Bella Mia Fiamma
Mozart concert aria performed by Ms. Lawrence (Schwartzman) with the Mannes College of Music Orchestra; Amy Kaiser conducts.
My approach is based on forty years of experience as a singer and teacher of many different styles, from Broadway, opera, and pop to folk, contemporary, and rock. I hold a Master's Degree in Voice and Opera from the Mannes College of Music/The New School. In addition to teaching classical technique for opera and recital singers, I teach (to give some examples) rock singers to preserve their vocal health, and classical singers to cross over to contemporary commercial styles. Opera singers find increased power, freedom, and expressiveness, and reduced effort.
I work with singer-songwriters to find the expressive power and individuality necessary for their success. My musical theater performers typically increase their range and control, and become freer and more confident in auditions. I work with cantors and rabbis to optimize their vocal technique and bimah presence. Children as young as seven, teens, and adults into their eighties feel at home in my Upper West Side studio, where I place a very high premium on the discovery process that is so unique to each person.
My teaching has a strong base in knowledge of the vocal instrument and its function, and I am certified in Somatic Voicework (tm), the LoVetri Method, Level Three. My priority is to find what works for you, and to create the supportive atmosphere that will encourage you to grow. I work to empower you to become your own voice and acting teacher, and we'll have great fun in the process!
I also strive to find performing opportunities for my students- in showcases at the cafe of Symphony Space, a well known Manhattan performance venue, as well as in operas, musical theater, and other genres.
I offer small group classes designed to empower the singer-actor to realize his/her inherent potential. Acting while singing is an enormously complex undertaking, and involves the ability to transcend the mentality of "getting it right" (which is firmly ingrained by years of diligent study!) and be able, literally, to play on stage. Audiences want to be moved by the performances they see, and this can happen when the performer is both skilled and free enough to be truly expressive. The class provides performers with a safe place to explore their craft and to benefit from the feedback of both classmates and teacher. You will receive valuable information about what you're already doing that's effective as well as in which ways you need to stretch, and a small group of classmates ready and willing to support you in that process.
We begin with a warm-up that exercises face, body, and voice and encourages a spirited, energized approach to discovery. An improvisatory element develops the crucial quality of spontaneity; we progress from group to brief solo exercises, and then to work with a pianist, centered around repertoire which generally ranges from musical theater to opera (but can include everything from spoken texts to jazz, pop, and rock.)
These classes are largely based on my extensive work with the late music theater director, Wesley Balk. His pioneer approach to the singing acting process is renowned and can be studied by way of his 3 published books- The Complete Singer-Actor, Performing Power, and The Radiant Performer. However, there is no substitute for personal experience and the ongoing physical exercise of this challenging and exciting process. I invite you to join in the adventure!
Private Voice Lessons
1 hour- $125
45 minutes- $100
30 minutes- $75
Sliding scale, based on individual circumstances.
Singing- Acting Classes
$25 - $50 per class, depending on class size.
$70 for 3 classes
I ask that you let me know as soon as you realize you cannot make an appointment, and require at least one day's notice to cancel without payment.
As with voice study in general, practicing is highly individual. I will make suggestions about what I think will speed your progress, but you must be the judge of what you can do and how much time you can spend.