Ray Funk

Ray F.

Tucson, AZ
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Lesson Details

Opera Voice

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
I was a staff singer with Arizona opera for 23 years. i just retired last year. we sang in Italian mostly. some french and German and even a little Russian. i know Italian pronunciation best followed by french and German.
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Ray teaches



Ray delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 7+

Teaching since:
July 1977

I grew up in a musical family in Tucson, where my dad was a high school choir teacher for 25 years. I had the privilege to be in his choirs for 2 years! I attended Northern Arizona University studying music education/performance 3 years (music scholarship), Pima College music ed. 1 year. This included 3 hours per semester of private voice. Basically a different language every semester (French, Italian, German). During this time I formed an acoustic folk/rock duo night club act and played around Tucson for several years. Then I moved to L.A. to pursue my dreams. There I played beach clubs in another duo. I also was a studio singer and produced and sold a couple of jingles. I have been a staff singer with Arizona Opera since 1992. I have been in 80 + productions/600+ performances. I just signed a contract to be in 3 operas in the 2012 - 2013 season. Also in 1992 I started my own business as a pre-school music specialist and that has been my day job for the last 20 years. I'm known as "Mr. Ray" to tens of thousands of Tucson pre-schoolers and see about 1500 little guys a week!

I have been teaching guitar and voice privately for 35years. I've had students as long as 8 years! Teaching is one of my greatest passions in life. I have a wealth of experience to draw from and would love to help you or your child realize your dreams! Obviously I specialize in kids but have had many adult students also.

I am also a recording engineer with a multi track project studio. I have produced 2 children's CD's: "Mr. Ray Sings the Dinosaur Dance and Other Favorites" and "Mr. Ray Sings Lullabies".

I've been writing songs since the 70's and can help you in many ways in that field!

*** Lesson Details ***
I have a patient style that is infused with energy! My curriculum depends on age and student goals. Acoustic guitar and voice are my specialties. Texts include Hal Leonard Guitar Method Books 1 - 3 and Beginning Classroom Guitar by Philip Hemo as well as strumming patterns and finger picking. I do assign homework. Voice lessons include ear training, vocal exercises, accessing all notes in your range and , of course, working on songs of music styles/artists you like. All students are furnished with a cd recording of the lesson. The goal for most is to perform and I have many opportunities including recitals and X-mas shows. After 3 - 6 months? Progress depends on you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in a music room, recording equipment, keyboard, PA system, mic, multi-track recorder, double french doors in glass so parents can see the lessons without being in the same room. Students take home a CD of the lesson.

*** Specialties ***
acoustic guitar, all styles vocal

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Jan 1972 - Present
Ray F.

Pro musican since 1972. radio studio TV stage teaching


Bachelor of Music Performance
Sep 1970 - May 1974
Northern arizona university

8 Reviews

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Robert D. Jun 5, 2019
Guitar · In studio

Ray is very knowledgeable and experienced. First lesson went very well.

David Mar 8, 2019
Guitar · In studio

Great teacher...works where you at, to get to where you want to go.

Gabriel Jul 30, 2018
Singing · In studio

My 13 year old son just had his first lesson with Ray to improve his vocals for musicals, and we were both so impressed. Ray subtly evaluated where my son was starting from, and how quickly he could master a technique and move on. He has a laid back style and is kind and funny, yet manages to stay focused and move the lesson forward with efficiency. He offered both recommendations for improvement as well as positive reinforcement. The CD that he sends home with each student after each lesson is a brilliant idea... when we got home, my son listened to how much his voice improved in just that 45 minutes, and why, and practiced those techniques. Ray's home studio is comfortable and airy, and there is a nice sitting area outside the studio's glass doors for parents during the lesson. We can't wait for the next lesson!

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Dave Epperson Feb 22, 2017
Guitar · In home

excellent class, information and instruction were first rate

Caye Norwick Nov 17, 2015
Singing · In studio

I have never had lessons before, I was very impressed with Ray. His knowledge and his teaching style. He stayed on task and was very informative and helpful

David E. Aug 18, 2015
Singing · In studio

My husband searched high and low for a voice lesson for our daughter. After reading many reviews online and interviewing a few potential voice teachers, he was convinced that Mr. Ray would be a great fit for our daughter. We instantly signed up for our daughter to work with Mr. Ray for 40 hours.

Mr. Ray has several fantastic qualities as teacher:

1. First and foremost, he is passionate about singing and music. there is nothing more paramount to us than for the love of learning to be fostered in our daughter. and Mr. Ray is perfect for this.

2. Mr. Ray has an incredible amount of experience in the music industry both as a singer/performer himself as well as a teacher and mentor.

3. Mr. Ray makes the singing lessons very fun. Our daughter giggles and laughs during classes while she is making serious progress as a singer.

4. Mr. Ray teaches beyond the classroom by sharing his personal wisdom in life. We were pleasantly surprised that our 7 year old daughter has ongoing conversations with Mr. Ray in career choice and development as well as self esteem. Let's just say Mr. Ray covers some pretty profound topics with kids during their weekly 1 hour sessions!

The list could go on, but why don't you (and your kid) see for yourselves.

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Adrian C. Dec 12, 2014
Guitar · In studio

He makes lessons fun. His instruction tips are very helpful for improving skills.

amanda A. Feb 13, 2013
Singing ·

mr. ray is an awesome teacher!

Mr.Ray is the music teacher at my sons' daycare and has been for the last seven years plus.His performance and ability to keep the children interested in the program is amazing! My oldest son Mikey has been at the daycare since he was a year old and is now seven and still gets excited about the annual christmas program.My youngest son Malachi loves mr. ray and talks about him endlessly when he visits the daycare.I believe he is the one who got Malachi so interested in playing the guitar! He is definitley the best and most patient music teacher we've seen and I intend on signing Malachi up as soon as he turns five!
Amanda Austin

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