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Anyone Can Sing! Tips for Building up the Inexperienced Singer

By Robert M. - TakeLessons Singing Teacher

There is nothing more enjoyable than the human voice. All of us use our singing to bring out artistry and fun in all places, whether it is echoing the radio, wailing in the shower, praising in congregations, or just humming while you work. Preparing the inexperienced singer can prove to be a difficult, multi-tasking job as teachers attempt to build up their students’ abilities, fundamentals, techniques, tonality and most importantly, confidence.

Since I have had many opportunities to work with all types of students taking singing lessons in Houston, I have drawn together common characteristics that allow me to always have a prepared and quick diagnosis as well as extensive goals within the first lesson. The most common concerns with beginner voice students include pitch control, breath control and posture, lip shaping, tongue placement, and balance of the vocal register. Building up a beginner or even someone with very little singing ability requires routine procedures that will always yield results. Some of my favorite techniques include the following: • Use melodic intervals to aid in pitch location such as the common Dominant to Tonic • Utilize a hand mirror/standing mirror for the student to self-check lip shaping while observing the instructor • Fix breath control by advising the student to lean back and pretend to sleep in order to activate the proper intercostals muscles and the diaphragm • Adjust the pitches to the correct registers by using the incorrect pitch and sliding it up or down to the right pitch with the keyboard • Empower the students by reminding them that their musical success and progress is in their hands, as the instructor is only the guide and interpreter • Anticipate every student inability in order to always have a prepared solution to any repetitive issue

What is so important to vocal lessons is the need to continually shape and manipulate the beginning students, expanding their abilities that require a teacher to give them precise direction. My music education background allows me to go beyond just the musical necessities as I know the best strategies and approaches for students: gaining their focus and confidence, manipulating the mental filters that inhibit the learning process, push for intrinsic motivation with few rewards, and always make the material relative on a personal basis. If you are ready to begin your musical journey and let out your inner voice, I encourage you to sign up for singing lessons in Houston today!

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Brennan B.

Houston, TX

Any kind of singing lessons rooted in classical technique

About Brennan

Hello and welcome to my profile! My name is Brennan, and singing is my life. I am an opera singer (a mezzo-soprano to be precise) that is currently singing with the Houston Grand Opera chorus and teaching voice in the Houston area. Because I have been studying classical voice for almost 13 years and music in general for 18 years, I know what it takes to improve singing technique and musical skills necessary to be a great musician. As a regular performer, I also know what it takes to get over stage fright and performance anxiety, how to really capture an audience, and how to improvise on the
spot when something goes wrong.

While I was earning my Bachelor's Degree in Music at Pepperdine University, I also worked as a Music Theory tutor, so I have no problem teaching the basics to even the most beginner students. In fact, I love it! If you want to sing in styles other than opera, that's great! While I specialize in classical singing, I can always help you improve your personal style through good technique.

If you are here for speaking voice or public speaking lessons, have no fear, I can help you as well. As a performer, I often have to speak and sing in front of large crowds in many different settings. I can help you overcome stage fright, teach you how to project your voice, give helpful tips and tricks for public speaking, and teach you how to write and give an effective presentation.

For those who need help with Tonal Music Theory, look no further. I was one of two Music Theory tutors for two years at Pepperdine University. It was my job to help fellow students with homework, hold tutoring lessons, and teach aural skills.

In case you wanted to know, here are some of the roles I have played:
The Fox in "The Cunning Little Vixen" by Janacek, Rosina in "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" by Rossini, Hermia in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Britten, Margaret Page in "Falstaff" by Verdi, Jo March in "Little Women" by Adamo, Second Woman in "Dido and Aeneas" by Purcell, Third Spirit in "The Magic Flute" by Mozart, Gloria in "Thoroughly Modern Mille" by Tesori and the Stepmother in "Into the Woods" by Sondheim. I have also been a chorus member in many other shows, including "Otello" by Verdi, "Madame Butterfly" by Puccini, "Sweeny Todd" by Sondheim and "La Boheme" by Puccini. 

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe in helping the student be the best musician they can be by helping them find their inner voice and working toward a conceivable goal. I am a generally very happy and out-going person, but I am also very driven and hard-working. I love to have fun and joke around with the student while we work hard together to reach their goal. This goal is very important- every student needs to come into their first lesson with a goal in mind so that we have something to work toward together. While I expect hard work and focus during lesson times, it is important to remember that our lesson time is learning time. It is OK to make a mistake, crack, make strange sounds, dance around the room and generally do things that most people do not do in public. In order to find your voice and reach your goal, we might make the strangest sounds and the oddest metaphors you have ever heard, but it will get you the results you want.

Singing is the most organic way to create music, and like all things in this world, it is not perfect. I hope that after taking lessons with me, a student will have gotten closer to or attained their goal and will be able to use their singing voice without fear, shame, or embarrassment, and embrace it for what it is- their own, unique instrument.

*** Travel Equipment ***
If I travel to your home, we would need private space in which to practice. I can bring my own keyboard if you do not have a piano or keyboard.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Classical Singing, especially Operatic singing.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Jeffrey February 3, 2016
Opera Voice · In studio
Brennan is an extremely talented singer, and wonderful teacher. She brings to her lessons a deep understanding of a singer's anatomy, music theory, as well as a joy and enthusiasm that makes voice lessons something my daughter looks forward to. I cannot imagine my daughter taking lessons with anyone else.
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Rahul R. September 24, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
Brennan has been a wonderful teacher

Brennan is a very talented singer and it has been a pleasure taking lessons from her. She is a very good teacher and focuses on developing the basics of voice training. She is very professional and fun to work with. I have learned to appreciate music so much more. I highly recommend her.
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Brennan B.

Brennan B.

Houston, TX 77009
(2)
starting at
$45 / 30-min
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Steven E.

Houston, TX

My lesson plans are designed to be musical and fun. I want my students to learn the language of the music and understand the theory behind it. Techniques on how to strengthen the voice and get the best tonal quality. The one thing that will allow you to succeed is having a desire to learn and a passion for music. If you have those two things then I can direct you to the right path to achieve your musical goals!

About Steven

Steven E. is an American guitarist, pianist, singer, educator, producer, and song writer. Steve currently is a music director at CrossPoint Community Church. He also is a former member of Christian pop-rock group Press Play playing for thousands of people in Los Angeles, Ca. Steve holds a degree from one of the best contemporary music schools. At Musicians Institute he had an opportunity to study and play with some of the best teachers and students studying an eclectic array of musical styles. Learning from players such as Scott Henderson, Alan Hinds, Alex Machacek, Paul Gilbert, Chris Broderi
ck, the list goes on.. During that time he produced several records. He also worked on projects for members of Melissa Ethridge as well as mixing projects for jazz virtuoso Marcus Singletary. Steve is also an educator giving music lessons for beginners to professional musicians.
...

Reviews

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Matthew A. December 27, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Steve is unreal. I know I made the right choice picking him to be my teacher
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Ron M. October 16, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Steve is terrific. His lesson plans teach the fundamental skills while keeping my son interested with relevant music. My son loves to practice and looks forward to seeing Steve. My musical career was ruined early on with intense study of music theory. Instead, my son is learning to express his love music by playing. The theory can come along later when he's older and his love of playing and skills are well established.
Highly recommend lessons with Steve.
Ron
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Jennifer D. August 6, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Steven is a very knowledgeable instructor with piano and music theory. He was very patient, allowed me to pick my own music, and very accommodating with my schedule. I would recommend Steven to anyone looking for a personable and knowledge instructor!
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Steven E.

Steven E.

Houston, TX 77055
(9)
starting at
$29 / 30-min
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Elizabeth K.

Channelview, TX

Classical and broadway style
Performance techniques
Various genres of music
Any language
Student gets to pick what they want to learn

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth K. instructs Vocal, Piano, and Guitar lessons at her home or the meeting place of choice for her students. She also has Skype available for lessons over the internet for out of town students.

Elizabeth has been singing since the age of four and had her first solo in church at eleven years old. With over 15 years of private instruction experience, and a Vocal Music Education with a Concentration in Performance degree, Elizabeth is an excellent instructor and performer.
She has directed and performed in off-Broadway musicals such as Grease, Oklahoma, and West Side Story, and has
done costume make-up and design for many plays and musicals as well. She has also performed in several opera productions including Pirates of Penzance, Madam Butterfly, and Merry Widow with the San Antonio Opera, and continues to perform and help out as needed with SA Opera and local production companies. Mrs. K performs on a regular basis at local churches and with different community groups. She also is hired on a regular basis as a wedding singer and funeral cantor.
Mrs. K. loves teaching and specializes in personal one on one attention with her students, making each of them aware of how important music is for their every day lives. Elizabeth teaches all age groups, from beginner level to advanced for vocal instruction, beginner to advanced level for piano instruction, and beginner level for guitar instruction. She currently has over twenty students through Accapella Arrangements, and looks forward to meeting many more students wanting to learn and share their love of music with others.
Mrs. K. is married, has two children, and currently is the Owner/Instructor for Accapella Arrangements in Channelview and Baytown, Texas.

*** Lesson Details ***
Beginner = 30 minute lessons

Intermediate = 45 minute lessons

Advanced = 1 hour lessons

*** Studio Equipment ***
Upright Piano
Electric Keyboard
Smart phone voice memo app for Voice Lessons
Ipod and Ipod Player
CD Player
Copies of Various Music for Students

*** Travel Equipment ***
For voice lessons - I have my ipod and speakers for the music we will be singing with - and I make copies of music for my students if they need it
For guitar lesson - copies of music if they need it - they must have their own guitar.
For piano - copies of music if needed - they must have their own piano or keyboard.

*** Specialties ***
Classical Training and current Broadway style
...

Reviews

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Joshua H. January 13, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Ms. K. is exceptional! My son is not a huge fan of taking piano lessons, it's something mom's strongly encouraging him to do. He's had three teachers in the past and this is the first time he's completed a lesson and was actually excited about it!
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Elizabeth K.

Elizabeth K.

Channelview, TX 77530
(1)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
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Troy W.

Houston, TX

I have been teaching this subject for over 13 years. There is no specific curriculum as each student will come to lessons with their own unique skills, needs, and goals. Lessons are tailored to those specifics. It is not necessary to know how to read music at the first lesson for beginners. However, learning to read is required for subsequent lessons and will be a large focus for all non-readers. Music is not learned "by ear." A certain amount of theory will be a part of every lesson just as technique and repertoire. Concerning repertoire, it may be selected from the western classical, musical theatre, and popular rep based on the student's goals and learning needs with their input. The main emphasis on performance lessons, however, will be technique and reading. Students should come to the first lesson prepared to discuss their background & goals and the plan of their course of study.

About Troy

Composer Troy W. graduated from the New England Conservatory, earning his Bachelors, Masters (cum laude) and Graduate Diploma while studying with mentor Malcolm Peyton. After spending a year studying with Lukas Foss in Boston, Mr. W. moved to Houston in 2001 where he continued graduate studies at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.

During his time as a teacher with the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, Troy taught classes in music fundamentals and music theory for pre-college students. He has also served on the faculty of the Summ
er Institute for Piano teaching courses in Form & Analysis for pre-college students.

Troy also has maintained a private studio, tutoring and teaching private lessons in composition, ear training, voice, piano, literature, and history for over ten years. Students who have studied with him come from a wide range of backgrounds with different goals. Those who have continued with musical studies in college have consistently placed out of at least the first two semesters of music theory and achieved advanced placement in their chosen fields of study. Those who chose a different path continue to benefit from the education and training they received from taking music lessons.

*** Lesson Details ***
There is no "standard formula" to lessons. Each student has their own unique background, needs, and goals. Lessons tend to be somewhat casual but are structured in such a way as to meet the unique requirements of the student.

To accomplish your goals, there are a few requirements and basic expectations that the student and parent must meet.
The first is practice. Students are expected to practice daily for at least the length of their lesson time. This, above all else, is essential to progress. It is also expected that a parent will attend lessons for students who are too young to drive themselves here. It's important for a parent to guide the student's practice time (particularly for younger students) to ensure that the most is gained from it. This is why I ask that a parent observe lessons.
Each student or parent should bring to each lesson a notebook, pencils (with erasers). The notebook will be used to record notes about each lesson, homework, practice advice, etc. Pencils (not pens...nobody's perfect!) are used by composers to record their creations and performers to mark their music. Both of these essential practices are subject to changing thought and must be open to change. So no ink, please!

Performers: It is not necessary to know how to read music at the first lesson for beginners. However, learning to read is required for subsequent lessons and will be a large focus for all non-readers. Lessons are not learned "by ear." A certain amount of theory will be a part of every lesson just as technique and repertoire. Concerning repertoire, it will be selected based on the student's learning needs but also with their input. The main emphasis on performance lessons, however, will be technique and reading. Students should come to the first lesson prepared to discuss their background & goals and the plan of their course of study.
Note: Voice students must be at least 16 years of age.

Composers: Just as with performers, it is not necessary to know how to read music at the first lesson. However, learning to read is required for subsequent lessons. Many young composers have great ideas but can only hear them in their heads or play them on an instrument. Lessons will allow you to obtain the skills to write them down with greater speed, accuracy, and clarity. More advance students will also include exploring a wider range of harmonic languages, advanced notation, instrumentation, orchestration, and aural skills. Students should come to the first lesson with examples of their work, either written, notated, or recorded in a digital format. They should be prepared to discuss their background & goals and the plan of their course of study.

IMPORTANT NOTE: the studio space is also inhabited by two lovely cats. Do consider this when signing up for lessons.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Yamaha DGX-650 weighted 88 keys full sized keyboard
area for parents to sit and observe lessons.

*** Specialties ***
Main area is in classical music and media scoring with secondary focus on musical theatre vocal performance and composing/arranging.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Rebecca Girardet January 25, 2016
Opera Voice · In studio
Verified Student
Wonderful first lesson. Troy is very knowledgeable. I'm feeling more encouraged about my singing than I have in a long time.
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Timea H. January 15, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Troy was attentive to details and made very good suggestions on how to improve my sons' technique. He is very organized, and precise, while keeps the lessons fun. His assistant teacher, the unforgiving gray cat keeps an eye on the students when they do not perform. :-)
The boys were a bit discouraged when he told them that they have to practice some of the basics as there seem to be holes in their knowledge. I hope with the proper technique an structure they will quickly progress in piano and in enjoyment and appreciation of music.
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Dayzia M. January 6, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Awesome teacher, very experienced & males learning fun!!
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Troy W.

Troy W.

Houston, TX 77006
(34)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
Profile_75870_pi_IMG_2923

James B.

Houston, TX

I have beed teaching voice for 17 years. I started singing at a early age. When I was a teenager I had the privilege of traveling with a gospel recording group for 5years. I specialize in gospel,jazz,r&b, and pop sing. My sessions are fun and enthusiastic but strait to the point. Come partner with me to enhance your love for singing and music!!!

About James

I am a 37 yr old musician. I started playing drums at the age of 4years. By the time I was 15, I took on a great interest in the keyboard and organ. At the age of 16 I became the musician for my church family. This led to me becoming the praise and worship leader from that age till now. In 2012 I returned to school to further my education in music and performing arts. Im now in the process of graduating with a degree. I teach voice,piano,and drums. If you partner with me I will push you to getting the greatest success.I have been on a big stage singing with some of gospels best artist, also ac
ting in a number of stage plays. I compose as well as produce(protools,fruityloops)
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Janice Harris September 1, 2015
Singing · Online
Verified Student
James was professional and completely understood my singing goals. He was easy to trust and I felt comfortable singing in front of hml. I would highly recommend James as an instructor.
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Jalani C. August 17, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
My experience with James was amazing , I never felt so sure in my life that I could accomplish what I want to do in my life . I honestly think he's gonna make my dreams come true and I'm looking forward to working with him for a long time !
Silhouette-80
John July 8, 2015
Singing
I have been a student of James for over 2 years, he has taught me so much about singing. I am a tenor in his choir and he has pushed me further than I could ever imagine. He is always looking for the right pitch,tone,and note of a song. James is the best teacher EVER!!!
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James B.

James B.

Houston, TX 77092
(3)
starting at
$15 / 30-min

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