Voice Lessons Scottsdale Arizona
from Craig 'Lumpy' Lemke ~ Scottsdale / Phoenix, Arizona USA
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Heather Larsen, Jazz Vocalist

If you already play and/or sing, I'll help you to advance to the next level.
By fine tuning your current skills, I'll help you to become a better performer.

I've been a performing, recording and teaching
vocalist, voice-over artist, instrumentalist and voice coach
for over 50 years.

I hold a BS in guitar education and an MA in voice.
I've played and sung on thousands of recordings
and commercials. If you're old enough to have listened
to radio or watched TV in the 60's and 70's,
you've probably heard me but didn't know it.
In the I was arranger, voice coach, musical director
for dozens artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Cher, The Carpenters,
Lawrence Welk and Quincy Jones just to name a few.

Your first lesson is free. You and I decide if we are right for each other.
I won't take you on as a student if I don't think I can
help you. I don't want you to take me on as a teacher
if you don't think I can help you.

Barbara Huning, Jazz Chanteuse

Voice Lessons FAQ's

Q: Where are you located?
A: My studio is in my home in north Scottsdale/Phoenix.
Near the intersection of Cactus and 56th Street.

Q: What do voice lessons cost?
A: My rates are $250 per four lessons.
That's one lesson every week for four weeks.
Each lesson is at least one hour long.

Q: Do I have to have some kind of experience?
A: Yes. My lessons are for serious, performance oriented
adult learners. I ask that you have SOME previous musical
experience in singing or some other musical instrument.

Q: Do you teach both Men and Women?
A: Yes. I specialize in the female voice. I don't rule out male voices
by any means. But the fem vox is where I've done most of my graduate level study.
I worked with essentially every female vocal artist and studio voice
that came through Hollywood in the 60s and 70s.
I'm perfectly willing to accept male voices as students.
I'm just especially fond of the female voice.

Q: Will you teach me to sing hymms, or worship music?
A: Absolutely not. I don't do religious music.

Q: Will you evaluate my child for American Idol?
A: Yes, for a fee. I generally do not accept students under age 18 as full time students.
Professional voice lessons are VERY intense. Most teens,
and surely most younger kids, are not at the maturity level to
focus on full time vocal training. But I do offer a "one time"
evaluation, in which I will prepare a written report/critique
of my findings and measurements. Contact me if you think your
little future pop star has promise.

Q: Will you prep me or my teenager for audition to Berklee College of Music?
A: Yes, I sure will. I'm very familiar with the entry and audition requirements for
Berklee (You can download them from Berklee's website). We can practice the actual pieces
required/suggested by the Berklee staff that you will/could use in the audition.

Two points are important with the "Music College" question -

1) Most teenage rock/metal guitar playing boys are nowhere near the
experience/skill level to enter music college - ANY music college.
If this is your kid's description, I can certainly advise you how to cram
a decade's worth of missed music education into your teen's mind. It's up to
him to decide if that's what he wants to pursue. But he'll be competing, literally.
with hundreds and thousands of other kids who have intently studied their instrument
for many many years. Be prepared for me to tell you I don't think Berklee is right for you.

2) Vocalists ALWAYS have a difficult time in music college. Unless you've
been studying classical/choral/baroque and are fluent in reading
standard notation and understand diatonic harmony, you and me (singers)
face the huge disadvantage of simply NOT being exposed to any kind of
academic or any other instructive/deductive/inductive/constructive
approach to singing.
We simply don't speak the language of music (Music theoiry, standard notation).

On the other hand - If you truly ARE dedicated to the concept of music as a
university level pursuit, I can certainly speak with experience from BOTH sides
of the "degree vs non-degree" professional musician. I've certainly been successful
as both. If you're ready to work I'll show you what it's like to get there.
But if you're faced with not being at all fluent in the language of music,
you're up against a tremendous bunch of hurdles. Perhaps compare it to
an English-only speaking person going to a university in Japan
and Majoring in Japanese Language. You'll be entering language or music school
but don't yet even speak the basics in the language.

Have I talked you OUT of it yet?..;-)

Professional musician is a
FANTASTIC occupation. It is more physical
and mental work both to get there and to remain there, than any other profession.
If you or your kid wants to get there, I'll show you how I did it and give you the
tools to help you figure out if YOU want to do it.

Q: I sing Karaoke. Is that the right kind of experience?
A: Yes. Absolutely! Karaoke is one of the greatest inventions
in history for singers. Daisuke Inoue, the inventor of karaoke,
was awarded the 2004 Ig Nobel Peace Prize "for inventing karaoke,
thereby providing an entirely new way for people to learn to
tolerate each other."
Karaoke allows the singing student
to have the world's greatest back up band always at the ready,
always in tune, always ready to "take it from the top". Karaoke
is no longer just drunk business conference goers singing "Louie Louie".
There are a LOT of very serious and very GOOD singers using Karaoke.
I highly encourage EVERY singer to give it a try.

Q: Can you expand my vocal range by two octaves
and allow me to hit high and low notes effortlessly?

A: Absolutely not. Singing is hard work. It is not "effortless".
It requires the use of muscles and tendons just like running
a marathon or weight lifting or ice skating. I've never
known any athlete, amateur or pro, that claims their
sport is "effortless". Expand your vocal range by two octaves?
Nope. Not gonna happen. Not humanly "impossible" but about as
likely as the average, overweight human suddenly becoming
built like Arnold. I don't know how to make that happen.
Some of those DVD/CD based teachers claim they can do it
or your money back. If you think it's likely, take them up
on the offer. If it doesn't work, get your refund. Drop me
an email and let me know how it turns out, either way..;-)

Q: Will I learn about stage presence?
A: Yes. In addition to the more musical aspects of singing
we will cover topics like microphonics, sound systems,
what to wear on stage, how to joke with and talk to the crowd,
what kind of PR photos and other printed materials you should produce,
what kind of lighting/backdrop/props work well with you,
how much to charge for your professional services, etc..

Q: Do I have to attend recitals?
A: Sort of. I'd like you to attend LIVE MUSIC EVENTS.
Concerts, clubs, open mic's, recitals are all live music events.
This musical road we're traveling is all about PERFORMING. To be
good performers, we have to get out there and watch other performers.
We're learning to be performers. We have to perform.
It's that simple. You can't learn how to swim without
going in the water.

Q: Do I have to learn music theory?
A: Of course. Music theory is the language that
musicians use to communicate. Without the theory, you couldn't
ask me to "sing a middle C" or "sing that note for 3 beats".
Every vocation and avocation has its own theory and language.
Music is no exception. I teach theory as it applies to your
current repertoire of songs. That way the theory has some
practical application rather than just emperical knowledge.

Q: Will I have to learn stuff like opera?
A: No. I'm not an opera fan. To me, opera is a bunch of people
singing in Italian, repeatedly, about how they killed their lover.
I teach using songs that the student knows and likes.

Q: Is there a text book or method book?
A: No. The "classroom material" is YOUR music,
whatever that may be. Instead of using someone else's material
we use the songs in your repertoire, or that you would like to
learn, as the instructional material. We dissect your songs
into very small parts and tweak each of those parts so that
they show off the best aspects of your current vocal ability
and de-emphasize the rough spots in your current ability.

Q: Do I have to practice?
A: Yes. Every day. Most every singer would benefit
from practicing several times per day in short sessions,
rather than one, long, intense session.

Q: Do I have to sing scales and vocal exercises?
A: Sometimes, yes. The approach I like is that we sing
songs that you want to perform. When we find a spot in
the song that you have trouble with, we design a vocal
exercise that addresses that problem.

Q: What if I don't have a "good" voice?
A: Then you'll be part of a long list of people that don't
have "good" voices. Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin, Rod Stewart,
Mick Jagger and a gazillion other people don't have what some
would call "good" voices. But they are certainly successful singers.
Barbra Streisand and Robert Goulet have what some might consider
"good" voices. But they would probably sound ridiculous singing a
Rod Stewart or a Van Morrison song.

Q: How soon can I see improvement?
A: Six days? Six weeks? Six months? It's really an impossible
question to answer. I can do exercises with you that will show
improvement in six seconds, if we just want to prove something.
Vocal progress tends to be slower than progress in other instruments.
Part of the reason is that we have to be extremely careful not to strain
or injure our vocal instruments. If we played the trombone and strained
to hit a high note, we'd flub the note but we wouldn't damage anything.
If we strain to hit a high note with our vocal instrument, we can very
easily damage our vocal structures permanantly!

Q: How can I find out if you're the right teacher for me?
A: Send me an email! Schedule an initial meeting with me.
There is no cost to you for that first meeting.
During that meeting, we'll discuss your goals and
my teaching methods and I'll evaluate your vocal range.
If you and I both agree that we are right for each other,
we can then schedule a day and time for regular, weekly lessons.
I will not take you on as a student if I don't think I can help
you. And I don't want you to take me on as a teacher
if you don't think I can help you.

Interested in Voice Lessons?
Lumpy Breaking Glass!
Email me at -

Email is the BEST way to contact me.
Since nobody really talks on the phone anymore,
let's just email, ok? Everybody gets their email
on their phone, in their car, in the line in front of me
at the grocery store...
Let's just email, please.

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