Find your true voice. Lessons are catered to your individual needs and will help you to build a strong foundation in vocal and instrumental technique and creative expression. We will practice breathing fundamentals, posture, tone production, articulation, and delivery, which will enable you to increase your range, stamina, and overall vocal facility. Lessons are either in-person or online.
I like to keep things simple: Singing better simply means to be able to do more of the things you want to do with your voice and to do them reliably. This means singing with more range, better tone, stamina, passion, volume and power as well as singing in tune and without pain. Ultimately, it means using your singing voice freely and expressing in ways that is uniquely you.
Since your body is your instrument, your voice needs the right kinds of exercise and approach to bring it up to peak performance. Whatever degree of improvement satisfies your singing goal, that’s adequate. And that’s what I consider the purpose and goal of technique – to sing what you want to sing in the way you want to sing it and maintain your vocal health. For those of you who perform there is one more step: To express yourself, connect with and emotionally move your audience.
Our joint purpose is to help you discover your unique voice, and the lessons always reflect your creative goals. All levels and styles are welcome. Contact me with questions or to schedule an introductory lesson. My students have found themselves achieving vocal and musical breakthroughs in time as little as one-two lessons. There's a wealth of practical knowledge included in every lesson, and you take it all home with you as we record your lessons. It's also important to enjoy the journey.
Private Voice Lessons NYC
Private Vocal Coaching NYC
Monthly Rep Class
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Singing for Dancers
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Audition Anxiety Coaching
From Celeste Simone:
As a teacher, I feel it is my responsibility to guide a student in the understanding of all different musical styles and teach them to translate style to the voice. I love music – the human voice and the artistic process.
There are no two people alike; therefore, there are no two voices alike. I feel it is important for me to have a vast vocabulary to draw from in order to make concepts clear to the student.
I was trained classically at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) and I am very grateful for that training. However, the classical technique does not necessarily translate well to the Musical Theatre or Pop music of today. You do not approach Brahms in the same way you would Cole Porter or Gershwin like you would a current pop artist. There must be adjustments made to the technique to allow the singer to create the colors that will best celebrate the modern composers/songwriters and bring to life what is on the written page.
My understanding is first hand. When I graduated MSM (1978), I was lucky enough to start working immediately, but not as a Classical singer – as a Theatre and Cabaret performer. Not knowing anything about Belting or Mixing, I just had this big voice and “yelted” out those C’s and D’s not knowing what I was doing. Well, no muscle can be abused without consequence. And I quickly found myself in deep vocal trouble. After a 3-month silence (not so easy, especially if you know me), the cords were back to a healthy place. My adventure was to learn how to make THAT SOUND and NOT injure myself. I did just that, and 35 years later I have never had a vocal issue since that experience. The tools that I teach have allowed my students to sing 8 shows a week with ease.
It’s the understanding of the space in the resonating cavity – the different colors that can be produced in the passagio (the break), a free and healthy upper register, vowel modifications and the ALL important and very often misunderstood use of BREATH. I must say all these concepts are based upon the Bel Canto technique.
I feel it is so important for my students to understand intellectually and be able to verbalize what they are doing.
- What do you feel?
- Where do you feel it?
- What were you thinking?
For many this tool is a very powerful one, especially if the student plans to teach one day. I tell my students that “I will take the joy out of singing for a while.” I feel as a responsible teacher I MUST stop and correct. Technique is the knowledge behind the gift. When the technique becomes second nature and A PART OF YOU, then the music flows and the joy of singing is so much richer and more gratifying. I believe a singer uses the entire body to sing and should have a clear understanding of the muscles involved. The human body IS the instrument so a singer must understand how the body works. It’s an art form that takes patience from both the teacher and the student.
Besides technique I also work on creating a strong audition book, Song Interpretation, Performance/audition skills and everything in between. Oh, and we can’t forget the fun and laughter that goes along with it all!
Enjoying the process of being an artist…a life long journey.
The needs of professional singers vary quite a bit. Jazz singers don't want to sound like rockers, folk singers don't want to sound like Broadway singers. Each singer wants to maintain the individuality of his or her voice, but remain healthy. Every singer wants to use the voice uniquely, but in a way that expresses the heart and mind of the music being sung
Training for any non-classical singer, no matter what the style, requires expertise in evaluating vocal function, stylistic parameters, performance environments, musical arrangements and many other factors. All vocal function should place health at the top of the list of requirements for a professional singer, and include instruction for the performer on how to keep the voice and body going under all manner of stressful situations, as well as in everyday life.
Training for singers, even those who sing "naturally" is of vital importance, as it maximizes the potential for the voice to do everything it can, and minimizes the possibility that singing will contribute to vocal fatigue and injury.
Ms. LoVetri is highly regarded for helping artists of CCM in all styles be more of who they already are. She helps every vocalist find satisfaction, comfort, freedom, and self-expression through healthy vocal use, no matter what type of music is being sung.
From time to time serious singers who are not professionals need guidance. Ms. LoVetri will make every effort to be available for a consultation for such individuals, as time permits. Please contact The Voice Workshop to discuss arranging a telephone consultation or a personal appointment in the Manhattan Voice Workshop studio. Guidance about receiving further training with a Somatic Voicework™ certified teacher may be provided at that time.
Ms. LoVetri works in liaison with some of the New York area's most highly regarded speech pathologists and speech teachers. She is happy to consult on the speaking voice as it relates to singing and will refer to speech specialists as necessary.
Answers to frequently asked questions about singing and the voice
1) What exercises or thoughts do you have for students overcoming jaw tension?
Jaw tension is best alleviated by gentle stretching of the face and jaw, by manual massage and manipulation, by gentle small movements throughout the range of movement of the jaw joint and by release of tongue tension. It is also important to make sure there is no misalignment of the jaw which can cause TMJ syndrome including various other symptoms which inhibit movement and response. Diagnosis of TMJ can be done by a dentist with this specific expertise.
2) Also, tongue tension?
I believe that tongue tension is primarily the result of two things: throat constriction due to emotional tension and physical stiffness due to lack of movement. If a student has not sung much or has been taught to restrict movement in the mouth in order to be more "focused" in the tone, the tongue can become quite immobilized. Also, heavy singing which keeps the tongue still, can eventually cause similar stiffness. Finally, over-opening the mouth restricts movement in the base of the tongue, and can contribute to tongue problems. The best way to alleviate this is through gentle massage, small and then exaggerated movements of the tongue, beginning with the front; and changes of mouth and jaw adjustment, as the jaw and tongue are intimately connected. Release of one usually effects release of the other.
3) Do you believe in holding the abdominal wall out during exhalation or pulling it in?
I believe that the abdominal muscles can work effectively on exhale in a number of ways, in and up, down and out, and combinations thereof. Since there are four layers of muscles, and everyone has a different type of body structure, I think each person must experiment to find his or her own "best way". As long as the intercostal muscles keep the rib cage in a steady, open position throughout exhale, the air pressure level can eventually be managed effectively.
4) Do you believe that in developing a voice for Broadway it is better to begin with a classical approach and then add the Broadway belt or work in combination or not at all?
When developing a voice for Broadway it's is important for the voice to have two healthy, well-developed register qualities. If the head quality isn't there (and that's the most common situation) I work to find and use it until it is strong enough to counter the chest register. However, conversation volume chest register isn't enough for a Broadway quality, so that must be developed as well, and this can take time. The best end product is always one which utilizes both registers and a wide variety of resonance adjustments.
5) Do you use exercises for adding flexibility to the voice?
I work to keep a balance between strength and flexibility in all voices, but it's usually the flexibility that eludes most Broadway voices due to the above-mentioned use of chest register.
6) Discuss the problem of consonants in the belt voice and how one can overcome this issue.
Generally, consonants should not be a problem in a belt sound. Belt is usually accompanied by forward production, as the larynx rides high in the throat. However, when the mouth is constantly open to the maximum and the jaw is also very dropped, consonants become impossible because the back of the tongue cannot move. That also drastically restricts the ability of the front of the tongue to articulate and the lips to meet.
7) How do you address intonation problems?
Poor intonation is most often caused by register fluctuation. Flatting occurs at the outside edges of the chest register extension, and in the main passagio, or at any of the minor register adjustment zones, and is the result of too much pressure on the intrinsic musculature, which prevents the folds from re-coordinating and the larynx from moving. Sharping is always the result of too much air pressure. The vocal folds are not strong enough to resist the air pushing up from underneath and consequently overstretch (lengthen), causing the cords to bow a little like a sail, and raising the pitch.
8) What are some exercises that you use to increase a singer's range
In order to increase the singer's range upward, it is necessary to lighten the production and increase the pressure of the air while avoiding breathiness and to allow the jaw to drop and the tongue to move. To increase the voice downward, it is necessary to relax the throat, allow the jaw to drop and work to find first warmth in the tone and then volume at the lowest possible pitches. Both of these processes are slow.
9) What are some breath management exercises that you use in your teaching?
I teach intercostal/abdominal breathing. I encourage control over the rib cage independently from control over the abdominals, and control over both as an integrated unit connected to, but separate from, phonation. I work to encourage a clear tone that is at least MF and find that the breath control develops over time as the tone quality becomes stronger and evens out. I believe that the TONE controls the air, and not the other way around, provided that the students can take a deep breath (inhale) easily in the first place, and that the ribs are strong enough to stay open during exhalation, and that the belly muscles can be deliberately controlled during exhale!!!!!(Whew!). It all works together but not all at once in a beginner. I use hissing and pulsed hissing to control breathing in the beginning student. I also work very hard on postural alignment. I call upon yoga positions, bodywork exercises from a number of disciplines, massage (I work on the students' shoulders, upper back and necks if necessary), arm movements, and when desperate, I yell like the Italian I am....BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!!
10) What exercises or philosophy do you use in initiation or cut off difficulties
If there is trouble cutting off at the end of a tone or phrase, there is too much pressure somewhere, usually on the laryngeal muscles, but sometimes on the belly muscles. Getting softer helps. In order to start cleanly, it is necessary for the student to have a clear mental picture of the mouth and throat shape needed to create the appropriate vowel sound quality, and the requested volume, on the designated pitch BEFORE the entrance. I don't usually worry if the entrance is a little off, as I find this tends to correct as the rest of the vocal function becomes more sophisticated. I especially don't worry about any entrance when near the passagio, as I expect these entrances to wander in all but the most experienced singers.
11) Do you believe in using the belt voice that the singer can have a high larynx?
I don't believe that the singer CAN have a high larynx in belting, I believe the singer has no choice, or it isn't going to sound like "belting". While it may be possible to lower the larynx to create this sound, the research seems to indicate that this isn't generally how most singers throats respond to making that vocal quality. The issue isn't how high the larynx is, but how comfortable it can be while there.
12) How do you blend in the belt voice with the modal?
The belt voice IS the modal quality. Belting is chest register carried up beyond the traditional passagio at a loud volume. It is a high decibel, high frequency amplification sound that is energetic but not beautiful. It was originally used to allow the performer to be heard at the back of the theater before amplification. Remembering this makes the whole thing much simpler. HOWEVER, do not be fooled by the vowel...not all "brassy, nasal" vowels are belted. Register quality is INDEPENDENT of vowel sound quality and one must hear the difference, as well as understand what it is as a physical behavior in the throat and body.