Find your true voice. Lessons are catered to your individual needs and will help you to build a strong foundation in vocal technique and creative expression. We will practice breathing fundamentals, posture, tone production, diction, and delivery, which will enable you to increase your range, stamina, and overall vocal facility.
I like to keep things simple: Singing better simply means to be able to do more of the things you want to do with your voice and to do them reliably. True, it usually includes things like singing with more range, better tone, stamina, passion, volume and power as w
ell as singing in tune and without pain. But most importantly, that you can use your singing voice freely and express yourself musically in the ways you intend.
Since your body is your instrument, your voice needs the right kinds of exercise and approach to bring it up to peak performance. On the other hand, you may not really need or want to reach your full potential. That’s OK. Whatever degree of improvement satisfies your singing goal, that’s adequate. And that’s what I consider the purpose and goal of technique – to sing what you want to sing in the way you want to sing it and maintain your vocal health. For those of you who perform there is one more step: To express yourself, connect with and emotionally move your audience.
Working with repertoire of our choosing, we can also work on: Vocal technique in bel canto and speech singing techniques for studio work and live performances Performance skills, phrasing, and musicality Developing healthy habits and structured practice methods Songwriting Guitar Keyboarding Music theory
Who am I? Professional pop/jazz/soul/R&B singer Conservatory-trained (B. Music in classical voice performance) 20 years of performance experience in jazz, pop, opera, and musical theater Eight years of private and group teaching experience NYC professional audio engineering experience
Our joint purpose is to help you discover your unique voice, and the lessons always reflect your creative goals. All ages, levels, and styles are welcome. Contact me with questions or to schedule an introductory lesson.
jon R. December 8, 2014
I began taking lessons with Mary after I heard her sing. Besides having a terrific voice I really love how effortless she makes singing look. I've been taking lessons with her for about a month and she's been helping me connect the dots. I appreciate her method. She works with me to build my voice and doesn't push a style or direction. Her descriptions give me directions on what to think and how to feel when I sing. I look forward to the coming months!
Laura B. December 5, 2014
I started training with Mary about a year ago to get my voice back in shape. After my first lesson with her, I felt so happy and inspired. Her positive and passionate energy is so powerful. I learned so much after only one lesson, and as we continue, my voice keeps getting stronger and my range is expanding. Recently, she coached me through a few pieces I had to prepare for an audition. She helped me stay disciplined and positive. With her help, I totally nailed it. I sincerely appreciate her enthusiasm and vibrant spirit along with her support and encouragement. Mary's an all around unique, talented and genuine person that I'm lucky to have stumbled upon.
Jonathan J. December 3, 2014
I came to Mary as a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who wanted help with singing/vocals. A few things were apparent from the beginning: she is a creative, patient, yet demanding teacher with a razor-sharp ear and an endless bag of similes, metaphors, and visual and mental techniques to get across the point she's trying to explain (which is all aimed at coaxing the best out of you in each lesson). I've had many music teachers over the years, and it is rare to find one who combines vast knowledge of music theory and the fundamentals/techniques of their particular instrument with the ability to translate and teach all of this effectively. Mary is exactly this type of teacher. I also appreciate that her passion and enthusiasm for music and creativity practically oozes out of her pores, and in the year+ that we've been working together she's challenged me to not only improve my vocals but develop my songwriting skills using Logic. I recommend Mary without qualification to anyone from the casual singer/strummer to the advanced musician or studio geek who wants to up their game to the next level.
As an Opera Singer; this is my strongest asset - teaching others to do what I do. My experience will help you in your journey through classical music.
After graduating from Ithaca College with degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education I spent three years teaching music in public schools. During that time I taught Kindergarten - 4th grade, as a long term substitute, and then 6th - 8th Grade Chorus to 430 students. During my time teaching my program grew at a rate of 30% annually compared to the band and orchestra who struggled to gain 5%. I attribute this success to my style of teaching which is accessible to everyone.
No matter the age, I will find out about what you are interested in besides music and use that as a hook to he
lp you understand what's going on in our lessons. Although I am tough, because I want you to get the most out of your time, I am positive and love to laugh.
Besides teaching in the public schools, I have also taught members of my own private studio from ages 10 - 60, and worked as an Associate Director of Music for a church in North Carolina.
I recently graduated from the Manhattan School of Music and am pursuing my dream of becoming a professional singer. While auditioning, I work as a Real Estate Broker in NYC.
*** Lesson Details *** During the first lesson we will talk about why you are coming and what you want to learn. Once I have a sense of what direction you'd like to go, I'll come up with a plan to take us to your goal. We will work on basic fundamentals both by themselves and through the music that we choose for you to work on.
I encourage all of my students to be actively picking music that they would like to sing and I will supplement that with pieces I think you should have in your repertoire. We will work hard to reach your goals while enjoying the process. No matter the venue, you will see success as long as you are present in our lesson time and put forth effort outside of the lesson as well.
*** Studio Equipment *** Living Room with piano
*** Specialties *** I am most at home with Classical Vocal music but have also sung as a lead Cantor at a church, in musicals, and operas. I also play piano.
LuigieN February 22, 2012
Guides me through everything step by step. Wouldn't want a different teacher.
KamilahB January 25, 2012
Andrew is an extraordinary teacher. In the first couple of weeks, he immediately identified my strengths and weaknesses and crafted individualized lessons to strengthen my piano skills. I can see an enormous difference already; he's taught me skills I could never have learned on my own. He's personable, has a good sense of humor, and holds me accountable for weekly lessons without being a taskmaster. I recommend him highly and I'm incredibly grateful for his patience, high energy, and commitment to his students.
KarimS May 26, 2011
Andrew is patient friendly and knows his technique. I was able to feel and hear growth within a few lessons.
The goal I have for my students is I want my students to really understand why they are doing a particular thing with music, where it being why do we play scales, why is it this key signature, vocal technique, warm ups, etc. I feel what my student is doing internally,and can quickly help them with fixing or adjusting their technique. I want the best for them. Always!
*** Lesson Details *** Bring your music books, a pencil, and a something to record your lessons with.
I am a very fun person, really energetic, and nice. If my students do what I ask them too, they will see that side of
me. If they don't, I tend to be a little strict and firm, mostly because when I was learning piano as a kid, I used every excuse in the book...I was an excellent pianist but bad student, and so now I understand what my teacher went through when my students don't behave or do what I ask. If you do things on time, it will benefit you!!! I am there to help :) Theory is very important to master, because it is the fundamentals of learning music. If you are learning how to sing a piece or play a piece but don't know why you are doing something in the music, then what is the point? Theory will help you understand all of that. I have been a music theory tutor at my university for the past 3 years and am very patient with my students and they all get A's! I once gave my sister a 4 hour crash course on theory for the Certificate of Merit Exam, and she literally didn't know anything because she put it off for the last minute. After the crash course, she got an 88 percent!! I am very good at what I do and love doing it.
*** Studio Equipment *** Piano
*** Travel Equipment *** Piano, staff paper I expect my students to have a notebook for me to write their homework in, music, and a piano or keyboard (if they can, but for sure piano students).
*** Specialties *** Opera, musical theater, music theory, audition prep, audition techniques. I specialize in vocal pedagogue, and my goal for my students is to have them learn and sing any genre of music they would like, as long as they do it in a healthy way. You only have one voice, one unique voice that is yours, so like they always say...treat your body...(voice) like a temple!
**TESTIMONIALS FROM PARENTS** To prospective parents looking for a voice teacher:
I would highly recommend Neda Lahidji as a voice teacher for children. Neda is a gifted singer with an amazing voice and she carries this special gift into her vocal lessons.
I first met Neda in 2013 when she was the Vocal Director for the Children's Musical Theater's Wizard of Oz. Neda was very friendly, positive, and passionate about the vocal rehearsals. She showed the kids respect, was patient when she needed to be, firm when necessary and provided the kids with the necessary tools for them to succeed in their singing. Neda's passion for singing and her excellent teaching skills made the show fun and a huge success.
My daughter was then extremely fortunate to have had Neda as her vocal teacher following the end of the show. Neda's passion for music and for teaching kids is evident in every lesson she has given my daughter. She is enthusiastic, energetic and uses many positive teaching techniques. Neda's lessons also address performance techniques, which are particularly helpful to my daughter.
I would highly recommend Neda as a vocal teacher. I am tremendously grateful to her for everything she has taught my daughter.
Both of my daughters are already missing Neda Lahidji, their vocal coach from San Jose, CA, although they feel incredibly fortunate to have worked so closely with her. And, as a mother who sat and listened on the sidelines, I wholeheartedly agree. From the start, we found Neda to be patient, encouraging, and extremely knowledgeable.
Neda always made herself available when my girls called her with a new challenge. When one of my daughters needed to find and perfect an audition song in only four weeks, Neda provided a variety of choices, helping her hone in on the best selection and work on it note-by-note. With her in-depth understanding of and experience in musical theater, Neda quickly assessed my daughter’s situation and skills, guiding her toward her audition and the lead in her school’s upcoming musical.
Neda has also worked extensively with my other daughter to expand her range, gently teasing her out of her comfort zone. An extraordinary teacher, Neda excels at providing guidance and practical exercises to help her students find the all-important mix between head and chest voice. Most importantly, Neda’s passion for music and musical theater is contagious. Both of my girls always left their lessons feeling more confident and positive about whatever challenges they faced.
I recommend Neda without reservation to any parent looking for a voice coach who can help his or her child soar!
I highly recommend Neda Lahidji as a voice teacher for any child wanting to improve their singing/voice. My daughter (14 years old), took lessons with Neda for over 6 months (2014) and we were very impressed with her talents as a voice teacher. The only reason we stopped was because Neda left San Jose to continue her education in New York. During the time that Neda instructed our daughter she helped her decide on an audition song (for Children's Musical theater), and practiced with her. She worked on different voice technics and used visual examples which were helpful in developing my daughters voice. We were able to see an improvement in my daughters ability to carry notes. Overall, Neda is a responsible, caring, teacher that thinks about the whole child and what's the best way to bring out the talent in the child. On a more personal note, Neda is a great roll model for my daughter. Neda has taken the time to talk to my daughter about school and her career in musical theater. My daughter would also like to continue her education in theater.
Advanced Training: Summer 2010: Operafestival di Roma. Performed in the opera production of Die FledermausÂ and Suor Angelica. Summer 2009: Intense one week training with the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Summer 2008: Attended the Boston University's Tanglewood Institute young artist vocal program. Summer 2007: Vocal Academy for High School Students at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Summer 2006: Participated in ÃÂAmerican Musical Theater ConservatoryÃÂ for 5 weeks for acting, singing and different styles of dancing. Experience 2011: Musical Director for Chapman University's all women acapella group Simply Vocale. 2011: Founding member of Chapman University's musical theater club Chapman On Broadway 2008: Wrote an adaptation of Cinderella for my independent drama study senior year which was performed a year later by Notre Dame Students 2007: Choreographed an opera production of Hansel and GretelÃÂ at Bay Shore Lyric Opera 2007: Assistant Director/ Stage Manager for the musical ÂOOPS: the family musicalÃÂ with BeThatKid Productions 2004: Choreographed an opera production of ÃÂmahl and the Night Visitors ÃÂat Bay Shore Lyric Opera Theatre- Participated in total of 26 shows at Roberta Jones Junior Theater, Children'Âs Musical Theater of San Jose, Notre Dame High School, Saratoga Theater Arts Repertory, and at Chapman University Opera Chapman, with many lead roles. Training Acting- Commercial, Voice Diction, Improv Acting, Soap Sitcom, Cold Read, Monologue, Runway, and Auditioning Skills Dance- Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Hip-hop- 2 years at Dance Academy Music and Voice- Piano (16 years), Violin (7 years), Voice-(11 years), Choir (6 years) Special Skills- organizational skills, people skills, leadership, sings in 4 different languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish), fluent in speaking Farsi Awards- VOICE: Spring 2010: Finalist for Y.E.S. Foundation for the Arts in San Francisco Spring 2009: won 2nd place in Aria division and 3rd place in Musical Theater division at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Spring 2008: 1st place in Musical Theater division and 2nd place in Art Song division at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Spring 2007: 3rd place at the ÂOlympiad Competition. Fall 2006: Finalist for vocal competition and winner for Top Teen Actor in Las Vegas Spring 2004: 2nd place at Western Regional/California State Talent and Performing Arts Competition PIANO: Spring 2008: Graduated from the Certificate of Merit in Piano at Dr. Daniel Harrison Music Studio (President of Certificate of Merit) Spring 2004: Grand Champion at ÃÂWestern Regional/California State Talent and Performing Arts Competition Spring 2001, 2000: 4th place consecutively at U.S. Open Music Competition 1994-2004: studied at Thomsen Studio, gave numerous recitals
Janel M. January 5, 2015
I got to experience the joy of working with Neda last fall when I did a production of The Wizard of Oz in San Jose. As the vocal director, Neda took on the responsibility of teaching kids ages 8 to 14 the songs from the timeless classic. Not only did she succeed, but she did so wonderfully! The show turned out really really well! Behind the scenes though, Neda was able to teach the songs to everyone in a fun and unique way. She was able to relate to each and everyone of us, and she made the rehearsals so enjoyable. She was very patient, very kind, and very funny! She works very well with kids, and is a joy to be around.
Bella D. January 2, 2015
I had the pleasure of working with Neda in a youth production of The Wizard of Oz in San Jose. As the vocal directer, she carried the big responsibility of bringing the lovely music in this classic to life, which she certainly succeeded at doing. At every rehearsal, she was kind and patient, and she knew exactly how to uniquely communicate ways to improve the song in a way that everyone from 8-year-old to high-schoolers could understand. Her voice is beautiful and extremely versatile. Neda is a passionate, fun, understanding person with so much to offer to a young singer or actor/actress. :)
Lisa W. May 3, 2014
A blessing for my daughter
I put off looking for voice teachers fro my daughter until her voice matured a bit. About the time I felt she was ready, we met Neda, who was the vocal director for my daughter's show. Ashley immediately took to Neda, and began weekly vocal lessons.
Not only are her fees fairly priced, we wholly trust her. She is professional, kind, patient and honest. She has helped pick out appropriate songs for my daughter to use for auditions and to help train her voice for further growth.
I have seen such an improvement in my daughter's vocal abilities. Neda has been a blessing for us and I would highly recommend her for all ages.
Having grown up with a father who ran a guitar shop and a professional singer for a mother, music was just another language to communicate with in our house. Learning to speak through music (and vice versa) taught me how to focus and develop new skills, which helped me in school with anything new that I have ever had to learn.
In 5th grade I started playing bass guitar at home, trombone in the school music program, and private lessons for piano.This got me exposed to a uniquely wide range of music very early on.
When I was a teenager, I was honored to be the youngest person to study a
t Victor Wooten's first bass/nature camp in 2000, a star-studded week long master class with some of the world's most decorated musicians in Montgomery Bell State Park outside of Nashville. I played in local bands in the Berkshires, wrote music for Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, and sang such roles as Valjean in Les Miserables and John Wilkes Booth in Assassins, as well played in orchestras across the county. I performed as both a bass player and a vocalist in the Massachusetts All-State Jazz Ensemble (separate years, of course!)
I moved to New York to get a degree in Theater as a singer and actor. Since then I've been fortunate enough to work in NY orchestras, cabarets, theater and national TV, tour the world with a variety of artists, work as a session musician and play with some of the best musicians in town.
Music has been a life-directing guide for me; from the wonder of discovery to the mastery of new and exciting techniques, music has always been a sort of way for us to communicate intimately, yet on a universal scale. To pass the same experience on to others is such a gift, and one I value greatly.
"When words fail, music speaks."
So, let's start talking!
Michael S. May 19, 2013
Guitar Verified Student
Enjoyable Learning Experience
Alex is not only a great teacher, he's a great musician. His ability to share any level of musicianship, playing, listening and learning made my time with him very well spent, My guitar playing has improved and I enjoy my guitar so much more since having worked with him. It's noticable.
I've been teaching vocal for over 10 years. Working with students of all levels of experience and all ages. My goal is for my students to feel real results even after the first lesson. With bigger gains being noticed by the end of the first month, including improvement of pitch accuracy, improved tone quality, an increase of their overall range, and even helping students find their own individual sound. I can assist with preparation for any kind of performance/audition, recording process, touring, working on your original repertoire. I also use a special technique to reanimate a student's voice after oversinging (a tired voice) or any after-sickness effects (weak, dull voice, or even no voice at all). Can't wait to meet you and help you to develop your best singing self! :)
Hi! I am a conservatory trained singer, violinist, pianist and composer, trained in classical, jazz and popular music at the Kharkov Conservatory in Ukraine and at the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow. I have over 10 years of experience in music education and have worked with students of all levels of experience and all ages. Over these years I've been developing using my own personalized approach to every individual student, as well as a uniquely designed program that gives a student the best opportunity to reach their specific goals, while developing basic music skills and increasing overa
ll creativity and intelligence. My goal is for my students to feel real results even after just the first lesson. With bigger gains being noticed by the end of the first month, including improvement of pitch accuracy, improved tone quality, an increase of their overall range, and even helping students find their own individual style and manner. I can assist with preparation for any kind of performance/audition, recording process, touring. I also use a special technique to reanimate a student's voice after oversinging (a tired voice) or any after-sickness effects (weak, dull voice, or even no voice at all). I try to incorporate basic piano and songwriting. Especially in cases where a student wants to also be able to accompany themselves or build their own original music repertoire - this can be one of the most important criteria for students whose goals include being signed by a label. I have worked with many successful recording and performing artists (including Diana Ross's daughter - Rhonda Ross), children of Hollywood celebrities - like Graham King, and students of the Manhattan School of Music.. I will be happy to assist you in achieving your dreams and goals in this exciting music journey!
I also work at a major Brooklyn Recording Studio as a music producer, arranger and composer. I write and record live orchestral instrumentations, program extensive electronic accompaniment in both, Logic and Ableton Live… as well as work as a session musician, recording piano, violin and vocals for various artists.
I have performed internationally at venues all over Europe, North America and South America. I have also recently collaborated with the Grammy award winning composer/pianist Fernando Otero on the album “RITUAL”, on which I was the featured vocalist.
Jesslynn June 27, 2015
Vocal Training ·
Maria is an amazing teacher!!! She has some unique technique that makes you understand and memorize things a lot easier and faster. I started piano lessons with her then move on to vocal training.
She's super super friendly, patient, skillful and approachable. I highly recommend her to anyone who's looking into vocal or piano lessons. I can't describe how talented she is...she pretty knows most of the instruments.
Thanks so much Maris! :) xx
Simon S. June 19, 2015
Vocal Training ·
Maria is an excellent, patient, and an absolutely meticulous instructor. Outstanding progress speaks for itself. Thank you Maria!
Fen I. June 10, 2015
I've been coming to Maria for violin lessons for almost a year and a half and she is the best thing that could ever have happened to me! She is a true musician and a very good coach, with a perfect balance of patience, pushing me to do my best, and working with me to find technique solutions that work best for me specifically. She is also kind and cheerful and an absolute joy to be around, and has worked with me on voice and music theory when I needed that as well. I would never go to anyone else for violin lessons and I highly recommend her.
Students are raving about their Opera Voice instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Isaac
"Completely revived my career
I was referred to Peter by a family friend when I was bouncing around from teacher to teacher, struggling to find the right
fit. I had put my goal of applying to vocal performance graduate programs on hold at the time. Over the past year and a half, Peter has inspired me to pursue this goal. He helped me develop a solid technique, find a new connection to my music, learn new practice habits, and remember why singing is my favorite thing to do. Peter is just as much an acting coach as he is a vocal technician. From vocal exercises to repertoire, Peter ensures that I sing with intention, confidence, and ease. He has also been instrumental in helping me work through the "head game" of a performance career, teaching me how to mentally approach auditions, practicing, and performing. As if the above is not enough, Peter is also a very strong pianist, who can help you to work on effectively communicating with your collaborative pianist. I have nothing but the highest praise for Peter."
New York, NY teacher:
Peter Van D.
Review by Ali Reza
"She is an outstanding singer and a great voice teacher. Her approach to teaching is learning by doing. She always was adamant about practicing the learned
San Bernardino, CA teacher:
Review by Vilma
"Very knowledgeable, talented and patient."
Miami, FL teacher:
Ana Maria C.
Review by Vince
"Best teacher I have ever had in any discipline"
Miami, FL teacher:
Ana Maria C.
Review by Debbie
"To say that my opera lessons with Margo have been miraculous would be an understatement. My family and friends had repeatedly encouraged me to pursue my s
inging and I wrote it off as hyperbole. When I finally decided to take it seriously I was afraid I was too old to start pursuing a career in the arts. Margo explained to me that some performers can be in their 30s or 40s before reaching full vocal maturity. She immediately took me under her wing which has resulted in near perfect pitch. Under her tutelage I have learned to evoke emotion from my audience thru both song and dramatization. Needless to say, her being multi-lingual has no doubt made her uniquely qualified to do so. If you want a disciplined, dedicated, no nonsense instructor, call her. You won't be disappointed."
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Angelyce
"Sara has a beautiful voice, knows what she is talking about and is great with my 9 year old! She is professional yet keeps the lesson fun and I would defi
nitely recommend her to others. Happy that we found her!"
Columbia, SC teacher:
Review by Alex
"I trained with Joel in Arizona for a year. I gained confidence as a singer as I started to understand and apply the technique. You know that he is knowl
edgeable because of the degrees he carries but I would add that he is knowledgeable in the operatic technique and the voice overall because of his own application that he demonstrates in the studio to get his point across. He has a great voice and you can hear him utilizing the technique that he teaches. He makes it a point to get to know you and how you learn so that he can better explain things. He is serious about his profession, owns his own opera start-up, and is also a performer. If you are willing to work, you will not be disappointed by the results you will hear. I can confidently recommend him to anyone who is looking to learn how to sing and/or improve their voice!"
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Rachael
"Kevin is an incredible instructor. He has years of experience and training in vocal pedagogy. His teaching is pedagogically accurate and physically sound.
Anyone looking to take great voice lessons in Broadway, Opera or Classical voice should definitely look no further!!! He knows how to warm up a singer and pick great repertoire that helps make singers better. I would recommend him to anyone-any age. Thank you, Kevin!!"
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Laurie
"The reason anyone takes singing lessons is to improve, to free the potential of your whole voice. Taylor can help you to do that. He has a depth of know
ledge combined with a creative array of exercises to relieve your limiting vocal habits. Taylor's approach is different from teachers who treat all voice difficulties with the same method. He seems to intuitively key into your problem areas and varies his exercises to specifically address them. His lessons are focused, lively and fun. And personally, Taylor is very kind, energetic, and open. I always leave my lessons in a more positive frame of mind. Frankly, if you're serious about fixing those vocal faults and want steady improvement in your singing, you can't do better than Taylor."