging from Major League Baseball to ESPN Boxing to receptions for major dignitaries, to recording 7 albums and a full-length video, to being asked to perform for Mr. Frank Sinatra at the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Golf Tournament, I have lived a full life on stage, learning and absorbing every bit of knowledge gathered along the way.
Now it is my desire to escalate my status as an educator to a more "one on one" experience; availing myself the opportunity to pass along that wealth of knowledge to individual students who aspire to enjoy the entertainment profession as I have, providing them with the skills needed to successfully compete. Or, should it be their choice not to pursue entertainment as a vocation, to gain a working understanding of all facets of their instrument so as to gain a better appreciation of music. Whatever the goal of the student, I feel that I am equipped to provide them with the tools needed to achieve that goal.
*** Lesson Details ***
Content of Sessions
Generally, the first 10-15 minutes of each lesson will be focused on vocal warmup and exercise. (For guitar students, we will review the previous
week's assignment). For Vocal Students, it is understood that the voice mechanism is made up of muscles, and as an athlete prepares for a sporting event, a singer must prepare to vocalize. It is at this time in our lesson when the student will develop good habits of voice maintenance, which will serve them well throughout their careers. The proper care and preservation of the vocal unit cannot be stressed enough, especially for pubescent and pre-pubescent students. Vocal chords in a developmental stage are most susceptible to damage, and because they are particularly sensitive, they must be handled with care. Our warm up regimen is designed to strengthen as well as preserve the singing voice.
I am not an advocate of getting too involved and "bogged down" in the technical aspects of singing, especially with the young students, and
especially early in our program. This is not to say that breath control, tonality, pitch, etc. are not vital to good singing, because these workings are ESSENTIAL, and their application will certainly be incorporated into our studies. Some instructors, on occasion, have a tendency to lose sight of the fact that much to do with singing happens "naturally", and too much focus on the "technical" can actually be inhibiting. This can alter a beautiful, natural tone into one that is unnatural and contrived.
I adhere to the philosophy that above all else, SINGERS WANT TO SING SONGS, and musicians-in-training want to play music. That is our focus, and all of our training is conceived with that objective in mind. All the technical knowledge and coaching serves no purpose without practical application. It is my belief that the most significant progress occurs when a vocalist is singing a song.
Nearly every element of instruction can be utilized in the performance of one song. This is why the majority of our session time will be spent "in song". For the very young student, we will concentrate our efforts with the students choices of favorite and familiar songs. The older students will undoubtedly have favorite songs, styles and artists. Special attention will be paid to the genre most enjoyed by the student, but diversity will be emphasized as well, and a variety of genres will be unpacked and explored. I believe that whatever a student's musical goals and aspirations, it is in their best interest to gain knowledge and insight in all facets of music, singing, and performance.
The most vital pre-requisite for any student is their enthusiasm. My ambition will be to harness that enthusiasm and channel it productively through stimulating instruction. Our sessions will be informative and educational, but always predicated upon "having fun with music".
I am proud to feature a curriculum that emphasizes the entertainment aspect of singing as well as the technical; created to benefit all ages and experience levels, from beginner to seasoned professional. After just weeks of my "Triple Threat Training" a student will begin to see astounding results: vocally, musically, and in the art of performance. I am excited to share my knowledge with you. Let's get started!
*** Studio Equipment ***
My studio is equipped with a full vocal sound system with microphones that I utilize to teach the valuable art of mic technique. Young students enjoy using the mics and hearing themselves sing and perform. Since our lessons are predicated on enjoying the art of singing, this opportunity has proven invaluable. For the advanced performer, studying all aspects of amplification and what a singer should know about their stage sound is a part of our educational curriculum. My studio is furnished with the equipment that is essential to mastering that knowledge.
Since the practical aspect of my course is based on singing songs, I provide all the latest technology required to allow my students the opportunity to sing the songs of their choosing, with and without the lead vocal tracks. I feel that when students are singing their favorite songs, it offers me the greatest teaching opportunities. I make certain the every musical genre can be represented, and feel I have the knowledge and ability to guide the student is whatever their musical tastes. My studio is also equipped with piano (for vocal exercises), and guitars, which gives me opportunity to accompany my students when the musical moment is appropriate. Be assured that all the technology I need to fulfill the educational needs of my students is but a step away!!