Voice Instruction

Tracey Richards Chebra, Department Head


Private Lessons

Students who study singing at the Conservatory discover the unique qualities of their individual voices while learning proper vocal technique. Our teachers are experienced in teaching both classical and musical theater repertoire.

The young voice is a delicate instrument and the Conservatory is cautious in treating it very carefully. Therefore, the earliest age for private vocal study is 12. Even at this age, teachers are very careful about providing instruction that is developmentally appropriate so that the voice is not pushed or strained. For students younger than age 12, we highly recommend a group vocal experience and study of another instrument. Group voice classes and choral opportunities for all ages are described in the following section.

Families with prospective students under the minimum age* may request an interview (30-minute maximum) if they would like to be considered for private instruction. Families will be asked to complete a registration form and pay an interview fee of $30 before the interview. Upon acceptance of a student under the suggested minimum age, the registration fee and tuition deposit will be due before the student can be placed with a teacher.

* The minimum age for private study is 12. The recommended private lesson length for the younger student is 30 minutes.


Group Instruction

Westminster Conservatory offers a wide range of classes and ensembles to meet the needs of every student, from the beginner to the most advanced student, regardless of age. Some classes are intended as an introduction to music, and require no previous experience. Others are designed to complement private instruction. Most classes run 32 weeks per year. Class length is based upon minimum enrollment. Some classes may be offered with a smaller enrollment by reducing the class length. In this case, the tuition remains the same.

  • Children’s Voice Class
    Grades 2-4
    This class incorporates several components of music learning, taught concurrently: music reading, tone-production skills, singing technique, and critical listening skills. Through music reading, children will learn the basics of music theory (notes, rests, time values) and sight-singing. Personal attention will be given to each child as the whole class learns basic breathing and tone-production skills through vocalises and singing exercises. Critical listening skills are fostered as the children listen to each other sing during class and then offer feedback. This class will also help to prepare children for auditioned choral experiences. Class size is limited.
    Number of classes: 32
    Class length: 55 minutes (4-person minimum)
    Tuition: $640
    Materials fee: $15
  • Pre-Teen Voice Class
    Grades 5-7
    This class is designed to meet the needs of the young singer and can be a complement to our choral program. Students learn the basics of sound vocal technique (breathing, posture, diction) and fundamental musical skills (sight reading, rhythm recognition). Class size is limited.
    Number of classes: 32
    Class length: 55 minutes (4-person minimum)
    Tuition: $640 (materials not included)
  • Adult Theory, Sight Singing & Aural Skills
    Timothy Urban, Instructor
    Adults
    This comprehensive course combines the study of music theory with the development of musicianship skills: rhythmic exercises, pitch exercises in both treble and bass clef, solo and duet singing using melodies from classic literature, etc. Solfege syllables (do, re, mi, etc.) will be used to represent pitches. While this class is open to all adults, it is recommended for non-reading choir and solo singers who wish to improve their music reading skills. A student may enter the program at any level, to be determined by a placement test. Princeton location only.
    Number of classes: 32
    Class length: 45 minutes (4-person minimum)
    Tuition: $512 (materials not included) 

Voice Faculty  
Tracey Richards Chebra
Katherine Chen
Donna Copti
Jennifer Garr
Nancy Froysland Hoerl
Eva Kastner-Puschl
Dawn Lemasney
Denise Mihalik
Linda Mindlin
Sarah Sensenig
Dauri Shippey
Danielle Sinclair
Jessica Updegraff
Timothy Urban

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