Quest Music, Inc.
I have been teach singing and music theory for 26 years, and I have been an active performing entertainer ever since I graduated from Ithaca College and joined the Air Force Singing Sergeants. My teaching is firmly based in physiological awareness of the best possible techniques for one to enjoy a long, healthy, rewarding lifetime of singing. My students and I also have tons of fun as they progress to becoming a wonderful singer!
I so enjoy cheering on my students as they demonstrate a deeper understanding of proper singing techniques and develop a positive, confident attitude about their abilities as a singer. As the song lyric states, "It's not where you start, it's where you finish," so it doesn't really matter if you have studied music before or have any experience as a performer. I am here to teach you all you need to know!
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Frequently asked questions
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have been performing as a professional entertainer for about 35 years, and in the early years, I also sang quite a few opera productions. I literally said "yes" to every singing opportunity that came my way! As a result, I am very comfortable teaching and singing in many styles --- pop, jazz, Broadway, country, art song, oratorio and opera! I feel at home teaching all these styles because I have performed them all in a wide variety of shows, concerts, recitals and nightclub appearances!
I teach my students solid, technical skills and show them how to use these skills in real performing situations, whatever style (or styles) of singing they choose to pursue. Great music for singers is not limited just to classical selections, and I really enjoy helping others gain deeper understanding and confidence as they master whatever songs they enjoy singing!
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
Yes I do... Presently, I charge $65.00 for an hour lesson, but should you ask any of my students, I often exceed that hour of instruction for no extra charge. Also, every student walks out of my wonderful, new Oakton, VA studio with their own compact disc recording of that day's lesson. The CD allows each student to review the various techniques, vocal exercises and song study that was covered in that lesson.
How did you get started teaching?
I demonstrated a love for music, especially for singing, as a young boy. I would climb into our wing-backed, living room chair and sing "Jingle Bells" as I kept time with my head beating against the upholstered back! (Don't worry... by the time I started school, I was no longer using my head as a bass drum beater!)
As time went on, I developed an insatiable appetite for learning how to play musical instruments. I studied saxophone, clarinet, baritone horn, piano, mandolin and electric bass guitar. I finally dedicated myself to singing, and I have never regretted that decision. My love of music has been paying the bills throughout all of my adult life. What a thrill!
What types of students have you worked with?
I have taught folks from 7 years old to 90 years young, and each one of them shares an intense love of music. People have come to me for a wide variety of goals: some simply want to impress their friends on karaoke nights, others want to be of more value to their church or synagogue choirs, several have come to me as lead singers in rock bands who express their concern to protect their voices and vocal cords, and some have been professional musicians who have established careers in the music world. They all have but one thing in common --- they love to express themselves through singing!
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
It is such a difficult decision to choose an instructor from the many people that are teaching singing. Unfortunately, no rating system exists that would offer the student a way of judging a teacher's qualifications. However, if you limit your search to a teacher who is actively working as a professional singer, I believe you will have better results. A teacher who is a proven, successful performer has so much more to offer students --- practical techniques, performing practices, singing psychologies, auditioning advice, etc. Avoid signing up for singing lessons at a music store, and please do not make your decision based solely on cost. Great teachers should have solid knowledge of singing techniques and possess the ability to immediately "hear" what improvements each individual singer needs to become a better singer.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
The individual looking to improve their singing abilities must make a firm committment to stay the course with their teacher. I teach my students all the physiology they need to know about great singing, but some of the singer's "movable parts" seem to have a mind of their own and it can take some time to train the muscles to control body and facial posture as well as jaw, mouth and tongue positions. Whenever a student confesses that they are having difficulty with these physiological moves, I simply say, "Hey, join the club! I faced the same predicament!"