Studio Information & Policies

Objectives

  • To gain a full understanding of your singing voice by developing your body as your instrument, strengthening your vocal technique, improving your performance skills, and intensively studying vocal literature.
  • The student will learn various basic vocal techniques and exercises conducive to the improvement of the student’s ability to sing, accomplished by practical use of appropriate repertoire. Ideally, such accomplishments include artful and musical expressive singing, a balanced resonance and tone quality of the voice, balanced posture and breathing techniques, and a feeling of full-body awareness.

Criteria & Expectations

  • Lessons are scheduled weekly. Each student is expected to arrive promptly at their agreed lesson time. Tardiness without forewarning on the student’s part is not tolerated.
  • With them, each student should bring all required materials (see below) and should have their assigned pieces learned.
  • Students must learn their music on their own. Once the music is assigned, subsequent lessons should entail a good understanding of the song, including notes and rhythms as well as any background research and context of the piece (See “How to Practice” in studio handbook). I am happy to assist, but expect the student to review their music before coming to their voice lesson.
  • Voice lessons are to be treated the same as any other class in school. The student is expected to put in the same diligent work.
  • Lastly, always bring a good attitude and a willingness to learn! If a student is uncooperative or disruptive, the student will be asked to leave the lesson and may be terminated altogether from lessons.

Required Materials

  • Assigned sheet music (I have no preference if the music is printed or digital, but the student must be able to take notes directly on the music itself.)
  • A notebook for writing notes.
  • [For online lessons only] Two devices – one for Zoom and the other for accompaniment tracks (this may be a phone, laptop, or iPad)

Practicing

  • Practicing is not optional. Just as a student is expected to complete math homework daily, so must the student practice voice daily. Improvement does not happen by accident.
  • In all cases, it is the exercises and vocalises which play such an important part in building the voice and developing good vocal technique. This technique is gradually transferred to songs. (See “How to Practice” in handbook)
  • Approximately 20-30 minutes of practice per day is required. Continual practice is necessary for full benefit from lessons. Use recordings of previous lessons from your laptop as a guide.
  • If the student does not practice sufficiently and prepare for each week’s lesson, the student will be asked to leave with no refund.

Compensation

  • Lessons rates vary. Please email me to inquire.
  • Monthly payments are preferred at the beginning of each month (four or five lessons depending on the month). Payments should always be up to date with lessons. I do not accept full-semester payment.
  • I accept payments via Venmo, Cashapp, or PayPal.  
  • If payment for a lesson is not received within 14 days of the lesson, a late fee of $5 will be added to every unpaid lesson.
  • If payment is delinquent for more than 30 days, lessons will be terminated immediately, and the account will be turned over to a collections agency. The parent(s)/student will be responsible for all overdue lesson fees, late fees, and collection fees.
  • If finances become difficult at any time, the parent should notify me immediately to work out a payment plan. Communication with me should be top priority in these matters!

Tardiness & Cancellations

  • Lessons should not be canceled except in the case of an emergency. I require a 24 hour notice of cancellation except. If the student cancels within 24 hours, the student will be charged for that lesson and the lesson will not be made up.
  • The student is expected to be on time to every lesson. If a student is running late, he/she should contact me immediately and I will hold the duration of the lesson time. Because of the studio’s structured schedule, late time cannot be made up at the end of the lesson and the lesson fee will not be prorated.
  • I will allow a 10-minute grace period for tardy students. If the student has not contacted me within the first ten minutes of his/her lesson, I will consider the student a no-show and will adjust the day’s schedule accordingly. In the event that I am tardy, I will always notify the student immediately and guarantee time to make it up.
  • Only in the event of emergencies should lessons be fully canceled. “Not feeling well” does not necessarily constitute a cancellation. My time is valuable and there are always non-singing tasks which can be worked on during the lesson if the student should have a minor illness or ailment (i.e. non-contagious sore throat, allergies, or headache).
  • If there is a general conflict (going out of town, after-school school-related events, etc), a lesson swap should be arranged. Check the studio roster for possible switch times with fellow students in the event of a conflict. If a swap is made, both parties must agree and it must be approved by me 24 hours in advance.
  • Doctor/dentist appointments should not be scheduled during the student’s weekly lesson time.
  • The months of December, April, and May are always an issue! I need to know the student’s holiday/testing schedule (i.e. Candlelight, caroling gigs, testing bell schedule, etc.) as soon as possible. This is to ensure that make up lessons are scheduled in a timely manner. Remember, all last minute cancelations result in being charged for that lesson.
  • All lessons missed or cancelled by me will be guaranteed to be made up at an agreeable time with the student.
  • It is understood that the student will take weekly lessons for the entirety of the semester. If at any time, the student wishes to terminate lessons mid-semester, an early termination fee of one month’s lessons (4 weeks) will be charged.

Disclaimer

  • Singing is considered an athletic event. It is necessary to discuss anatomy and physiology as it pertains to vocal technique. For my part as the teacher, attention must be paid to how the student’s body is working to achieve certain sounds, particularly as it pertains to the neck/throat and core/abdomen. If at any point this becomes uncomfortable for the student, simply lifting a hand in the air as if to say “stop” is the “safe sign” to cease and desist the anatomy/physiology discussion.
  • Above all, the parent(s)/student understand(s) that the procedures and policies listed above are subject to change at any time. Abiding by these procedures and policies ensures a healthy and successful studio for the student as well as for myself. Never hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns.

COVID-19 ADDENDUM

  • In these unprecedented times, voices lessons will occur only in an online platform using Zoom.
  • Remember to find a “safe space” to be able to sing without distraction. Please ensure that what is seen on camera is clean and that you are presentable. Please do not wear pajamas to your voice lesson.
  • Check all the necessary items you would need for online music – speakers, microphone, and camera. All three of these need to be in good quality. 
  • Keep your device plugged in during the lesson.
  • The way Zoom works is that I will send you an invitation via email to join the lesson meeting. All you have to do is click the link to accept the invitation and it should take you right to the meeting. Please stay on top of this so you are not late to your lesson. I will always be available via text if there are any issues.
  • Warm-up exercises and accompaniments must be played from your end. You will need a second device for this. All of these exercises can be found under “Current Students > Vocal Exercises” on this webiste.
  • If for any reason Zoom fails us, FaceTime is a reasonable back up for Mac users. If all else fails, then we will use Skype.
  • Please always bring your best attitude and best work ethic. It is going to be a fantastic school year!