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My teaching philosophy: if it’s not play, it’s not working

Lessons include breathing exercises, all kinds of vocalizing, and working on songs or texts that are interesting or important to you. If you just want to “figure out how the darn thing works,” and not work on anything specific, we can do that, too. 

I’m happy to teach music fundamentals (music theory, note reading, ear training), and I am brilliant at making that fun. Most of this works as well over Zoom as it does in person.

It is a huge leap of faith to work with a teacher.
a line drawing of a bicycle on a path that will take it up a big hill; caption is "Pedal faster before the hill (engage your support before the pitch goes up)"

How we sound to ourselves isn’t how we sound to other people

Sound travels differently through the body than through the air, and what you hear depends on where you are.

Our friends hear our voicemail and think it sounds fine, just like us. They’re used to hearing us through the air – for them it’s the only option.

We hear our voicemail and think, “I sound weird,” or sometimes even, “I sound terrible!”  Our voice hasn’t changed, how we’re hearing our voice has changed. 

Teaching and studying voice asks a lot of both of us.

You can’t know what you sound like to me. I can’t know what you sound like to yourself. Neither of us can see or touch all of the parts of the instrument we’re trying to train, and the instrument is fundamental to your sense of self, safety and well-being.

Put the wrong two people in a room together, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Put the right two people in a room and lessons are alchemy at its sweetest. 

close up of a smiley face on a piano key

Let’s find out if we’re
a good fit.


Leslie M

The immediate observation and feedback of a well-trained teacher has been invaluable in helping me make steady improvements. This has also been important in overcoming those days where I just feel like I can’t make a good sound. Michele knows how to listen. I am in awe of her capacity to help me visualize how to produce better sound.


I find singing to be a very empowering and centering practice. I was looking for lessons that were challenging but not too intense or high-stakes. Michèle’s have always challenged me but are also infused with lightness and humor. I feel more connected to my body and voice after singing lessons with Michèle.

David D

Michele is a master at helping people who are nervous about singing or learning feel comfortable enough to try and to make progress.

Camille C

Michele is always patient, supportive and creative in the way she coaches me to a better result. She makes lessons collaborative and not intimidating.


How can you help my speaking voice?

If your voice tires easily, or sounds too raspy, too high, too nasal, too breathy, or too whatever for your liking, there’s probably something we can do about it. I’ll show you how to:

- release unnecessary tension that makes speaking harder than it needs to be

-connect with your breath and a grounded sense of yourself – this is especially helpful when giving presentations.

-speak louder or softer without feeling like you’re shouting or whispering – in other words, find a new happy medium

-effectively practice, so the improvements are lasting

I don’t know what I should sing

You should sing whatever you are moved to sing, really.

If you’re coming for a first lesson with me, bring whatever feels easy, real and true. If that’s just yourself, that’s just fine.

If you’d like to add more singing to your life, start by making a Sing List:

Search your heart for the songs that are full of love and healing for you. Maybe these are songs that were sung to you as a child. Maybe one is a chant you learned on a yoga retreat. Maybe there’s a song that just poured out of you at a time of unbearable grief, or inspired joy.

This is your Sing List: a list of songs that have healed, held or helped you. These are songs that call you to your best, or calmest, or most loving self. These are songs that restore your soul, that you can sing (or learn to sing) yourself.

Playlists are great, and this is not a playlist.

Take a deep breath.

Whose voice do you hear?

What are they singing?

What if I can’t carry a tune?

Very few people are actually tone deaf. If you can hear the difference between a statement and a question, and can tell an interesting story, I believe I can teach you to carry a tune.

If you mean that you sing wrong notes sometimes, so do I. Really. Even in public. It doesn’t mean you don’t have talent.

Or, maybe you empathize with Mr. B, a hospice patient I met over a decade ago ago at the San Francisco VA Hospital.

“How about we sing a song together?”

Mr. B says, “I can’t carry a tune in a bucket!”

He was humming when I walked into the room, so I challenged him to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
We sing it all the way to the end.
And then Jingle Bells.
And then Deck the Hall.
He carries the tunes well.

“But that’s not singing…” he says.

That is singing. Singing, according to the dictionary, is making musical sounds with the voice, esp. words to a set tune.

Mr. B thinks he can’t carry a tune because he can’t sing songs that he doesn’t know. The finest singers in the world can’t sing songs they don’t know.

Mr. B thinks it’s not singing when it’s a song you learned as a child. Some of the best songs are the ones we learned as children.

Sing the songs you know. Sing with other people. Ask for help. Choose a song that speaks to you and begin to learn it.

I hear a lot of people get so hung up on whether their singing is any good that they don’t allow themselves to sing at all. Every singer I know makes not so good sounds every time they sing. Everyone’s voice needs to warm up. I can show you how.

What are Zoom lessons like?

Over Zoom we have to communicate a lot more. For example, in-person, you could always see what my posture looked like but on Zoom we have to be way more verbally explicit about what my stomach or chest or shoulders are doing, so that’s been an adjustment. But otherwise I think you’ve made the online lessons really smooth – you’ve figured out all the tricks on Zoom, and the recordings that you send over after lessons are really helpful too. – Salma


I had a few lessons in person and enjoyed them! Michèle has a lovely space to practice and learn in, and I think you can get a lot of nuance from in-person meetings that might get lost over Zoom. But you can get a LOT out of Zoom! It's really easy to share information from the internet quickly - say finding a piece of music or lyrics. It's also very convenient! And since I moved to the East Coast, it's what's kept me able to continue practicing. So I love Zoom lessons! –AMM

Can I record my lessons?

You’re welcome to record your lessons if that helps your learning. Please don’t put us on YouTube!

How much do one-on-one lessons with you cost?

A 50-minute trial lesson costs $125. If after a trial lesson we find we’re a good fit for one another, we’ll schedule regular lessons at a mutually agreeable time, either weekly or bi-weekly.  

I find that for most people, five months is a good initial commitment. Developing and integrating new habits takes time and practice. There will be a few course corrections. Most of my students study with me for at least a year and, in many cases, longer. 

Five months of biweekly lessons cost $1250.

Five months of weekly lessons cost $2500.

It’s fine to pay for lessons either up front or by the month. 

I accept cash, check, credit/debit card, Paypal, Venmo and Zelle.

What’s your refund policy?

If you find you are unable to use lessons you’ve paid for, I will gladly refund the balance, minus a $20 processing fee, within seven (7) business days of your refund request. Submit your refund request in writing within six (6) months of the purchase date. Email is fine.

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