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    Singer, Louisiana

    Choosing a Music Teacher

    When selecting a music teacher, often the first (and often only) question is "How much do you charge?" While that is a very important question, it should not be the only question. It is more important to determine if the student-teacher team will be a good fit.

    One teacher might charge more, but teach at an accelerated pace. Another could teach at a more relaxed pace, making for slower growth. Neither one is better nor worse; they're different.  The accelerated teacher could actually save money for the student; it could take fewer lessons to reach the student's goals. A relaxed pace teacher might be good for a person who simply enjoys music as a hobby. These are all things to consider when looking for a music teacher.

    To determine a good teacher/student fit, the student must first ask herself a few questions. "What are my goals? Can this teacher help me reach my goals?  How much time do I have to practice? Are my expectations realistic? Do our personalities mesh?

    After asking herself these and other questions, she is ready to ask a potential teacher. Here are some of the frequently asked questions I've been asked.

    What is your teaching philosophy?

    My job is to give students the tools they need to reach their goals. Their success is my success.

    Do you teach privately or in groups?

    I teach one-to-one private lessons, but I am available for workshop groups.  Contact me for further information on teaching your group.

    What do you teach?

    Voice.  While singing is the focus of my teaching work, healthy vocal technique applies other areas. Here are some of the ways I can help you.

    • Singing.  I can show you practical tips to use your voice in a healthy manner. This usually results in increased vocal range, stamina and breath control.
    • I can teach you how to 'break apart' a song in order to make entrances and endings clear and crisp.
    • I can show you how to bring out the emotional interpretation of a song.
    • I will show you how to set meaningful goals and how to reach them within your schedule.
    • Acting. The voice and the body are the only two tools available to the actor. I can show you how to bring out the meaning of a character while maintaining healthy vocal technique. This is especially helpful for the actor wanting to work on audition pieces and/or students seeking college admission.
    • Diction. I can work with immigrants to improve their pronunciation of American English. This is especially important for business leaders, doctors, teachers, clergy, political candidates and anyone else who needs to deliver important information clearly. 
    • I can help students working on foreign diction as well. For example, a student wishing to learn "Ave Maria" needs to know Latin diction. A student wanting to sing "O Sole Mio" needs to know Neapolitan diction. A student wanting to learn "La Vie en Rose" needs to know French diction.
    • Public Speaking.  I can work with you to make your speeches more clearly understood and more moving.

    Can I bring in any kind of music?

    Absolutely!  Healthy technique, rhythm, pitch and meaning; these things are universal to all genres. My students have brought in pop, opera, country, swing, folk, Gospel and hip-hop, to name a few. It's fun to hear all the different styles and tastes of my students! I love it!

    I'm tone deaf. Can you teach me?

    Are you willing to work? Then, yes, probably. I have software that shows you exactly what note you are singing. If you move the pitch up and down, you can see when you get on pitch. Again, your success depends on how well you focus and work. 

    Do you teach on weekends?

    Yes. Saturday works best.

    How long will it take to teach me/reach my goals/learn to sing?

    Working with a voice teacher is a lot like working with a doctor to lose weight. The doctor can give a diet & exercise regime, but cannot force a patient to sick to it. She cannot guarantee results within a specific time frame, since she has no control over a patient's dedication. Likewise, I can give you the tools to succeed and will go as quickly as you can keep up. How dedicated and determined you are to do the work is entirely up to you and your schedule.  I love to see students succeed and will give you as much information as you can soak in.

    Do you teach how to read music?

    Absolutely! I'm passionate about  teaching music theory.

    You mean a person can learn to read music? I thought you were born with the ability to read music.

    Music is a language, just like English. It simply takes instruction and practice. Just as no one is born reading English, no one is born reading music.

    Any estimate on how long to teach an adult that used to read music to do it again?

    That would depend on how hard you work at it and how quickly you catch on. The textbook I use is designed to teach one 5-minute lesson each day, for 18 weeks.  If you work on it more, you could shorten the time. If you work on it at a more relaxed pace, it will take longer. You work on the theory assignments, then bring it to me and I grade it.

    On my website, there are links to free theory & ear training sites.

    What is your hourly rate?

    One hour= $60/hour with 4 weeks paid in advance.

    Half hour = $35/half hour with 4 weeks paid in advance.



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