Leveling the playing field!

The Wolf Pack Membership

Wolf Pack

The Wolf Pack video series: a new affordable option for everyone 

Affordability and voice lessons are rarely heard together. During the recession when students suddenly had to leave their vocal practice due to a failing economy, I became obsessed with finding a way for my students to practice on their own, using all the exercises I had taught them for a low enough price that they could afford, but that I could afford to give them. This dream of an affordable, portable voice class is where The Wolf Pack was born.  The Wolf Pack is a series of teaching videos. Each exercise is explained and used in demo. Then you are able to follow along with me as I do the exercise. The course is designed to strengthen your instrument and expand your range. At the end of the series I’ve built long form videos with the exercises to be done in order. The program packs value and approachability. Extra time with me is available for purchase. The time to purchase time with me is when you are ready to enter the song preparation phase and need help with phrasing, choices and presentation.

Wolf Pack Program

The Wolf Pack works like this:

 

You have access to all of my exercise videos. They are formatted in order in the membership page. There are instructions for each exercise and a demo. There is also a work part of each exercise that allows you to go through the exercise as if you are with me in class. Once you’ve learned all the videos you can follow them in a long for exercise video that uses each one progressively.

Also on the membership page are video message from me full of concepts, theories, thoughts and tips. 

You are charged monthly and are able to cancel at any time but there are no refunds on the month. So if you cancel mid-way through the month you will not be charged the next month, but you will have the rest of the month to use the videos.

Here's a sample of what you will see on the Wolf Pack site:

Why are private lessons so expensive?

Wolf City Voice prices are in the middle of the price range for voice students. One-on-one lessons require a great deal of know-how on the teachers part, preparation and strategy and emotional availability.  When you pay for lessons you are paying for my 40 years of professional experience plus my 28 years of teaching experience. You are also paving a path for your own success. Why would you short change yourself? But more importantly I set my prices based on what I can afford to charge you and still run the studio. 

Leveling the playing field

Musical theatre is often accused of being elitist. Training is expensive and it feels like the only people who get to perform were born to rich parents. I understand this issue.  While my parents paid for my lessons as a child, I have spent probably over 100k on voice lessons alone throughout my adult life and even more for my master’s degree. So how can we level this field and make it possible for people who don’t have rich parents or a trust fund or people who didn’t win the lottery? Bring in the internet. Much of what I teach is in repetition. It is a series of exercises that everyone does to build their instrument.  Yes, there are individualized exercises that I give to my private students but much of what I teach is available by video and effective by video. You will learn with the video series. You will build your instrument and expand your range. It is not personalized but it is a good, affordable option for training. 

Technique is EVERYTHING and why

When I was building the new website one of my friends said, “build your technique is just not sexy.” Ok, it’s not sexy I get it but it is the base for everything you want to do as a singer. Its repetitive, even boring. So why do we do it? I like to compare technique to working out in the gym to prepare to play a sport. If you are a professional athlete a lot of your time is used in building your muscles in the gym. This is also repetitive and even boring. But the results are amazing.  Here are some of my top reasons for investing in your technique:

  • Your technique is what is going to set you apart. Beauty, power and that certain magic you hear in singers is built on your technique. 

  • Safety in singing is essential for a long career. If you want to sing safely you need technique. 

  • Your vocal chords over time can wear out, just like any other muscle in your body. The stronger your chords are, the better your breathing technique the greater your understanding of placement, the less likely this is to happen.

  • The competition is fierce in the singing industry. Technique builds strength and beauty which will set you apart from the crowd.

  • Endurance is essential for the professional singing world. Musical theatre actors do 8 shows a week sometimes more. If the show is at least 2 hours long and your singing for most of it...well do the math. Its a lot of singing. 

  • Technique helps alleviate nervous tension. One of the biggest issues people come to me with is that they get so nervous when they audition that they sing wrong. You are nervous because you aren’t 100% sure of what you’re doing. Technique fixes that. Knowledge is power.

  • The industry is ever changing and changing fast. Technique gives you the edge in navigating these changes safely. Again knowledge is power. 

  • As a musical theatre performer you are asked to take a lot of classes, dance, acting, singing and business classes. Having a strong vocal technique as the basis of your skill set gives you one skill you have down. You can rely on it. 

  • Vocal technique is applicable to acting. Your acting voice will benefit from all you do as a singer.

  • If you are going to compete, do it all the way and do it the right way. Have a solid well thought out tool box of skills.

 

Pitch Issues

“Tone deaf” I have worked with a number of students who were told they are tone deaf so let’s break down what tone deaf actually means. The term “tone deaf” means you cannot reproduce what you can’t hear correctly. You are deaf to the tone itself. Tone deafness, true tone deafness has to do with ear canal damage and it’s pretty rare. 

What isn’t rare is coordinative response issues. The brain is a beautifully complex place. In order to do an activity like singing your brain has to send multiple signals to various responses in rapid succession. Sounds complicated right? It is. For some people their brains for whatever reason don’t fire the correct series of signals to sing correctly.  This is the bulk of people who think they are tone deaf because it turns out that this issue is really common. It’s also possible to train the brain to respond correctly. I have students who have trained to overcome this issue. It is not easy. It is emotionally exhausting but if you ask them they will tell you it was totally worth it. 

If you have pitch issues that are not related to energy levels or breathing, chances are you will need one-on-one time with me.  

Almost everything is breath related

Probably the most important thing I teach anyone is breathing. We don’t breathe in our modern culture enough to even relax let alone produce a pitch. The #1 fix I do with even advanced singers is breathing. So don’t cheat your breath exercises. Do them religiously, daily, twice daily. You could legitimately do breathing exercises only for a year and still gain vocally. Its that important.  In fact check your breathing right this minute. Take a deep breath now hiss it out and time it. How far did you get? I bet you only got to say 15 seconds. You need to get to 1 minute. Now, why 1 minute? Because we all work with better with goals and 1 minute seems to get people to the point where they’ve spent enough time building their breathing to be able to use it well in singing. 

Why I won’t let you growl

In my studio I don’t let my students growl speak or talk without air. Please don’t do it in your membership practice. The reason is you are putting too much pressure on the chords which can cause permanent and irreparable damage. This art form is hard enough without choosing this speech style. I realize some people feel this speaking style gives them power but to that I say, you’re going to have to choose between a strong singing voice and a growling speech voice.

Questions?

What is legit singing?

This is a term used primarily in musical theatre to describe classical voice placement. It is used mostly in older shows but occasionally in new shows as well. This is also the best, and I mean absolute best place to begin training. The legit or “bel canto” technique is the starting point for all singing. It teaches you breathing, voice placement, mouth shape and that important brain coordination.  I like to think of this as home base.  

What is belting?

This is a term used primarily in musical theatre to describe a more forward placement that is brighter, more piercing and more yell like. It is taking the elements of your chest voice into your high voice and sustaining the tone.  You can think of Ethel Merman or Idina Menzel as belters. It is used through all eras of musical theatre in various styles. 

What is mixing?

This term is commonly used in musical theatre to describe the middle of the range where you transition from low belt to high voice. It is used a lot in current contemporary musical theatre. I like to refer to mixing as a microphone technique that is basically what you’d use in old Jazz standards and pop music. It does not stress the voice but is a nice, well balanced middle of the voice placement where you sing stories. So think of mix as a piece of most contemporary musical theatre songs. Musical theatre songs are driven so although there are a  few that are strictly mix, most of them use mix somewhere in the song to get you from one part of the voice to another. Think of mix as a piece of your vocal acting arc. 

 

What do you teach?

I teach all of the above singing styles as well as rock and pop.

Which of these is used in Rock and Roll?

Rock is an interesting music beast. We all have preconceptions about what it is. Here’s how I define it: it’s a style of music. You will use much of the above voices in your singing of it. You’ll use a lot of mix.  You will use the vocal stretch and placement of legit. You might use some of the belt voice in the lower to middle music. Many rock and roll singers study classically based singing. They need it for the strength required to sing Rock and Roll. 

Do I need to study classical if I want to sing Rock?

I would. You need to be strong to sing rock and roll at least vocally. That being said, yes there are rock singers who are softer but those concerts are long and you’ll want that strength to pull you through the rigors involved.

Wolf City Voice Private Studio

Wolf City Voice was started unofficially in 1990. It became Wolf City Voice in 2015. I started teaching online in 2017. The Wolf Pack started in 2019. 

 

I teach 15 people online and in person. I never work with more than 20 at any point in time because I want to be able to give as much attention to my students as possible. If you live in LA you are welcome to meet with me in person.

Private lessons are billed monthly. The current rate is: $375 for weekly hourly lessons. $240 for weekly half hour lessons.  I have separate rates for occasional drop ins. If you are committed to taking weekly you can pay the $375 over the month...so $87 per week (invitation only). 

My students tend to book a lot. The last time we looked it was at a 94% booking rate. That varies.

I love to show off my students. If you'd like to see some of my students work I've built a Creators Page for several of them. This page is constantly growing and adapting so check back. Go to the short cut button to see those.

My work. If you'd like to see some of my work, hear me sing, see show pics or read some of my scripts they're on my page in the Creators section.  

If you'd like a consultation or a Vocal Checkup please contact me through the contact page or email: wolfcityvoice@gmail.com

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