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Lessons

About Lessons

Voice lessons support student musicians in learning to use their voices in a safe way so that they may develop a full and even range. One of the most important benefits of engaging a voice teacher is to have a professional ear assess the technique and vocal health of a singer. While our instrument, the voice, is very accessible, our physical structure makes it challenging for a singer to hear how they are really singing. (For example, consider hearing your voice in a message or video, and thinking: "Is that what I sound like?!") A vocal instructor helps musicians navigate singing through sensation--acting as true ears, ready to redirect, and support growing voices at any age and experience level.

Whether students choose to study voice or piano, Ms. Dominguez incorporates elements of music literacy into every lesson, including building sight reading and ear training skills through various exercises. Vocal students solfege in their exercises regularly to build their familiarity of the syllables and intervals. Piano students preparing for CA Certificate of Merit evaluations will dedicate larger portions of their lesson time to completing theory studies, but will be expected to continue their work at home.

Practice notes, focus points and assignments are listed during the lessons to help reinforce weekly goals, for students (and parents) to refer to at home. Occasionally further supports, either videos or recordings, are captured and shared with students to review during practice. The studio is equipped with Abelton Live software, so that in some lessons, students record pieces to share successful musical performances. Students may also learn how to prepare resumes and headshots as well as audition practice.

Voice Lessons are divided into time for

  • exercises and warm-ups
  • building basic musicianship skills
  • learning and performing repertoire

Piano Lessons are divided into time for

  • scales and finger strength building exercises
  • musicianship skills
  • learning and performing repertoire
  • music theory instruction
Combination lessons are encouraged, and are perfect for the beginning musician. Students have the chance to safely sing their favorite songs while learning important foundations of music theory and piano skills, which will greatly aid their musicianship skills as a singer.

Studio Policies

Please arrive on time: 5 minutes prior to your start time, so that we may have time for hellos, goodbyes, unpacking, stickers and packing up!

Parents are invited to attend lessons, but it is not required. Depending on student progress and focus, I may request parents either stay or simply drop off, to ensure the safest and most effective learning time.

Lesson materials: I will recommend appropriate piano and theory lesson books, once the student understanding is gauged in an initial lesson. Additional selections will be recommended based on abilities and interests. Disney and Pop selections are encouraged! Voice students will use a variety of songs from many different books, from which I will often email PDF versions for students to print out at home for educational use. Lesson materials should be kept neatly in a designated lesson binder--suggested 3 ring binder. I may suggest some additional vocal and piano books for repertoire; based on student skill and interests.

Practice: Students are expected to practice regularly and complete assignments each week. At home practice duration expectations will vary for each student, depending on their age, playing level, years experience, and general focus abilities. The norm is about 15 playing minutes each day for younger students, and 30 or more for intermediate level students. Students participating in competitions or the CA Certificate of Merit evaluations should expect 45 minutes to an hour each or every other day to cover warm ups, theory work, technical drills and memorization.

A minimum of 3 lessons/month is expected. If excessive 4th lesson cancellations accrue, I may offer the lesson time to another student. *Occasionally, part of this "3/month" will spill over into the next or previous month--especially around the end of the year. For example: one month you might have 4 regular lesson times plus one or even two makeup lessons, for weeks off during the following or previous months.

Conflict Calendars are requested quarterly

Make-up lessons will always be offered, 24-hours in advance of a conflict.

I do enforce a 24-hour cancellation policy. Lessons cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will not be made-up, and payment will be required for the lesson. If the musician is sick on the day of lessons, and they stayed home from school or work, then notice by the morning, 9am, is requested, makeups may be offered at teacher discretion. Sick cancellations only a few hours before the lesson time will not be made up.