Voice Lessons

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

To schedule your free sample lesson, please fill out my contact form, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Joanne McDade

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who should take singing lessons?

Joanne McDade
Singing lessons are for anyone who loves music and has the desire to explore their full potential as an expressive human being!

I believe anyone can learn to sing and improve their voice.  Of course, some are born with a natural gift for expressing themselves through song.  With excellent training and years of dedication, these talented souls may blossom into true vocal artists.  But singing is not only for the most talented!  The art and a skill of singing can be developed by anyone with persistence, dedication, and the love of music.

I teach kids and adults, beginners as well as professionals.  My students take lessons for a variety of reasons.  Many take lessons for the sheer delight of singing!

Kids may be interested in auditioning for their school musicals and talent shows.  Teenagers may want to improve their voices in order to sing in a band or to be able to perform songs that they compose themselves.  Talented high school students may want to prepare to be music majors or minors in college, and go on to professional careers as musicians.  Academically advanced teenagers may wish to add achievements to their academic resumes by participating in a graded evaluation program.  Both children and adults may take lessons in order to enhance their creativity and expressiveness.

My adult students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and all walks of life.  I have taught students of many different ages, countries, and professions.  My students also come from many different musical backgrounds. Although my training and expertise is in the classical style of Western musical tradition, I have taught students interested in singing mariachi, rock, pop, musical theater, jazz, cabaret, Arabic, country, and sacred styles.

How are children’s voice lessons structured?

For ages 7 to 13, I teach singing in small groups.  This creates a fun social atmosphere and protects a child’s rapidly growing and changing vocal structures.  Children are placed in groups according to age, ability, interest, and scheduling considerations.  All age groups engage in movement, sight-reading, and rhythm activities.  Ages 7-8 learn well-known children’s songs and folk songs.  Ages 9-11 add musical theater selections.  Ages 12-13 concentrate on musical theater selections.

What is the best age to begin private voice lessons?

The best age to begin private voice lessons is a very individual matter, depending on the physical, intellectual, and emotional maturity of each child.  According to the general wisdom among voice teachers, the best minimum age has traditionally been about 13 years old.  Until recently, most teachers would not consider teaching a child younger than 12 or 13.  I prefer not to teach individual private lessons to children younger than 12 years old because I believe that group singing is a more effective way for younger children to learn to use their voices.  I will sometimes make an exception if the child is already studying piano, guitar, or another instrument, and if they intend to continue those lessons while adding voice to the mix.  They should also exhibit exceptional talent and interest.  There are many reasons for this: young children are growing very rapidly and therefore, their voices are more fragile and subject to long-term damage if they are strained and subjected to overuse.  Voice students should have a high level of reading skill and comprehension that younger children may not have developed yet.  They also should have a highly developed musical ear for hearing musical subtleties and matching pitch.  It is also extremely helpful if they have had regular exposure to many different types of music in a variety of settings.

How can I help my child prepare for private voice lessons?

The best preparation is group singing.  It’s fun, it doesn’t put too much strain on the voice, and it introduces a wide variety of music.  It is also extremely helpful to take piano lessons or to study another instrument for several years.  This lays a solid foundation in the musical skills needed to learn to sing well and to be able to read musical notation.  Taking piano lessons helps promote good practice habits and sufficient musical understanding to make voice lessons more successful.

Another excellent way to prepare for individual singing lessons is to join a children’s choir that is directed by a highly trained choral conductor specializing in working with young voices.  Four such choirs are:

Children singing in these choirs are taught to sing in a healthy and age-appropriate manner in a group setting.  They make friends who share their love of music and singing, and gain valuable performing experience.  Children’s choirs may offer opportunities for solos to showcase their best singers.  Many children’s choirs tour locally, nationally, and around the world.

I used to sing in high school, but I haven’t sung in years. Is it too late for me to take it up again?

It’s never too late!  Singing is a wonderful pastime that is good for the body, mind, and spirit.  Physically, it helps improve posture, breathing, and balance.  Mentally, it engages all parts of the brain, strengthening mental alertness, concentration, and memory.  Singing improves mood by releasing endorphins into your system that make you feel energized and reduce pain.  Singing helps reduce stress and improves sleep.  Singing broadens expressiveness, enhancing empathy and social connections.  Singing adds a richer, more pleasant quality to the speaking voice, improving the communication ability of all kinds of speakers, including actors, business people, attorneys, and teachers.  No, it is never too late to take up singing!

How do I schedule lessons?

For more information regarding fees, availability, scheduling, including your free sample lesson, or if you have any other questions, please fill out the contact form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!