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Vancouver BC Vocal Lessons - Singing Lessons - Online Singing Lessons

FAQ

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Questions about Voice Lessons?

1. What is Important in Choosing a Teacher?
  • Is your teacher knowledgeable and a clear communicator?  It's the teacher's job to cause a singer to learn.  Do you have a sense of where things are going in the lesson?  Do you know why you're doing what you're doing?  A good teacher knows exactly what exercise is most important for you and if it doesn't make sense to you, the teacher will easily adapt and try something different for you.  Good teachers are constantly learning and finding new ways to communicate if something is not understood.  They try to figure out as quickly as possible how you think and how you learn.
  • Can your teacher put you at ease? It's really important to feel relaxed with whomever you decide to study with. I can't stress enough that the student teacher relationship is so important.  If you're not relaxed, the voice is not as free.  If you are constantly feeling inadequate or intimidated by your teacher, then something needs to change- either the teacher, the singer or both.  The singing lesson experience should be liberating for both singer and teacher.  Communication should flow and be easy. Learning is meant to be fun & highly informative, so every singer can succeed. 
  • Does your teacher love teaching?  Many teachers supplement their performance income by teaching.  Ideally, you want a teacher that loves teaching.  Read what their clients have to say about them.  Do a good reference check if you're about to make a sizeable investment in voice lessons.  Speak to more than one client.
  • Trust.  Teachers earn trust.  It's important that teachers really listen to their clients and that singers be open to trying something new. If something isn't feeling right as you sing, then that's your sign that you need to do something different.  Trust your teacher, but at the same time you must never feel like you can't be honest and open.  Tell your teacher if something feels uncomfortable.

If you're being pushed to sing something over and over and it doesn't feel good, just politely stop - in that case you're working with a teacher that doesn't hear or see the discomfort you are experiencing and that is not a good sign.   If teachers are good at what they do, they will hear a strain in the sound and stop you before it gets worse.  One of my best teachers told me to stop whenever I knew I was singing in the "wrong" place.  Just start over.  It's that simple.

That said, sometimes you have to try something in order to succeed.  It might feel a bit uncomfortable the first time, not as bad the second time, and much better the third time. Keep that in mind as you receive instruction from your teacher. 

Record your lesson:  It's the best way for you to hear what happens in every lesson. You have to be convinced that you're improving and sounding better in order to justify spending more money with your teacher.  Recording tells you where you are at.  You know what kind of sounds you like.  We all have favorite singers afterall.

  • Singing is about trial and error, not being frustrated. You can read about singing, but it's not until you actually do it, that things start to make sense.  Keep a positive attitude.  A good teacher doesn't overwhelm you with all the vocal battles you need to overcome. A good teacher keeps things positive and constructive and doesn't allow you to stay frustrated if something isn't going well. 
  • Teachers don't have to be world class singers to be world class teachers.  One of the best teachers I ever worked with demonstrated by speaking, extending his speech, to demonstrate what I needed to change.  He showed me exactly how to breathe and what I should be feeling in order to make a great sound.  This teacher has worked as a vocal coach/accompanist for world class singers for nearly his entire career and his ears are outstanding. He knew what to listen for and knew exactly what to say at the right time. 
  • Clear Explanations. Do you have a sense of where things are going in the lesson?  Do you know why you're doing what you're doing?  A good teacher knows exactly what is most important and if it doesn't make sense to you, an excellent teacher will try explaining it differently.  It's the teacher's job to cause a singer to learn. 
  • Consider your goals and expectations.  Do they line up with your teacher's? If you're a highly motivated singer you're going to be singing all week long. If you're a recreational singer, be patient with yourself.  You probably already have a busy schedule.  Consider how fast you want to reach your goals.   Consider being open to being stretched a little more.  Growth is good.

2. Where in Vancouver is the studio located?
  • There are two Vancouver, BC studio locations:  Studio 1 at  119 West Broadway and Studio 2 at  821 West 10th Avenue  
  • STUDIO 1 at 119 West Broadway (at Manitoba Street).   Nearly all lessons are at this location.  Three blocks west of Broadway-City Hall Canada Line.  3 blocks east of Main Street.
  • STUDIO 2 at 821 West 10th Avenue (at Willow Street): General Area is Vancover General Hospital district, close to many coffee shops and restaurants, supermarkets and stores.  
  • By Appointment Only:  all lessons and consultations are pre-booked--  the studio is not available for drop-in viewing.
  • Click here to learn about lesson rates and start improving today!

3. What is the cost?
  • Rates  
    • $42.50 for 30-minutes
    • $64.00 for 45-minutes  
    • $85 for 60-minutes  
  • Click here to learn more about lessons.

4. May I buy lessons as a gift? Yes

All Online Purchases are tracked with Order Numbers.   If you are gifting lessons to someone, simply give them the Order Number. The studio can set up lessons times with them directly.   Alternatively, you or the person who is receiving the lessons can call the studio at 1.778.892.1234 or e-mail the studio at  lessons@paulouellettevocalstudio.com  and we will then provide available time options for lessons.  The studio always does it's best to accommodate client schedules.  

Click here to learn about rates, and surprise someone special today!


5. Can I do lessons on Skype? Yes
  • Yes, absolutely.  Skype to Skype Video calls are free.   Visit here and follow the instructions to Download Skype and set up your account.  When you've purchased your lessons and your lesson time is scheduled, you will receive the studio skype name. This is what you'll need.
    • High-speed broadband internet connection
    • Headphones or a videoconferencing headset
    • Webcam with audio and video enabled (optional)

6. What is the goal and mission of the studio?
  • More than anything, Paul Ouellette Vocal Studio is designed to equip singers with a solid, reliable vocal technique that frees every singer to fully express their musical ideas.  The studio also helps fast-track singers, from beginners to seasoned professionals, helping them to save money in the long-term by empowering them with all of the tools to solve every vocal challenge.  The fast-track approach (3 to 5 lessons a week) is facilitated through multiple lessons within THREE WEEKS, enabling singers to become independent as quickly as possible with a confidence that leads to success on the stage, in the studio or on the big screen.  
  • Click here to learn how to order lessons. Take yor voice to the next level!

7. Why would I want to take multiple lessons within three weeks?

 

  • You improve more quickly.  We all see how the The Voice finalists raise the bar. They train for focused periods of time and make terrific progress. This studio is targeting everyone from beginners to advanced singers or seasoned pros who want to take their singing to the next level.
  • By reaching your goals sooner, the sooner you will no longer need to take regular lessons.  The goal of this studio is not to keep you here as long as possible.  It's goal is to give you the tools as quickly as possible, so you can be out of the studio and doing what you love, sharing your talent, and coming in for check-ups as you need them.
  • You become independent more quickly, knowing exactly how to navigate any song.
  • Once you've reached your goal, take lessons only when you decide you need a check-up.
  • Click here to purchase more than one lesson.  Follow the prompts.  

8. How many lessons should I start off with?

 

Below you'll read about various situations.  If you fall in any of these categories, this will give you a better idea of what to choose.  Overall, ideas to consider...

  • your main reason for wanting to sing, how quickly you'd like to improve, the level of singing you'd like to achieve, what you are preparing for, how much time you'd like to put into lessons.

"I'm  a parent and I'm introducing various activities to my child right now -- singing is just one of many extra-curricular activities I'd like my child to experience.  Perhaps even your child has asked for voice lessons and you hear them happily singing along to songs in the car or at home.  You don't know how long your child will want to try lessons, you're not sure if your child has a natural talent or not, but you tell yourself that you definitely don't want to miss providing an opportunity for him or her.  You may even be the parent that says, "My child loves singing, but the sound could improve. I want my child to try singing because it is one of those skills that helps children gain confidence."  You know that it takes a certain amount of courage and vulnerability to sing or speak in front of others and share one's talent."  If this describes your situation in any way...

  • start off with 5 lessons. It's not a big time commitment and it's not as much of an investment as 4-months or a year's worth of lessons. You appreciate this kind of flexibility-- you're not locked into a long period.  If your schedule is tight, set up one lesson a week for 5 weeks.  If your schedule is more flexible, set up 3 lessons one week and 2 lessons the following week because besides story-telling, singing is about remembering physical sensations and ear training, so the closer the lessons are together, the easier it is to remember the concepts. It's encouraging for any singer at any age to understand and be able to apply the concepts each time they go to a lesson.  It is the job of the teacher to cause every singer to learn at the singer's optimal pace, keeping in mind different personalities and different learning styles. 
  • Recommendation: 5 lessons.  Afterwards you can decide if you'll continue.  Maybe you continue with 4-months of lessons or maybe you stop and introduce another activity to your child.

I'm preparing for a very significant audition or competition.

  • Prepare early.  How early?  Err on the side of giving yourself more time than is necessary.   How early depends on the speed at which you learn concepts, remember physical sensations, and apply new concepts to your songs.  The studio targets specific exercises that balance the voice, removing bad habits.  Miracles don't happen overnight.  Singers can make instant progress in one session, but it's the regular perfect practice that leads to a healthy voice.
  • Consider that first impressions are worth a lot.  Do your research and know the talent level required to make it past the first round.   If you already know you are at the level that would get you to the second round, then do the audition.  Ideally, whoever you are auditioning for will be looking for singers who are most likely to succeed in a career, beyond the walls of their training program or competition. 
  • Whether you choose this studio or not, I recommend working with a rehearsal pianist who is very knowledgeable in the musical style for which you are auditioning. They will offer insightful musical suggestions and be a great asset. 
  • It's not necessary to bring your rehearsal pianist on the first visit to the studio.  We can work out technical challenges without the rehearsal pianist, however it is recommended that at some point the rehearsal pianist attends your lesson.  It is your choice.
  • Recommendation -- 5 lessons - Two weeks if you're already an advanced singer, all of the music is fully memorized and you've lived with the songs for a while.  Reworking great audition pieces you already know and have performed is a good idea if you give yourself enough time to make the changes.

I'm transitioning between school and my professional career.

  • The Transitioning singer:  You come to the studio and already know a great deal about singing and know exactly what work is left to do, but you are not entirely sure how to improve on your own.  At the very least you would like a guiding ear to confirm your sound.  You have been honest with yourself concerning your strengths and weaknesses. You like most of what you hear when you listen back to a recording of yourself, but there are still a few things you'd like to change.  Highly respected musicians have been confirming your talent along your journey.  They are telling you to keep on!  You are coming to sort out one or two vocal challenges. 
  • Recommendation: 5
     

I'm a professional and I'm just starting to experience vocal trouble!!!

  • The professional working singer:  Everything has been going really well, but in the last few months you've noticed you're having some vocal difficulties.  It's not as easy as it used to be.  You may very well be the natural singer, who has always had it easy or you may be the professional who has more work than you can handle.  All you may need is some useful warm-up excercises and reminders of a couple things you've forgotten or possibly reduce your performing schedule. 
  • Recommendation: 5

 

I always test my high notes before a show!  Then I just go for it!  Great shows, but a little tired afterwards!

  • You are a vibrant personality on stage, you rarely have any serious vocal problems while performing, and you have a lot of vocal stamina.  Your shows always go well, but you feel a little spent afterwards.  Your speaking voice is tired.  You would appreciate a warm-up routine that gives you the confidence that your high notes will be there for you in concert without having to test them before the show.
  • Recommendation: 5

 

BIG VOICES-- it's all about the big sound!

  • You love singing and someone told you that BIG voices are the best.  You love how you feel when you make a big sound and love how the audience responds to your high notes.  Sometimes you produce much more sound than is necessary and you do it at a cost-- you're tired, your voice cracks, or your next phrase is almost impossible to sing.  The soft singing becomes more and more difficult, so you are forced to sing louder to get your sound out.  You know you're vocally tired at this point, but you tell yourself you've got to get through the song.  You lose the natural clarity of your sound, the natural sound that has an equal balance of lower, middle and higher partials.  The sound you envision inside your head  is not a sound that your voice is consistently capable of making...at least not yet.  Many singers ruin their careers by singing too heavily or too loudly.  You know you need to bring it down a notch, improve your technique a touch, and not oversing if you want a long-lasting career. 
  • Recommendation: 5  

 

I can't control my voice and  I want to FAST-TRACK my progress.

  • You have lots of interpretive ideas with your songs, but what you envision and what comes out are not consistently the same.  There are ways to build vocal coordination so you have control over your dynamics of soft and louder singing all through your range.  But more important than thinking about loud and soft, is thinking about your story which will naturally lead you to sing with expression. You know singing is another form of communicating and that your intention is key to freeing the voice and singing naturally, but wish you had a better singing technique.
  • Recommendation: minimum 5     

 

I don't know what Style of music best suits my voice! Help!

  • You sound like you may be a very versatile singer.  What kind of music do you listen to the most?  What kind is most fun to sing?  Suggestion: Have a karaoke night with a bunch of friends.  Do five songs in different styles.  Observe how the audience responds and wait for comments from your friends.  The next day ask some of your friends what style most suited you.  If they say, "You really remind  me of ______ !"  or  "You sure sound like ______", then you know you've done well with the style.  Take it a step further and go to an accompanist/repertory coach who excels in that style and get their opinon.  Every artist wants to hear that they have a unique sound, but it's equally true that we are influenced by what we hear and what we know.  Listen to all different kinds of music, new and old and everything in between.  
  • Recommendation: 5

I'm not sure what I need to improve!!  I honestly think most of what I do is good.

  • Well, congratulations.  A combination of natural talent, hard work and lots of practice has paid off.  I mean that sincerely.  But if you're not sure, ask some friends you really trust.   I suggest not asking what your weaknesses are unless you are sure they will be super honest with you.  Instead ask about your STRENGTHS.  Speak with your respected circle of mentors: piano coaches, directors, teachers.  If a quality you are 100% sure you have never shows up on the list from your friends and trusted colleagues, it might mean that that is something you need to work on.   Why not build your list, then come to the studio if you know you could use a bit of help with your singing.  
  • Recommendation: 5

 

I'm an absolute beginner!!  I'm not sure if this is for me, but I'd like to know.

  • The lessons go by very quickly.  We warm up the voice, and move into a song you'd love to sing.
  • If you love music (and I really mean love music) and if you're a beginner and not sure if singing is something you're good at or could be good at, I'd recommend taking  5 lessons in a row or at least 3 in one week and two the week following.  One lesson is enough to discover the vocal strengths and weaknesses, but not enough to know how quickly you may improve. 
  • My recommendation is to give yourself a fair chance before you rule out that singing isn't for you.  Many singers blossom over time.  Natural singers with no vocal problems are rare.  So, even if someone has told you that you don't have a nice voice, or even if you didn't get in the school choir or church choir when you were a kid, don't despair. Many friends and colleagues who don't understand how to produce a clear and warm sound that is in pitch, may discourage you from pursuing singing because they think only natural singers can sing.  Lots of voices are built.  If you have a speaking voice that is not damaged you're in a good starting place for making a good sound.  Take advice from experts rather than close friends who mean well when it comes to pursuing singing or not.  Keep in mind that singing is rather subjective.  What one person really appreciates in an artist, another person won't.
  • If you can, really try to take your lessons as close together as you can when you first start.  Suggestion: three in one-week and two in the 2nd week, or even better all 5 in a row. Pick a time when you know your schedule can accommodate the lessons close together.  You'll improve faster and be more encouraged.  
  • Recommendation: 5 lessons, then decide what you'd like to do  after that.

 

I'm an amateur, karaoke singer that wants to go pro.  I want to fast-track my progress!

  • I know I have talent, my talent has been confirmed by other industry people I respect.  I'm passionate about singing, and I can make the time commitment to do multiple lessons.
  • Recommendation: start with 5,  and consider doing 5 in a row in one week.

9. Can I pay online? Yes
  • Yes, with Paypal.  If you do not have a Paypal account you can still pay with a credit card.  Choose the length and number of lessons you'd like, and follow the prompts. 
  • Learn about lesson rates.

10. All payment Options (see special note about Promotion Deadlines)
  • Full Payment must be received before a Session is scheduled.  
  • E-mail Interac Payments: When you set up payment from your online bank account you will make up a password question and answer.  In order for the studio to accept your Payment via online banking, you will need to contact the studio and provide the password answer. Please make payment to "Paul Ouellette" using this e-mail: lessons[at]paulouellettevocalstudio[dot]com 
  • Through Paypal you can use your Mastercard, Visa, American Express.  Quick, safe and easy way to make online or mobile payments. When you select your Vocal Package you will be taken through these steps.  If you don't have a Paypal account don't worry.  You can still make a purchase by being a Paypal Guest without having to set up an account.  As a Paypal Guest, you can simply use your credit card.
  • PROMOTION DEADLINES: You may purchase lessons Online or with a Personal Cheque. If a cheque, please mail to: Unit    #8 - 821 West 10th Avenue Vancouver, BC V5Z 1L7 and kindly make cheque PAYABLE to "Paul Ouellette".

IMPORTANT: When a promotion is running, a cheque may be mailed if you don't prefer online payments.  However, the envelope must be post marked on or before the Promotion Deadline, in order to receive the Discount.  For example:  If the promotion continues until December 14, 2016 you will still receive the discount as long as the postmark on the envelope is on December 14, 2016 or earlier.

If you choose to begin your lessons BEFORE the promotion is officially over, you may arrive at your first lesson with a PERSONAL CHEQUE or CASH which includes payment for all lessons.  You will be issued a receipt at the time of your payment.

E-mail Interac Payments:  Payment to "Paul Ouellette" using this e-mail: lessons[at]paulouellettevocalstudio[dot]com

When you set up payment from your online bank account, you will make up a password question and answer.  In order for the studio to accept your payment via online banking, you will need to contact the studio and provide the password answer. Please make payment to "Paul Ouellette" using this e-mail: lessons[at]paulouellettevocalstudio[dot]com 

  • A charge of $25 applies to any NSF cheques

11. Is my payment information secure?
  • Know that your data is safe - this website includes industry standard 128 bit SSL encryption to protect your information during and after transactions. 
  • Click here to learn more about lessons and start improving!

12. What will happen during my first lesson?
  • We'll chat briefly, referencing your questionnaire answers that you sent me prior to your first lesson.  I'll ask you what you hope to accomplish in the lesson time, so it's incredibly worthshile.  If you've not completed your questionnaire, I will ask you a few quick questions, so I can understand a bit about you and your history of singing, how you've been using your voice.  We'll then immediately move into some vocal exercises that will assess your voice from top to bottom which also serve as your warm-up, scales that are really helpful for healthy, optimal singing.  Then we'll move right into a song you'd love to sing.  We keep the session very energized and positive and there's always time for any questions you may have.  The time goes by quickly and it's all about YOU! 
  • Click here to purchase lessons TODAY.

13. Does the studio teach every style of singing?
  • No it doesn't.  However, whatever style you love to sing, we show you exactly how to get your voice working naturally and efficiently, so you can choose your favorite style.
  • Click here to purchase lessons TODAY.

14. What if I suddenly get a gig or show and can't make the lesson?
  • Congratulations!  Simply contact the studio and arrangements will be made to offer you credits for future lessons when your gig or show is over.
  • Click here to Buy lessons TODAY!

15. Policies. | 48-hour notice for rescheduling | Expiry Dates | Tardiness | Turn-around Time | Regular Recurring Lessons | Refund Policy |

Policies:
 
The studio encourages an environment of mutual respect for everyone's scheduled time and financial resources.  So, we endeavor to be fair in our policies.

I.  48 hour notice for Rescheduling |  Expiry Dates | Latecomers

1. Regardless of circumstances, all private lessons not cancelled or rescheduled within 48-hour hours of the scheduled lesson, will be charged and forfeited at the full rate (if not already prepaid) and forfeited if already prepaid.  We realize that unforeseen unfortunate situations arise such as bad weather, personal sickness, and family tragedies.  Any lessons missed for emergency reasons will be rescheduled at a future date, not reimbursed.  If there is an emergency and you can not make your lesson please let us know. In most cases we will accommodate a new lesson time for you without forfeiting your lesson or forfeiting your payment.

Bookings may be officially cancelled via the Studio Number: 778.892.1234

2. Refund Policy: Lesson fees paid in advance are always redeemable (before their expiry date) but not transferable or refundable.

3. Expiry Date: Please note the specific expiry date at the time of your purchase.  Special prices are offered on occasion and often include a shorter validation period. All lessons expire 6 months from the date of purchase unless stated otherwise at the time of the purchase.  If all lessons have not been completed 6 months from the purchase date or within an alternative predetermined expiry date, the unused lesson credits are forfeited.  After the expiration date has passed, any unused lesson credits will be forfeited.   

4. Tardiness: Latecomers to sessions will be charged the full amount of time booked. The lesson will end at the scheduled time. This loss of time will not be made up at another time. If you arrive on time but the previous lesson runs late, you will be given your full-allotted time.

5. Turn-Around Time: All teaching time ends 4 minutes before the end of the session to allow for turn-around time between clients. In that 4-minute time, key points of the lesson are reviewed, payments are processed and receipts are issued.    

6. Regular Recurring Lessons: Regular recurring lesson time slots will repeat every week or every other week on the same day and time until the student asks to discontinue the time slot. Cancelling one or several lessons means only those lessons are cancelled, and the regular lesson schedule will continue automatically after.

7. Holidays are not automatically cancelled: Prior notice will be given when the studio is closed due to a holiday or special event. Otherwise, please assume that lessons are scheduled as usual. If you wish to move or cancel your lesson due to a holiday, please see the No. 1 above for the 48-Hour Cancellation or Rescheduling Policy.

8. Refund Policy: Lesson fees paid in advance are always redeemable (before their expiry date) but not transferable or refundable.

9. The student is responsible to pay for and attend all lessons not cancelled or rescheduled before the 48-hour deadline.

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16. Privacy Policy
  • This is the web site of paulouellettevocalstudio.com
  • Email Privacy Policy We have created this email privacy policy to demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy and the protection of your information.
  • Why did you receive an email from us?  If you received a mailing from us, (a) your email address is either listed with us as someone who has expressly shared this address for the purpose of receiving information in the future ("opt-in"), or (b) you have registered or purchased or otherwise have an existing relationship with us. We respect your time and attention by controlling the frequency of our mailings.
  • How we protect your privacy  We use security measures to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of data used by our system.
  • Sharing and Usage  We will never share, sell, or rent individual personal information with anyone without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law. Information submitted to us is only available to employees managing this information for purposes of contacting you or sending you emails based on your request for information and to contracted service providers for purposes of providing services relating to our communications with you.
  • How can you stop receiving email from us? Simply e-mail us and we will remove you from our records.

 

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Paul Ouellette
Paul Ouellette Vocal Studio
lessons[at]paulouellettevocalstudio[dot]com
#8 - 821 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1L7 Canada
778.892.1234

 

 

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