Mushall Music Studio FAQs

What ages do you teach?  

I have students that range from 11-80 years old. Each lesson is personalized to match your skill level and age, with plenty of literature to choose from so that you're not bored. Check out the beginning voice lessons, perfect for teens and tweens!   No, you're not too old to sing, gain a stronger voice, or learn something new.  

What are the health benefits to singing?  

Studies show that singing uses all parts of the brain and can increase your neurological use.  Breathing is improved while singing exercises and songs.  Confidence is built through the process of singing. Proprioception and somatic awareness increase.  Balance improves, and your quality of life will improve by singing music you enjoy!  Singing keeps you young!

What is the Alexander Technique?  

Named after F.M. Alexander, it is a psychophysical (mind/body) education process by which a person can find a better quality in activities and in life through experimentation.  Teachers lead explorations for the student to help them not just do the activity of choice, but do it in a way that serves the whole person.  This is particularly useful in the activity of singing - when our instrument is our body and our body is often affected by the thoughts and effort we put into singing.  Currently part way through the certification process, the principles of the Alexander Technique are often woven into lessons - especially when looking at posture, breathing, and release of tension that may be interfering with the natural, efficient use of the instrument.

Why should I study music outside of my school or choral program?

Choral directors do not have the time to focus on vocal heath and technique.  A choral director's main goal is to ensure that singers are creating an ensemble - singing the correct notes and rhythms, blending and creating a unified sound, vowel shaping, cutting off together and putting consonants on the same beat, and many other skills unique to singing in a choral setting.

However, these are primarily musicianship skills - not vocal technique.

Choral directors will use very typical terms and directives - breathe from the belly, sit straight, stand tall, drop your jaw, project to the back of the room, stand still with your hands down, singing with a light tone, don't belt or stick-out,etc.  While well-intentioned - many of these prompts can lead to BAD techniques of over-efforting, and creating a one-size-fits-all approach to singing.  

In order to develop your sound and maximize your singing tone and efficiency, studying with a voice technician is ideal.

Why should children take voice lessons?  

More schools are cutting arts programs, making it more difficult to have well-rounded and grounded children.  Studies show that children in music lessons learn tenacity, drive, problem-solving.  Performing gives students an opportunity to present themselves in public, giving them opportunities to develop self-esteem and confidence.  Music is an art that lasts a lifetime - you will never be too old to appreciate great music or the skills you will take into the workforce that will make you more desirable to employers!  

What are the benefits of group lessons 
When you're just starting out, you may not be ready to sing by yourself on a weekly basis. Many people aren't ready to make the commitment to 1:1 private lessons. Those need a lot of time committed OUTSIDE of the class for practice. You'll need to practice between small group classes too - but you'll be learning along with a group of like-minded singers who are committed to being on this journey WITH you! You can support them - and they will support and cheer YOU on in return! Think of it as your built-in cheerleading squad! Who doesn't want that? In addition, group classes are a smaller length of commitment - typically a 6-week or semester class time! Each class will have its own content planned to assist you in gaining new knowledge about how your voice, mind, and bodywork! You'll also have an opportunity to learn a song to perform for the class at the end! This will be our very own (private) performance space so you can really get excited about sharing your new skills!

Adults study voice??

Many of my adult students are back after decades "off" of singing.  They are frustrated that things don't work "like they used to".  I have a unique understanding of what it is like to come back after a break and how to help you kick old habits and reset your voice!  I also have several students who always wished that they could sing, but were told early on that they "couldn't".  That's just not true - and it's typically very painful and scary to get started!  It is often a spiritual awakening as they discover their voice and the confidence to use it!