Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are browsing for a teacher or about to begin lessons, this will provide answers to your questions.  Still have questions? Contact me!

 

A little about my teaching philosophy…

I truly believe that if you love to sing, then you should sing.

Each student is unique – I have goals and a master plan in mind for you.  Regardless of the style of music a student prefers to sing, technique will be taught to guide the healthiest production possible. There are some rules to the game, but, once you learn them, you can tag in and have some fun.

Although I assign music for students, I strongly urge students to bring in music that they want to work on. I love to set goals so that we always feel like we are working toward something. This is a team effort – my students define what they want to get out of voice lessons so we can get there together —- always with a good dose of humor served up on the side!

A little about the technique I teach…

Students will be taught a Bel Canto approach to singing.

Isn’t that for opera singers?

Well, yes… however, I currently have a studio made up of classical singers, folk singers, musical theatre singers and belters, Gospel singers, country singers, rockers, and choral singers… each one is taught the same technique and each one sounds perfectly appropriate in their genre.

Bel Canto is a style of singing with roots in Italian opera, but at the core, it is a natural way of singing that allows the individual beauty and uniqueness of a voice to blossom and grow. Bel Canto singing will not strain or wear your voice out; even though physically you may be tired {singing is an endurance sport!} It is an extension of your speaking voice and should be just as free and easy.

I like to say that your singing voice is your speaking voice, but in slow motion, and with lots of air!

The Estelle Liebling Vocal Course series is my preferred collection of vocal exercises.


 A little about my teaching experience…

  • I’ve been teaching privately since 2000 – voice & basic keyboard skills.
  • In addition I have taught in public and private school settings in the areas of voice, choir, and general music as well as band and orchestra.
  • A freelance dramatic and vocal coach, I have consulted and worked with high school drama programs and community summer arts festivals.
  • I am an active performer – I teach from experience!
  • Students have performed locally with Triad Stage, Community Theatre of Greensboro, Drama Center at City Arts, Theatre Alliance, Oratorio Society, Greensboro Youth Chorus, Triad Pride Men’s Chorus, and area churches and schools just to name a few.
  • Students have successfully auditioned for performing arts high schools, undergraduate voice and musical theatre programs, made it several rounds into American Idol auditions, and finally got the nerve to do the solo at church that they have always dreamed of.

My education includes…

  • Bachelor of Music in Education – Voice
    Minor- Piano
    D’Angelo School of Music at Mercyhurst University – Erie, PA
  • Master of Music – Vocal Performance
    University of North Carolina – Greensboro, NC

With additional training at:

Wesley Balk Music-Theatre Institute -St. Paul, MN

American Institute of Musical Studies – Graz, Austria

American Singers’ Opera Project – Winston-Salem, NC


Are you too old to start?

Heck no! Just come with an open mind and be ready to have a good time. 

 

Is your little one too young for voice lessons?

Maybe… I welcome children in fourth grade and older into the studio.

If they are younger, these are great places for your little singers to learn and grow:

Kindermusik   |   Greensboro Youth Chorus

It is never too late to give it a go, but when you are starting out early, there are things to keep in mind. Depending on the student, I accept students as young as fourth grade into my studio, but, what we do together is very different than what I do with a student in their teens and older.

To put it simply, little bodies aren’t ready for technically demanding  vocal training until their muscles have had time to develop and grow – a lot of coordination needs to happen between the breath, the vocal cords, the brain… it can be frustrating as well as damaging to push young singers too soon. Beyond that, when you factor in limited attention spans, and that we are taking something that is ‘fun’ and making it seem like ‘work’, singing can become something dreaded very quickly.

That said there are lots of things we can do together. I draw upon my experience as a music educator to build a solid musical foundation for young singers. Keyboard skills, note reading, musical terms, and interval training will be incorporated in each lesson. Singing will be guided in a holistic approach that encourages healthy habits. This is a great way to build confidence and allow children to express themselves. And, they will be learning that hard work can be really fun!


How do I pay for lessons? Can I “drop in” when you have openings?

Lessons are paid for either one month at a time, in one lump sum, or in installments for the semester.  Lessons are not paid one at a time, and are not designed to “drop in” as you might an exercise or dance class. When you agree to a day and time for lessons, that is your personally reserved lesson for the remainder of the semester. I gladly accept cash or checks made out to Elena DeAngelis.


Is there an audition to be accepting into your studio?

No! If you have a desire to learn to be the best singer you can possibly be, and are willing to work hard to do it, then you are more than welcome. Talent alone does not equal success. One person’s dream or goal is not necessarily that of another. I love working with a novice just as much as a professional.


Am I required to perform in a recital? If I do, is it free to my and my guests?

Nope, you are not required to perform. However, my recitals are fun! Everyone looks forward to attending them: performers, parents, friends, family. We even have folks that attend as they would the symphony or ballet and gush about attending the “studio concerts.” They are free to participate in, and there is no admission charge. You are required to attend one rehearsal with an accompanist in advance of the recital (for a charge) but that is the only fee associated with the recital. And there is always a reception following the performance! I encourage anyone nervous about performing to come and watch until they feel ready. We all learn from watching and listening. And everyone tells me that they love how my studio feels like a family, and that they can’t wait to see each other at the next performance. It is a supportive and encouraging environment, I wouldn’t let it be an other way! Recitals typically last an hour.


Vocal Coach? Voice Teacher? Tomato? Tomahto?

There is a big difference. A vocal coach is there to style your singing, bring your character to life, offer suggestions to make your song the best finished product it can be. A true vocal coach will not tread into the territory of vocal technique. Typically, they are also masterful pianists who will accompany your session. A voice teacher has (hopefully!) spent considerable time learning to use their voice to the highest level possible, and have also trained in the science and art of vocal pedagogy, learning to teach singing. Sadly, anyone can say they are a vocal coach or voice teacher and get away with it. Buyer beware! 

What am I?

I am first and foremost a voice teacher. Your vocal health and training are the most important thing to me as a teacher. That said, I will coach the heck out of your songs! I am often sent students from local high schools, colleges and theater groups to coach singers for roles, auditions, solos… Long before I began training as a singer, I already had a background in acting and modeling. I bring all of that personal experience into every lesson. A singer must express emotion when they sing. They must “say” something.  Perfect technique and performances are amazing, but they must be from the heart and soul, and use every ounce of the singer. Our job as a singer is to communicate. You will find that I balance both technique and artistry into every song you work on. Both must be present to be the best singer you can be.

Please note: Although I am a classically trained pianist I am not an accomplished accompanist. I will happily arrange for an accompanist as needed for your lessons. My studio accompanists have very reasonable rates. You can read more about that in my studio policies.


 

Now let’s get singing!