Cara McKinney

Cara M.

Norfolk, VA
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details

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About

Cara delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:
January 2001

Hi there! My name is Cara. I am an award winning vocalist and experienced performer who loves to teach singing. My goal is to demystify vocal technique for students and help them “find their voice" pretty quickly with patience and care in a safe and friendly environment. In a relaxed, positive, and supportive atmosphere; students will improve their breath control and support, projection, phrase length, range, intonation, quality, comfort, stage performance and presentation skills, as well as other technical and stylistic aspects. I am currently available to teach lessons at my studio and online.

My credentials and affiliations include a Bachelor's in Vocal Music from Lamar University, Hurrah Players, Governor's School for the Arts, Opera Breve, and VA Opera. I specialize in opera and musical theater. I also record and perform pop, rock, R&B, and jazz. Trained by some of the best artists and teachers in Virginia and Texas, I have gained extensive knowledge in vocal pedagogy that has allowed me to become versed in numerous styles and crossover genres. Contact me and we can discuss in more detail want you are looking for in a voice teacher, your vocal goals and experiences, as well as availability and location details. Do not miss the opportunity to work with someone who is really dedicated to nurturing voices and serving art in a down to earth way and will get you where you want to go fast.

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Experience

Voice Teacher
Sep 2014 - Present
Music Makers

Performer
Aug 2014 - Present
M2 Pictures

Performer and Voice Teacher
Jul 2014 - Present
Hurrah Players

Voice Teacher
Mar 2014 - Present
Musika

Soprano Section Leader
Aug 2011 - Aug 2013
Trinity United Methodist of Beaumont TX

Performer
Sep 1992 - Apr 2006
Va Opera

Performer
Sep 2001 - Mar 2005
Castaldi's Market and Grill

Education

B.A.A.S.
Aug 2010 - Aug 2013
Lamar University
Vocal Performance, Music, Theatre, Psychology
Jan 2004 - Dec 2009
Old Dominion University
Vocal Performance
Sep 1996 - Jun 2000
Govenor's School for the Arts - Norfolk, VA
Vocal Performance, Music
Jun 1999 - Aug 1999
Shenandoah Conservatory
Vocal Performance, Music
Jun 1998 - Aug 1998
Shenandoah Conservatory

Languages

Czech
Limited Proficiency
English
Fluent / Native Proficiency
French
Limited Proficiency
German
Limited Proficiency
Hebrew
Limited Proficiency
Italian
Limited Proficiency
Latin
Limited Proficiency

Certifications

B.A.A.S.
Aug 2013
Lamar University

Advanced Studies Diploma
Jun 2000
Maury High School

Awards

First Place Winning Vocalist
Mar 2013
NATS Houston Greater Chapter
First Place Winning Vocalist
Mar 2012
NATS Houston Greater Chapter
Third Place Winning Vocalist
Apr 2011
NATS Houston Greater Chapter
First Place Vocalist
Feb 2011
Brilliance Competition
First Place Vocalist Adult Division
Jan 2005
ODU Concerto Competition

Affiliations

National Association of Teachers of Singing
Feb 2016

Founded in 1944, National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc. (NATS) is the largest professional association of teachers of singing in the world with more than 7,000 members worldwide.

Photos & Videos

Photo by Cara M.

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Cara Isadora McKinney sings operatic style in Auto Connection commercial.
Cara singing Veronique's aria from The Hotel Casablanca with Opera Breve.
Cara Isadora singing "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story with a Opera Breve.
Cara Isadora sings Un bel di vedremo and musically directs "Phantom of the Hotshop" at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio.
Photo by Cara M.

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As Daisy in Opera Breve's production of Hotel Casablanca

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Anton in Show Business - Theatre Production at ODU

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Photo by Cara M.
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50 Reviews

Write a Review
David Oct 15, 2017
Broadway Singing · In studio

Cara is a very patient teacher and is great at making you feel comfortable singing. She has lots of experience as a both teacher and a performer and it shows. I'm a busy person and I don't always have time to practice as much as I should, many music teachers are agressively critical in such situations but Cara is very understanding and teaches at the pace you can manage.

She has the experience to recommend songs which really showcase your voice to the greatest degree but is also is willing to take input on what kind of music you prefer to sing, so you're never bored or out of your depth while practicing.

I'm very glad I found Cara and I can't recommend her services enough.

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Brian Oct 14, 2017
Vocal Training · In home

Cara was punctual and professional. She provided excellent instruction and helped me achieve my goals as a musician. I found a great improvement in my singing ability after going through a course of study and instruction with her. She was friendly and knowledgeable.

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Laura Oct 11, 2017
Broadway Singing · In studio

I have been taking lessons with Cara for two years now, and she is fantastic. Not only is her knowledge and technique very high-quality, but her manner is very low-pressure and comfortable. She's friendly and encouraging, yet still honest and constructive in her teaching. She specializes her lessons for your individual voice and selects songs and exercises best suited for you, with the proper techniques to healthily use your chords and not damage them. If you want to learn a specific song or style, she will not only teach it to you, but she'll teach you other songs and styles that will better help you sing and understand it. My voice, as well as my overall understanding of singing and music, has improved greatly since I started my lessons with Cara! She's worth every penny!

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Leah Oct 11, 2017
Broadway Singing · In studio

Cara is an incredible voice teacher. I'm incredibly picky when it comes to voice teachers and I don't want to take from any one else. She has helped me gain so much confidence in my voice and helped me discover my voice type. Her vocal warm ups and techniques have helped me develop a wider range and more confidence in my high notes.

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Sibo Oct 11, 2017
Singing · In studio

Cara is great and I've improved a lot since starting lessons with her. She uses a very technical approach, which helps me understand and learn more quickly. I feel like I have a lot better understanding of singing and the voice now. Cara is also very flexible and works with me to find lesson times around my busy school schedule. I would recommend her to anyone, as she definitely makes me feel like I'm getting my money's worth out of the experience.

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Caroline Sep 26, 2017
Singing · In studio

Professional advice. Very good first lesson

Steve Sep 26, 2017
Vocal Training · In studio

Cara is an excellent teacher, patient and knowledgeable. She is equally adept with the beginner as well as the seasoned singer. I appreciate the recitals and master's classes she has sponsored - if you're considering voice lessons, you can't do better!

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John Sep 26, 2017
Singing · In studio

Cara was simply fantastic. She gave me confidence in my voice and laid the foundation for future lessons. I recommend her to anyone at any singing ability.

Daniel H. Sep 8, 2017
Vocal Training · Online

She said she would be able to help me with an issue in falsetto but was not able to help. We spent most of the lesson doing exercises that had nothing to do with my issue. Afterwards she sent info from wikipedia on how to sing falsetto. That's not what the issue was, nor did I pay for something I could get for free on the internet. I found another teacher who was able to help - we worked directly on my issue and I learned how to resolve it. This lesson was a complete waste of my money.

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Cammy Apr 25, 2017
Vocal Training · In home

Cara was professional and kind. She is clearly at the top of her game. My girls learned so mucn from her during their in home lessons. They are still singing together and using some of the techniques from her. We appreciated her expertise and heart to teach!

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Mike Apr 6, 2017
Vocal Training · In home

A few months ago after researching a number of vocal instructors in the area and speaking with a few friends, I decided to give Cara a try based on her teaching approach, and resume. Since I had virtually no vocal experience (other than some off-key excursions in the car) I was surprised that I could actually sing the correct notes during my first lesson with her.
Cara's positive, but meticulous approach has helped me improve my vocal ability farther than I ever imagined over the last 6 months. She is fun to work with and I would recommend her to anyone.

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Madeline Apr 5, 2017
Vocal Training · In studio

Cara is a wonderful instructor. She was very patient with me and gave me the time I needed to understand different concepts. I felt that she genuinely wanted me to succeed. Thanks Cara!

Estevan Dec 29, 2016
Singing · In home

Cara knows her stuff! She's passionate about her work, and her enthusiasm is contagious. Her breadth of knowledge is only surpassed by her innate teaching ability. If you have a question, she has the answer and the ability to explain it in a way you can easily understand. She is a pleasure to work with and a secret weapon for anyone looking to take their craft to next level.

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Douglas May 11, 2016
Classical Voice · In home

Excellent instructor! Very glad I decided to take lessons and got lucky with a great teacher.

Kelley May 3, 2016
Music Performance · In studio

This was my daughter's first experience with any kind of singing lessons and Cara was patient and helped my daughter feel comfortable. She was able to get on stage for her school talent show feeling good about herself, and that was priceless.

Lauren Apr 17, 2016
Singing · In studio

Freaking awesome

Kevin Perez Mar 19, 2016
Singing · In home

Great teacher! She immediately made me feel comfortable. Explains everything in both a scientific way and also in laymans terms with examples. Makes it much easier to learn, and understand what's going on or what I should be feeling when breathing and singing.

Thanks Cara!

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Larry Gaston Mar 19, 2016
Singing · In studio

Cara is enthusiastic, perceptive, helpful and knows her stuff! Her voice is phenomenal and was inspiring to listen to. I want to learn a lot more but wish she taught a vocal course..like at a karaoke restaurant or school.

Somara Mar 2, 2016
Singing · In studio

I love my teacher. She is the best.

Tabetha M. Mar 2, 2016
Broadway Singing · In studio

Awesome teacher! Has really helped me improve so far.

Tabetha M. Mar 2, 2016
Broadway Singing · In studio

Awesome teacher! Has really helped me improve so far.

Larry Feb 4, 2016
Singing · In studio

Exactly what I need! Cara is teaching me the fundamentals of singing and I can't wait for each lesson. I have tried voice lessons on cd's from amazon in the past but having a super knowledgeable and experienced instructor in person is so much more effective!

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Somara Jan 8, 2016
Singing · In home

It was a great first experience. This was my daughter's first experience with any kind of professional lessons and Cara was patient and helped my daughter feel comfortable. She had fun and cannot wait until her next lesson.

Christine Dec 7, 2015
Speaking Voice · Online

Great instruction, clear and concise! Absolutely easy to work with!

Kaelee K. Nov 11, 2015
Singing · In studio

Cara put our 10 year old daughter at ease very quickly. We discussed goals and a very nice lesson followed. Already looking forward to next weeks lesson. Thanks!

dylan P. Oct 26, 2015
Vocal Training · In studio

Very informative!

Fanita C. Oct 20, 2015
Singing · In home

My experience is one that is excellent. Priceless scholar, kind, patient and very knowledgeable. All expectations are met and exceeded. I have seen my personal professional growth in a qualitative measure in confidence, quality of music and range.

Marquis A. Oct 14, 2015
Vocal Training · In studio

Cara is patient and helps you even when you don't understand she makes sure you does. She also helps you out with questions so make sure you have a list a questions to ask because she can help you better. It's my 3rd lesson and I'm singing very comfortably.

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Evan Adamson Oct 8, 2015
Singing · In studio

Exceeded expectations. Looking forward to more lessons.

Rachel S. Oct 5, 2015
Singing · In studio

I've only had two lessons with Cara, but so far it has been a great experience. She doesn't waste any time, is very professional, is extremely knowledgeable and proficient in her field, and provides lots of helpful feedback. I am excited to continue with her, and would recommend her to anyone looking for vocal lessons.

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Ameenah Hathaway Sep 7, 2015
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Cara, these 5 stars are not for lesson for I have never had the pleasure. These 5 stars represent how proud I am. I knew Cara back in middle school in chorus class. I remember hearing her audition for all city and distrit chorus. I believe the song was "Requiem". Beautiful!! She sang beautifully then and how amazing it is to see that you developed your talent and made it into a pretty exciting career. It is really cool to remember you as just "Cara" my talented classmate and it is pretty darn cool to see you come full circle. She is the real deal and I am confident that she will help others find their voice.

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Susanna Carlson Aug 28, 2015
Singing · In studio

Cara is a library of information and tools to help you learn how to sing. She encourages her students to practice and learn proper form. With her help I've found my voice and am encouraged to continue perfecting it. She also helped me with some bad habits that I had picked up but now know better. I highly recommend Cara and she is a true professional with a beautiful voice who knows how to teach!

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Samantha U. Aug 2, 2015
Singing · In studio

I've recently started taking singing lessons with Cara and I've had a great experience so far. She is really concerned with teaching me correct technique which is very helpful. She is patient while I'm learning and practicing better technique and is supper supportive and encouraging as she sees progress!

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Robert V. Jul 31, 2015
Singing · In studio

I only had one lesson with Cara but she was very experienced and did her best to bring out the singer in me. She found songs that would suit me and she put a lot of effort into making that first lesson as valuable to me as it could be. I really felt like she cared deeply about my progress which meant a lot to me.

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Susanna Carlson Jul 31, 2015
Singing · In studio

After just one lesson Cara has helped me use the upper part of my body to get a better sound. I look forward to the rest of my lessons with her.

Kiana G. Jul 27, 2015
Singing · In studio

Cara is engaging, friendly & comfortable to work with. Cara McKinney sang with her & Kiana appreciated her talents. Makes it easy to relate to her because you can recognize her training background. She's cool

John Jul 8, 2015
Singing · In studio

This is my first attempt at learning to sing - I have only been taking lessons for a few weeks. As others have said, she is a patient teacher, which is good for someone like me who is just starting to figure it out. That said, it's also clear to me that she has the capacity to instruct far beyond the level that I hope to achieve. I would recommend Cara to anyone looking to improve their vocals, regardless of their level of experience.

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Steve M. Jun 13, 2015
Singing · In studio

Patient, friendly, encouraging, and empowering Cara's instruction pushes you past your mental boundaries in a way that facilitates objective progress and predictable growth. I was and continue to be impressed in how Cara has helped me find and perfect my voice! Learning to be your best is easier when you feel and know that you're being guided by the best.

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Lauren L. Jun 5, 2015
Vocal Training · In studio

I have been taking lessons from Cara for only a short amount of time, and I have learned more from her, so far, than from any other instructor I have ever worked with! She is incredibly knowledgable in ways to improve my voice and really takes the time to help me understand what will benefit my voice. I cannot wait to see how much more I will grow with her training.

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Tracy B. Jun 5, 2015
Singing · In home

Cara (Miss Isadora) has been amazing! We were not sure if it was too early to begin vocal training (she was only 7) but after the first lesson we were amazed at the initial improvements. Our daughter loves to sing and has a true passion for performing and in less than a year we've heard and seen real improvements in all areas of performance. Cara is patient and so creative in applying very high level techniques for our child and we have witnessed real results. And when we get to hear Cara's angelic voice fill the house...well, can't believe we are fortunate enough to have our daughter under her tutelage. Highly recommend and applaud her flexibility in working with many different types of music and pushing students to grow in all areas of performance.

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James K. Jun 5, 2015
Musical Theater · In studio

It's a rare opportunity to get to work with such a gifted vocalist and teacher. Our daughter is amazed at her own progress and has blossomed with Cara's instruction. Highly recommend!

Thomas H. May 17, 2015
Singing · In home

Very knowledgeable.

William B. May 14, 2015
Singing · In studio

For the first evaluation I give Cara a 4 star. I can't say that she is the "best instructor ever" because I have never been instructed in music before.

Her knowledge of music is very good and her singing voice is excellent. I sang for her, got her input and sang again only better the second time around. She liked the way I sounded and has told me I am a tenor.

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Austin E. May 2, 2015
Singing · In studio

Awesome teacher. Very patient and super knowledgeable about all things vocal. Knows just what you need to get your voice to reach its full potential.

Mary H. Apr 22, 2015
Singing · In home

Very patient and has a wonderful voice!

Kelsey S. Feb 17, 2015
Singing · In home

Great voice coach! She is extremely experienced and knowledgable and fun to work with. She really cares and will work hard for your improvement. I highly recommend her!

Velynda L. Jan 11, 2015
Broadway Singing · In studio

A phenomenal teacher! She's patient, teaches with positive reinforcement, and is a determined teacher. Definitively cares about her students and strives for excellence.

William W. Dec 19, 2014
Singing · In studio

Amazing artist! Very patient and out going! Puts her heart into training you and makes sure you understand it! Literally the best instructor ever!

Sarah A. Dec 15, 2014
Vocal Training · In studio

Excellent, skilled, and patient teacher!

Tom L. Oct 30, 2014
Vocal Training · In home

Excellent teacher, and very enjoyable lessons.

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