My wonderful teachers
In the grand scheme of life my teachers are everywhere I go; the old man on the street, the little child playing with her doll in the park, most definitely the sound of the ocean meeting the shore and of course the many students I have had the honor to work with over the last 33 years!
I never went to a University to learn how to sing. In many ways I am self-taught learning through trial and error on the gig or in the recording studio. This is a wonderful way to learn, but if I had it to do over again, I wish I had found my teachers when I was just starting out. Bad habits are very hard to unlearn and more times than not my ignorance ending up hurting me.
That being said, in addition to the many musicians I have had the honor to play, write and record with, I have been Blessed to have had 3 amazing “official teachers” in my life thus far. They helped to shape my thinking, my habits as a singer and musician and even my choices in life with regard to music.
Helen was a very unassuming genius of a voice teacher who could detect a vocal muscular imbalance in just a few notes and knew exactly what to do to fix the problem. She had a heart of gold and lived to teach. I studied with her for 14 years until she got her wings in 2005. I spent several days a week sitting next to her watching, analyzing and studying her teaching methods. Her dream was to have the legacy of her teacher Mr. Vladimir Shustroff to live on through her serious students after she passed away. There are a handful of us trying to live up to her genius!
Carl is a one of a kind genius in his own class! He played piano with Art Blakey, Roy Haynes and the one and only Sarah Vaughan during which time he devised a method of teaching singers how to Improvise over chord changes that is innovative and exciting! I studied with Carl for a few years in the early ninties. His concepts opened me up to a whole new way of approaching not only Improvisation, but also singing in general.
I studied with Robert for 5 years back in the mid 80’s when I first moved up to LA and then started back with him in ’08. He is one of the most respected, sought after voice teachers in Los Angeles. Robert had a reputation for shaping and supporting each students’ unique voice and talents.
He’s client list includes many of the top recording Artists.