Frequently Asked Questions
We have three locations to choose from: Costa Mesa, Irvine, and La Puente at Evergreen Baptist Church, San Gabriel Valley. The Costa Mesa site is on the second floor of the West Coast School of the Arts building. See addresses at the bottom of this page.
The very first lesson typically starts with a quick vocal assessment by having the student sing a 5-note scale on "Ah." It's a simple exercise which effectively reveals the strengths and weaknesses in anyone's voice. After we identify the areas to work on, we do several vocal exercises designed to improve on those areas. We do octave or 1.5-octave lip bubbles, tongue trills, and all sorts of vocal exercises such as "nay-nay-nay," "guh-guh-guh," "mum-mum-mum," etc. They may feel strange at first, but the student will get used to them very quickly. We then move into a song, because we believe application of singing technique is what this is all about. Additionally, we can help you prepare for auditions or for an upcoming solo with stage presence technique. Click here to find out more about Speech Level Singing.
It's never too early nor too late (yes, even moms and dads!) to study singing. However, it is best to start singing correctly at a young age to build good habits to last a lifetime. On the other hand, if the child is too young to stay focused or gets too discouraged when getting corrections, he/she might be too young. We generally start taking boys or girls at around age 8. But you never know -- we recently had a 6-year old girl come in who was amazingly on pitch and did great! Our students range from 6 to 83 years of age.
For Costa Mesa appointments, please go to the front desk at West Coast School of the Arts and purchase a green slip for private lessons then contact Junko at 714-401-8035 to book an appointment. For other studios, please go online and sign up here. The lessons are meant to be single-person private, but we may start out a set of friends or siblings together for the first few times. We can do up to three people in a half hour slot, but you can only sign up for one primary person at a time. Parents are welcomed to stay and observe and record or video the lesson. Even if the parents don't stay, please bring a recording device to capture the lesson for practicing at home! You don't have to commit to once a week for months on end, although if a time slot works for you then you may want to reserve it for several weeks out. You can go week-to-week and see when you're available and make your bookings then. You can always make changes to your appointments up to 24 hours prior online. You might even just come in every other week or once a month. Of course, the more often you study, the more you will improve. And practicing at home is imperative.
Lessons MUST be paid for in advance. The cost is $40 for half an hour ($45 at Costa Mesa) and $80 for a full hour ($90 at Costa Mesa). For more information, please read the Studio Policy page here. Give a gift of singing! If you have friends or family who want some ideas for your child's holiday gift, perhaps you can suggest a gift certificate for a voice lesson. Purchase lessons at the Book Now! page.