SD Lewis
New York, NY
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SD Lewis

SD L.

New York, NY
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Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I am a professional vocal coach with 25+ years of experience as a private voice teacher, audition coach, music director, and piano accompanist. I am based in New York City where I enjoy helping aspiring athletes and artists pursue their Broadway musical dreams.  I specialize in helping professional dancers and musical theatre performers (1) sing a variety of styles (especially pop/rock), (2) build an audition book that represents their brand, (3) prepare sides 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 learn a new song, record a song for a family member, sing karaoke with friends, or jam out alone with Spotify, YouTube, or Alexa. For both recreational and professional learners, I hope to instill a love and joy of singing without the pressure of grades, perfection, and judges.

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 practice auditioning and performing skills. Sometimes I will provide the sheet music or learners will need to purchase sheet music from Musicnotes (~$6.00). 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 theatre 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 thinker skills (e.g., rhythm, solfege, pitch matching, sight reading), doer skills (e.g., muscle coordination involving breath, articulation, and range), and 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. They have a wonderful selection of audition cuts that are very useful for learning purposes, especially for online and self learning. (There is also a Musicnotes Pro account available for additional discounts.) After purchase, download the Musicnotes Player App on a second device. Some other helpful sheet music and accompaniment resources are Sheetmusicdirect, 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 my calendar.***

Professional Memberships: NYSTA (New York Singing Teachers Association), NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), VASTA (Voice and Speech Teachers Association), Voice Foundation

Reviews

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Ashley
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

SD is truly an outstanding teacher! She is extremely professional and is an expert at what she does. Making sure you understand what and why you are doing what you’re doing with your voice and body. Focusing on whatever goals you’re trying to achieve and making it fun along the way! I highly recommend SD to anyone wanting to work on their singing!

Posted Jul 15, 2021
Corinne Holland
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I was always nervous to sing Pop Rock. But SD has really helped me understand the pop rock sound. Now, I feel comfortable, confident and am actually excited to sing pop rock!

She can also play the piano so that is extremely helpful to go through different cuts. :)

Posted Jul 14, 2021
Kelly
Profile-location-online Online

SD is an AMAZING vocal coach! I began as a dancer that had never taken voice lessons before, and she immediately made me feel comfortable and excited to learn. She is incredibly knowledgeable about different styles and has helped me find many audition songs in my range for various types of shows. SD has completely increased my confidence and technique, and is so much fun to work with!

Posted Jul 13, 2021
Julia
Profile-location-online Online

SD has been so incredibly helpful in my singing journey. She has a fantastic approach to help beginners to advanced singers approach every song with knowledge and the tools to succeed. She's helped me as a dancer using metaphors that I can understand to break down the mechanics of singing and truly understand the anatomy of the body when singing. My confidence and skills have grown immensely from working with her. I couldn't have done it without her!

Posted Jul 12, 2021
Tiffany
Profile-location-home Student's Home

SD was the voice coach for all three of my children from the ages of 6-16. She trained them for school musicals and talent shows as well as for broadway auditions. She still offers helpful guidance when needed during their college and post college years. I would recommend SD as a voice coach for anyone who wants to learn how to feel confident and comfortable singing in front of others. Her insight is not just technical, but also wholistic.

Posted Jul 11, 2021
Sarah
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

SD is a special teacher. It’s difficult to leave a review and find words for someone so knowledgeable, loving, and aware of her craft. She has not only helped me vocally, but in my professional career both on and offstage. She is constantly working to expand her knowledge of the performance industry, vocal pedagogy, and all the psychological aspects of pursuing a career in the theatre. I cannot recommend SD highly enough!

Posted Jul 11, 2021
Jennifer
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

SD is the BEST voice and acting coach I have EVER had!!! Her attention to detail and patience, combined with her wisdom and compassion make it so clear that teaching is her calling. She’s my first voice coach ever and I’ve made it to MULTIPLE final callbacks for touring Broadway shows, all thanks to her!! Would rate 10 stars if I could!!!

Posted Jul 11, 2021
Lauren
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Such a great lesson! SD's abundant knowledge of vocal pedagogy helped me transition from different genres with ease. Plus, she really knows how to build confidence!

Posted Jul 11, 2021
Kent
Profile-location-online Online

SD helped me find the way to those tricky middle notes on the way to the high notes. A great teacher!

Posted Jul 11, 2021

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