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I have been playing piano, guitar and singing since I was 7 years old. I have been teaching music, including music theory and improvisation, for over 20 years. I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from S.U.N.Y. Cortland and a Master of Science Degree in Instructional Technology from New York Institute of Technology. Music is my profession and my passion.
I am an award winning vocalist and performer with a Bachelor's in Music. I am a former Hurrah Player, Governor's School for the Arts student, and VA Opera artist. As well as being a live professional opera, musical theater, religious/spiritual, jazz artist, I am also a pop/rock recording artist and local stage and film actress. I have been taught and trained by some of the very best artists and teachers in Virginia and Texas. I have extensive knowledge in vocal pedagogy that has allowed me to be very versed in numerous styles of singing and crossover to several genres. http://www.caraisadoramckinney.com
I have been singing all of my life and know how important my many amazing voice teachers have been to me. I have enjoyed performing in operas, recitals, concerts, and church programs for almost 25 years and teaching voice for almost 20 years. I have taught students in their homes and at programs through universities and now that I have relocated to Hampton Roads, I look forward to continuing my commitment to vocal education.
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During voice lessons you will learn how to use your voice as an instrument, including proper technique for singing, breathing exercises, technical passages to improve your range and tone, and learning to sing specific songs! During your lessons you can learn various styles from classical and opera to R&B. Many students choose to learn songs from artists that are on the radio, as that is the music they enjoy listening to. During lessons you will also learn how to enhance your performance and audition skills, so if you are interested in auditioning for school musicals, community theatre performances, or reality tv competitions, then our network of teachers can definitely help you!
For vocalists of all abilities, it is important to keep the voice healthy. Before singing, whether it be a live performance, a lesson, or practice, vocalists should be sure to do a good warm up, which can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the singer or type of singing about to be performed. All singers should make sure they consume plenty of water throughout the day in order to keep the voice hydrated. A dry throat, along with things such as allergies, coughing, alcohol, and tobacco, can irritate the vocal folds and hinder performance levels.
In order to make the most of singing lessons, it is important that students feel comfortable and not self-conscious. As such, the best environment for learning is the home, as it is a familiar environment in which they can feel more confident. If students are comfortable and relaxed, they can focus and concentrate on the lessons more. Lesson content is the same whether at home or in the studio, but singing in an unfamiliar environment can be daunting and create nervousness for students. Taking lessons from home is also the most convenient way to learn, as it negates having to travel to and from the lesson.
Children who want to take voice lessons should wait until they start puberty. Before age 11 or 12, the voice is not mature enough to handle singing lessons. Kids could suffer vocal damage or strain if they start formal training too early. Alternatively, waiting until kids mature reduces the risk of permanent damage. Kids stand a better chance of singing well into adulthood if they wait until their voice is mature enough for voice lessons. By waiting, they protect their vocal cords and are physically ready for regular voice lessons and daily exercises vocal training requires.
Voice lessons for adults focus enhancing technical execution and developing a musical repertoire. Lessons can be taught in various styles, and are tailor made to suit your tastes and skill level. If you are singing for the first time in your life, taking lessons as an adult is a great way to improve your vocal talents.
Review by Dylan Jacinto
Jessie is the finest musician I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I find her overall concept of approaching an instrument to be both comprehensive and effective. Each technique she has acquired has made it possible for her to tailor her method to a variety of ages and individuals. I cannot speak more highly of Miss Jessie's abilities. Her lengthy and impressive cradecials speak for themselves. I recommend no hesitation in seeking her services!
Review by Christopher Perrone
Mike has been working with my son Robert for over a year and has just started working with my daughter Kate. Mike is both a great musician and a good teacher. He connects with the kids and keeps them engaged. He is able to tailor the lesson to focus on music that is interesting to each child. He also encourages the students to participate in a public setting which is great. I would highly recommend Mike.
Review by Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
Review by William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
Review by Bradford Putt
Angela has been a perfect match-up for me. She is warm and welcoming, and also serious about teaching - she keeps our time focused and on track. What I truly appreciate, as a new singer anxiously preparing for an event, is the confidence she gives me. Angela is very encouraging. I enjoy coming to class.
Review by Olivia
Andrew is very encouraging and uplifting, but also isn't afraid to tell you your weaknesses. Andrew also is super awesome with scheduling. Fits around your schedule all the time. He really knows what he is doing and can help you reach your goal in the time you would like to. Couldn't have gotten a better teacher, who continually helps me grow and pushes me.
Review by Brad Schimmer
I have been playing the drums for about 5 years and I have to say that Alvaro is very patient. He has opened me up to new styles of music and I can now play a Songo groove! What I liked most was that he was flexible in what I wanted him to teach me and would also bring in new material specifically to what I wanted him to show me. Overall, great patient teacher and would highly recommend! Thanks Alvaro!
Review by PJ Williams
My daughter, Valarie is one of the original members of the Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble under the guidance of Aaron. He patiently worked with Valarie as well as the other five members individually and as a group to produce music that has been shared and enjoyed locally as well as nationally. He has the ability to seek out the strengths of each student while building confidence. Through his teachings, not only had Valarie learned how to produce and enjoy music, but also responsibility and so many life skills for everyday living.
Review by Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.