Before I get Into the things that I believe makes my "service" stand out, I'd like to start with my mission statement(s), which is...
“Set free the artist within”
"Teach what I wish I would have been taught,
when I was in high school and college."
I've a profound passion to help singers. It is something that I feel a very, very strong calling and know that this is something I was born to do. I've probably gone way overboard with the information supplied, here, but if you would like even more information, please visit my very outdated website, Tenore.org. I am in the process of developing a new website, which will support my book/course, "SingKraft” -featuring- "The Holy Grail of Singing." I estimate that it will take approximately 3 to 4 months to complete, (book/course), but it is well on its way.
Now, onto the things that set my studio/services apart.
1. First of all, it all starts with my vocal technique. I have developed my own vocal technique... SingKraft... which I'll be attempting to publish this next year. My vocal technique is profound, in that it allows me to help virtually any singer. I'll speak more on this, below, but I have worked with singers of almost every vocal style. I can only think of two vocal "styles" that I haven't worked with... rappers and yodelers. The only reason why haven't worked with rappers and yodelers is only because they never walk to my door.
The old saying, "necessity is the mother of invention," certainly applies to the development of my vocal technique, "SingKraft,” as it was because of working with such a wide variety of singer... young, old, male, female, contemporary singer, country singer, classical singer, musical theatre performer, those with vocal disorders, speech disorders and even those who could not match pitch... that “SingKraft” germinated and came into being. But it was especially the unique needs of Musical Theatre performers that was the driving force behind “SingKraft."
Again, much of "SingKraft's" development came from 37 years of teaching an incredible variety of singer. However, "SingKraft" would not have happened had it not been for the tools learned from my 14 years of weekly study with Ellen Faull, (former Chair of Vocal Studies at Juilliard). Words cannot begin to express how excited I am to make this phenomenal material available, as I truly believe it represents a MAJOR "new" contribution to the singing world... one that every singer can benefit from. It has the potential to be the proverbial, "game changer." My vocal technique is designed to liberate a singer, by establishing and developing proper vocal habits, from the ground up. Building off of that, SingKraft provides the singer/performer with the tools needed to be successful.
2. I have no "auditioning," or "prerequisites" for working with singers. Actually, there is one prerequisite: If you are willing to work hard and take some risk, I can and will help you. I can say this because I have done it on countless occasions.Male, female, 90 years old to child prodigy, classical to contemporary and everything in between. If you cannot match pitch or carry a tune, but If you are an experienced performer, wanting to achieve the potential you possess and are willing to work hard, I would be an honor to help you... because I have been there myself. My approach to teaching is positive and encouraging. Because of this, I believe this is why I can count so many of my students, and former students, as friends.
3. Positive reinforcement. I do not believe that anything can be gained by tearing down a singers fragile confidence by being mean-spirited, hypercritical and verbally abusive. Sadly, I have seen this too many times. Teachers who do this, I believe, do it because of their own insecurities. This is why I tend to look at myself not so much as a teacher, (even though I am), but more as a guide, leading you to where you need to go. I am a friend.
4. I teach belting... Both "legit," and "faux" belting... yes, for women. Actually, for men too, as that is really what a "tenor" does! I've had so many female teachers rant about how wrong it is for women to "belt." I tell them, if it's wrong for women the belt, then it has to be wrong for men to "belt," as well, since tenors and baritones comonly belt, too. Yes, there are wrong and destructive ways for men and women to belt, so I teach all human beings to "belt" in a vocally healthy way.
5. Even though I work with all genders, age groups and pretty much all vocal styles, if there is one particular specialty, it would be musical theatre, without a doubt. SingKraft largely came into being as a result of my working with musical theater performers. My singers have won countless number of vocal competitions and thespian competitions. With their tremendous hard work, my guidance and the application of “SingKraft,” my singers have landed countless numbers of leading roles and supporting roles in musical theatre productions.
6. "Fully baked pies!" The goal is to take every song and turn it into a fully baked pie... ready for you to proudly serve. This starts with developing proper singing habits and learning to use the SingKraft tools. Next is to memorize the song and then take it through character development, just like an actor would with a monologue. Finally, staging/blocking every song, whether it's for the "big" stage, or a night out doing karaoke with friends. Regardless, it is your obligation to only offer a slice of a "fully baked pie," and not just a piece of a pie shell.
Well, I apologize for going overboard, but I'd rather you have too much information, as opposed to not having enough information.
One last bit of information: My singers have gone on to graduate from NYU - Tisch, AMDA - New Your, AMDA - Los Angeles, Berkeley Conservatory - Boston, Northern Colorado University, University of Portland, Willamette University, Seattle Pacific University, the University of Oregon, University of Southern Oregon, BYU Music and Theatre Schools, University of the arts - Philadelphia, Chapman University... to name a few.
Note: I have a considerable performance background, but rather than listing it here, please my website, tenore.org.
Over the years most of my teaching was done from my private studio in Beaverton, Oregon. I did also serve on the voice faculties of the University of Portland and Willamette University, for a number of years. Sadly, I no longer live in the Beaverton area, but I am more than willing to make house calls. I am also beginning to dabble in web-based lessons,(Skype lessons), so that could possibly be an alternative, as well. Regardless, if you decide to have me help you, I would consider it an honor to guide you on your vocal journey.
With gratitude for the consideration,
Jay Eugene Fraley
There are too many things to list, here, but here are a few things that I truly enjoy about what I do:
Because I am a singer/artist, "people person" myself, I very much enjoy the friendship/relationship that comes from working with other singers.
Guiding others on their "vocal journey" so they, too, can fulfill their potential is a wonderful thing. But knowing that I truly have the tools to help pretty much everyone, so they may be set free to truly become vocal artists, is at the heart of why do, what I do.
In summary, I enjoy helping others discover the joy of singing.... and I enjoy doing what I do, because I, too, was once a "vocal mess," needing someone to guide me out of the "vocal jungle."
Jay helped me untangle my vocal "knots" and simply understand my instrument and how I can best use it. His ability to break down vocal pedagogy into bite size chunks and relatable analogies made each lesson not only fun, but incredibly invaluable. It's been a few years since I worked with him but I still go back and listen to the lessons I recorded to review and renew. And the best recommendation I can give??? When my daughter approached me asking for voice lessons Jay is who I took her to! As a high school choir director I watched Jay magically transform not only my high fliers, but also some of the toughest pitch challenged students!
I am a parent of a talented, young singer who studied with Jay for years. In fact, I would say Jay is one of the best vocal teachers I have ever met. He has experience learning from one of the world's great sopranos, Ellen Faull, who has given him a pedagogy to encourage singers, work on technique, pitch, theory, Italian, French, and German singing, reading music, interpretation - you name it. Jay is the best. While my daughter was studying with Jay, she won NATS in the Musical Theater category. My daughter was also was third place in both musical theater and opera for her age group in the national Hal Leonard competition. This is a testament to Jay's great vocal teaching technique. She has continued to study with Jay, and she always learns something new and improves even after one lesson.
Really love his enthusiasm and wide bank of pedagogical knowledge and knowledge of the field. Since working with him from my early teen years, I've learned so much healthy technique!
I have been working with Jay for almost 10 years. Because of his teaching I am not only a more confident singer but I got into my dream grad school. His methods are not only accessible but they stand up over time. I have better habits and a larger vocal vocabulary to express myself and my characters. I would recommend him to anyone who wants to be a more versatile singer.
There is no audition process. As long as there is a willingness to work hard and be teachable, I am glad to help.
Goodness... this is pretty hard to cover effectively, here. Best to see my web site for this, but...
I have a BA Vocal performance. However, I know that my "apprenticeship" experience, gained from all my performing, and, most of all, because of 21 years of weekly lessons with Bill Eddy and Ellen Faull, is greater than anything that I could've learned in an institution.
7 years of weekly, private study with Bill Eddy, (Considered by many to have been one of the top teachers to teach in the NW)
14 years of weekly, private study with Ellen Faull, former Chair of Vocal Studies at Juilliard, (Considered by many as one of the greatest voice teachers in history).
14 years of weekly, private coaching with Richard Bower. Former prominent New York City Coach and probably the best "coach" in the Portland area.
An extesnsive performance Bio, including 6 years of performing with Portland Opera.
Years of private coaching with acting coach Jan Powell
Years of coaching with Stefan Minde, (former Artistic Director/Conductor of Portland Opera.
I consider my 37 years of teaching as one of my greatest "teachers." Each lesson was an "education," since I've learned something new from each lesson I've taught. It was through that "education" that "SingKraft - The Holy Grail of Singing" was born.
My rates are as follows:
-$50 per hour lesson, for a "house call" lesson.
-$40 for 45 min web-based "Skype" lesson
-$30 for 30 min web-based "Skype" lesson
I use either Venmo or accept all credit cards via Square
Now, as I am kind of a "Monk" voice teacher, I am willing to consider being flexible, if need be. However, due to travel time and fuel costs, the "House Call" lessons are firm, except for extreme need cases. I am also prone to "going over" a bit, if my schedule allowes. Just saying.
While I was in college I was Tenor Soloist at Westminster Presbyterian Church, in Portland. One day, a singer in the choir, there, asked for my help. His name was Durward Wright. That was in February of 1981 and that's when it all began. Really found that I enjoyed helping other singers and it just grew from there.
In 37 years of teaching I have taught pretty much all types... Beginner, pro, kids, men, women, autistic... and 99% of vocal styles. Actually, I've tremendously enjoyed working with those who considered themselves tone deaf and would say, "I can't carry a tune in a buket!" Set them all free.
Well, not exactly a "recent" event, but I was very fond of the evening where a student, (his name is JR), gave an amazing, "standing ovation" performance. He performed, fully staged, "All I Care About Is Love," from the musical, "Chicago." It was significant not just because it was his first performance, but especially because just six months earlier he could not match pitch. Three other teachers who had "given up" on him saw his performance that night. All were stunned by what they saw. I was so proud of JR. I was proud of him for all the hard work, but especially for his learning to believe in himself. It was a great honor to lead him on his journey.
Try and find someone who has lots of experience. There is a reason why college freshman are many times taught by Grad students... so that the Grad student can get experience. When I studied with Ellen Faull she was in her late 70's. She was 90 when she passed. Bill Eddy was in his 80's. I benefited from over 100 years of their combined teaching experience. Older teacher certainly doesn't nessesarily mean that they are a better teacher, but you cannot buy experience... you have to earn it.
Be clear as to what you want to accomplish. What are your goals. Also, Honestly assess yourself and your needs. It is a strength to acknowledge your weaknesses. Ask yourself, "what are the things that I struggle with." Think in broad terms that go beyond just vocal "issues," such as... trouble memorizing a song, fear of being in front of an audience, not knowing how to "present" or truly "perform" a song, etc., etc., etc. A good teacher is there to help you, not to cut you down or to make you feel stupid, so be open and honest about what you struggle with.what do they think they struggle with the most.