Thank you for considering voice lessons. It is my personal passion to sing and to teach singing. With over 37 years experience, I am moved every time my students perform at school, solo & ensemble festival, school, church, music theater or karaoke.
In analyzing beginning voice students, I find that some students are gifted with a well-placed natural voice, possessing a lovely, full, open quality. While others have too many problems to list. As a result, some students will make swift progress and others will take many months of careful study before much progress is evident.
In all cases, it is the exercises and vocalises which play such an important part in building the voice and developing good vocal technique. This technique is gradually transferred to songs. Some students prefer to work on these exercises in privacy. If your son or daughter feels this way, it is much better that he or she be left alone in the room while practicing. Several short periods of practice a day are recommended in the beginning weeks of study rather than one long period. I encourage students to bring a recording device such as a small digital recorder, a smart phone, or an iPad so that each lesson can be reviewed at least once before the next lesson. In doing so, students will hear the results of constructive teacher comments. Continual practice is necessary for full benefit of lessons. Students with disciplined and organized regular practice sessions make the most progress.
Benefits of Vocal Study
Not all students who take voice lessons will develop into the solo singer. However, many of them will find that as a result of this training they will be able to exhibit much more musical selfconfidence. Many former students have found that this background has made them influential members in youth choirs, church choirs, community chamber ensembles, college voice groups or musical theater organizations. In all cases, former students have gained a much deeper appreciation for all types of vocal music and music in general. They have also developed a much better speaking presence and selfconfidence when performing in front of large audiences.
Visitors & Make-Up Lessons
Parents are welcome to observe a lesson anytime they wish with permission of the student.
However, you must understand that with some students this may be a
distraction. They will not be as relaxed and responsive as they usually are. You may
feel free to call me to discuss the vocal progress of your son or daughter at anytime.
If a student is ill, I wish to be notified as soon as it is convenient so that a lesson change can me made. If there is a general conflict I need to know a week or two in advance because often a lesson switch can be arranged. Failure to notify me prior to the lesson missed after the first time may result in a charged lesson, except in the case of an emergency. All lessons missed due to scheduling conflicts will be made up at a mutually agreeable time.
I will sometimes begin to have make-up lessons in the early fall months (when schedules are not so hectic) for conflicts I know will arise later in the year. I will sometimes schedule a double (one hour) lesson to save additional trips for the students and parents or add 15 minutes for two weeks to make up for a half hour lesson. At most, I see a student for 17-18 hours during an entire school year. This is why I consider every lesson to be important for maximum progress.
From past experience, I have found that many parents/students inquire about extra costs involved in the purchase of music. Because of the rapidly increasing cost of music, I try to use books as opposed to single song sheets whenever possible. Three pieces of sheet music usually equal the cost of an entire book. From time to time sheet music will be used because many songs do not come included in book collections. Until I am sure of the vocal range of a new student, I may use individual and unison octavos before deciding on specific books. An estimate of music costs for the first year of lessons would range between $50 to $100 depending upon the progress, age and ambition of the student.
Students are encouraged to arrive 10-15 minutes prior your scheduled lesson time.
This will afford time to take your coat off, use the rest room, and take a few minutes to
clear your mind. Remember, your paying me for 30 minutes of instruction and I want
to spend ALL 30 minutes working with your voice. When you arrive, please be
respectful of lessons that are in progress.
SPECIAL NOTE - when you arrive for a lesson, there is a good chance I am recording with the current student. Please open the door quietly and enter the studio slowly until you know if we are recording or not. Thank you in advance for respecting other students lesson/recording time.
From time to time a student will need to call on an accompanist for Recitals, Solo & Ensemble Festivals, Church, or Outdoor Concerts. When an accompanist is needed, I will usually have the accompanist rehearse with the student for 2 lessons before the performance. The cost of the accompanist is usually $20 per half hour. Parents/Students will pay the accompanist directly.
Payments & Other Topics
Many parents/students find it convenient to pay by check each week, or at the beginning or end of the month. If this is your case, please make checks payable to Daniel Schmier. At this time, I do not accept credit cards for payment.
I find recording during a lesson to be a very valuable teaching tool. In the traditional
style of a voice lessons, there would be a time of warming up, followed by vocal
exercises (usually scales), and then work on individual songs. That meant, with a 30
minute lesson, only 10-15 minutes would be spent on learning songs. With recordings,
students can take time during the week to listen and study their own voice recordings.
This also allows students to listen to older recordings and monitor their progress.
There are extra costs in adding this recording system. To date, I have not made any
changes to the lesson fees and Iam researching how to keep the lesson fees the same or
how inexpensive I can make the recordings available to students. Stay tuned.
There may be times when students will need to have a good qualityrecording made for college applications, scholarships or to enter a contest. With the new recording system in place we now have the ability to create these needed recordings. Yes, we do have the capability to burn a CD for you as well.
Lessons are $20 for a 30 minute lesson and $35 for a 60 minute lesson. I have opened my schedule Monday, Wednesdayand Thursday from 3:00PMuntil 7:30PM. I am located in the greater Flushing Area. Parents/Grandparents are always welcome to sit in on lessons. For those students coming from other areas, I would suggest you organize car pooling. My studio has wifi, television and space to do homework. If 2-5 students wanted to ride together, I would block enough time for all of them to have an individual lesson while the others work on homework or other projects. If parents or grandparents are paying for lessons, I will be happy to send an invoice for a monthly/weekly payment. I do recommend that lessons are paid for monthly.
A Personal Request
I would like to ask a personal favor. As with any business, word-of-mouth advertising is the best advertising. Can I call on you to be my ambassador? If you know anyone (young or mature) who would like to vocally better themselves, please offer them one of my business cards and share your personal experience with them. It would be greatly appreciated! (I have plenty of business cards in the studio and you are welcome to take as many as you need.)
A Little About Me
I majored in choral music education at the University of Michigan from 1978-1982. I
was the Director of Music Ministry at several Genesee County churches for over 19
years. I have sung at over 5000 weddings and over 3000 funerals since my junior year
in high school. I have been a guest soloist at many different venues including; The
Vatican, The Cathedral of Manila and The Associated Male Chorus of America. I am
very familiar with Solo & Ensemble festivals, having participated in them as a high
school student and working at them for many years following.
Again, thanks for considering me as your personal voice coach. Feel free to call or text with any questions or when you are ready to schedule lessons.