Instruction

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The Studio

Why "three sparrows?"  Our free-singing, free-flying songbird friends embody such joy and ease. When I am working at my best as a teacher, I'm helping to free the natural voice of my student. When we work together, in the space of a supportive, integrated, educational, fun, and motivating studio atmosphere, something happens.  It feels a little like art, and a little like freedom.  It's my honor to meet you in this space.


Three Sparrows Studio for Singing is located in Land Park, Sacramento.  You're not a local?  No problem.  I offer online lesson via Skype--just ask.


The following types of lessons are available at Three Sparrows Studio:

•  Vocal instruction in the genres of Musical Theatre, Pop/Rock, Jazz, Folk, Classical, World, and more

•  Beginning piano, guitar, and/or ukulele 

•  Music theory and/or ear training

•  Online lessons for any of the above

Developing Your Skills

My first goal is to support in you a lifelong love of music. This means I will always try my best to make music a positive experience for you, providing honest critique to continue your skill development, but striving to deliver this message with compassion, humor, and grace. 


My second goal is to make you an independent singer and musician. This means that when you are singing, and I am not there to guide you, you will understand the methodology and physical techniques necessary to produce a healthy and vibrant vocal tone.  In my voice studio, I teach the anatomy of the voice, how it functions to create sound, and what the student can do to "improve" this sound.  I believe that singing is not only a function of the voice and ear, but also a visual, conceptual, and tactile process; therefore, I incorporate music reading, music theory, ear training, and keyboard skills as applicable.  This provides my students with the ability to eventually become independent musicians, learning and enjoying repertoire at a faster and more skillful rate of absorption.
 

In my studio, I believe in a "freeing" of the singer's natural voice.  People who enjoy singing as a hobby, without formal training, often enjoy the pastime, but also feel frustration with the limitations of their voice.  Voice lessons help singers to understand the inner-workings of their voice, thereby increasing the range of capabilities and possibilities.  Trained singers will always have more tricks in their bag, and will always have the tools to fix any vocal problems that arise along the way.  Natural talent is a lovely gift, but I believe anyone can learn to sing, and everyone can learn to sing better.  The more developed the skill, the greater the enjoyment of the hobby.  


Finding and "freeing" a singer's voice is a process of on-going experimentation, reflection, analysis, and understanding.  My role, as a teacher, is to guide the student through this process, helping to reveal the voice in its most natural, wonderful state.  Aspects of this journey may include: an understanding of alignment, a fine-tuning of vocal resonators, a functional breath support system, a command of registration, exploration into expression and story-telling, development of confident stage presence, and a deep dive into the artistry of vocal performance.

Method

Lessons are comprised of vocal warm-ups, during which you will specifically work on vocal technique development, training the vocal mechanism and its components to act with educated, involuntary, muscle memory; and repertoire practice, during which you will learn and sculpt songs that have been selected uniquely for you, according to your abilities, interests, and skill level. Depending on genre and interest, lessons may also include rhythm skills, ear training, sight-singing, music theory knowledge, foreign language diction, piano, guitar, and/or ukulele development, acting methods, and audition/performance preparation.

What to Expect

On the first lesson day, we get to know each other by talking through your student questionnaire.  We sing through some vocal exercises to provide me with a sense of your range and how you use your voice.  If time allows, we begin learning some simple foundations for vocal technique. During proceeding lessons, we will practice incorporating these elements of technique into your repertoire.

Singer's Theory

Singing is a comprehensive musical experience, necessitating a range of vocal, aural, visual, conceptual, and tactile abilities.  To achieve this well-rounded skill-set, I have developed a method of "Singer's Theory" that incorporates elements of music theory, ear training, and keyboard knowledge into the on-going lesson program.  Depth of theory education is determined by student interest and necessity.

The Possibilities

Depending on student interest, skill level, genre study, and duration of vocal studies, lessons may address:


Healthy Singing Technique

Classical Vocal Training 

Supportive Breathing 

Vocal Production and Articulation 

Vocal Health Tips

Body Alignment

Space/Resonance Control

Vowel Alignment

Acting Methods

Audition and Performance Preparation

Rhythm Development

Solfege Training

Melodic and Chordal Music Reading

Key Signatures for Major and Minor Keys

Major, Minor, and Pentatonic Scales

Sight-Singing

Methods for Learning a Song

Vocal Exercises and Warmup Routines

Foreign Language Diction in French, Italian, German, Latin, Spanish

Repertoire Interpretation 

Repertoire Selection 

Ear Training 

Music Theory 

Piano Skills

Guitar Skills

Ukulele skills