Voice Teachers for Children

Parent Q&A

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  • Singing for 7 year old girl

    (3 replies)

    I am having a difficult time finding a singing opportunity for my 7 year old (2nd grade) daughter.  We live in Oakland and have after school until 6 during the week.  And can't do Crowden's Saturday morning time.  Other non-church options for the weekends (especially Sundays)? Thanks!

    Pacific Boychoir Academy now has a girls afterschool choir.

    See http://www.pacificboychoir.org/OurChoirs

    Its on Tuesdays from 4:15-6:15 and the choir leader is wonderful.

    The excellent program includes music theory training.

    My son has participated for 5 years!

    Check out Oakland Youth Chorus. It's a great organization.

    San Francisco Girls' Chorus has a program at Crowden, although it's also on Saturdays, just a little later in the morning. Not sure if that would work any better than the Crowden chorus time. Generally, we found that everything was either Saturday mornings or weekday afternoons, so I think if you want to do it longterm you need to make one or the other of those work with your family's schedule. Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir and Pacific Boy Choir (which also has a girls' choir) both have weekday afternoon practices; Oakland Youth Chorus is a little later in the afternoon. We determined that the only way to really make it work was to pick up early on a weekday, which may or may not be an option for you. You might also look into whether there's enough interest at your school to start an afterschool choir program. 

  • Hi all - my 11 year old son loves to sing. However, his voice is just average and he probably won't get into a singing program for kids with talent in this area. He just adores music and loves to sing, and doesn't get a ton of opportunity at his school. We'd really like to encourage this interest because we believe singing is a skill that can be learned, but searching all over I'm having a tough time finding a program that sounds right. I should add that he took "chorus" for a few weeks at one point and just hated it, because they sang scales and not songs. TIA ...

    I recommend Pacific Boychoir Academy, their afterschool program.  Nobody's voice is "average" when it comes to choir.  My son's voice was called "amazing" by the director of that program, but then my son was most happy when he was able to truly "blend" with other boys who were singing the same part with him.  That's what makes singing in a choir one, the experience of singing together.  

    Try it out, I think your son will like it!  Mine graduated from PBA's day program, and is now at the Oakland School for the Arts, in their vocal program.

    Hope you and your son find something he enjoys!

    Check out the Oakland Youth Chorus- http://oaklandyouthchorus.org

    My daughter has been going for years and loves it. The songs are really fun, they get to perform at least twice a year, plus they incorporate music education as well.

    Not positive he is accepting more students at this time, but Alex Taite is a great young music teacher who teaches both voice and piano. Call 510 504 9409.

    Pacific Boychoir Academy has after-school choirs for many levels and abilities. They definitely sing songs and have lots of fun at the same time... Your son's loving to sing (plus an average ability to hear pitch and rhythm) will be perfect for this program and vice versa!

  • B-boxing mentor for 6 year old?

    (1 reply)

    Hi. Independent & verbal 6 year old boy seeks beatboxing mentor. Anyone out there able and willing? Located in vicinity of Richmond, El Cerrito, Albany. many thanks. 

    Stop by MVMNT in Berkeley and ask if they know anyone. I've only been there once (to pick up a friend's kid), but it is a wonderfully welcoming space that teaches breakdancing classes, among other things. The people there are great connectors, so I bet they know someone who can mentor a budding beatboxer. Good luck with your search. Here's a link for MVMNT: http://www.mvmnt.co/breakin

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Questions Related Pages

Basic singing lessons for tuneless 8 year old

June 2012

I have an 8-year-old daughter who loves to sing. But she can't sing on key, and it's slowly driving me mad. I don't think she even hears she's out of tune. Is there someone who can help? We have NEVER told her she's off key, so she's not self-conscious about it. She actually says she'd enjoy singing lessons, she just doesn't know why we're asking her about them ... Looking for a teacher from Berkeley northward. anon

Cary Sheldon is a great singing teacher in Berkeley. caryannalia [at] gmail.com I (Professor Sludge) am a music teacher but not a singing teacher per se. However I'm good at helping people find their singing notes by learning melodies on an instrument - guitar, piano, etc. and then matching their singing to the notes they're playing. I sing a lot, and in bands I've always sung the odd harmonies because I'm good at finding the more difficult notes. My belief is that anyone can be taught to hold a tune. It may take a lot of patience and proceeding very slowly, (and the singer must be willing to put in the effort), but it can be done! Eric

I know the perfect person for your daughter! Michele Voilleque teaches people to sing and she is so fun and playful and funny and sweet that your daughter will love it. Michele won't judge her, but will take her from where she is and gently guide her into tunefulness. Her motto is ''if it's not play, it's not working'', which is just how she is. She is near the Colusa Circle, so very convenient too. It'll be so wonderful when you finally get to enjoy your daughter's singing, while she's enjoying herself too! Cynthia

There is an organization called Pacific Collegium that offers singing and violin lessons with the idea that playing the notes helps with singing the notes and vice-versa. While the singing program is only open to boys, the violin program is open to girls and currently has another girl in it about the age of your daughter. You need to be willing to go a bit farther south to St Paul's Episcopal Church near Lake Merritt, but it is an amazing program and Erika Miranda does a great job with the string program. Call 510 473 7736 for info.

Vocal lessons for 8 year old

Dec 2011

My daughter, 8 years old, is in a choir (multi-lingual) and I am looking for a vocal coach near north Berkeley who works with children. Thank you.

An enthusiastic recommendation for Michele Voilleque, http://www.mvmusik.com/mvmusik.com/Home.html Michele is the director of the Youth and Children's Choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, is a wonderful singer herself, has two children of her own, and is fun, compassionate, and a wonderful teacher. Albany Dad

Contact Michele Voilleque, a voice teacher with a lot of experience teaching children to sing. She lives and works in North Berkeley. Phone is 510.552.8160 or email singermv [at] gmail.com David

Voice lessons for child who is not a ''natural''

Dec 2011

My daughter is 6 and she loves to sing. She is not naturally musical but she loves it, and I believe she has the capacity to learn and improve and hopefully achieve some degree of competence. I am interested in recommendations for lessons or teachers who focus on kids like this. I'd be looking for someone who knows how to encourage kids to develop some of the musical awareness and voice control that come naturally to others, and who could understand why someone might want to work on a skill set that is not among their natural strengths. I imagine most music teachers are naturally musical people, so I'm thinking it's the unusual one who *gets* the non-natural and can meet them where they are. Anon

Michele Voilleque is a natural at connecting with people, playing with them and making singing fun and natural-feeling without judgement. She goes for the joy of singing while teaching how to find the notes. Definitely give her a call at 510-552-8160 or email at singermv

Voice lessons for 10 year old girl

Dec 2011

My daughter will be auditioning of OSA in February and I would like to hire a voice teacher to help her prepare for her audition. If you have any recommendations around the Berkeley area please forward them to me. Thanks so much! mc

I highly recommend Michele Voilleque of MVMusik.com She has worked with at least one other girl who was accepted to OSA a few years ago. She is terrific at building rapport with kids (and adults)! Lisa

My daughter is now in college majoring in voice but before that her voice teacher was Erica Maier d Ambrosio ( Trinity voice studio) in Berkeley near San Pablo and Gilman.She is very kind and encourging and my daughter and I like her very much.My daughter got so much out of these voice lessons and her singing improved greatly. Ellen

My 8 year old daughter has been taking weekly singing, voice lessons for almost a year now with Lauren Woody, a lyric soprano. You can read about her bio etc. on her web site: http://www.laurenwoody.com/; what I can add here is that she is very nice and fun and that my daughter *loves* her lessons with Lauren and is looking forward to them every week, for both, I think, Laurenb0506>Voice teacher for 9-year-old in Lamorinda s professionalism and her personality. She is very good with children; she understands what my daughter likes and is accommodating to that, while at the same time teaching her music and singing fundamentals. She is giving us what I always hope to find in a learning experience for my children (and myself): joy and real, fundamental learning. Barbara (510) 704 9456

[Editor note Nov 2016:  Regina Pontillo passed away in 2012]

I want to recommend our amazing music teacher in North Berkeley (near Cedar Rose park). Her name is Regina Pontillo and she is a gifted preforming jazz musician who teaches beginners to advanced level vocals, piano, guitar and ukulele. She has been teaching my 13 years old son piano and my 11 year old daughter guitar for the last three years and they adore her. But I know she also has a vocal group for girls. She is fun, engaged, and finds the best way to communicate with each child according to his/her temperament and music preferences. Last summer they spent a whole month on a summer camp she led, where the children filmed the original Willy Wonka movie. This included learning script, preparing art work, dancing, singing . . . It was so creative and they had so much fun all day, and Regina was great in giving them a fun, warm, family-like feeling. Her phone numbers are: 510-558-8960,510-332-2150. Nona

Voice teacher for a 10 year old

Aug 2011

I am looking for recommendations for a fun voice teacher for my daughter who loves singing contemporary pop music and musical theater. Any recs in the Berkeley/North Oakland area? Thanks! mom

Erica Maier is a great voice teacher - she works on Gilman and is good with all ages. She's at (510)225-5380 anon

Michele Voilleque is a voice teacher in North Berkeley, a great music educator, and a lot of fun to work with. She has a lot of experience teaching singing to children. Her contact information is on her website, http://mvmusik.com/mvmusik.com/Home.html Please feel to contact me if you want more information. David Ourisman ourisman [at] yahoo.com

Our 14 y.o. is really enjoying Michele Voilleque: http://www.mvmusik.com/mvmusik.com/Home.html We find her lovely, with reasonable fees, and a very user- friendly website which allows us to book appointments over the computer. She's in a great location in Berkeley/Kensington right near the Kensington Circle, and Solano Ave. Beryle

Does anybody know great voice teacher Berkeley?

Oct 2010

Does anybody know a great voice or vocal coach for children and teens in the Berkeley area?

Michelle Voilleque is a exceptional voice teacher. I take singing with another teacher, but would use her in a second. She is accomplished and very fun at the same time. suzanne arca

I am pleased to recommend Kathy Post as a voice teacher for teenagers. I don't think she works with kids under 12, but she is great with teens. She is very encouraging and warm. She uses lots of different techniques to help people get in touch with their bodies which you need when you are singing. I am very self conscious about singing in front of people, but Kathy's open and encouraging style put me at ease. She teaches during the day out of her house. You can reach her on her cell at 684- 4684. Laila

ERica Maier D'Ambrosio is fantastic and located right off of gilman. She does a lot of work with kids and teenagers. (510) 225-5380 anon

The person you want to call is Michele Voilleque. Michele is one of a kind. She gave our daughter confidence in herself. Helped her explore her passion for singing and get accepted to Oakland School of the Arts. She is gentle, fun, positive and above all, incredibly professional. Her contact info: mvmusik [at] earthlink.net www.mvmusik.com 510-552-8160 Yaron

I HIGHLY recommend Tamsen Fynn. She is very skilled, dynamic and professional, and a lot of fun. If you want any details contact 415 302 6257 tamsenfynn [at] yahoo.com She charges $60 an hour or $40 for 1/2 hour. She also co-leads a singing circle on Thu nights at The Freight & Salvage. She can teach in her home or at The Freight & Salvage. Kristen

Voice teacher for 9-year-old in Lamorinda

May 2006

I am looking for a super nice voice teacher for my 9 year old daughter in the Lamorinda area. She is a bit shy and a beginner. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks. rachel

Diana Partovi (dpartovi [at] comcast.net) just started giving voice lessons out of her home in Lafayette. A couple of my daughter's friends are taking lessons from her and I've heard great things. Plus, she is singer for a band that I've seen a couple of times - she has a great voice, is very patient and loving with children (she also helps coach my daughter's Odyssey of the Mind team), is upbeat and full of energy. If my daughter were interested, I'd definitely send her to Diana. Kristen

Earlier Reviews of Childrens' Voice Teachers

Dec 2000

I heartily recommend Mary Triest. She teaches voice and piano, adults and kids, male and female. She has a warm manner and kids love her. She has taught me, my daughter, and I have recommended her to lots of friends. She is in Oakland off Lakeshore and her number is 836-0295. Feel free to tell her I gave you her name. Dawn

August 2000

For the girl that wants to sing: We love my daughter's singing teacher, Marcelle Dronkers. She teaches kids of all ages. She is a wonderful positive force in my daughter's life. She really makes music fun. Jenifer

If your daughter likes to sing, consider having her audition for the SF Girl's chorus, which is a world renowned organization. The chorus has 4 levels in the chorus school and 2 advanced levels. They perform all over the Bay Area in local events, including Willie Brown happenings, and have appeared in some movies. Chorissima, one of the advanced levels, travels to other countries, Japan, Europe. There are auditions in Fall and Spring. Call the chorus to find out when the next audition will be - 415-673-1511. One of the best things about chorus is that it keeps your daughter busy and safe, which is great for teens. Toby

I've recommended Suzy Yu's music studio before, and I'll do so again in response to Rona's query. Suzy teaches classical voice and piano, is both rigorous and nurturing, and has done wonders for the musical talents of our eleven-year old. She's in Berkeley and her number is 558-1310. Julia

I like Lisa Houston. She is near Star Grocery in Berkeley. 428-2238

My daughter has just graduated from the Kairos Youth Choir, founded and directed by Laura Kakis, and I recommend it highly. It meets two afternoons a week, now at Hillside School (Berkeley Montessori), from 4-6, and offers astonishing opportunities and wonderful training in classical and international music as well as original compositions. Kids are 8 to 15 (boys with unchanged voices only), with a new high school girls ensemble forming this fall. Some of the staff also give private lessons. I would be glad to talk to any parents with questions about Kairos. Sally

Ellen Hoffman, pianist and host of Singers' Open Mike at Anna's Restaurant, teaches vocal jazz lessons. She also is the music director for Berkeley Broadway Singers. She is a joy to work with and lots of fun. Her phone number is 524-6220. Lisa