Hello! My name is Heidi Skok, and I am the owner of Skokstudio Vocal Instruction LLC. Skokstudio is located in Mentor, OH, 25 miles east of Cleveland. I also teach highly effective online lessons using Zoom from my ultra HD 4k video conferencing system there.
Singers who want to understand and develop their voice also need to build the core of their voice with strong and efficient vocal technique. That core is the chest voice, making your voice easy to use. If you are missing chest voice, I can show you exactly how to use it. I utilize a variety of auxiliary tools which are physical "interactive tools" that make it easy for singers to be able to visually and physically understand what is needed to produce great sounds with ease. These interactive tools that I incorporate with my technique show the singer how to use breath, resonation, placement and projection. Using these same tools, singers that already have their core skills also rapidly move to their next level vocally, with even deeper techniques that I custom tailor for their advancement. Additionally, if you have had vocal injury, nodes, or have poor usage which keeps leading to laryngitis and struggle in general with your voice, I can help you.
With my 25 years of experience singing on four different continents, I have been trained as a classical singer but my musical beginnings are rooted in pop and musical theater. My opera career has been vast, including the Metropolitan Opera, many regional opera companies in the United States, and I have been the recipient of many awards for my singing in opera as a soprano.
The avenue that I traveled vocally has given me many deep insights that I have used to establish my vocal technique that has helped many people develop the core skills they need. My pedagogy is built upon the principles of the great German soprano Lilli Lehmann (1848-1929).
Skokstudio accepts new students at least 18 years old for individual or group lessons by annual enrollment. Highly talented and exceptionally motivated high school students will also be considered. We offer our student candidates a vocal evaluation at half price of a regular lesson fee. The vocal evaluation is an opportunity for a student candidate to demonstrate their vocal ability to me and to clearly communicate their goals and ambitions for their growth with their voice. The vocal evaluation also helps determine if the student is the right fit for our curriculum. To secure an initial vocal evaluation, please visit Skokstudio.org. I look forward to hearing from you and to helping you!
All good to you,
Heidi Skok (Contralto)
Master Instructor and Owner Skokstudio LLC
I love to build voices, and to give singers a solid foundation of vocal ability in whatever music style they pursue. I enjoy helping dedicated singers find their own voice. It brings me great personal and professional satisfaction to give singers the vocal development they need to tackle their goals!
New student candidates request a Vocal Evaluation session as the first step to become an eligible candidate for enrollment in private instruction at Skokstudio. The Vocal Evaluation gives prospective students an opportunity to discuss their goals with Master Instructor Heidi Skok and to demonstrate their vocal ability. Students can request a vocal evaluation at the Skokstudio.org website. After receiving a request for a Vocal Evaluation, Skokstudio will contact students within 24 hours by email and/or telephone to confirm that the requested evaluation has been Approved before making the appointment or charging a fee.
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and an Artists Diploma from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. I was a member of the Metropolitan Opera's Young Artist Development Program, now known as the Lindemann Program from 1991-94. That is the equivalent of study for a Master's Degree. I am the recipient of many awards, including The Sullivan Foundation, Opera Index, The Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional auditions, among many others. I have served on the voice faculties of many colleges and universities, including the University of Kentucky, New England Conservatory, New School University, The College of Saint Rose, Bennington College, Oberlin College Conservatory, and Lakeland Community College. I also was on the faculties of two arts organizations, The Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, OH and Fairmount Center for the Arts in Novelty, OH.
Vocal Evaluation (In-studio at 8789 Mentor Ave, Mentor OH) is $20. Vocal Evaluation (performed online using Zoom) is $25. Enrolling students pay an annual registration fee and 24hr lesson pre-payment is required. Students can select from several subscription-style discounted lesson package plans when paying lessons fees.
I have always been singing, starting from the time I was 4 years old. I would go down into my parents barn on our farm and sing to the animals, the chickens in the chicken coop were my audience. At 12, my mother found a teacher that would accept me at that age for voice lessons. I progressed through two other teachers, and at 15 and 16 I began to sing public concerts in the local area of our town. I went to Carnegie Mellon University and during my college years naturally built a relationship with Pittsburgh Opera by singing in the chorus. Within a year, the General Director heard me singing and advanced me out of the chorus and into his Young Artist Program for the summer. Famous opera singers would pass through Pittsburgh, and I received the opportunity to sing for many of them. I was going to Wolf Trap that summer in Vienna, VA, which is a very high profile place for young singers. That began my launch. The Metropolitan Opera came calling and I was invited to become a member of the Young Artist Program there. I was always practicing, I did a lot of work on my voice for myself, and that was how I got to the level that I did. I'm known for my drive and determination.
I have worked with all kinds of voices. While I was at the New England Conservatory, I began to attract a lot of Bigger voices, voices that sang Verdi, Wagner, Strauss, etc. I have helped many voices in this category that went on to sing in great places including the Metropolitan Opera. I help musical theater voices-I love to teach belting, I think every classical person should know how to belt. I teach rappers, people that have wanted to get into voice-over as well as working with pop, rock, country and bluegrass singers . I get a lot of people wanting to learn how to do Vocal fry. That's always fun to work on with singers-there is a technique to it. I also help people who have been injured vocally or who may have had nodes. I also have helped many people to determine for themselves both where they should be singing in their voice and exactly what style they should be singing.
I had a singer come to me who wanted to go overseas to London to get her Masters degree. She worked with me for a year and was accepted at the Royal Academy in London. That was terrific! I built an arts organization that started off as an opera company and evolved to a company that helps singers through presenting them in concerts. Resonanz Opera is growing and that is fun to see. We are planning the 2020 season now. I also founded a duo that is called In Fine Leather. My student Riley Hensley and I sing duets together. We just finished recording our Christmas album in Cleveland and are working on the upcoming concerts we have for the Summer and Fall of 2020. Our Youtube channel will be up shortly and our FB page is In Fine Leather. Our website is infineleather.com. Riley is only 17 and has worked with me since she was 12. I can't say that there is any greater joy than to witness your student succeeding and singing by your own side.
Make sure that the person you are looking to hire can really help you. Qualifications don't always mean that they can get the results. I am unique in the fact that I not only teach, but I have sung and had an entire performing career. The ability to teach and to sing is not always an everyday happening. My teaching is my experience. I have had to really figure my voice out for myself. My voice was presented as a soprano, but that was never really right. It was so very hard, and led me to vocal problems. Since I switched back to singing lower, all my problems went away. Experience really is a great determiner for ability in any field.
1. Am I really ready to commit the time and resources necessary to become a singer?
2. Will I be a willing and studious participant?
3. What are my goals? What actions do I need to take to get to my vocal goals?
4. It takes practice each day to gain skills. Am I willing to practice every day?
Give yourself an honest self-assessment and go from there.