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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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Octavio M.

Houston, TX

Basic technique to use the vocal instrument correctly.

About Octavio

I have been teaching voice for 7 years and my beginner students are already singing their own gigs. I have had only one advanced student in singing and in 2010 he got the zarzuela prize in the most prestigious opera competition in the world "Placido Domingo´s Operalia). I can teach in Spanish, English and Italian. and for voice I specialize in opera and mariachi music. In guitar as well as in Piano I only teach beginners.

*** Lesson Details ***
For voice I only take students from 15 years old and on. This is only because the children's voice is very delicate and I think it requires a teac
her who specializes in children for it is a big responsibility. Once the puberty voice change is gone: this is my field of expertise. with great discipline and a huge desire of success, a student could be singing in less than 6 months in a proper, healthy and beautiful way.

For guitar and for Piano, since it is for beginners, is very simple and fast, and as well as singing, if you do your homework, then the achievements will come faster than you think!!!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I need from students to provide a piano or a keyboard for voice Lessons and for Piano lessons. I would provide the music to be copied, or they can buy their own music. For guitar they have to have a classical guitar and I would bring mine so that we both can use a guitar.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in opera (for voice), but it is adaptable to any kind of singing. In guitar and Piano is only for beginners.

ATTENTION: I DO NOT TAKE CHILDREN FOR VOICE LESSONS!!!
...

Reviews

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Sara January 18, 2016
Singing · In studio
Octavio is assisting me in reading music in order to not just sing by tune but the correct time.
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Sara January 8, 2016
Singing · In studio
Octavio takes his time with his students. He worked from the ground up so that no bad habits are formed. Great instructor. Worth doing more time
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Gil G. August 25, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I was nervous when I first started my lessons, starting at my age, but Octavio made me feel comfortable and confident. He was very businesslike, and treated me like a professional, instead of just a student. I enjoyed every minute of my lessons, and would definitely recommend Octavio as a teacher.
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Octavio M.

Octavio M.

Houston, TX 77063
(6)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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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 14 years and music in general for 19 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

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Brook C. May 11, 2016
Music Theory · In home
Verified Student
Brennan is a amazing tutor and I was so glad we found her to help my daughter with her Music Theory class. They worked really well together and had so much in common. My daughter really learned allot and strongly recommend her. Now my daughter is more confident and her grades are improving.
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Bob Killinger February 29, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
She was more than I could've hoped for. Smart, intuitive and patient. I made the right choice, and I can't for the next lesson.
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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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Brennan B.

Brennan B.

Houston, TX 77009
(4)
starting at
$45 / 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 NOTES:
• To reschedule a lesson, more than one day notice is required.

• Make up lessons must be scheduled before the next regular lesson.

• A make up lesson cannot be scheduled in place of a regular lesson.

• 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

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Landon T. March 8, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Great teacher
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Mary Ann H. February 26, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Excellent teacher. Very patient even with Senior Citizens. Great credentials as well.
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Indiana P. February 21, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Very good
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Troy W.

Troy W.

Houston, TX 77006
(39)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Amelia L.

Houston, TX

Building strong vocal technique is the key to confidence and success! Ten years of vocal study and performance has given me a good ear and eye for vocal solutions for efficiency and vocal freedom in singing. I like to have fun in a productive learning environment!

About Amelia

Amelia L. graduated from UT- Austin in 2013 with a Masters degree in Opera Performance and has recently relocated to Houston. For the last three years Amelia has been teaching beginning to advanced students of voice and beginning to intermediate students of piano of all ages. Ms. L's teaching focuses on breath support, proper body alignment, vocal consistency of the entire range, and the pure enjoyment of music-making. Instilling confidence by enabling students with strong vocal technique and musicality is Ms. L's main goal.

*My availability indicates that I travel for lessons, but I usuall
y only do this when I teach at the same location for several students (for example, if a family has two or three students totaling an hour and a half+ in lesson time per week). Other than that specific situation, I teach from my home. I have a ten year-old miniature Australian Shepherd-Catahoula mix named Amity. Her name discloses her temperament; she is very friendly to all people and other animals! If you prefer, I can keep her in another room or in her "house" (her crate) during lessons.

**I will be out of down from June 18th - July 29th (my return date is approximate) I would be happy to discuss lessons for August and the fall but I will be unable to teach from my home for the next several weeks.
...

Reviews

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Joy June 17, 2016
Classical Voice · In studio
Verified Student
Positive and engaging. Amelia is knowledgeable and has wonderful people skills.
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Maya C. June 3, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
We saw improvement after the first lesson! My daughter was trying out for a musical theater class and even after only two lessons, she improved enough to get into the class. We are so thrilled. Ms. Amelia makes her feel confident and relaxed. Plus Ms. Amelia is extremely knowledgeable about technique and she makes singing fun.
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Chongzhang li February 28, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Amelia is very patient and gave me many straight to the point advices. I felt my singing has been improved after the first lesson.
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Amelia L.

Amelia L.

Houston, TX 77027
(11)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Katie L.

Houston, TX

With 3 degrees in vocal performance, appearing in regional houses across the United States, and performing Internationally, not only do I have the experience to guide my students to success in singing, but I bring a fun, light attitude to to my lessons. Students always leave my lessons happy and eager to learn more!

About Katie

Becoming a teacher is a special honor. As a teacher, sharing knowledge becomes an important part of life; not because you have to, but because you want to. I feel that I have great qualities that will enable me to be successful in this field. I have a Bachelor's and Master's Degree, and an Artist Diploma in Vocal Performance. I want to teach because I want to make a difference. I want to spark students’ interests; I want to challenge students to discover new things about themselves that they may not have otherwise known. I want to impart my fascination about music and love for singing with my
students, so they too can enjoy a life filled with the arts and come to appreciate it on a whole new level. I strongly believe that when you love to do something, it shows, and because I am so passionate about music, my teaching will be that much more effective; I believe music will help make each individual a well-rounded human being and ready to face the challenges of everyday life.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Allison June 24, 2016
Singing · In home
Verified Student
Katie really made me feel relaxed by explaining the theory behind the music. She is terrific. I am so glad I have finally found a teacher like her!
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Lidia O. June 21, 2016
Singing · In home
Verified Student
This was my first singing lesson ever and I have to say I love her so far. She had so much patience with me and she listens. So far so goo!!!
Silhouette-80
Ashley May 16, 2016
Vocal Training · In studio
Katie L. has help me in my singing in so many ways. She teaches me to believe in myself more and more each lesson. She has taught me how to sing in front of people with confidence. I went in not knowing how to sing and coming out of each lesson I feel I have improved my voice and confidence. She understands when you feel uncomfortable singing certain things but she gives the best tips and help to improve and succeed in singing. She has taught me so much about and I am so happy I got her as a voice lesson teacher
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Katie L.

Katie L.

Houston, TX 77019
(9)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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Here on the TakeLessons Blog, we talk a lot about singing tips and tricks for making your voice shine. And as you're learning how to sing -- especially if you're working with a voice teacher -- you've probably already learned how things like posture and breathing can affect your voice. But how much do you actually know about how your instrument works? Understanding how your voice works is a big key to singing well, yet many vocalists never take the time to study it. We recently connect … Read More
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