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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 recommended 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/or study of another instrument. Group voice classes and choral opportunities for all ages are described in the following sections.

We encourage young students who are currently pursuing vocal performance opportunities to enroll in private instruction to ensure the development of healthy vocal habits.

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 to 8 children.
    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 to 8 teens.
    Number of classes: 32
    Class length: 55 minutes (4-person minimum)
    Tuition: $640 (materials not included)
  • Rising Stars!
    Dauri Shippey, Instructor
    Grades 6-8
    Do you love to perform in musical theater? Then come and join other rising stars! Learn to act and sing with this enthusiastic ensemble. Our stars will be introduced to proper vocal technique, music reading skills, acting skills, and stage movement to enhance their presentation. Students will learn solo songs as well as sing and act in ensemble numbers. A performance to showcase both individual and group skills learned in the class will be performed for family and friends at the end of the year. 
    Number of classes: 32
    Class length: 55 minutes (6-person minimum)
    Tuition:  $640
  • Exploring Musical Theater
    Dauri Shippey, Instructor
    Grades 9-12
    Students with a passion for musical theater, experienced or curious, feel at home within this dedicated group of singing and moving actors. We’ll strengthen vocal technique, build an appropriate repertoire list, improve music reading skills, learn how to excerpt the requisite 16 or 24 bars for auditions, and strengthen acting skills and movement. Students will learn solo songs as well as sing and act in ensemble numbers. Join this ensemble as we push ourselves to our own personal limits, are exposed to new ideas and techniques, and participate in a culminating performance which will feature both individual and group songs.
    Number of classes: 32
    Class length: 55 minutes (4-person minimum)
    Tuition:  $640

Voice Faculty    
Tracey Richards Chebra
Katherine Chen
Donna Copti
Jennifer Garr
Susan Gaylord
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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