VOICE STUDENT REQUIREMENTS
Voice lessons are not offered to students under age 13. Students under age 13 should be enrolled in a community children’s chorus, an RSCM choral program, or a church/synagogue program. Students then transition to either piano/voice or guitar/voice private lessons that provide foundational theory, instrumental music performance instruction, along with correct vocal technique before progressing to more intensive vocal study when the vocal folds are fully developed.
Students in High School through adulthood are welcomed eligible for vocal study without restrictions.
An audition is required for all students wishing to study voice. Dr. Wright will NOT teach any student who smokes or partakes in drinking alcoholic beverages beyond the social level.
Instrumental Study Requirement
For the purposes of foundational theory and music reading skills, students (high school and adults) should be dually enrolled in piano/voice or guitar/voice. Dr. Wright will be happy to provide you with instructor information for these mediums. The student also has the option of signing up with Dr. Wright for a once per week theory and aural skills lesson; this option can take the place of piano or guitar. Learning the piano is the preference.
Teaching Method & Repertoire
Voice lessons are focused on acquiring vocal technical and artistic skills. Sight-reading is a critical musical skill for any singer, and Dr. Wright would like to strongly encourage its pursuit. While sight-reading is usually a naturally occurring part of any voice study, aural skills studies will be part of weekly lessons.
Beginning voice students will gain a foundational understanding and technique as it applies to basic musicianship, posture, breathing, phonation, and diction (English, Italian, German, and French) as it applies to their repertoire.
Advancing students will continue to master their technique as it applies to musicianship, posture, breathing, phonation, and diction. Vocalize repertoire is also used by advanced students.
All students will sing in a variety of languages, including English, Latin, Italian, German, French and Spanish.
Voice teachers recognize that many students may have interests in vocal repertoire outside of the broad classical genre and some appropriate representative music theater pieces are included in the list. However, the faculty would like to emphasize the importance of the development of a basic technique most commonly associated with classical singing as a critical building block for the healthy pursuit of a variety of vocal musical styles.
Students should bring a recording device to all lessons.
Once students begin studying pieces in foreign languages, they should have a subscription to ipasource.com.
Students are to purpose anthologies, with a specific edition, as assigned by the teacher. Get music offline is not allowed.
PRACTICE & PARENT INVOLVEMENT
At each lesson, students will receive a lesson assignment detailing what is to be practiced during the coming week. My philosophy of practice is goal-oriented, not time-oriented. However, students are encouraged to practice for shorter periods each day rather than one longer session the day before the lesson. In your lessons, in addition to teaching you vocal technique and mastery of vocal repertoire, Dr. Wright will be teaching you how to practice. Dr. Wright will also provide both the student and parent guidance to what time commitment you will need to put in per level.
Parents are to attend all lessons for any student under age 18. Parents should ensure that the student practices as prescribed in the lesson.
Each semester students will participate in 1 studio class outside of their lesson, typically on a Sunday afternoon. These are required, not optional. Studio Class is meant to introduce students to other peers who are studying voice as well. Each Studio Class involves a musical game, an opportunity for the student to sing a pre-assigned piece in front of their peers with minor critique from the teacher (for the purpose of learning from each other), and a healthy snack.
Students will participate in 2 recitals:
The Winter recital takes place in December, is less formal, doesn’t require the student to memorize their music, and typically focuses on pieces for the holidays and winter.
The Spring recital takes place in May, is a formal recital, requires students to memorize their music, and focuses on a wide array of musical genres and styles.
LESSON LENGTHS AND DELIVERY
Beginning voice students take a 45-minute lesson.
Advanced or advancing students take a 60-minute lesson.
Bluffton students will have lessons in the home of Dr. Wright, which is located in Hampton Hall. Hilton Head Island students have lessons at All Saints Episcopal Church, where Dr. Wright is the director of music and organist.
Dr. Wright is well-versed in online teaching through FaceTime and Zoom. Students who are recovering from an illness or during a time like a global pandemic, students will receive online delivery.
FEES AND PAYMENTS
Fees for Dr. Wright’s studio are based on the instructor’s education, average rates of other professional musicians in the profession, and community music schools.
45 Minute Lessons $42.00
60 Minute Lessons $56.00
Payments are submitted electronically through PayPal, Apple Pay, Venmo, or Zelle. Cash and checks are not accepted.
Students/Parents pay for lessons in advance. It is preferred that payment for the entire semester be submitted at the first lesson of the semester in September and January. If a student or parent has difficulty in doing so, they may choose the two-payment plan per semester where ½ is due in September and November for the fall semester and in January and March for the spring semester.
Studio Classes and Recital fees are paid in the following manner: Each semester, students take a fall (October) and spring (April) break; parents will pay for the break week. That payment goes toward that semester’s studio class and recital.
Because space is limited, students are to commit to studying for the duration of at least a semester, a year is preferred. No refunds will be made after the 2nd week of lessons. If a request for a refund is made before lessons begin, a full refund minus one month of study will be granted. Otherwise, the amount refunded will be prorated in addition to the processing of a studio fee of up to one month of study. There will be no refunds for lessons after the first class. Please note that refunds will be made via PayPal, Apple Pay, Venmo, or Zelle. Students/parents who are on the 2-payment plan per semester are still required to submit the remaining balance at the time of the 2nd payment due date.
GENERAL STUDIO GUIDELINES
Voice students MUST have access to a keyboard and/or piano before beginning study. An acoustic piano (non-electronic) should be serviced and tuned by a technician at least twice per year. Dr. Wright will be happy to provide you the name of two technicians in our area.
Students are expected to be on time for their lessons. Dr. Wright will wait 10 minutes for a student who might be late. If the student arrives LESS than 10 minutes late, they will receive a lesson for the remainder of their time slot (the lesson will still end on time). If a student does not arrive after 10 minutes, Dr. Wright is NOT required to stay any longer to wait. This lesson will be considered a "no-show" and will not be made up.
If the student must miss a lesson, Dr. Wright should be contacted at least 24 hours before the scheduled lesson. With 24 hours advance notice given, Dr. Wright will reschedule 1 lesson for an excused absence by the student per semester. Without at least a full day’s notice, for any reason, the student will forfeit the lesson. Only illness or family emergencies will be considered excused absences. Other conflicts, such as birthday parties, family vacations, etc., are not considered excused absences and will not be made up. There will be assigned days each semester for make-up lessons.
Any lesson missed by Dr. Wright will be made up. If Dr. Wright must reschedule a lesson, the student will be notified 24 hours in advance, unless there is an emergency. The missed lesson will be made up on the assigned make-up lesson day for that semester.
A word about summer lessons. Students continue lessons in the summer. Because of the vacation and travel schedules of both Dr. Wright and students, the lesson schedule is flexible. Students should have a minimum of 2 lessons per month for June, July, and August; 3 lessons per month are normal. Payment for these lessons will be made monthly.
For transparency and responsibility purposes, a contract is required of each student.