Paul Malina's Voice Lessons
I am finishing up my Bachelor of Music Performance degree at UNCC. I have been trained in a classical vocal style, but the knowledge that I have gained and pass on applies to all styles of singing and music in general, and I feel my teaching reflects that. I do perform often with UNCC ensembles such as University Chorale and Opera Workshop. I also work as a choral scholar and soloist for Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Charlotte.
I have been involved in music all my life. I grew up in middle and high school band playing the French Horn while also singing in the choir at my home church. In college I decided, for many reasons, that I wanted to continue doing music, but focus on my voice and being able to connect with people through lyrics and music.
Not only do I teach, but I also get to perform quite often. When I perform I get a chance to create something beautiful, something that transcends barriers and chaos. I get to provide people with the chance to have a meaningful experience, expresses in the form of music. That ability and opportunity is something that I wish to pass on to my students, to give them the opportunity to create something beautiful that reaches beyond themselves.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
My process varies depending on the the age and voice of the student I am working with, but vocal exercises are a huge part of voice lessons.
For younger kids, I tend to really focus on the basics, including learning the notes on the piano, pitch matching, and sometimes the basics of reading music. I also try and use fun analogies that they will understand like making them do gorilla "ooh's" to teach them to keep an open throat.
For older kids and adults, it depends on their level of musicianship. If they don't know how to read music then I work with them on the basics of music reading and good singing technique. If they have had training then I really get to use more technical terms and analogies and focus on their singing technique and helping them sing as healthy and fully as possible.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have been at UNCC four complete years seeking my bachelors in Music Performance with a Vocal Concentration and taking voice lessons the whole while through. In my course work I have taken many classes that specifically focus on singing and the voice. These courses have educated me to undestand the vocal mechanism, how to apply that knowledge to my own singing, and how to teach others to do the same. I have been through all undergrad levels of sight reading and music theory courses. I have taken all undergrad levels of music history, music buisness, music technology, and the first level of conducting. I also have sang in the University Chorale and Opera Workshop ensembles each semster I've been at UNCC. Additionally, at the start of my sophomore year, I started Working at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Charlotte, N.C. as a choral scholar.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
As an undergrad student, I don't have the same field experience as some others do, so my pricing is on the lower side. I typically charge $20 for a half hour and $30 for a full hour, with some flexibility.
How did you get started teaching?
In the Undergraduate Voice Program at UNCC, we are required to take a course know as Vocal Pedagogy. In this class we learn all about the inner workings of the vocal mechanism, as well as applying it to actual singing.
Along side this, we each have to find a student at the beginning of the semester, and over the duration of the course give them private lessons to help the become better singers and musicians. These lessons are video recorded and then watched in class, where the instructor and classmates, give feedback to help the teacher refine their teaching style so that their student has more potential to grow and become a greater musician.
This was where I had my first student and really learned to apply all the knowledge I have gained throughout my entire undergrad into actual teaching.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked with High school age and up. I tend to steer away from younger kids, because the pre-adolescent voice is a tricky thing to train given that it will/or is going through changes that calls for readjustment. That being said I have the talent and ability to teach kids and usually won't turn down a request to do so.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
It's now been a few semesters, but the student that I was teaching for my Vocal Pedagogy class happened to also be overseeing the music for her Capoeira group (an afro-brazilian martial art thant includes dance, acrobatics, and music). She told me that a big reason that she wanted to take voice lessons was that she could, not only sing more skillfully and healthily, but also take what she learned and use it when teaching/warming up her group. So each lesson I would teach her different warm ups and exercises that she would bring back to her group. Each week she would come back and tell me of her and her groups progress. Seeing and hearing about the growth, not only in her, but also in her group brought me a lot of joy and made me feel like what I was doing mattered.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
No matter who teaches you, always work hard and don't be afraid to out your voice out there. As singers, and musicians, we do a lot of things that may seem goofy and dorky, but they are tools to help you grow, and they are always for your benefit.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
What are my goals?
Why do I want to take lessons?
How hard am I willing to work to get to the place I want to be?