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Music

The top 10 singing lessons in Toronto

Posted by Naomi Grosman / August 19, 2014

singing lessons torontoSinging lessons in Toronto will help you tap into that instrument you carry around with you every day. No, not the spoons, you tramp, you - your voice. Whether you want to make it big, front a band, try out for a musical, or just get the confidence you need to rock that karaoke night proper by hitting every note of Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You, you have a lot of choices for vocal coaches in Toronto.

Here are my picks for where to take singing lessons in Toronto.

Ori Dagan
Want to hone your vocal skills with Toronto's finest? Voted "Best Male Vocalist" in 2013 by Now, Ori Dagan, often blends his unique jazz vocals to well known pop tunes and can scat (that boop, deep, da, sounds your hear in classic jazz tunes) like no other. Beyond singing, Ori also teaches improvisational skills for those more theatrically inclined. Contact him through his website.

Canada Music Academy
Practice singing in your own living room or, if you're feeling confident enough to sing outside the comfort of your own home, meet for studio lessons. Rates are totally affordable, starting at around $25 per hour. It's also super easy to register, go online, choose a teacher and location and like that, you can take your first steps towards singing stardom. Don't hesitate, visit their website to sign up.

Singer's Edge
Is a one-on-one lesson not exciting enough for you? Take lessons with Singer's Edge and you can have a choice of settings like group lessons and even rocking out with a band. When you feel like you're ready, they can set up a live performance for you to show off your favourite new skill. Prices range from $80 monthly and there are over 10 membership plans to choose from.

Susan Dunstan
Susan Dunstan invites all; beginners to professionals, to join her in her Beaches studio for one-on-one sessions where you can finally belt those high notes you long for - belting is her specialty. Get a bang for your buck buy paying $60 for an hour, but if an hour of belting seems like too much for you to handle at first, you can get a 30 minute class for $35 dollars.

Allegro Music
Better known as a music store, Allegro Music also offers a wide variety of music lessons, including singing. They pride themselves in hiring only teachers who can share their passion for music and have a degree in music. Vocal teachers have a variety of backgrounds in singing, including classical and jazz. Lessons are $27 for 30 minutes, there is no registration fee and no contract, allowing you to make this experience as long or as short as you would like.

Jennifer Taverner
Award-winning soprano, Jennifer Taverner has lent her voice to top classical works like Bizet's Carmen and Fauré's Requiem, and now she can teach you the techniques that allow her to grace the stage with confidence and style. Visit her website to contact her.

Rita di Ghent
Did anyone say jazz? Rita di Ghent's portfolio consists of jazz tunes, both her own and the classics, and she is eager to pass on her expertise. Contact her via email, groovecanada@gmail.com for more information on private tutoring and visit her website to explore the wonderful world of Rita.

Elite Music Academy
The possibilities are endless with the Elite Music Academy. They teach all the genres in the book from pop, hip-hop to R&B and the best part is, you can get a trial lesson for only $20. If you want to get ready to show off, they'll help you reach your goal of actually singing in front of an audience. Fall semester starts in just over two weeks on September 1st, but new students are welcome at any time.

Elaine Overholt and Big Voice Studios
If you have a star-like quality, you might want to choose a teacher who is used to working with shining bright supernovas. Elaine Overholt has worked with Richard Gere and Hairspray's (2007) Nikki Blonsky. She even started her own reality TV series "Big Voice" which aired on The Oprah Winfrey Network. Her studio, located in the east end, offers private lessons as well as workshops, rates start at $85 per hour.

Voice Yourself Singing Lessons
Let Valerie Bastien at Voice Yourself Singing Lessons help guide you through the murky waters of vocal techniques. You can get a free vocal assessment on her website and, for all those perfectionist types, study techniques on her YouTube channel to get tips before stepping into her studio. Valerie accepts beginners and intermediates alike.

Writing by Naomi Grosman. Photo by Marc Hodges in the blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

7 Comments

Trish / August 19, 2014 at 08:35 pm
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What an utter travesty this list is.

I would choose a hamburger from a top 10 list but never a singing teacher (or, for that matter, a therapist or a husband).

What vocal style are we talking about? Bel canto operatic technique? Jazz? Musical theatre?

How much did music schools pay to be on this list?

Utterly embarrassing and not up to BlogTO standards at all.
nutuk / August 19, 2014 at 09:30 pm
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I wouldhave to agree with Trish, this isnt accurate at all.
Sheila / August 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm
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Ok, so then who would you put on a list then??
Steve / August 19, 2014 at 11:50 pm
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Does this writer know every single person of repute who teaches or coaches singing in the entirety of Toronto? Is this truly an informed list? How about David Dunbar? John Hughes? Susan Cuthbert? Adrian Marchuk? Scott Pietrangelo? Donna Garner? Michael Barber? Chris Tsujiuchi? Wayne Gwillim? Noreen Weibel? There's a other ten right there... Go through the list of teachers at the Randolph Academy or the Sheridan musical theatre program, there will be another ten right there. You can't rank them like this. They all teach the same techniques in different ways to try to relate to different people and their needs. FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU, not because of lists like this or flashy websites.
Brandon Brophy / August 20, 2014 at 02:53 am
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I will admit that I'm the owner of Singer's Edge, listed above, but I had absolutely no idea or had any influence over BlogTo including us in this list. I would like to throw my two cents to this debate adding that all of the coaches that have been listed in the comments so far are amazing, renowned experts in musical theatre and classical singing, but would probably not be the best instructors for students interested in pop or rnb style, which I think is what BlogTo is writing to. I think this list is a fair representation of the average singer looking to have fun at karaoke and maybe try their luck in the recording studio or at open mic nights.
Trish replying to a comment from Sheila / August 20, 2014 at 09:51 am
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Sheila, what Steve says below - plus Russell Braun, Mary Morrison, Monica Whicher, Jean MacPhail, Joel Katz, Stuart Graham. But we've covered mostly classical and musical theatre teachers. As Brandon says the person who hastily compiled this blog (probably via a fast Google search rather than actual research/knowledge) may have been thinking more of pop or R&B.

There are tons of good teachers in this city. But you would never pick one from a top 10 list. You'd need to know a little bit more about what you were looking for. What type of singing do you want to do? What is the teaching style of the individual teacher?

You would do some research (talk to people who had studied with different teachers or knew something about the vocal style you want to work in and knew a number of teachers of that vocal technique by reputation; find out about different teachers and their credentials), then go and meet several teachers, maybe book a single lesson with two or three of them and see how you feel about the experience. (You will not be transformed by a single lesson. The acquisition of a good vocal technique takes years of good teaching and daily practice. But you will at least find out whether you click with the person, whether you feel respectfully treated, what some of the basic tenets of their teaching are.)

It's not so much that the teachers on this list are all bad (some are quite good, I'm told) but that the entire idea of a "top 10" list for vocal teachers is ridiculous. It's the wrong approach entirely. BlogTO looking to fill space, I assume.
Trish replying to a comment from Sheila / August 20, 2014 at 09:52 am
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Oops - not "below" but "above" - I thought my comment was going to appear immediately below Sheila's as a reply to it and Steve and Brandon's comments would be lower down the chain. Anyway, you know what I mean.

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