Hello! I teach singing and acting vocal skills online and in person in NYC near Times Square. I coach kids, teens, adults, amateurs, and professionals who love to sing, who think they can't sing, or who would like to sing more athletically than they currently do. I provide discounts for children and recreational singers, and I provide additional piano accompanying and self-taping services for professional students. ***Please contact me to check my availability if you do not see a time that fits with my calendar.***
I am a practical vocal coach with 25+ years of experience as a private voice teacher, audition coach, music director, and piano accompanist. I enjoy providing affordable lessons and helping aspiring athletes and artists pursue their dreams to belt on Broadway, let loose with karaoke, or rock out with a local band. I really enjoy troubleshooting difficult songs and helping my students who are passionately committed to their goals but have limited time for a more traditional curriculum.
My main expertise is coaching professional dancers, singers, and actors to:
(1) sing a variety of styles (especially pop/rock),
(2) build an audition book that represents their brand,
(3) prepare sides and monologues for callbacks, and
(4) develop a storyteller mindset.
Although I work primarily with young professionals, I also enjoy serving recreational learners whose musical dreams may simply be to:
(1) learn a new song,
(2) sing karaoke with friends, or
(3) jam out alone with YouTube.
For both recreational and professional learners, I hope to instill a love and joy of singing and acting without the pressure of grades, perfection, and judges.
Consultation/Introductory Workshop available - If you are new to singing lessons and would like (1) a consultation, (2) more time to prepare audition materials, or (3) a one-time Intro to Singing class, please feel free to request a longer workshop session.
Professional Memberships: NYSTA (New York Singing Teachers' Association), NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), Voice Foundation, VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association)
I tailor my lessons to the needs, goals, personality, and financial circumstances of each individual learner.
If you have never taken voice lessons, or you are unsure about what to expect from voice lessons, you may read the following to help clarify your goals to me as I structure lessons differently for the recreational and professional learner.
PROFESSIONAL: In general, both student and I will choose songs. We will learn various singing styles (music theatre, pop, rock, country, jazz, classical/legit) and build a standard Broadway audition book. We will also develop the speaking voice and prepare for auditions and performances. Sometimes I will provide the sheet music or learners will need to purchase sheet music. Throughout the lessons, students will:
(1) learn some new mindsets about what it means to be a performer and storyteller;
(2) learn the pitches and rhythms of a variety of audition cuts of pop/rock and musical theater songs;
(3) learn singing tips to build performance confidence;
(4) learn some easy ways to connect with themselves and with an audience;
(5) learn to be more confident when preparing for live auditions and submitting self-tape auditions;
(6) learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA);
(7) learn voice and speech tips to prepare for "slates" and "sides"; and
(8) learn easy movements to be an expressive performer.
RECREATIONAL: In general, the student often chooses the songs to sing at each lesson, and I provide singing tips for the student to apply to the songs. We will:
(1) build a repertoire of favorite songs that the student chooses and songs that I may recommend;
(2) exercise various muscles involved in speaking and singing, including the eyes;
(3) learn some basic musicianship skills; and
(4) learn some easy performance skills.
No prior experience is necessary -- just a curiosity for trying new things, a willingness to make mistakes, and a love for singing.
FOR YOUNG CHILDREN (AGES 8-10): In general, we will spend most of the time building repertoire and learning songs that student enjoys singing. As children can differ widely in their physical and mental development, and even on a day-to-day basis, I will adjust the lessons accordingly to be more musicianship-based, technique-based or performance-based depending on the student's personality and student's goals. We will learn primarily through imitation and repetition. As children tend to enjoy repetition, we may spend several lessons on the same song, which I will use to build:
(1) thinker skills (e.g., rhythm, solfege, pitch matching, sight reading),
(2) doer skills (e.g., muscle coordination involving breath, articulation, and range), and
(3) feeler skills (e.g., expressive movements, style, groove).
We will combine these skills to develop connection with an audience and to build confidence when performing.
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: For online lessons, it is helpful to have a second device to play accompaniment tracks. For professional students, please be prepared to purchase digital sheet music from Musicnotes or Sheetmusicdirect. Some other helpful accompaniment resources are PianoTrax and The Accompanist.
About SD L.
Practical troubleshooting is the main driving force behind my lessons. As a coach, I often meditate on the following questions:
(1) How do we make sounds and communicate with speech and song?
(2) How do we convert 2D symbols (text) into a 3D body (performer) and create a 4D emotional experience (audience)?
(3) How do we use these skills to live more freely, intentionally, and expressively?
I hope to instill an appreciation for and a desire to answer these questions. As I continually train to be a useful coach, I hope the students that I meet will continually learn to be useful artists.
My main goal as a teacher is to share my knowledge and experience in a personalized way so that my students no longer need me to reach their goals, that they are able to teach themselves, and that, ultimately, they become fellow collaborators and troubleshooters.
***Please contact me to check my availability if you do not see a time that fits with your calendar.***
Professional Memberships: NYSTA (New York Singing Teachers Association), NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), VASTA (Voice and Speech Teachers Association), Voice Foundation