Human voice is a funny thing: we never pay attention to it when we speak. It comes to us so naturally that we don't even notice how we produce the sound. Everything changes, however, when we start to sing. Many questions arise seemingly out of nowhere. Why did I just run out of breath? Why does this note feel so high (low) and how do I reach it? I think I am on pitch but people say I sing flat. How do I fix it? Do I even have a voice at all? These questions and many, many others always come up when you are a beginner but at times even professionals "run into a wall" and hire a voice coach in search of answers.
I will never forget my first year in conservatory. Every little failure seemed so profound and every little success so ephemeral. It took my voice coach an entire year to convince me not to quit. And what I've discovered over the last 24 years as an opera singer and a concert soloist is that throughout our careers, we are faced with the same questions over and over again. I have also been fortunate enough to find many answers, and I love sharing them with everyone who is interested in starting their studies in singing or advancing to the next stage. I have drawn inspiration from my own fabulous coaches that I've met along the way, and from my research of the greatest singers of our time and the past. The combination of my own experiences, my education, and my never ending on-going research allows me to better understand the needs of my students regardless of their level and ability, and guide them toward finding the solutions. I am convinced that the ways of improving our singing technique are not very difficult and are never out of reach. As one of my students said, singing is easy when you do it right, and that's the only way it should be.
As a voice coach, my greatest pleasure is to hear my students say first: "this note feels like ... nothing!" And then: "I won't have any time for my lessons next year, I got a contract. " It's only when I started teaching have I really understood the meaning of an old saying "Your success is my success". Seeing my students succeed in life doing what they love is the biggest reward I could ever ask for.
Ms. Bell is my all-time favorite vocal coach. She is able to help you reach your fullest potential as a singer and performer. She is the perfect combination of tough love and biggest fan. I highly recommend Veronica Bell.
Veronica Bell at BELL VOICE STUDIO provides private vocal instructions to students of all levels and abilities, primarily in classical, operatic, and musical theater genres.
Making difficult easy and confusing - understandable
Relentless attention to detail
Focus of training is on the fundamentals of vocal technique:
breathing and breath support
extension of vocal range
improvement of color and tone of voice
vocal health and longevity
Each lesson is carefully crafted to the individual needs of the singer and style of music.
Additional services include:
preparation for recording and performance
Master's Degree from Moscow State Gnessin Music Academy
$95.00/academic hour (50 minutes)
I started giving voice instructions while still in conservatory helping my fellow students overcome their vocal difficulties. After being hired as a soloist with the Moscow State Opera, I was also offered a position as a Voice Coach with the same company, which I held for a couple of years until moving to the US.
Upon arriving, I immediately started a private practice as a voice coach. Among my students, members of San Francisco Opera Chorus, soloists of Berkeley Opera, members and soloist of Oakland Gay Men's Chorus, Oakland Youth Chorus, San Francisco Girls Chorus, Voices LCE. I also worked as a Voice Coach, and a Director and Producer of the Rose Street Players, Youth Musical Theater in Berkeley, CA
I gave private voice instructions and directed the chorus at the Nueva Learning Center in Hillsborough, The Crowden Music Center in Berkeley, Lamorinda Academy of Music and Art in Lafayette, and Black Pine Circle School in Berkeley were I also held a position of Director of the Performing Arts. Many of my students received awards from various Voice Competitions and diplomas from best Music Schools in the US including New England Conservatory, Indiana Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, and currently have successful professional singing and acting careers. After moving to Los Angeles, CA in 2008 I continues to share my almost 25 years of teaching and performing experience with my private voice student.
If you are committed to perfecting your vocal abilities, you
need a coach. Here are 10 tips on what you might want to consider:
1. Don't be afraid to try a new coach. You've got nothing to loose and everything to gain.
2. Don't worry about being or not being accepted. Remember: while a coach is auditioning you, you are also auditioning them.
3. Go with your gut. If you feel comfortable with the person, stick with them.
4. Stay with the same coach for at least 10 lessons. Even if you are ready to run right away, don't. It takes a while for both teacher and the student to adjust to each other, and what feels uncomfortable in the beginning might be the very thing you need the most.
5. Don't try to be perfect from the first lesson. You are here to learn, nobody expects you to do everything right.
6. Be patient. Learning to do something takes time. Learning to do something well takes even longer.
7. Watch out for how you feel during and after the lesson. The only part of you that's allowed to hurt is your brain from the amount of information being processed. If your throat hurts, look for a different coach.
8. Don't worry about walking away. We are used to it. Not every teacher is right for every student. You might have go through a few people before you find the right one for you.
9. Don't expect to have results right away. It usually takes at least a year to see any significant progress.
10. Be proud of yourself for making a decision to develop or improve your vocal skills, and have fun!