dan lawler

A Conversation With... the NYC Vocal Studio!

Please welcome our newest sponsor…the NYC Vocal Studio! We sat down with them to have a chat about why they’re awesome.

External image

(Kevin Michael Murphy, Dan Lawler, Molly McCarthy-Egan)

What is the NYC Vocal Studio?
The NYC Vocal Studio is a group of voice teachers who specialize in musical theater and pop/rock voice lessons for all levels. It was started by me (Kevin Michael Murphy), and my wonderful friend and colleague, Molly McCarthy-Egan back in 2011. We added Dan Lawler to the group in 2012, and recently added the repertoire and vocal coach Andre Catrini to the family! Our goal with this studio is to create a supportive environment for our students to grow, and introduce them to a solid foundation of technique that is applicable to the types of singing that are most prevalent on Broadway today.  

Your catchphrase is “find your voice.”  What does that mean to you?
It is our belief that you can’t teach from a cookbook. When taking voice lessons with the NYC Vocal Studio, we look at you and see you. Each singer has a different voice with different goals, and we tailor our lessons to meet those goals. 
We also feel that as a singer, it is really easy to get bogged down with material for auditions and performances. We encourage our students to also keep working on material that they love singing for themselves. It’s so easy to forget the joy that we all had when we first started making music, and it is our belief that keeping in touch with this passion is the best way to truly find what you as an artist bring to the table.

How is your approach to the voice different from other singing teachers?
First of all, we strive to create a warm, supportive environment for our students. Secondly, we focus on the concept of top-down singing. By finding a lighter higher quality to the top of the voice and bringing that placement down to lower notes, we have found that our students have more confidence in singing higher notes, all the while smoothing out the breaks in their voices.  
To explain it another way: If chest voice is black, and head voice is white, we believe all singing should be various shades of grey. The more colors and options you have as a singer, the more artistic choices you can make!
At the NYC Vocal Studio, we believe that all types of singing are centered around the basic fundamentals of breath and resonance. Whether it’s Rodgers and Hammerstein or Pat Benatar, Andrew Lippa or Maroon 5, we help our students sing repertoire during their voice lessons in a manner that is consistently productive and without strain or effort.

What are your backgrounds?
All of our teachers have Master’s degrees in voice, and have specifically studied vocal pedagogy (the practice of teaching singing involving an intimate knowledge of the physiology of the human voice). We are graduates of NYU, Ithaca College, Carnegie Mellon, and CCM. As teachers we are all members of the NY Singing Teachers Association, and NATS (The National Association of Teachers of Singing). We have also taught at colleges and schools in and around the NYC area for the past 10 years. All of our teachers are also active performers, so we know the problems and issues facing singers today firsthand.  

As listener of The Ensemblist, how would I know if I’m a good fit for NYC Vocal Studio? What kind of students do you guys typically work with?
We love working with all types and levels of singers on musical theater, and pop/rock repertoire. From complete beginners who just want to have more confidence singing karaoke to high school students auditioning for college programs, to singer/songwriters wanting to get through their next gig without getting hoarse to Broadway professionals working to keep their voices in shape, we can help!
If you don’t live in the NYC area, we also offer voice lessons via Skype! Isn’t technology great?

If you are looking to improve your mix, feel more confident with high notes, build your audition book, or just build confidence while singing in the shower, we’d love to sing with you! Check us out!