What happens at my first voice lesson?
During the INTRODUCTORY LESSON, we will discuss singing goals and how to reach them and we will also conduct an actual first voice lesson. All lessons include breathing and stretching exercises, vocal warm-ups, ear training utilizing the Visual Feedback Technique, and detailed guidance with singing song selections of your choice. Each lesson will focus on improving tone, pitch, breath control, intonation, musicality, volume, posture, relaxation and voice quality. We will concentrate on strengthening vocal dynamics, and when applicable student will also learn microphone technique and stage presence.
After each lesson we will provide the student with an emailed .mp3 recording of their lesson for the student to rehearse with and listen to in between each lesson.
How long are lessons and how often do voice lessons take place? How do I get started? How many lessons should I take?
To get started, all new students should schedule an INTRODUCTORY LESSON (60 minutes) for us to meet and discuss your goals and for you to experience a typical lesson. Then, lessons will be 30-45 minutes in length depending on the age or goals of the student. Weekly consistency is the most important for maximum progress. The number of lessons you will take will depend on your level, your singing goals and your level of commitment.
What vocal training style / technique does Voice Coach, Carmen Jones use?
Carmen Jones offers a modern approach to voice lessons and utilizes the Visual Feedback Technique as a complement to vocal training. In lieu of the traditional piano accompaniment, she uses powerful vocal training software displayed on a large 4k TV monitor that provides visual feedback for enhanced vocal and ear training.
The Visual Feedback Technique (VFT) illuminates vocal characteristics that may not be clearly perceived by the student otherwise. For instance, if the student is having difficulty in matching pitch, then the display will show the student the target pitch compared to the pitch they are singing to help them reach their goal.
The next step is to work on a song that the student that the student likes, and the style of music that inspires them, as this will encourage regular practice of the material. At the end of each lesson the student will receive specific "home activities" and an emailed recording of the lesson to review and practice with in between each lesson.
What are my scheduling options?
Scheduling is done online through our Vagaro Scheduling Calendar. Your first lesson should be an Introductory Lesson, then you will chose from options below:
Schedule either a Package of 4 or a Package of 8 lessons and save $2.00 to $3.00 per lesson with the ability to schedule ahead to grab your favorite days and times. Make-ups are granted if rescheduled with a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the originally scheduled lesson.
*SAVER MEMBERSHIP (Most Popular* - Maximum Savings):
After coming in for a one-time Introductory Lesson, Saver Membership benefits include FOUR monthly lessons with the ability to easily schedule, cancel, or reschedule lessons online using either a computer or smartphone. Saver Membership is ideal for committed students who plan to take lessons regularly, and offers the maximum savings with the convenience of an automatic payment. You must attend all 4 lessons per month in order to receive maximum benefits. If you cancel a lesson (with more than a 24-hour notice) you must make up the missed lesson within 8 weeks or it is forfeited (lessons cancelled with less than a 24-hour notice are automatically forfeited). Because your Saver Membership is automatically charged to your card, there are less administrative costs for us, and we are able pass along the maximum savings to you. **60 day commitment required.
ONE at a TIME / Drop In Lesson: For $70.00 per 45 minute lesson, schedule lessons "one at a time", with no set schedule, for up to 60 days in advance. This is ideal for those with unpredictable schedules or who just want a few lessons to prepare for an audition or show, or those who want to schedule an extra lesson.
What forms of payment are accepted?
We accept Credit/Debit Cards at the time of scheduling. After your Introductory Lesson if you would like to pay by check, please make payable to "Bay Area Voice Lessons" and use our contact form to make these special arrangements. All voice lessons are pre-paid and are non-refundable.
What is the cancellation/refund policy?
In general, voice lessons are non-refundable. If student/parent of student provides less than 24 hours notice of their need to reschedule a lesson, or if a student misses a lesson (is a "no show"), the payment for that lesson shall be forfeited (is non-refundable) and the missed lesson will be considered as a "completed lesson". If you do indeed provide us with the necessary minimum of 24 hours notice, the online scheduling system will automatically allow you to easily reschedule, and you will not have to pay again in order to secure a new date and time. Please note, for Singer Saver packages, no refunds will be given after 7 days of purchase.
Can anyone learn to sing?
Yes. Anyone who has the ability to speak can learn to sing or improve his or her singing ability with proper technique, guidance and dedication. Singing requires physical coordination similar to learning to play a musical instrument, dancing, riding a bike or anything else you can think of. All that is ever needed is practice, persistence, and patience. Consistency is the key.
How long will it take me to learn to sing? How many lessons should I schedule?
It will depend on the consistency of lessons and the amount of dedicated time spent practicing in between lessons. In general however, new singers should anticipate a minimum of 12 months of lessons (4 times per month) to allow time for significant improvement. Most students come weekly or bi-weekly. Consistency is the most important for maximum progress. The number of lessons you will take will depend on your level, your singing goals, your budget, and your level of commitment.
I already know how to sing, so why should I take voice lessons?
Most singers have some particular habits that if not corrected can cause problems later in their careers. Taking lessons is an excellent way to make sure you set aside time to polish your craft.
It is imperative to practice good technique and habits that will prevent any physical problems such as nodules, polyps, hoarseness, or vocal fatigue.
How do you describe the style of vocal training? Do you cover sight-reading or music theory?
We pride ourselves on having a modern, non-traditional voice training style. In lieu of piano accompaniment, we utilize computer technology and powerful software to maximize training. While we do not cover sight-reading or music theory, our training focuses on the specific goal of improving and maintaining your best singing voice.
Is it possible to gain more range in my voice and better tonal quality?
Yes. There is always room for improvement if any vocal restrictions they have been using are removed or adjusted. Even professional singers will often consult and rehearse with a vocal coach to ensure they are reaching their maximum potential.
Do you work with all styles of music and levels of singers?
Yes. Proper technique and fundamentals can be used in any style of singing (Rock, Soul, Funk, Classical, R&B, Folk, Opera, Gospel...you name it). I work with all levels of singers from total beginners to well-established singers.