TAKING A VOICE LESSON:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. Come to your voice lesson ready to sing. When you are a singer, your voice is your instrument. Be sure it is in good shape for your voice lesson. Don't stay out late the night before your lesson; get plenty of rest. Be sure your body is hydrated. If you are sick, and especially if you have a sore throat, it's probably best to call and reschedule. If possible do this the day before. Two reasons: you shouldn't sing with a sore throat unless absolutely necessary, (and then you really should see a doctor first); and secondly, I don't want to get sick! Don't eat a big heavy meal right before your lesson; have something light if you are hungry, and save the big meal for AFTER your lesson. Dress comfortably and wear comfortable shoes; sometimes we are moving around quite a bit! If you have a performance upcoming, it's a good idea to bring the shoes you will be wearing, so you can practice your song(s) wearing them.
2. Arrive on time. Don't be early, as you may be interrupting someone else's session. Text me upon your arrival, especially if you get here early; if I don't have a student right before you, I'll let you know, and we can start early. If I am currently working with another student, I won't answer. If you are a Miami student, you can park in the street (free). Please don't park in the driveway because you will block the sidewalk, and may then be subject to a lecture from my very officious neighbor. Consider yourself warned. If you are taking a lesson in Tampa or New York, knock at your lesson time. Please don't knock early, as you will be interrupting another lesson. Do, however, KNOCK at your lesson time, so I know you are there.
3. It's a good idea to always carry water with you, and especially important to have some available for your lesson. I do have water available for you in the Miami studio; at other venues, you need to bring some.
4. Bring a recording device so you can record the session & play it back when you practice at home. I will give you exercises specific to your voice, which will benefit you greatly, if you practice them. I expect my students to engage in daily practice sessions, and highly recommend weekly lessons. You are welcome to videotape the sessions if you like.
5. If you have a specific piece of music you want to work on at your voice lesson, bring two copies of the sheet music, or the karaoke track if possible. If you have neither, bring two double spaced lyric sheets. If you have a recording of yourself which you are unhappy with, or would like to improve upon, or if you're just proud of it, bring it!
6. Parents: You are always welcome to come in and watch the session, if you like; however, if your child feels uncomfortable with you in the room, it's probably best to respect that. I do insist that parents be present for the entire first lesson of their child, so they can be familiar with my technique and procedures, and so they also have an idea of my practice expectations.
7. Payment may be made prior to the lesson with a credit or debit card via Zelle to 305-733-4738, or to Venmo to Mary Walkley. I do not take credit cards at the lesson, as it takes up too much lesson time. I also will accept PayPal payments, if I am in your contacts and you have a PayPal account. If these conditions are not met, PayPal will charge a fee, which will be added to your next lesson fee. I also accept checks and cash at the lesson time.
8. In Miami, 24 hours notice of cancellations is appreciated. In all venues, no-shows are billed in full. For venues outside of Miami when I travel, 1 week is required for cancellations. Cancellations in the same week cost $75. Same-day cancellations are billed in full. Exceptions will be made for extraordinary circumstances and unanticipated illness. I endeavor to be as flexible as possible with my scheduling, and will do my best to accommodate your needs. I don't mind rescheduling your lesson, given enough notice, and will be happy to do so.
9. Think about what your goals and expectations are before you come, so you can clearly articulate them. Also, be specific about any problems you may be having or which areas of your voice you would like to improve. Be open to my suggestions and advice: I have been doing this a LONG time, and am confident that together we can exceed your goals and expectations.