I've been singing, performing, songwriting, and studying voice for 20 years. I attended Berklee College of Music, where I studied Voice/Vocal Performance, and earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance from Musician's Institute in LA. I've been teaching since 2006, and work with a wide range of contemporary genres with a focus on rock, pop, country, folk, Americana, R&B, blues, and soul. I like to take a "back-to-basics" approach to voice by helping students develop the core aspects of breathing/breath control, correct vowel placement/vowel tuning, and a focus on muscle memory as it relates to stretching the cords. I've been told my approach is simple yet effective, and a unique blend of classic concepts with a practical/modern approach to getting in tune with one's own unique voice. Currently a gigging musician and songwriter in SF, I am in the trenches alongside many of my students, which gives me a unique perspective and empathy for the many stages of personal and career development as a musician. I have a lot of first-hand experience with the music business and what it means to manage a band and a DIY-career. Another area I specialize in (and which is probably the nearest to my heart!), is performance anxiety. Having overcome performance anxiety myself and gone on to be a bandleader and gigging musician, I have a close relationship to this and take a special interest in helping students overcome their own fears and anxieties, identify their own voice and identity as a singer, and taking the steps to develop that.
Mostly, I aim to debunk the mystery that the voice can be shrouded in, and change it from being elusive and temperamental to something that students can feel in control-of and at-ease with. I've taught a wide range of students, from young kids to a Marine (true story!), so am comfortable dealing with an equally-wide range of goals and voices.
*** Lesson Details ***
Well, my students tell me that I have the unique advantage of "being young/in touch with the real-world of the music business, but with real professional training and chops." That's about as good as I could have said it, I suppose! I like to pull from all the different facets of my experience and background to inform me as an instructor: formal education and training, as well as my first-hand experiences with my own band, my own struggles with performance anxiety, and my discovery of my own voice through the very methods I now teach to my students.
What that means for you is that rather than focus on a rigid set of rules, we'll focus on your voice and custom-fit a program that is built from solid vocal technique coupled with specific tools to help you develop your own voice and style. I do truly believe in building a solid foundation for you to build your voice upon, but am unconventional in that I believe the best way to learn to sing is by breaking down what is actually going on in there- in a way that students can understand and interpret themselves. Nerd alert: Vocal technique can actually quite liberating and fun! Yes, we will teach you how to breathe correctly; yes, you will be singing scales. But the key is that you'll know why you're singing each note, and what is going to get you to sing those notes more effectively. I believe in hard work because the voice is a musical instrument; but I also believe in making it easily digestible and fun.
In our lessons, you'll learn how to breathe correctly, test your vocal range, and start working on strengthening your head and chest voices to achieve some continuity in your range. We'll also develop the mask and what I like to call your "vendor voice." Oh yeah- it's good stuff. You'll have warm-ups and scales you can use on your own time to get ready for a gig or to continue strengthening the muscles.
*** Studio Equipment ***
PA/monitors, keyboard, microphones.
*** Travel Equipment ***
If I am traveling to you, I bring a laptop and small set of speakers on which to play recorded scales and pull up songs for song work. I also have a portable digital recorder to record lessons if that is desired.
*** Specialties ***
I have experience with a wide range of styles, but my main genres of focus are rock, pop, Americana, country, blues, soul, and R&B.
I specialize in vowel tuning/correct vowel placement as a way to strengthen the muscles of the voice, in order to correct pitch/tone and solidify muscle memory as it relates to the voice as instrument. I teach from a "ground-up" approach, meaning I feel it's crucial for my students to understand how their voice works, why it works in certain ways, and how they can use vocal technique to their advantage as singers and performers. Building upon that strong foundation, I customize a program for each of my students to address their own set of strengths and challenges.
I'm Emmylou Harris in a pretty rad Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris tribute duo.
My solo project: a Nancy Sinatra-noir/Lina Perhacs-psychedelia/Jenny Lewis-indie-retro sound set to a backdrop of Ennio Morricone.
a rock & roll, roots & soul band