Private Voice Lessons
Singing is a wonderfully complex and rewarding study not only on a musical and emotional level but also on a spiritual level. Because the voice is a completely internal instrument, it truly represents the singer in a very personal way. Both the instrument and ‘the player’ are alive. Learning how to coordinate the enormous amount of muscles involved in singing takes diligent and regular practice and instruction.
Topics taught include:
It is highly recommended you record your lessons, as listening to them will give you a chance to cement what was taught during the lesson time.
Cost: $50/hour (Studio Members); $60/hour (Non-Studio Members) either via Zoom or in-person
Dubbed by a colleague as the "Mrs. Frizzle" of musical theatre, Gwen Berger loves unpacking
the hidden voice and actor
within her students.
Jr./Sr. Company Classes Instructor
"Voice lessons helped me in more ways than one. Of course, they greatly improved my ability to sing. I was soon able to sing scales that had once seemed like unscalable mountains. In no time at all, Mrs. Berger had me exercising every part of my voice with challenging, yet rewarding classical pieces. Secondly, voice lessons helped me to better understand and appreciate music. I found myself critiquing the vocal styles of pop singers I would hear on the radio and admiring the technique of seasoned operatic or classical singers. Thirdly, voice lessons taught me how sweet it is to work hard at something and to hear the results. During my time taking voice lessons, I learned so many things that I use and appreciate everyday."
~ Voice Lesson Student
Breathing & Posture
Though breathing seems easy enough, it is actually one of the topics that takes most students several years to fully utilize. The way that you move air through your body directly affects the tone quality you can produce. In simply correcting your approach to the way that you breathe, you may quickly hear a significant change in the sound of your singing voice. For this reason, there is a multitude of exercises a teacher will cover in your private voice lessons that focus on this one aspect.
Posture affects the muscles of phonation and also enhances the air support needed for projection and full tone quality.
“Tone” is literally the timbre (color), or unique sound of your voice. Breath control and the space through which you sing affects the tone quality. Though complex, there are many elements of voice placement, and the manner in which you direct your sound through your instrument, that will change the tone of your voice. For example, if you cut off airflow through the nose, even when speaking, you will produce a “nasal” sound that is muted and of a different sound quality than if you were speaking normally. The same is true when singing. An instructor will work with you on both the obvious and more subtle nuances of creating a healthy and proper singing tone.
Being understood and becoming an effective communicator requires excellent diction. No matter the style, good diction helps with good vocal placement. The practice of diction can seem redundant, but it is very true that the way you sing words and the way you speak words in casual conversation is quite different and can have a dramatic effect on the end sound result.
Pitch accuracy can always be improved and fine-tuned. Usually, out-of-tune singing can be attributed to a faulty vocal technique, but accuracy can be improved with training. Intonation or pitch accuracy is an important aspect of all instruments.
Vocal progress takes time, especially if a student struggles with intonation. Regardless of genre, voice lessons will improve the internal aspects of correct singing for students interested in both classical and popular styles. Many singers find that there is a transformation in their sound through a focus on breathing, diction, and intonation, which leads to a better ‘instrument’ that is contained within.