Frequently Asked Questions
What will I learn at the Bergen Bel Canto Voice Studio?
My technique for teaching voice is based on the principals of Italian Bel Canto or beautiful singing, a healthy starting point for singing any style of music.
You will learn diaphragmatic breathing, how to use your abdominal muscles to support the singing voice, and also how to sing without tension and upon the resonance, in order to create a beautiful tone. You will learn the principal of “centricity” in which the singer manipulates the resonators into the proper shape for the higher and lower tones to eliminate staining and reaching for the extremes of the range.
You will become skilled at learning and memorizing music accurately and securely to promote confidence during performance.
You will learn how to apply techniques that reduce stage fright
You will find out how use your personality to bring a song to life.
You will study acting techniques that really work for singers.
You will be trained in the proper diction for the repertoire you sing and how to use clear diction for expressive purposes and when to relax the diction in some styles of music. Lori Joachim Fredrics is highly skilled in German, Italian and French diction and can help you sing accurately in these languages as well as in English.
Are singing lessons for me?
Not everyone responds well to singing lessons. Some talented natural singers are unable or unwilling to change their habits and learn new ways of doing things. Depending on your goals you may not need singing lessons. The studio offers free 1/2 hour consultations whenever scheduling allows so you can learn more about studying voice.
Is Lori the right teacher for me?
The chemistry between teacher and singer must be right in order for lessons to be productive, that is why the studio offers free 1/2 hour consultations whenever there are places in the studio and scheduling allows. There is absolutely no obligation and advice is freely given. Lori is a performer and educator and not a sales person. The atmosphere is relaxed and supportive, but goal orientated. It is the right place for those desiring to become better singers.
Is Lori the right teacher for my child?
Lori has experience teaching professional children in New York and preparing dedicated young people for their Associated Board examinations. If your child has an excellent attention span and has studied an instrument you may consider requesting a consultation. The focus with children is always the longterm healthy development of the voice and the retention of a child’s love for music. Short term goals, in the case of children, must always be secondary. Children who do not naturally belt will not be taught to belt or encouraged to make an adult vocal sound. Lori’s philosophy is that children should use their voices with gentle healthy energy and should be expected to sound like children.
I have developed voice problems from singing incorrectly. Can Lori help me?
Lori Joachim Fredrics has worked extensively in the rehabilitation of the abused voices of Broadway singers. If you have vocal cord polyps or nodules, she will coordinate with your doctor to aid the healing of you voice. If you have had nodules surgically removed they will return unless you change the vocal habits that caused them to form in the first place. Some pre-nodular conditions, and contact ulcers and even some nodes will improve with extensive voice rest followed by correct voice use.
A hoarse, breathy vocal tone may indicate one of the above problems. If such a problem is suspected during a voice consult you may be asked to have an otolaryngologist confirm the diagnosis before commencing lessons. Retraining a voice, rehabilitation or just unlearning bad habits takes more time and effort than simply learning to sing.
Will cigarette smoking damage my voice and hurt my singing career?
Absolutely! Smoke irritates the vocal chords and causes damage to the larynx and to the lungs. Inhalation of tobacco smoke causes susceptibility to colds, bronchitis, throat infections and cancers of the throat, tongue, larynx, and lungs. The music industry and public are quite unforgiving to artists who cancel, so illness is a real career killer. Moreover, all segments of the music industry, and show business are youth orientated and smoking causes skin to age much more rapidly, thus making an artist much less marketable. Top modelling agents know that a 26 year old smoker and a 32 year old who does not expose his or herself to smoke, look about the same age. Smoking is the single worst mistake a young aspiring singer can make. If you want that sultry sound there are technical ways to achieve it.
What kinds of singers study at the studio?
Aspiring singers, veterans desiring re-training and beginners all study here. Whether you are preparing an exam, auditioning for a conservatory, getting ready to go into the studio, auditioning for an agent, desiring to be a better member of your choir or just wanting to become a decent singer, you are welcome.
How experienced is Lori?
Lori has been helping people of all kinds to sing more beautifully for over twenty years.
I can study with someone who charges less why should I spend a bit more for lessons at this studio?
A voice teacher must be able to accurately diagnose your singing in order to help you improve. This requires a highly developed ear and years of experience. Less knowledgeable teachers may just instruct you to do what they have been taught even if your voice is dissimilar and you have technical problems of a different nature.
Lori’s rates are actually much less than the rates of comparable teachers in New York City.
Where is the studio located?
The Lori Joachim Fredrics Voice studio is located in Park Ridge, NJ, about 20 minutes by car from the George Washington Bridge, and less than an hour from midtown Manhattan. The studio is also accessible by NJ Transit trains and via Rockland Coaches bus service, with the trip from Manhattan taking approximately 1:00 - 1:15. Lori also offers online lessons via Facetime, Skype, Zoom or Facebook Messenger for your convenience.
How do I sign up for lessons?