Kids and Teens

Music is an important part of life, and it is being taught less and less in public schools.  While we can understand that budget choices must be made, parents can hardly agree that their children should do without musical training.   As a long time teacher of elite voices, I subscribed for years to the traditional idea that children should not undertake serious voice training until their voices have changed -- usually around the age of 15 -- and yes, girls' voices change, too; just not as radically as boys' voices do.

I've changed my mind!

Part of the change has been getting to know the outstanding Achievement Program developed by the Canadian Royal School of Music in conjunction with Carnegie Hall in this country.  The Royal School of Music/Carnegie Hall Achievement Program offers a curriculum that I can heartily support along with formal third party assessments twice a year.  Children and teens can pass each level of the Achievement Program and receive national recognition for having done so.

The vocal assessment for kids and teens, and yes, even for adults, is appropriate to each student's physical development and musical training.  It is combined with training in basic musical skills and beginning familiarity with foreign languages.  The music used in the assessments ranges from folk

songs to popular songs to classical art songs to musical theater songs, allowing kids to hear more than what is currently being promoted by the media. Parents can take a look at the program's website at

Another part of my change of mind has been the joy I've found in teaching people who study voice for their own recreation.  At the 2012 NATS National Conference I heard about research at The Cleveland Clinic on the stress relief found even at the molecular level by people who do music for re-creation.  Recreational music making is not only something adults need to seek for themselves, but something important to include in our children's lives.  It might just save a few!

With all these thoughts in mind, I will welcome teens and kids into my studio.