Plaza Cortez #201, 13276 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78750
Frequently Asked Questions
What's a first lesson typically like?
This answer will be a HUGE generalization, because I improvise/adapt to what someone needs on the spot based on their goals, their skill level, their level of nervousness, their experience level, age, etc. In addition, I sometimes get really specific requests like "I don't want to learn how to sing but I want the benefits of easier breathing". Stuff like that. So keep that in mind as I describe how a lesson will go.
Typically, I'll ask you about your history with singing, your interests, goals, musical tastes, etc. I'll listen to your speaking voice on one or more vowels, connect that to a pitch on the piano and have you sing (depending on whether you know how to match pitch or not) up and down some scales. Then we'll map your Vocal Comfort Zone.
At that point, if you have a song that you've sung recently and if you feel comfortable enough to sing it (first time singers are sometimes way too terrified...that's completely okay, we'll get there as you feel comfortable/ready in future lessons) then I'll have a listen.
From there, we'll get to know your vocal habits with singing and possible exercises (depending how much time we have and what questions you might have) to either clearly sense how you're using your body when you sing and/or how to do something different that feels better and move more towards the sounds you're looking for.
Am I too old to take lessons? Will they really help?
At any given time, up to half of my students are in their 50's and 60's.
What age range do you teach?
I teach ages 12 and up.
What about COVID? Are you still teaching?
Yes! I'm teaching both online and in-person lessons. Just contact Chris for details.
What if I sound horrible when I sing? Will you tell me I'm a terrible singer and that I should give up?
I absolutely will not tell you that. Not only is that completely unhelpful, it's also emotionally abusive. Although Simon Cowell made it popular to harshly judge singers without ever describing the skills they would need to learn to get better, it is NEVER necessary to label a sound or a singer as bad in a voice lesson.
Every sound you hear in your voice is a direct result of a either a movement, tension, or lack of movement inside your body. If you don't like a sound, you don't like a sound. No big deal. It doesn't mean anything about you as a singer, it doesn't mean you have a "bad voice" and there are no bad sounds, just intentional sounds and non-intentional sounds produced in a comfortable or uncomfortable way. You just figure out how you are making the sound and what you would need to change it. That's what we focus on in lessons. In addition, we'll also cover other exercises that helps you connect with the part of your brain that helps you learn how to sing, rather than only paying attention to the judgmental part of your brain that sabotages your efforts through harsh self-judgements. I will point out what skill you'll want to build to move towards a sound that you'd like. I really liked one my students reviews that it put it this way:
I've tried lessons before and got nowhere, will lessons with you still help me?
I would say one out every 1,000 students I teach, have mobility issues that are so severe they can't make progress in their singing until they address those issues. So I will be totally straight-forward with you if that's the case. Most likely though, you'll begin to see within a few lessons that "your voice" is really a movement, and just like any movement skill, you can get better at it.
Does your studio have wheelchair access?
Yes! Here are some photos of the ramp to the building and steps.