Jan Douglas Vocal Arts
HomeFinding Your VoiceStudioAboutContact

"The arts are not just a nice thing to have or to do if there is free time, or if one can afford it. Rather, painting and  poetry, music and fashion, design and dialogue, they all define who we are as a people and provide an account  of our history for the next generation."

                                                                                                                                                   --Michelle Obama
It's never too early or too late to develop the musical skills that will bring a lifetime of enjoyment.

The study of voice involves both mind and body. To pursue the study of any discipline implies that an individual is ready and willing to make a change from their present condition. The process of change requires an intense exchange of ideas and concepts between the teacher and student, an exchange based upon mutual trust. The student must be willing to ask questions, to express concerns and to  embrace new ideas. The study of voice should provide the student with an ever-increasing technical facility to adequately and comfortably present the ideas and emotions generated by his or her mind, including

The satisfaction that comes from perseverance and follow-through  positively reinforces the value of dedication  and commitment in your life.   Further, learning how to receive constructive criticism will help  build more effective interpersonal skills that will serve you for a lifetime.

So let's get started.  Here are some things you should know that will make your experience in my studio most rewarding:

  • Scheduling lessons:  We both have many activities competing for our time. Let's respect each other's time by giving 24 hours notice if you cannot make a scheduled lesson. ​By the same token, illness should be respected. Take time to rest and get well rather than worsen your own condition and infect others. Sudden illness and advanced notice will be handled as an excused absence.

  • Notebook and Assignments:  You are asked to keep a notebook to record assignments, vocal exercises and research in the preparation of your music.

  • Recording Lessons:  You are encouraged to bring an audio or video recorder to lessons to record exercises, music examples and diction.

  • Auditions and Performances:  ​Plan on a lesson prior to performance to work through all music chosen to perform in group lesson, audition or public performance.

  • Practice every day. This goes without saying, right?

            • Practice vocalization in shorter segments of time rather than longer. Keep from drawing upon bad  habits brought about by fatigue. Rehearse only when fresh and strong. Two sessions of twenty minutes are better than one long session of excessive vocalization. Much of song preparation requires no singing! Add more time when working on repertoire and using the mind, not just the voice. Another tip: work on difficult passages early rather than singing your way to them as these passages are commonly at the end of most songs.

             • Vocalize using exercises we have used in the lesson rather than drawing upon exercises used in previous voice study until you have a clear understanding of the sound and technique we have agreed to pursue.

  • Repertoire:

       • The technical and musical needs of the student will guide assignments. Expect classical as well as musical theater songs. Approach all material with enthusiasm and earnestness in order to maximize the potential benefit.

      • Keep a list of repertoire that appeals to you.  Maintain an inventory of vocally appropriate and likable songs for all occasions. Develop a book of repertoire for auditions that includes a variety of musical styles--as well as up-tempo and ballad, serious and comedic.
  • Discovering and developing your singing voice 
  • Development of better breath control
  • Improving posture and poise
  • Building confidence in yourself & abilities
  • Academic excellence (math and literary skills )
  • Improved communication skills
  • Finding an emotional outlet 
  • Increased awareness of the mind and body connection