Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Finding the right teacher is probably the most important thing a person can do. It is extremely important to make a wise choice when choosing a teacher. Teaching someone to sing is much like building a multi-story structure. You must first build a strong foundation on which to build the rest of the voice. The method that I teach takes great care to build such a foundation and has been proven time and time again over the past 200+ years.
You should look for a teacher that is a “Singer” first, i.e. you wouldn’t ask a plumber to fix an electrical problem in your home so why would you ask an accompanist for vocal lessons. If you want to learn the art of singing you should learn it from a singer.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. The teacher should have a good working knowledge of the human voice and how it functions. You might want to ask some basic anatomy questions to test his/her knowledge.
Does the teacher know the mechanics of tone production.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. How long have you been teaching?
Where did you go to school?
You should seek a teacher that has many years of experience and is well educated in the art of singing. Although a degree does not make one a great singer or even a good one it does give a great deal of credibility to the teacher and substantiates his/her qualifications.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. How long has this individual been teaching voice and/or piano?
Does the teacher do this full time or is it a part-time effort to supplement their income?
What will be my commitment, both financially and in time?
What do I hope to achieve by studying with this teacher?
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I take a physiological approach to singing... after all it is a physical endeavor. The voice or larynx, despite all its complexities, is just another set of muscles that can be trained to reach its fullest potential. The method that I teach, “The Franco/Italian Bel Canto Method” has been taught in Europe for more than 200 years and has produced the world’s greatest classical singers. Now having said that let me assure you studying this method doesn’t mean that you have to become a classical singer. The techniques used are designed to strengthen and improve the quality of the human voice and can be applied to any genre whether your goal is “Broadway” “American Idol” or just to improve your voice for you own personal satisfaction. The method also addresses all things associated with singing, such as breathing and breath control.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I have been singing and teaching for over 30 years both professionally and for my own enjoyment. Singing is my passion, it is what I do. I have found that teaching someone to sing is perhaps one of the most rewarding things I do.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. “I can’t sing and don’t think you can teach me to sing.”
Anyone can learn to sing...as long as there are no physical impairments. You may not sound as good as your neighbor but you can be taught and learn the mechanics of singing.
“How long will this take?”
Like any physical endeavor the more you practice the faster you will improve. There are some limitations however, the larynx is a remarkable instrument it will develop at its own pace and in its own time, it will not be rushed. Trying to "rush" the process can and will result in damage to the delicate tissue causing problems later on. The teacher should be aware of the possible dangers associated with “over training” the voice. With proper care and guidance the end result will be a voice that is strong, vibrant and will last the individual a lifetime.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I was very fortunate to have as my teacher, someone who believed in passing on his knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be a great singer. Little did I know at the time but he was training me to pass on his legacy and it has been my great honor to do so. Thank you Mr. Tate!
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. During the school year I teach voice as a contract music instructor for the Plano ISD. At the end of each school year the students perform in recital for their parents and friends. I am always very proud of my students as the demonstrate what they have learned and how much they have improved through the year.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I keep up with current trends through the professional organizations I belong to. In addition to this I am continuously researching and studying on my own.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. Through the summer I have been teaching courses in “Song Writing” (I find the term Music Theory scares most people,) in several venues in the area. The course, a six hour block of instruction, is brief overview of how to write a melody and the basics of harmonization. By the end of the course the student has written a melody and receives a digital recording of their work. I have had great results with this course and look forward to teaching it again in the future.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. The lessons are based on 30 minutes each and are priced as follows:
Individual lesson at my studio - $25.00
Individual lesson in your home - $30.00
These rates apply to both voice and piano lessons.