Things You Should Know


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.
How long have you been teaching?Where did you receive your training?Where did you go to school?What will be my commitment, both financially and in time? What do I hope to achieve by studying with this teacher? Does the teacher do this full time or is it a part-time effort to supplement their income? 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.
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 for more than 200 years and has produced the world’s greatest classical singers. Now having said that let me assure you that studying this method doesn’t mean 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.
“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.
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 working” 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.
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 enjoy and express themselves through music is perhaps one of the most rewarding things I do.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!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 they demonstrate what they have learned and how much they have improved through the year.