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Voice Teachers for Teens & Pre-Teens

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Classes & Lessons > Voice Teachers for Teens & Pre-Teens


Questions & Reviews Related Pages

2013 - 2014 Recommendations


Voice teacher (opera) for 17yo boy

Nov 2013

My 17-year-old son would like to take voice lessons. He has a pleasant bass voice and is specifically interested in opera. I would welcome recommendations for the Lamorinda area or Pleasant Hill. Thanks! --M


There is a group in Oakland called Chapel College Men and Boys Ensemble that has a high school boys program that focuses on Early Music. They are a small group of boys, all very dedicated to singing. My son loves it. Janis

Voice teacher in Lamorinda for 10yo

Oct 2013

Looking for recommendations for a voice teacher for a 10 year old girl--preferably in the Lamorinda area. Would love someone who can teach piano and voice and integrate the two so my daughter could play and sing at the same time (she has had 4 years of piano instruction). Thanks! falalalala


I enthusiastically recommend Xiomara Di Maio, who runs the small School of Musical Arts (somapiano.com) in Lafayette. She is a fine piano teacher and has also been a choir conductor and professional singer. Xiomara (with the x pronounced like an s) is vibrant, friendly, totally professional, well-connected in classical, jazz, and theatre arts in the bay area, and most important, an amazing teacher. She is a native of Venezuela, and I wonder if that is what gives her the mixture of patience, optimism, and high standards that many American art teachers don't seem to b able to combine. She gave my perfectly ordinary child life-changing musical, social, and intellectual skills and the confidence to try anything. happy mom of music loving child
Lamorinda Theatre Academy has several voice and piano teachers on staff who teach integrated piano and voice training. They are located at 83 Lafayette Circle just above Lamorinda Music. Give them a call at 925-385-0354 to get set up with a teacher. They have excellent reviews and come highly recommended. www.lamorindatheatreacademy.com Diane

Fabulous Voice Teacher for 7th grader applying to OSA

Oct 2013

My seventh-grade daughter is interested in applying to OSA for ninth grade in Vocal Music. We'd like to find a fabulous voice teacher in Oakland/Berkeley who has experience getting kids ready for the OSA audition. If you've had a positive experience with a voice teacher you could recommend, we'd be grateful.


Jessica Neighbor in Oakland near Grand Lake is perfect for your daughter. Check out her website jessicaneighbor.com big fan and client of Jessica Neighbor
I've been studying voice with Michele Voilleque, singermv@gmail.com, in Berkekey, out of her home studio for several years and could not be happier with the growth of my voice. She's smart, creative, warm, and a great teacher of safe, balanced, sound production. happy singer
Lauren Carley is a fantastic voice teacher! She teaches classes, runs retreats and gives private voice lessons. You can learn more about her and how to contact her from her website (just google Lauren Carley). Andrea
Hi, We love my son's teacher Dave Brooks, he is fabulous and worth every $. My son takes lessons online with him. You can read more about him and sign up here: https://kid.lessonface.com/music-instructor/dave-brooks We were concerned about online lessons at first and weren't sure how it would work for my distractible 8 year old, but they offered us a 100% money back guarantee if we didn't like the first lesson. We tried it and loved the lesson. Good luck! Momma of a singer

Voice/singing Lessons for daughter who writes songs

May 2013

Not sure what voice lessons entail, but know my daughter would do best with someone who can appeal to her on her own terms. She enjoys writing and singing her own songs as well as posting covers on youtube. She isn't interested in learning to sing Broadway musical songs, but wants some training to enhance her abilities. Any recommendations for a good teacher whose teaching style is individualized to his/her students interests, abilities, and desires? Someone who is tuned into and can appreciate good pop songs would also be helpful. Thanks. mom of future American Idol, just kidding


Cary Sheldon is a great singing teacher in Berkeley. She teaches both children and adults and works with both beginners and pros. She's been coaching me for years with wonderful results! I know many others who have studied with her and love her. Contact her at caryannalia@gmail.com. Marie
My daughter has been working with Rebecca Castelli and it has been great. She follows the students' lead in choosing music, though what my daughter likes are humorous American Songbook and Broadway songs by and large. You could call her and see if it would work out. anon

2010 - 2012 Recommendations


Voice coach for teen boy

Feb 2012

I have a 16 year old boy who loves to play piano, drums, compose and sing music. His voice is good, but he would benefit from a voice coach, preferrably someone who likes jazz and rock n' roll. Ideally, the voice coach would be male and close to lamorinda, but any recommendations would be appreciated. Thank you! rock n' roll mama


My son who has been singing for 10 years used Carey Sheldon in Berkeley, her phone # 510-843-9687, she helped him enormously. She practices the Seth Riggs Method of voice training which helps the singer develop a very fluid range even while there voices are stabilizing. regina

Voice lessons for 13 year old near Oakland

June 2011

Hi, My 13 year old is interested in voice lessons. We live in the Glenview area of Oakland and would like to find someone reasonably close. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you.


Libby McLaren, right in your neighborhood, is fabulous! Our 17 year old daughter has been taking singing lessons from Libby for 5 years, loving every session. Libby is warm, funny, sensitive and a great teacher. They have an annual recital at the Freight and Salvage too. Good luck! Anon Libby 510-482-9479, on Linwood Street, off Hampel. anon
Liz Engan is a great musician/person/voice teacher, and has taught my teenager. Her number is 510-236-6524. jeanette
Would you be willing to travel to Berkeley near Ashby/80/ new Berkeley Bowl for voice lessons? I think it would be worth it for you. Cynthia Bythell is my daughter's voice teacher is so fun, but exacting at the same time. She's a professional singer/ performer so she has an ear that's way beyond my own ear's capability. She's very patient and encouraging and gets great results. My daughter is a preteen, but I've seen all ages walk out of her house after a voice lesson. She's very reasonably priced as well. You can contact Cynthia Bythell at (510) 548-5839, or cynthiabythell@att.com Happy with voice teacher

2007 - 2009 Recommendations


Voice teacher for 13-y-o girl who likes musicals

August 2009

My 13 year-old has developed an interest in musical theater. She's realized that she won't be able to have significant parts without some voice coaching. So we're looking for someone who would enjoy working with a middle-school beginner. We're also interested in helping her develop basic movement/dance skills if anyone knows of someone who gives individual lessons, or a class that would work for a beginner that age. would-be drama queen's mama


We have a wonderful voice teacher who was in the Phantom of the Opera in San Francisco a few years back and teaches at ACT. He generally teaches over in the east bay once a week. My daughter and her friend have had lessons with him for about a year now and I give him my absolute highest recommendations--hopefully he will still be available after posting this! Contact information: Robert Rutt: 646-391-7667 or rbrtrtt@aol.com mom who wants to take lessons too!
I recommend you check out Youth Musical Theater Company - they offer teens the opportunity to participate in workshops and wonderful musical theater productions. The YMTC artistic director, Jennifer Boesing, also offers private voice lessons for teens and adults. My son takes lessons from her - enjoys it immensely - and I have even taken a few so can attest to her wonderful professional yet supportive and gentle teaching style. Their web site is http://www.ymtcberkeley.org and Jennifer can be reached at Jennifer@ymtcberkeley.org. Judy
My daughter has been involved with musical theatre for years.She loves her voice teacher- Erica Maier -who is near the Berkeley campus.She is very nurturing and she is a great teacher. Her phone number is 510-225-5380. Ellen
I don't know if the ''Broadway Babies'' program still exists. It was run for years at CCCT by Judy Whiting. Judy also taught private lessons on the side. I don't have contact info for her, but maybe someone else knows whether she's still doing this. anon

Vocal Lessons for 15-year-old daughter

August 2008

Greetings - our daughter is newly interested in vocal lessons. We'd love to find someone who is both an excellent instructor and works well with teens - patient and supportive as our daughter decides whether or not to pursue this talent. She will be turning fifteen shortly and attends BHS. Have checked the archives and not found anything. Coach living in North Berkeley near Solano and The Alameda would be ideal, otherwise accessible by bus to that area would be very helpful. Many thanks


My daughter (and several other girls we know) loved her voice lessons with Cyrise Beatty. She was everything you ask for - great with teens, patient and supportive as they explore their interests, and a great instructor (as well as one of the most warm and wonderful people I have ever met). At the time (a few years ago), Cyrise was teaching at a home on the Marin Circle (right in your neighborhood), as well as at a location in El Sobrante. Her contact information can be found at http://www.livinglanguagecamp.com/links.html anon
My 18 year old daughter has taken vocal lessons for about five years with a wonderful teacher named Jennifer Boesing. She is very patient and encouraging. She works with teens quite a lot. She herself is trained in and performs classical music as well as having trained in theater. She is also the artistic director of the Youth Musical Theatre Company in Berkeley. My daughter and her friends love her and are totally inspired by her spirit as well as her technical expertise! Her studio is near MLK and Francisco in North Berkeley. My daughter feels that she has been one of the most influential adults in her life! If you contact her please tell her Paul and Leah recommended her. I don't think that you'll be disappointed! She can be reached at info@ymtcberkeley.org Paul
If she's still teaching private lessons, I highly recommend Cary Sheldon for voice lessons. She's great with teens. My daughter, who's now a college freshman, took lessons from Cary during middle school and early high school. She teaches from her home in North Berkeley and can be reached at sheldon-hanes@sbcglobal.net. anon
My daughter and several friends of hers take voice lessons with Erica Maier. She is several blocks from the downtown Berkeley bart on Channing. She is wonderful with teens, and has also been the musical director for several teen musicals. We just love her. Her phone number is 510-225-5380. Ellen Ellen Adler
Cary Sheldon is an excellent voice teacher for teens. My daughter and many of her friends have taken voice from her and they love her. She's in North Berkeley and you can reach her at 510-843-9687. Sarah
For Voice Lessons, I very highly recommend Ann Moss. She has unfortunately moved to El Cerrito, but she picks up her students from the BART to bring to her home for lessons. My daughter has been taking Voice from her for several years. Ann is not only an incredibly accomplished singer, she is also a wonderful young woman. I feel like I'm getting two for the price of one: voice lessons, and a very healthy, happy, pleasant young woman (late 20's) that my daughter feels very comfortable with and loves to talk to. Ann herself is an opera singer, but teaches anything, she teaches my daughter jazz, but there's a group of young guys in a rock band that have sometimes been before her! Prices are reasonable. Her email is voiceclass@gmail.com webpage: http://annmoss.googlepages.com/ Rhoda
For anyone looking for a voice teacher who works with typical and special needs kids,teens, and adults, I can highly recommend Ayelet Cohen. Her number is 510-684-3323, and she teaches in Berkeley. She is trained in opera and classical music, but will work with other musical styles too. My daughter is 19 and has Autism Spectrum Disorder and is cognitively challenged as well. When we started with Ayelet a few years ago, my daughter could not sing on key, and it was painful to listen to. So we started her on voice lessons. Ayelet is sooooo patient and treats her students with the utmost respect. My daughter actually sings on key now and loves her lessons! Lisa M.

Lamorinda voice teacher for 12-year-old

March 2007

Can anybody recommend a voice teacher for a 12 year old girl (and also for an adult, as I may do this also!)?? I live in the Lamorinda area, and would like to stay within a half hour drive. Many thanks!


I can highly recommend my wonderful voice teacher, Phoebe Sorgen (528-9428), who lives in Berkeley. She's a very supportive, experienced teacher, with a wide range of techniques. She is with familiar with many styles of singing, although we have been concentrating on opera for several years. She works well with teens, also. And she herself has a beautiful voice, which adds to my enjoyment of our work together! A very satisfied student
I was referred to Ruth Onstadt in Lafayette by the mother of a girl (now in college) with an incredible voice. My child lost interest, so I never called her, but she came highly recommended. I was told that she does a great job explaining to students how to breathe, etc. so they don't hurt their voices. Her phone number is 253-0929 and her e- mail address is onstadt[at]aol.com Mom of teen in Contra Costa Co.

Singing teacher for teen

Jan 2007

My teen would like to begin lessons with a singing teacher. She absolutely loves to sing, and does it constantly, and fantasizes that she will do this professionally at some point but has never had a lesson in her life. We need someone who has a gentle approach, but will evaluate her potential honestly. Someone with pop/hip hop/teen music-type performance leanings, hopefully looking for names


My son's piano teacher,Heather Ross, also teaches singing. I took singing lessons with her myself for a while. She is quite kind and encouraging. You can reach her at hrmusiclessons@aol.com. Good luck
Judith Whiting, who teaches privately out of her home in Crockett, and through the El Cerrito Community Theater putting on performances ''Broadway Babies.'' She is great and the kids love her!! anon

2004 - 2006 Recommendations


Piano and voice coach for 15-year-old son

Oct 2006

My 15 year old son is interested in taking voice and piano lessons to enhance his future career as a rock musician! He took piano lessons a few years ago, so has some piano background, but would like more keyboard training. He plays guitar, writes and composes songs, and would like voice training. Any suggestions in North Berkeley? This can be the same teacher or different ones. Preferably, we'd like lessons at home, but this is not a requirement.Any suggestions? musical mom musical mom


Ellen Hoffman is a FABULOUS piano teacher and voice coach. Especially that your son likes to write music...Ellen is patient, REALLY FUN and sparks the creativeness in people. She doesn't teach voice technique as much as performance coaching....best key, stance, projection, attitude, etc. Ellen is also director of the Berkeley Broadway Singers choral group, writes music, directs, teaches, etc. Her e-mail is ellenlouisehoffman[at]sbcglobal.net She's on Cornell and Hopkins in. Bkly. Have fun June
I would recommend Bryan Dyer as a voice and piano coach. He is an amazing human being and would be a wonderful influence in any teenager's life. He can also connect students with other talented young teens around the Bay Area through Young Performers International, as well as offer extraordinary opportunities for public performance in venues such as Yoshi's Jazz Club in Oakland, Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, and for Bread&Roses in Marin. You can reach Bryan at ypimusic[at]yahoo.com, see pictures of him working with teens at www.youngperformersintl.org, or find out more about his life as a professional musician at www.sovoso.com. leela

Voice teacher for 15-year-old girl

Sept 2006

Looking for a voice teacher for 15-year old girl. Pop, rock, theater preferred. Want someone who enjoys young people and is good with relationships, interested in mentoring. We already know about the jazz school. Diana


I would recommend Sunshine Becker. A highly accomplished musician in her own right (Sunshine sings with SoVoSo, a well-known Bay Area vocal band that is a spin-off Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra), Sunshine is warm, vibrant, knowledgeable, and a gifted teacher. She cares deeply about her students, understands young people, and the progress I have seen her students make in just one year of study is positively jaw-dropping. In addition, Sunshine will be able to connect your daughter to a whole network of young musicians her age, and provide opportunities to perform in prestigious Bay Area venues including Yoshi's, San Francisco City Hall, and for Bread&Roses in Marin. Your daughter can try out a lesson before signing up for a whole series to see if it is a good match. You can contact Sunshine at 510.507.SONG or at www.sovoso.com Leela

Singing group for teens

Oct 2005

Does anyone know of a singing group for teens that focuses on show tunes, jazz, R+B? My 15 year old has never wanted to join a traditional chorus as that is not the music she loves to sing. I hear the Berkeley Broadway singers don't take teens but maybe there is another group like them out there. Prefer Berkeley/Oakland area. Mom of a budding diva


To parents unable to find a singing group where teens sing Broadway, jazz and R&B, I propose that you think about starting one. I have been a member of the Berkeley Broadway Singers since it started. In fact, it didn't begin as a large chorus doing public concerts. It started as an idea in the living room of some people with little or no musical training. They wanted to sing and have fun. They found a dozen or so other inexperienced singers and a musician/choral director to work with them. I'm not suggesting that it's easy to get something like this going, but I would be happy to share my experience with anyone who's interested. Nancy
You might check out the Broadway Babies program at Contra Costa Civic Theater in El Cerrito. It's a class that does Broadway music and teaches performance and audition. There may be a teen class.

I also heard an 8-girl ''a cappella'' group do jazz, pop and blues in the Albany Community Center last year. Can't remember the event-- a school fundraiser? It wasn't a school-based group. You might be able to ask and find out where it's based-- SF Girl's chorus offshoot? Albany parent


dear mom of budding diva, sunshine becker, of sovoso (www.sovoso.com) is working with a group of talented teen singers through YPI (young performersintl.org) the idea behind this group is to develop a group of dedicated, talented middle and high school aged singers in the east bay who want to perform both as a group and as soloists in ypi concerts all around the bay area. sunshine is an extraordinary and gifted teacher whose students progress with astonishing rapidity in both confidence and professionality.

group classes run $40/class, individual lessons are $75/hr. financial aid is available for low-income students who show exceptional promise.

sunshine's student's have performed at yoshi's in oakland, ted's in marin, and slim's and yerba buena gardens in san francisco under the auspices of YPI (www.youngperformersintl.org ), a bay area music school that draws some of the most talented young singers and musicians from all over the bay area, and as far away as santa rosa, sacramento and edmonton, canada. if you have any questions, please call leela at 415 420 2960. Leela


Singing lessons for a teen

Sept 2005

I am looking for a singing teacher for my 15 year old daughter who is an actress and very interested in musical theater. My daughter has an okay voice, but not a great range. She needs someone who is okay teaching someone who is new to voice lessons, open to teaching someone at a beginning level, and likes musical theater. We live in Montclair, and I'd love it if it could be someone not too far away. Any suggestions? Barbara


My son's piano teacher (Heather Ross: hrmusiclessons AT aol.com) also gives singing lessons. I know that she has several young students (voice and piano) as well as adults students, and I think that she has performed in musical theatre herself. As a piano teacher, I find her to be quite patient, encouraging and sensitive to my sons interests and pace of learning. She lives in Berkeley, teaches from her home but will also teach at the student's home, too. I highly recommend her. Good luck! Ruth
Try Melanie O'Reilly, who teaches out of Harmony Road Music School at Piedmont Piano Company. She is great with teens, and very strong in musical theater. You can get referred to her by calling the Music School office at 510- 652-1222. Kathy
You might try Erika Lee-Uribe Phone: 530-0842... she has taught our daughter piano for 7 years but also teaches voice. She is a skilled teacher and musician with her degree in teaching music. She is young and enthusiastic and wants all the kids to enjoy the music in their own way. Located in the Mormon Temple Area which is close to Montclair. Tell her JM Drew referred you.
My fourteen-year-old daughter has been really inspired by her voice lessons with Scarlett Hepworth, who is fairly new to the Bay Area. Scarlett has taught her a great deal in a short time, and yet kept the joy in singing. Her contact information is below.
Phone: 510-601-1015
Email: scarletthepworth@gmail.com
conveniently located near Piedmont Avenue 
Siobhan

Voice lessons for 12 year-old drama enthusiast

Feb 2005

Hi, I'm looking for voice coaching for my daughter, who loves drama. She's very good with gestures, dancing, and facial expression, but could use and says that she would like some work with her voice - singing, projecting, diction. We're open to group and private lessons - the main thing is that the teacher be both skilled and fun. Thanks.


I bet Judy Whiting would be a good match for your daughter. She's run the ''Broadway Babies'' program at CCCT for years. She's sung on Broadway, I think. She teaches private lessons. Her number is 787-2504. Mother of a drama queen
I highly recommend Regina Pontillo for anyone with a dramatic bent seeking voice lessons. My 11-year-old daughter has been doing voice lessons with her--they've been working together for 3 years now--and they work on dramatic aspects as well. Regina is fun, experienced, and multi-talented. She has a beautiful voice, is good at helping kids develop their own voice, and she's great at dramatic and performance arts. Her number is 486-0681. Sara
joey blake, co-founder of oakland's premier a cappella group SoVoSo (from the soul to the voice to the song) and member of bobby mcferrin's voicestra, meets with a few talented 12 year old girls on thursdays at his oakland studio. it is by audition and kids come from as far away as novato to be part of this experience, as joey is a gifted teacher. students who are in this class have performed with the YPI KIDS in golden gate park, yerba buena gardens and slim's in san francisco; for bread & roses in marin; and at yoshi's in oakland. for audition information, please call 415 420 2960, or email ypi2000[at]earthlink.net. for information about upcoming YPI KIDS performances or the ypi summer music camp, please go to www.youngperformersintl.org Leela

Beginning voice teacher for high school student

Mar 2004

Seeking recommendations for a good beginning voice teacher for my daughter, a High School student. We are looking first for an enthusiastic teacher who can teach singing and secondly someone versed in a-capella technique and repertoire, and could possibly instruct a girls a-capella group. Kensington/Berkeley area preferable.


My 13-yr-old daughter recently began voice lessons at the Berkeley Rep Theatre School. Her teacher is Joanne Seelig, who she absolutely loves. Joanne's speciality is musical theatre, but she offered to other types of music if that is what we wanted. She can be contacted at: ''Joanne M. Seelig'' jseelig AT berkeleyrep.org Marcia
I would like to highly, highly recommend a fabulous piano and voice teacher, Ellen Hoffman. Amongst many things, Ellen is director of the Berkeley Broadway Singers choral group, arranges music, composes, directs various other musical groups and teaches privately. She is a brilliant, talented musician, an absolutely fabulous, fun and patient teacher and an wonderfully kind and great person to boot. Ellen happens to have some openings right now for new students in either piano or voice, or both, younger or older, beginning or more advanced. I can't more highly recommend her. Her e-mail is ellenhoff AT aol.com, her phone number is 524-6220. June
Laura Kakis Serper directs a small high school girls a capella group called Kalones (Greek for ''Beauties''), as part of the Kairos Youth Choir. She is a wonderful teacher. Call 486-8776. Natasha

2003 & Earlier


Voice and guitar teacher for 11 year old beginner

March 2002

Hi, Can anyone recommend a good teacher of voice and guitar (singing and playing) for an adult and an 11 year old beginner? Thanks


I don't know how close you may be to Pleasant Hill, but my sister who lives there (Erika Vergeer-More) teaches voice lessons and her husband (Chuck More) teaches guitar lessons. They are both very experienced, play/sing a wide variety of musical styles, and work well with young people. I know they are both very upbeat, encouraging teachers. They teach on the weekend as well as during the week. If you are interested, you can contact them at evmore AT attbi DOT com --Gwen

Voice lessons for 16-year-old

November 1999

Hi, My daughter wants to take voice lessons very badly. Can anyone recommend someone? She is 16, sings pretty well already. This is going to be one of her Christmas presents. Thanks.


Regarding voice lessons, try calling the SF Girl's Chorus at 415-673-1511. I'm sure they can recommend some good voice teachers.
In my opinion, the very best person for teaching children and grown-ups voice and music theory is Marcelle Dronkers at 526-5425. She is a fabulous opera singer and talented, enthusiastic teacher. She has taught my very active 5 year son 1 hour a week for over one year and he loves her dearly. She teaches from her home in Kensington
I took voice lessons from Madi Bacon in Berkeley, 848-5354. I haven't seen her for years, and she was rather advanced in years when I knew her, so I don't know if she's still teaching. If not, she may be able to recommend someone. She's a real pro, and a bit of a character, and a wonderful teacher. linda
Larry Marietta, the Music Director at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, is an extraordinary voice teacher for teenagers and adults. You can reach him at the church, 848-3696.
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