Bite-sized inspiration #3:

Yes, finally mastering that one song you’ve worked so hard at really does feel that good.

You’re thinking about taking lessons. Maybe you’ve always wanted to play or sing, or maybe you used to as a child and you miss it.

And maybe you’re nervous, because you foresee some challenges. You’re not wrong–adult music students all have to deal with:

Time constraints

Look, you’re busy! It’s a given. You’re worried you won’t even have time to practice.

Self-Consciousness

There’s no stage fright like adult music student stage fright.

High standards

Playing “Jingle Bells” just won’t excite you the way it would excite a kid.

Take comfort in the fact that you’re all in the same boat with those same worries.

But…take heart! You also have some unique advantages.

Life experience

You know how to work toward a goal and accomplish it. You’ve done it before.

Clear goals

You know what you want to learn and why you want to learn it. 

High standards

Yes, this again.

Double-edged sword, isn’t it?

So how do lessons work, given all that?

You’re thinking about taking lessons. Maybe you’ve always wanted to play or sing, or maybe you used to as a child and you miss it.

And maybe you’re nervous, because you foresee some challenges. You’re not wrong–adult music students all have to deal with:

Time constraints

Look, you’re busy! It’s a given. You’re worried you won’t even have time to practice.

Self-Consciousness

There’s no stage fright like adult music student stage fright.

High standards

Playing “Jingle Bells” just won’t excite you the way it would excite a kid.

Take comfort in the fact that you’re all in the same boat with those same worries.

But…take heart! You also have some unique advantages.

Life experience

You know how to work toward a goal and accomplish it. You’ve done it before.

Clear goals

You know what you want to learn and why you want to learn it. 

High standards

Yes, this again.

Double-edged sword, isn’t it?

So how do lessons work, given all that?

Let’s collaborate!

My adult students have a great deal of “say” over the trajectory of their lessons. I know that adults don’t usually come to music lessons on a whim—they usually have a good idea of their goals and musical preferences, and I respect the time and financial commitment they make to lessons in the midst of their busy lives.

A note for the singers:

Some voice teachers insist that the foundations for healthy vocal technique lie in classical singing, and that the techniques learned in classical repertoire can be applied to any genre. Others maintain that a student should train exclusively on the genre he or she intends to perform. In my opinion, the issue is not as black-and-white as these groups claim, and a more balanced approach is called for. Yes, singing classical music is an effective tool in the healthy vocal technique toolbox, but the needs of a student who is most interested in performing, say, rock or country music won’t be fully met by studying classical music exclusively

​Your lessons, your music

When I teach students whose primary musical interests don’t fall under the classical umbrella, I make sure that we work in both genres. Almost all such students find that they actually enjoy the classical music we do, and appreciate having their horizons broadened. In fact, being exposed to a variety of music usually helps students escape the trap of imitating their favorite singers and instead develop their own unique sound

Community

I always make it a priority to give my adult students opportunities to gather–not just to perform for each other, but also just to talk! You know who “gets it,” those struggles and insecurities that come with studying music? Other music students. You can support each other in a really unique way.

Performance

Our performance opportunities are nothing like you might guess. We’ve done an open mic night, a Wine & Cheese & Music night, and more. Collaboration is always fun too! Once, a trio of students sang a Sinead O’Connor song, a cappella, in 3 part harmony! Another time, two students did “Space Oddity” accompanied by a double bass.

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