Diane Thornton Vocal Studio

Diane Thornton Vocal Studio

5.0 (4)
5 hires on Lessons.com
1 employee
5 years in business

About this pro

I have a 30+ year career both as a critically acclaimed  professional solo vocalist and as a voice instructor, teaching ages ranging from 14 to 65 and during which I have guided singers with a wide variety of backgrounds and challenges, including those who do NOT read music and who are very inexperienced performers; and at the same time seek students who are eager to learn and who will take the time between each lesson to work on my assignments.  Both professional and amateur singers have sought my help in performing classical (including opera), musical theater, jazz, rock, rhythm and blues and traditional American styles. I can and do either create or tap into pre-existing performing initiatives as desired by the student.  I have also helped singers with cerebral palsy, dyslexia, TMJ, auto-immune deficiencies, performance anxiety and other challenges navigate their way around those challenges towards communicating more effectively and confidently.  In addition, I have had and continue to have students who were awarded music scholarships from institutions that include the Manhattan School of Music and the Eastman School of Music at either the undergraduate or graduate level as well as competition winners.  I am a member of NATS, Opera America, the Pan American Vocology Association and other organizations.

Visit my website at www.dianebthornton.com for more complete information, including sound bites, performance and teaching reviews (a resume can also be provided if requested). I also have a Facebook studio page:  www.facebook.com/joyfulvoiceteacher.  

The fact that there is so much to learn and share with each experience I have as a performer, teacher and human being.  My mind has the opportunity to be constantly stretched and challenged and my heart is so full because of all of the wonderful people with whom I come I come in contact and with whom I build relationships in the process. 

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Charlotte, NC 28207
Email verified
Phone verified

4 Reviews


  • Ricky R. Roy

    I am thoroughly happy and very satisfied with Diane as my vocal coach, she is very personable, professional and helps me tremendously, Diane has a style of teaching and coaching that is direct, effective, and down to earth. I be will a student of Diane as long as she is willing to teach and help me. I only reached out to Lessons.com because I was trying to see if another instructor I was going to was listed with you folks. Make no mistake about it, Diane and I have a wonderful teacher- student relationship and I'm very happy with her and her methods, I am Not looking to replace her no way no how, sincerely Ricky R. Roy

  • Julie Pine

    I was honored to study voice under Diane Thornton while a student at Davidson College from 1988 through 2002. I consider those to be my golden years of voice instruction as I have not encountered such a brilliant teacher before or since that time. I count Diane as my most important musical influence. Her approach to voice is holistic considering technical precision, physical well being, as well as the spiritual connection with the music. I was transformed as a vocalist and a performer while in her studio and her lessons have remained with me, allowing me to pick up advanced vocal performance without difficulty even after long breaks. Diane is a stunning monster talent in her own right. However, she has been doubly blessed because she is equally talented as a teacher; she is able to connect with her students, appreciate and teach to their specific vocal qualities, learning styles, ambitions, limitations and gifts. It is difficult to put into words what Diane has meant to me as a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. I envy the good fortune of vocalists living near her studio. Perhaps someday I will be that lucky again.

  • Stephanie Timperman

    Diane is a very versatile vocal instructor who firsts gets to know the artist and their abilities and range. Diane focuses on total vocal health, and teaches in such a way that motivates and engages the student, while never compromising their vocal health in order to produce results. She is patient and tremendously supportive and motivating. Her students range from teens to older adults; and in every artist she sees the ability to develop a beautiful instrument.

  • Lisa Franklyn-Zaidi

    Diane Thornton has been my daughter's vocal instructor for the past 3 years. My daughter has grown tremendously as a mezzo-soprano, from breathing technique to stage presence. As a performer herself, Diane truly understands her students and gives constructive advice. She is invested in the success of each of her students, as evidenced by my daughter's 3rd place finish in the 2016 NATS Mid-Atlantic Region competition. My husband and I feel blessed to have Diane guide our daughter through her vocal journey, and we look forward to seeing what her future holds, thanks to Diane.


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I first offer a one hour session at half price with the prospective student to make sure that what I have to offer matches the singer's needs and desires.  I am the right teacher for those who are willing to invest time and energy to learn and grow from the "teamwork" we do on breathing and support, sound, expression, and other elements of communicating through song.  Among other things, I treat singers as vocal "athletes," guiding them through processes that enable many muscle groups to work better together, resulting in much greater success in "telling the story" in a vocal piece.  Beginners are totally welcome, including those who are "shy" about getting up in front of people and students who are not accustomed to reading sheet music.    

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

My website will reveal this far more completely, but, in short:

Master of Music in Opera performance from Temple University; Fellowship with the Bach Aria Institute; coachings and masterclasses with internationally acclaimed world-class artists; represented for years by Hendrickson Artists Management in New York; solo engagements with opera companies, orchestras and chamber music groups across the United States as well as engagements performing solo recitals, adjudicator at a number of vocal competitions.  Formal training for teaching includes accreditation in contemporary commercial music techniques (jazz, R&B, rock, musical theater) along with performing jazz in open mic initiatives as well as occasionally "jamming" with rock bands!  

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Although I have a standard pricing system, I would prefer to discuss fees with each individual privately.  My fees are definitely reasonable and current with the local market. 

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching right after doing graduate work at Temple University.  I had performed in a premiere of an American opera written by the then head of the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, and he invited me to teach voice there.  Teaching just seemed like a natural inclination for me, to the point that I saved all of the exercises I had been taught as far back as when I was 16 years old! 

What types of students have you worked with?

Teenagers (starting at 13) and adults who want to learn, most of whom read music but some do not; both male and female voices; beginning students, young professional singers, undergraduate college students, serious amateur singers, students who wanted to become more confident in "presenting" themselves in front of people; singers who are interested in classical, musical theater, jazz, traditional, pop, rhythm and blues, even rock music. I have also worked with students who have cerebral palsy, dyslexia, attention deficit and other challenges; and have found myself learning from them as much as they, hopefully, learn from me.  

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I had the pleasure of being invited back by Opera Carolina to offer a session in singing breathing techniques for teenagers involved in their 2017 summer Music Drama Workshop.  After doing that, I performed a Duke Ellington piece at an open mic session with the Sign of the Times of the Carolinas (fabulous group).  Then I assisted a student who wanted to find out what it was like to audition for American Idol.  I always enjoy my Studio recitals, the most recent one having taken place during the fall with music that ranged from R&B to musical theater to classical repertoire.  I have also thoroughly enjoyed giving master classes to vocal students at the Northwest High School of the Performing Arts in Chalotte as an affiliate faculty member of the Opera Carolina Vocal Academy.  

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Find someone who seems to "click" with you as a human being, who has evidence of being a good singer him/herself, who is not afraid or insulted by your need to ask questions about any vocal instructions, who is interested, first and foremost, in meeting your needs as opposed to "using" you to promote his/her teaching career!

Don't start spending money on voice lessons unless you can and are willing to take the time to do the "singing homework" your voice teacher assigns!  Like any sport, no one gets better without regularly doing those "drills..."

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

1.  Why do I love to sing?

2.  Why do I want to take lessons?  Are there any particular goals I have?

3.  How much time and energy am I willling to put in for vocal study in between lessons?

4.  What kind of music do I like to sing? 

5.  Am I willing to expose myself to kinds of music with which I am not yet acquainted?

Lessons offered

Jazz Voice Classes Musical Theater Classes Opera Voice Lessons Singing Lessons Voice Lessons Classical Voice Lessons Elocution Lessons Vocal Training Lessons