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Pittsburgh's Singing Community

By Cindy H. - Pittsburgh Singing Teacher

Are you a “shower singer” or a “living room singer” who has been thinking about finding others to sing with? Are you interested in taking singing lessons in Pittsburgh? Well, you’re in luck! Pittsburgh is a city of singers - ranging from casual singers, who get together just for fun, to experienced choristers and jazz singers, who rehearse tirelessly and perform on stage around the city. But, you don’t have to be a professional to find a group of like-minded singers. Here are some excellent opportunities in a number of genres.

  1. Church Choirs If your goal is to sing regularly and learn some vocal skills along the way, singing with a church choir might be just the thing for you. Almost every church has a choir, and like the churches that host them, they vary in size. The best way to find one that suits your interests is to visit on a Sunday when the choir is singing. If you like the way they sound and the repertoire they are performing, why not introduce yourself to the choir director and ask if you can attend a rehearsal? Directors are almost always interested in finding new singers, so unless you’re visiting a church with an elite auditioned choir, odds are that you’ll get an enthusiastic welcome.

  2. Calliope Folk Song Night If you like folk songs, you’ll love the monthly folk song night sponsored by the Calliope Folk Music Society on the third Wednesday of every month. It’s a song circle where everyone gets to lead at least a song or two of their choice, so bring your instrument and be prepared to sing your favorite song. Or, you can just sit in the circle and sing along without leading. It’s all very relaxed and casual, and if you’re learning how to sing in front of other people, the song circle is a great way to practice your skills.

  3. Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle Calliope also sponsors a songwriters’ circle on the first Tuesday of every month. If you’re writing your own songs and want a good place to try them out, the Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle is a wonderfully supportive environment.

  4. Shape Note Sing Shape-note singers in the Pittsburgh area meet on the first Saturday of the month to sing from the 1991 Denson Sacred Harp repertoire. The shape note method was designed in the early 19th century and was intended to facilitate community singing, especially in churches. You don’t need to know anything about it to attend a sing: experienced singers buddy up with new singers so that everyone learns together. If you want to improve your sight-reading skills, shape note singing is an excellent way to push yourself along that path.

  5. Community Choirs If you’re an experienced choral singer, you might want to seek out a community choir. Auditioned groups include the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale, the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, all of which focus on classical choral repertoire. For a change of pace, check out El Coro Latinoamericano, a group that specializes in repertoire from South America. The North Hills Chorale is a non-auditioned community choir, and the Renaissance City Choirs include LGBTQ-friendly male, female and mixed groups open to all levels of singers, but requiring a placement audition.

  6. Singing for a Purpose If you’re interested in using your voice for a purpose, check out the Pittsburgh Threshold Choir (women only) and the Pittsburgh Men’s Threshold Singers (men only). These two groups have a common mission of singing at the bedsides of people who are very ill or dying, primarily hospice patients. All skill levels are welcome, and no auditions are required.

  7. Senior Singing If you’re a senior and you like to sing familiar songs from the 40s to the present, you might enjoy the JCC Chorus or the The Tuesday Musical Club. The JCC chorus meets every Thursday and the Tuesday Musical Club meets every Tuesday. No auditions are required, and both groups perform at local senior residences and nursing homes.

If you’re interested in taking singing lessons in Pittsburgh, then these are just a few of the local opportunities open to you where you can practice your singing skills! So, take your voice out for an adventure and make music with some new friends!

About Desiree S.

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Pittsburgh, PA

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Vocal technique
Vocal performance
Diction

About Desiree
I'™m excited to be a TakeLessons instructor and to be able to share my experience and knowledge with you. I have been a singer and performer for over 20 years and have taught voice and beginning piano for six years.

I received a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. I continued my studies in New York City in voice, acting and diction.

I continue to be an active performer specializing in musical theater, opera and concert. I began my professional career a
s an apprentice with the Portland Opera in Oregon. Since then, I have appeared with opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States and abroad and am a frequent guest vocalist and recitalist.

Recently, I performed with Alia Musica here in Pittsburgh premiering works by local composers and created the role of Pamela in the premiere of TOOWHOPERA by composer Sorrel Hays in Rome, GA. On the concert stage, I have recently appeared with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Bach Choir and CreateHere'™s Hops and Opera.

Highlights of my performances include Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflote with West Bay Opera, Stockton Opera, Opera San Jose and Pocket Opera, Despina in Cosi fan tutte with Mission City Opera, Blonde in Abduction from the Seraglio and Yvette in La Rondine with Pocket Opera, Cunegonde in Candide with Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Other roles include Rosa Bud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Abigail in The Crucible, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Madame Herz in The Impresario, Lucy in Threepenny Opera, Monica in The Medium, and Pamina in The Magic Flute.

I was a featured performer in a series of concerts in Europe, South America, and Australia aboard Cunard'™s Vistafjord and Royal Viking Sun.

I was named a world finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition, a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a semi-finalist in the Jenny Lind Competition and a regional winner in the MacAllister Competition.

*** Lesson Details ***
Whether it is preparing for a competition, an audition or a role for the school play, I enjoy helping students of all ages reach their goals. I structure the curriculum to the individual needs of my students, focusing on healthy vocal technique, musicianship, stage presence, and joy in music.

During your first lesson, you will sing various vocalises to determine how you negotiate the changes in registration, what your vocal range is, and what you have to work on to improve your vocal quality, stamina, and flexibility.

If you do not see an available time, please call Takelessons. I sometimes have availability that is not visible on my calendar.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living Room: baby grand, couch, chair, bench, small table, adjoining dining room where parents can wait.
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Reviews
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Heather K. September 29, 2016
· Singing · In studio
The atmosphere is very inspiring and Desiree's teaching methodology gets at the core of your performance technique and improves it.
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Shayna V. August 11, 2016
· Singing · In home
My 9 year old felt very comfortable with Desiree and enjoyed her first lesson.
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Debbi K. February 9, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Desiree is an excellent voice teacher. She really helped my daughter (age 10 at the time) tremendously, and made it a very fun and enjoyable experience. We plan to start up voice lessons again real soon.
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Desiree S.

Desiree S.

Pittsburgh, PA 15232
(23)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Melody M.

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Valencia, PA
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"PASSION is CONTAGIOUS!"

I am a specialized vocal technique instructor, which means that I teach each student how to use and develop their instrument through a series of exercises designed specifically for their particular voice. I believe that lessons should be exciting and enjoyable while at the same time challenging. Mistakes are part of the learning process!!! So in my studio, I encourage all students to take risks and explore their voices. I teach all styles, and particularly enjoy singing the blues. My motto is: Passion is contagious! I am a very passionate teacher, and my number one goal is to awaken the passion in every one of my students.
My favorite teacher is my SLS founder and CEO, Seth Riggs, who has taught just about every celebrity including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Kelly Clarkson. I am a certified SLS instructor, and currently hold a BA in music from San Diego State University.

About Melody
*For more information on SKYPE lessons, please read the "lesson details" section.

Melody is a certified Speech Level Singing Instructor. She maintains this certification through the continuous rigorous training and evaluation program created by celebrity vocal instructor Seth Riggs whose students include Michael Jackson, Kelly Clarkson, Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, and many more. Melody utilizes over 10 years of vocal study to help her students connect head and chest voice, create a strong mix voice, and extend their ranges.
She creates a fun and relaxed atmosphere where mist
akes are considered part of the learning process, and thus encouraged. She has studied with Seth Riggs (CEO SLS), Greg Enriquez (SLS), Kathy Kennedy (SLS), Virginia Norwood (SLS), Guy Babusek (SLS), Charlene Chi (PHD. Voice UCSB), Dr. Randal Wagner, and Steve Mortier.

Melody has been a professional musician, vocalist, and actress since she was 16 years old. She began her career in musical theatre and graduated to film and television, starring in the independent hit "Down and Out with the Dolls." Her rolls in theatrical productions include Ti Moune in Once on This Island, Rizzo in Grease and numerable others. She has enjoyed a career as a professional vocalist performing in nightclubs, music festivals, casino's, and as an opening act for many national and touring performers. As a teacher, Melody draws from her experiences on the road, in front of the camera, and in the studio. She currently holds a Bachelor's of Music Degree from San Diego State University's Don Powell school of Music and Dance, and is a Certified SLS Vocal Technique Instructor. She teaches all ages, from young children to seasoned adults.

Personal Message: "Learning how to sing is fun!! It is also a lot of work. =) My goal for each student in every lesson is that they EXPERIENCE something new and better when it comes to vocal technique, and that they EXPERIENCE what I like to call the "happy music feeling." The perfect hybrid is when vocal technique is no longer an issue, and singing songs becomes effortless, joyful, and ripe for self expression and passion. This does not happen overnight, but with practice, dedication, and a patient impatience that keeps the student striving for perfection while simultaneously enjoying the process.

I teach all ages and I don't require an audition like many other highly trained teachers. I understand that you are coming to me to learn HOW to sing, and this is why I love beginners so much! I have spent many years studying to become the best voice teacher I can because I find teaching others the joy of singing incredibly rewarding. I understand the demands of a rigorous performance schedule, and I love the opportunity to help fine tune a working singer's vocal technique. Whether you are a beginner, a professional, or somewhere in between, I can teach you to sing higher, stronger, and faster with more ease than you probably thought possible. I look forward to working with you and your voice!"

Here are some nice things people have said about her:

"A rock chanteuse with a bold attitude and a set of seductive, versatile pipes. . "
-Anthony Davis Texarkana Gazette

The Forum Newsweekly
"Melody stands poised to take the national stage with a unique style and dynamic performing presence."

The Shreveport times
"She sat in for a set at the Noble Savage Tavern and as soon as she hit
that first chord and that first note, everybody stopped talking and
faces were pointed to the stage."

Dan Garner
Tipitina's

The Shreveport Times
"Whether she's playing solo shows or gigs with her band, [Melody] has a
keen ability to translate her emotions about dreams lost and chased
into bluesy, heartfelt, tumultuous vocals."

Michael Pickett
"Hey Melody! Thanks so much for jumping into the 2007 Lake Roosevelt
Musicfest. You were a huge hit up here!! The mayor was sitting around
with some of her volunteers and told me 'we think Melody takes
the prize this year'. It was just a great addition the event and you
made me look really good by just knocking everybody out like that! "

Personal thank you letter from Michael Pickett, promoter of annual Musicfest in Marcus, Washington.

*** Lesson Details ***

SKYPE LESSONS: Since I moved to Pennsylvania from San Diego, I have begun taking all of my lessons from Seth Riggs via Skype. I also maintained almost my entire San Diego student base by teaching via Skype, and in addition starting accepting students from all over the country and the world. I now have a very busy studio with an over 70% Skype student base due to the high demand for SLS technique and a balanced approach to singing instruction.
My youngest Skype student is 4 years old, and I recently held my first Skype Student integrated recital where online students performed live on a big screen from the comfort of their own homes! I'm constantly thinking of new ways to engage students from all corners of the world, create an online studio community, and offer performance and learning opportunities. Skype lessons are a great option for those without access to good vocal technique instructors or those who have tight schedules and prefer not to battle traffic on the way to the voice studio.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Keyboard, piano, microphone,
Guitars.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Will travel for:
Studio coaching for artist recording.

*** Specialties ***
Voice: I teach pop, musical theatre, Jazz, rock and blues styles.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Melanie February 4, 2017
· Singing · Online
Funny and deeply knowledgeable!
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Freija B. June 1, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Daughter seemed to enjoy herself!
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Darwin W. May 5, 2016
· Singing · Online
First lesson was awesome! Melody taught me things that I never knew after 50 years of singing. Looking forward to more lessons!
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Melody M.

Melody M.

Valencia, PA 16059
(37)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Xinlei C.

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Pittsburgh, PA
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When teaching younger students and beginners, I start with very simple excercises that help the student learn to breathe correctly, produce a firm, solid tone, and maintain and control pitch. With more experienced students, I try to work on expanding their range, and also teach them to control the positions of their throat, face, and chest.

About Xinlei
I started taking music lessons when I was 7 years old. I have earned a bachelor's degree in music composition from the Tianjin Conservatory of Music in China, and a master's degree in music composition from Duquesne University. I have years of experience teaching voice, composition, ear training, and music theory in both private lessons and in classroom settings. I am very friendly and outgoing, and I'm very easy to work with.
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Reviews
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Yam B. August 23, 2016
· Singing · In home
Perfectly fit as a voice teacher
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Nina T. March 28, 2016
· Singing · In home
Xinlei is very knowledgeable an very nice. Xinlei made my daughter feel very comfortable and she can't wait until her next lesson.
Silhouette-80
Brad February 24, 2016
· Singing · In studio
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Xinlei. She has learned a lot and Xinlei is always very attentive and motivating. I highly recommend her as a teacher!
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Xinlei C.

Xinlei C.

Pittsburgh, PA 15216
(5)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About David B.

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Latrobe, PA
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Singing is one of the most common forms of musical expression for most people. Singing in the shower, singing with the radio. Now is the time to enhance your skills with lessons. I have a degree in music education, with a concentration in voice, from St. Vincent College. I look forward to helping you expand your vocal skills, to enhance your singing voice, and to help you continue to enjoy singing.

About David
Hi, there! My name is David B. and I look forward to meeting you! I've been teaching private lessons since 1994 and have loved helping my students learn music in a way that not only increases their skill and knowledge, but also builds self esteem, allows for creative expression of themselves and creates lifelong music lovers. I went to St. Vincent College and earned a degree in music education, with a voice concentration and studies in piano and organ, in 1998. I'm a positive, helpful person and my teaching style is demanding yet patient. I strive to push students to be their very best,
yet am patient while working to overcome the stumbling blocks we all encounter when learning. I look forward to helping you reach your goals!
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Reviews
Silhouette-80
Lauryn R. November 22, 2016
· Singing · In home
Made Lauryn feel more comfortable and relax. He finds out where to start from on the first visit. We are very impressed with David's teaching skills!!!
Silhouette-80
Lauryn R. November 22, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Even though it was the first lesson my daughter enjoyed a lot cannot wait till next visit
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Alexander P. November 1, 2016
· Singing · In home
David really worked with my son on his audition song as he is preparing for high school musical audition. Great instruction and constructive feedback. Obvious improvement after one 45 min lesson. David also gave helpful advice regarding auditions and what a director may be looking for.
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David B.

David B.

Pittsburgh, PA 15233
(6)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Rosanna P.

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Pittsburgh, PA

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Having spent most of my life performing onstage, I have experience singing multiple genres of music including musical theater, jazz, and original music. No matter your age, skill level, or interests, lessons are based on your goals as a vocalist. I absolutely love teaching and empowering people to gain more control, texture, dynamic, and strength to their voice. Whether you want to strengthen vocal techniques or have more fun singing karaoke with friends, singing lessons are for you!

About Rosanna
At a young age, I began performing in musical theater productions with the Civic Light Opera in Pittsburgh at the Benedum and Byham Theaters. Throughout high school, I continued performing in school and community theater musical productions. In college I was the lead vocalist in the jazz band, historian of the choir, and led an all female acapella group. During this time, I also discovered a love for writing original music and formed an acoustic duo called Scott and Rosanna. I graduated from college in December 2013 with an art education degree.

I began teaching private voice lessons durin
g my senior year in college in 2012, and absolutely love the honor of empowering young, aspiring singers to be the best vocalists they can be. I focus on creating engaging, student-based lessons catered to each individual's goals. My experience teaching in a classroom setting has given me the experience and ability to understand how to scaffold lessons and track progress. Many people have a misconception that a good singing voice is either something 'you have or you don't', but I don't believe that's true! It just takes practice and an open mind!

So whether you are preparing for an audition, looking to improve your vocal technique, or searching for a fun outlet, I would love to work with you!
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Reviews
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Bill December 20, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Rosanna is a wonderfully talented vocalist and teacher. I am the owner of From The Top Music Shop in Monongahela Pa, and we are fortunate to have her teaching here. She is very versatile, patient with her students, and a great motivator. Most importantly, she is an active professional musician with a deep love for what she does. Highly recommended!
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Anna December 2, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Best teacher I've had for voice! She is very nice and very helpful!
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Amy November 29, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Really easy to practice with, nicest person ever
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Rosanna P.

Rosanna P.

Pittsburgh, PA 15211
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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How to Be a Singer: Finding Gigs as a Backup Vocalist

Backup singing is a crucial part of great albums and concerts. While it may seem that the lead singer has a tough job, it's easy to forget how challenging it is to seamlessly weave complex harmonies into an overall melody, all without taking over the spotlight. If you’re a singer who doesn’t necessarily want to take center stage, consider a career as a backup singer. Great backup singers get to be a part of some amazing experiences without the harsh glare of fame. It’s a big job, but it's defini … Read More

How to Be a Singer: Finding Gigs as a Backup Vocalist
Backup singing is a crucial part of great albums and concerts. While it may seem that the lead singer has a tough job, it's easy to forget how challenging it is to seamlessly weave complex harmonies into an overall melody, all without taking over the spotlight. If you’re a singer who doesn’t necessarily want to take center stage, consider a career as a backup singer. Great backup singers get to be a part of some amazing experiences without the harsh glare of fame. It’s a big job, but it's defini
How to Sing R&B | 4 Tips for Beginners
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