Audition Song Selection, What to Expect, Tips, and More!
How To Find A Voice Teacher in NYC
Josh Lamon most recently starred as Sheldon in the Broadway hit THE PROM. Previous credits include Groundhog Day, Finding Neverland, Wicked, Hair, and more!
So you want to be the best professional singer in the world. Fabulous and good for you! I can't promise that this article will achieve that goal, but I hope to help you out as best as I can in finding the right fit for your vocal lessons.
NYC, LA and every major market city is going to be dripping with voice and singing teachers for musical theatre. But how to find the right fit for you? Finding a teacher for singing lessons is a lot like dating. We aren't going to fit with everyone we meet and that is okay! I hope these pointers will help guide you to find the perfect fit for your singing voice!
Let's start at the top of the vocal food chain here in NYC. She is teacher to the stars and beyond. I've done shows where the producers hired her to work with their leading players. Who could it be? You guessed it... Liz Caplan!
New York City Voice Coaches
Liz is one of the most sought out voice teachers in our industry. Because of that... she isn't exactly the most affordable. There is good news. Liz has an app called the "Liz Caplan Vocal Coach." The app has many features where you can read Liz's take on auditioning, foods that won't tear up your vocal chords, singing when you are sick, etc. What I love is you can buy different voice lessons for very reasonable prices. Warm ups, cool downs and letting you find your voice. For someone on the go or who isn't ready to commit to a specific teacher, this could be the app for you!
Next on my list is Justin Stoney. Justin has been my go to vocal teacher since I moved to NYC. He has also been taking over the world as a first class voice teacher and founder of New York Vocal Coaching. I study with Justin as I've known him for 16 years and he knows me and my voice well. He does have a full staff of other teachers who are just as incredible and potentially easier on the wallet.
To learn more about Justin check out NewYorkVocalCoaching.com
This next teacher is fresh to my radar but all my Broadway friends are going bananas for him. Mike Ruckles has a very starry group of clients. Some of my favorite performers like Alex Newell, Jenna Leigh Green, Lisa O'Hare and Jefferson Mays are clients of his studio. Like Justin, Mike also has a roster of teachers that work for him. Something that Michael says on his website strikes a chord with me. "As singers, we truly are laryngeal athletes." And the demands of our sport just keep growing, don't they? Every year it seems we are asked to sing higher and louder than ever before.
If you want to check out Mike please visit MikeRuckles.com
Teachers For Trans and Non-Binary Voices
Dr. Felix Graham
One thing that was very important to me was to look for teachers who specialize in working with Trans and Non Binary voices. I found two incredible teachers that I think you are going to love! So lets start our journey!
I am especially excited to introduce you all to Dr. Felix Graham and Kristofer Eckelhoff! When speaking with Dr. Felix he said, "I love helping my clients reach a place where they can perform with authenticity: boldly, and without apology! That's something that's hard to do in the best of circumstances, and harder still if you're struggling with a mismatch of your identity and voice. There are a lot of fantastic teachers and coaches in NYC but having someone on your side who is also trans and has struggled with the same issues can be really helpful and encouraging."
The other super cool thing about Dr. Felix is he also specializes in vocal injuries such as nodules while also conducting a gender inclusive treble ensemble that welcomes trans and cis voices! You can reach Dr. Felix at www.felix-graham.com
Kristofer Eckelhoff is an extraordinary teacher that also specializes in the Trans and Non Binary voice.
"I want to debunk the myth that transgender voices are different, because they really aren't. The bias towards our voices and the reason teachers are often unable to teach us has more to do with ignorance and a limited perception of the voice than actual practice.
"I now have 17 students, all of whom are on the transgender spectrum, and I also have a wait list. I've taken meticulous notes about my transition and have recorded what works and doesn't work for all of my students. Because access to quality vocal teachers is limited-it is ridiculously expensive outside of the academy and being in a university setting does not mean that you will have a teacher who is equipped to deal with our voices-I offer lessons to the TGNC community at a sliding scale. My studio is pretty evenly divided-a third transmasc, a third transfemme, and a third non-binary."
Though Kristoffer's studio is at capacity, there is a waiting list! YAY! You can reach him via his email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This next teacher is fresh to my radar but all my friends are going bananas for him. Mike Ruckles has a very starry group of clients. Some of my favorite performers like Alex Newell, Jenna Leigh Green, Lisa O'Hare and Jefferson Mays are clients of his studio. Like Justin, Mike also has a roster of teachers that work for him. Something that Michael says on his website strikes a chord with me. "As singers, we truly are "laryngeal athletes" to quote Marilyn Horne. And the demands of our sport just keep growing, don't they?" YES! Every year it seems we are asked to sing higher and louder than ever before. If you want to check out Mike please visit www.MikeRuckles.com
Here is my take away from all of this. Find the teacher that fits for you and makes you feel special. Because you are special! You're going out there and training for enjoyment or to pursue your dreams. You are nailing it.
These are just three of our industries top voice teachers and their lists of associate teachers. Remember that any teacher that says 'my way or the highway' is full of it. A true teacher will want what is best for you, and find the right fit for you. It's okay if you don't jive with one, there are plenty of fish in the sea!