Patricia Shanks

Patricia S.

Laguna Hills, CA

Lesson Details



Patricia delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
and Ages 8+

Teaching since:
June 1973

I teach voice technique - how to get the most from your voice with no strain. And I also teach piano. Students and parents of students who expect intelligent, formal, conventional vocal or piano lessons taught by a seasoned, congenial and caring teacher will enjoy working with me.

And with more than 10 years Meisner-based acting training (Charles Conrad Studio and Steve Eastin Studio) and performing in film, TV, onstage and doing professional voiceover work, I am amply equipped to coach actors in your craft.

The more you put into your lessons, the more you get back from me. I love teaching those individuals who have a passion for their music.

I've taught privately and in public and private schools and in college and conservatory settings, vocal directed and musical directed musical theatre productions and directed choirs since 1975. I've taught for the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA), and I currently teach voice and piano for the Music Conservatory at Mission Viejo Christian Church.

My professional background includes chorus work with Los Angeles Music Center Opera, with Orange County’s Opera Pacific and with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. I'm a San Mateo County Vocal Competition prize winner, and former staff soloist for the televised Crystal Cathedral Hour of Power Choir and the pre-recorded annual Glories of Christmas and Easter.

I've sung pop and rock, classical and religious background music, recording in various studios, including Hollywood's Capital Records, and performing in live venues large and small.

I honed my skills with a number of exceptional musicians including, most notably, Natalie Limonick (formerly general director of the USC Opera Program, director of the UCLA Opera Workshop and Opera Guild of Southern California President), Esther Andreas (Metropolitan Opera), Naomi Farr (New York City Opera), Nina Hinson (San Francisco Opera), Marion Cooper, Dietrich Erbelding, Charles Ross Perlee (conductor, San Francisco Opera and Bremen Opera), and several other respected teachers and coaches.

I'm a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Music Teachers Association of California, Music Teachers National Association, and the California Association of Professional Music Teachers. And I'm a Founding Teacher for the Music Development Program of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

I've been awarded an Emmy® for writing, I'm a former TV Arts & Entertainment news host and producer, NPR radio station affiliate host, and a former columnist for The Los Angeles Daily News. I'm a working spoken voice-over talent and an active member of SAG-AFTRA and AGMA.


♫♫♫ Read me on the Blog! ♫♫♫

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Sole Proprietor
Jun 1999 - Present
Patricia S. Voice Studio

Piano and voice studio offering private instruction. Orange County, California.


Sole Proprietor
Jul 2015 - Apr 2016
Studio S. Productions

Full-service performing arts training in Laguna Niguel, South Orange County, California.

Acting, singing, piano. Private lessons and classes.

Showcases. Artist Development. Casting Director Workshops.

Jan 1973 - Sep 2010

Contracted to teach acting, voice, piano, musical theatre vocal and musical direction, choir direction for groups, businesses and organizations, including Gold Coast Players, Palos Verdes Players, Hollywood Jewel Box Theatre, numerous public and private schools, SAG Conservatory, others.

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Voice & Voice Acting Instructor
Sep 2008 - Jun 2009
Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA)

Classroom singing and voice-over for the Music & Theatre Conservatory

Sep 1996 - Jun 1998
Amadeus Boys & Girls Choirs

Director, Amadeus Choirs, Moorpark College, CA

Voice Instructor
Jan 1996 - Jul 1997
Gold Coast Theatre Conservatory

Classroom voice instructor, Gold Coast Theatre Conservatory, Thousand Oaks, CA

Voice Instructor
Jan 1989 - Jan 1992
City of Los Angeles Parks & Recreation

Voice class instructor and director of the Harbor Ecumenical Choir

Voice Instructor
Jan 1987 - Jan 1989
Angels Gate Cultural Center

Classroom voice and music instructor and community concert series coordinator

Music Specialist
Sep 1986 - Jun 1988
City of Redondo Beach

Classroom voice and music instruction in Redondo Beach public schools

Voice Instructor
Sep 1986 - Jun 1988
CSU Dominguez Hills

Voice Instructor for the weekend conservatory program at CSUDH

Music Instructor
Sep 1986 - Jun 1987
Carden Dominion School

Classroom music for Carden Dominion School, Redondo Beach, CA


Bachelor of Science
Sep 1988 - Dec 1990
University of Redlands


Standard Designated Subjects Credential
Sep 1973
State of California


Ms Newport Beach Ambassador
Nov 2013
Newport Beach Pageants
Jun 2010
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
San Mateo County Vocal Competition
Jul 1982
San Mateo County


Music Teachers National Association
Jun 2010

The MTNA was founded in 1876 with the goal of advancing the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. With nearly 22,000 members in 50 states—and more than 500 local affiliates—the MTNA is the preeminent source for music teacher support, where members embody like-minded values and commitment to their students, colleagues and society as a whole, while reaping the rewards of collaboration, continuity and connection throughout the lifetime of their careers.

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Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
Jan 2004

An American labor union representing over 160,000 film and television principal and background performers, journalists, and radio personalities worldwide.

National Association of Teachers of Singing
Jun 2001

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.

Music Teachers' Association of California
Sep 1986

MTAC aspires to be the recognized leader in (1) Student Programs, which make a positive impact in the quality of music education and in the lives of music students; (2) Member Programs, which inspire quality teaching, the pursuit of ongoing teacher education and member involvement with community outreach; (3) a thriving Foundation, which funds Student Programs and member needs through its investments, donations, and grants.

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American Guild of Musical Artists
Sep 1985

An American labor union that represents 8,000 current and retired opera singers, ballet and other dancers, opera directors, backstage production personnel at opera and dance companies, and figure skaters.

Photos & Videos

Patricia S. with student Julia Urone at Chapman University, March 2016. Julia performed on the MTAC Orange County Branch Honors Recital.

A recent guest appearance talking about voice production.

Instructor Patricia S. is Ms. Newport Beach Ambassador. Patricia coaches pageant contestants on songs and performance.

Teaching singing to a class of young actors at the SAG Conservatory

Patricia S. as vocal/music director and conductor with the band for performances of Pippin

With one of many award-winning clients, Sarah Maugaotega, following the NATS Student Evaluations

A beauty pageant voice coaching success story.

Teaching voice and piano for 4 decades.

Patricia S. teaching a class at the SAG Conservatory.
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11 Reviews

Write a Review
Teddy Mar 26, 2017
Vocal Training · In studio

Great teacher and experience! Lessons are personalized to your needs to help you make the most progress.

Marissa J Hoffman May 20, 2016
Singing · In studio

Patricia is the teacher you need if you are serious about taking your singing to the next level. Her classes are challenging but she is patient. With each of her classes I learn valuable skills and techniques that I will use forever. She is truly a pro at what she does. Plus, she's fun! I couldn't imagine a better vocal coach.

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Nathan Urone Nov 20, 2015
Singing · In studio

Patricia has not only trained my daughter to sing correctly and read music wnderfully, she has also developed a strong relationship with her and given her self confidence and a love of music in general.

Roland Henderson Nov 19, 2015
Singing · In studio

A little over a year ago I decided to take singing lessons. I scoured the internet and Yelp. It became apparent that I should try with Patricia Shanks. From my initial evaluation to the present day I am happy to say I made the right choice. On two counts. One, Patricia is long on substance and understands her craft at the highest possible level. She knows what she's doing. Count two, she blends into her approach a high level of compassion and just plain old down-to-earth care & concern for your best result and happiness and success. She immediately made feel comfortable and "accepted". And genuinely so. I have grown in the abundance of her able guidance. In this day and age of quick fixes and minimal effort it is refreshing to have someone performing her tasks as she does. You will NOT be disappointed. She is, in every sense of the word "Perfect".

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Michael Nov 19, 2015
Piano · In home

Patricia has taught my boys piano for over 3 years and their progression over the years has been phenomenal! She communicates well with me and boys, she is an outside-the-box type teacher who uses technology as a tool to teach, and she pushes the boys to perform to the best of their abilities. If you are truly interested in having a music teacher that can really teach your child music, it is a no-brainer.

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Lori C. Sep 22, 2015
Singing · In studio

Patricia has phenomenal presence and knowledge. She is a detailed and skilled voice coach. And, her warm enviting personality are a delight. I highly recommend her as a truly respected artist. Thank-you Patricia:)

Lori C. Sep 22, 2015
Singing · In studio

Patricia has phenomenal presence and knowledge. She is a detailed and skilled voice coach. And, her warm enviting personality are a delight. I highly recommend her as a truly respected artist. Thank-you Patricia:)

Lori C. Sep 22, 2015
Singing · In studio

Patricia has phenomenal presence and knowledge. She is a detailed and skilled voice coach. And, her warm enviting personality are a delight. I highly recommend her as a truly respected artist. Thank-you Patricia:)

Dorothy S. Nov 28, 2014
Singing · In studio

Over the past year, my two children have taken singing lessons with Patricia. My kids are polar opposites of each other - in age, temperament, behavior, patience - you name it. My 14 year old daughter is in the gifted program at high school and my son in on the spectrum and spends part of each day in the special day class at his elementary school. Somehow, Patricia is able to provide individually tailored lessons for each child. They absolutely love going to see her! As a mother, nothing is more important than seeing your children thrive. This has been a richly rewarding experience for all of us.

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Joni M. Nov 25, 2014
Audition Prep · In studio

Patricia single-handedly helped me ace my audition. She was positive, encouraging and gave me the skills and confidence I needed to blow away the competition. I would use her again in a heartbeat. Do yourself a favor and book a lesson with this awesome coach!

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Joan M. Oct 27, 2014
Vocal Technique · In studio

Patricia is an amazing instructor on many levels. While she is an accomplished performer in her own right, she is equally able to break down the necessary vocal techniques in a manner that all ages and all levels can relate to. Lessons with Patricia are productive, but they are also fun! You will not find a more dedicated vocal coach anywhere.

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