NYC:520 8th Ave Fl 16 between 36th and 37th Streets       SD &SFLocations also avail

 

The only majour studio in NYC to offer a Money Back Guarantee if you’re not happy with your first lesson

  • Our 3 promises to our clients:

    1. Leave each session singing better
    2. Leave each session feeling better emotionally and physically
    3. Learn techniques you won’t learn at other studios.    
  • Both Lothair and Ellie have a perfect 5 star rating across review sites.

    Why?

    Because they both care deeply about the work and their students.

  • Lothair Eaton,teacher

    “Probably the best teacher you can get! He has incredible experience and loves what he is doing.”

    -Victor reviewing Lothair

  • “I learned more in that one hour than I learned the whole time I was with my other instructor.”

    -Randy R reviewing Ellie

  • “Emanates professional positive friendly energy.  Great teacher!”

    -Alexis R reviewing Lothair


  • ”You’ve done more for me in one lesson than all three of my previous teachers the whole time I was studying with them.”

    - Martin L reviewing Ellie

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    “Not only is he a great teacher,he is a wonderful person and brings so much joy to every class.

    “As a naturally shy person,it typically takes me a while to feel comfortable around someone,so I was pleasantly surprised at how effortlessly he made me feel at ease.”

    -Audre reviewing Lothair

  • “Eleonor is the best vocal coach I have had…She teaches you techniques that no one has ever taught me and no one probably even knows about.”

    - Brittany reviewing Ellie

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    Singer-songwriters will feel at home at Singing Lessons NYC.  Bring your guitar or just yourself and learn techniques for singer-singwriter pop and rocks styles!

  • Eleonor improved my skills like no other. I was shocked that she was able to help me improve skills enough to perform live with a choir. Everything from my tone,vocal range,sense of rhythm,and pitch have improved in such a short period of time.  Her techniques are fun,funny,and yet incredibly effective!  I highly recommend.”

    - JP reviewing Ellie

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    Having a hard time delivering songs in a soulful way? Lothair holds an MFA in acting from Carnegie Mellon,the #1 school for drama in the US and brings all that to bear on coaching clients to deliver impactful performances in rock,pop,jazz,blues,classical,and theatre singing.

  • “After just one lesson with Ellie,I had a stronger,more beautiful voice…I learned more about my voice than most of my other teachers taught [me] combined.”

    - Matt D reviewing Ellie

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    “Practicing while following the advice he pointed out during the lesson,I suddenly found myself near 3-octave range within the first couple of lessons...On top of it,he’s also very funny and approachable.”

    - Sak,reviewing Lothair

  • Most coaches just weren’t that effective for me. That is,until I went to Eleonor England.  From the first time I met Ellie,I could tell she was a different kind of coach…about 3-5 minutes into following her instructions,she told me to sing. Whoa. There was a noticeable improvement in my tone and an ease in performance.”

    - Charlie I reviewing Ellie

  • Learn from experienced professionals! Lothair has over 20 years experience as a professional singer,fronting bands,being a primary in a touring company,singing at church services.  He’s also one of the most approachable and supportive teachers you will find.  Even if this is your first excursion singing - and whether you have amateur or professional goals - he will gently guide you.

Singing Lessons NYC

with teachers Lothair Eaton &Eleonor England

::Est 1999 ::

Ellie’s Next San Diego Dates 2/10-2/17,5/13-5/18

Ellie’s Next San Francisco Dates 2/16,5/11,5/19

 

Singing Lesons NYC testimonial with Kate Kim

Video Review:The brilliant Singing Lessons NYC K-Pop star and Superstar K contestant Kate Kim.  Ellie was her first (and only) singing teacher in SF before she was signed by a K-Pop label and moved to South Korea

Welcome back to lessons in Jan 2019!  For those who may be new to the studio,welcome!!

I am so proud to announce that Lothair Eaton is joining our studio!  Lothair is AMAAAAAZE BALLS!  Honestly,check him out here!

We’ve had some great results with former clients going on to nominations/wins/etc at:

  • the GRAMMYs
  • Los Angeles Music Awards
  • Chinese Music Award
  • The Voice,Superstar K
  • #1 album &song charting

We’ve also had amazing results and a lot of fun with beginners developing their voice for recreation or to move into being professional.  Beginners with non-pro goals have:

  • Sang at their own wedding
  • Sang at a proposal
  • Become office karaoke stars
  • Gotten into audition-only choirs and community theatre
  • Gotten the band back together!  :D
  • More

People have also:

  • Made the transition from classical to jazz,pop,or rock without sounding lame AF
  • Learned not to fear singing or speaking
  • Learned singing breathing for general well-being and stress relief
  • Overcome stage fright using mental training techniques

...You get the idea and can read all our reviews,as well.

We love the variety of working with people of all different backgrounds,skill levels,and types of goals.  Working with just pros or just beginners isn’t as fun as getting to work with lots of different people.

Our 3 commitments to you as a person and artist or amateur singer:

  1. You will leave each lesson a better singer or speaker
  2. You will leave each lesson feeling better emotionally and physically than when you walked in
  3. You will learn techniques that you won’t learn at other studios

Our teachers choose to teach because it is actually really thrilling to get to hear the results right away,get to meet people and hear about their hopes and dreams and get to do concrete work toward getting them there - whether it is just to sing better or to cut a cd or make an audition.  We love people and we love dreams and having the chance to work on them with people is a real privilege.

About Studio Owner Ellie

Eleonor England is a NYC jazz vocalist and the owner of Singing Lessons NYC.  She also works as a vocal coach (NYC) for R&B,pop,K-pop,C-pop,I-pop,rock,jazz,blues,soul,and more. All lessons at Singing Lessons NYC are with Elllie so we can control quality and we have voice lessons in NYC 42 weeks a year,as well as a few times a year out of town in San Francisco and San Diego,as well.  Year-round,she takes her California clients via Skype or another online video chat.  Voice lessons in NYC and online voice lessons are available for you public speakers out there to learn how to make your voice sound better.

 

We Offer Something Unique in NYC

This is what makes us unique among NYC voice teachers:

  • We are priced very competitively.  A lot of the studios offering singing lessons in NYC who,like us,have clients nominated for GRAMMYs,winning American Idol and Superstar Kauditions,hosting majour shows like The Voice,and selling felony quantities of records cost between $150+/session.  But that sucks cause at those rates most peope can’t come in that often.  We want you to come in and learn some stuff.  Your skills and success are our resume.
  • We are cost-effective. Many of our clients and past students have left reviews to the effect of one lesson here is more informative and useful than however many lessons/years/months of study at both cheaper and more expensive studios. Check out our reviews for more deets!
  • Just because you’re not a pro vocalist and regardless of whether you want to go pro or just for personal reasons,you’ll get treated the same.  We love our star and pro clients but we also love our amateur clients and just really enjoy meeting diverse people from all over with different relationships to singing.  We have clients who are devoted shower singers through international pop superstars.  It’s the diversity that makes it fun!
  • Ellie &Lothair know what jazz is! Ellie sings it and Lothair grew up around it cause his dad is a famous jazz trumpet player in the Chicago jazz scene. This is especially helpful if you are looking for a jazz vocal coach or are in town for jazz vocal workshops.
  • Almost all clients notice that they learned how to make thier voice sound better in the first lesson.  The first lessons is where you learn how to sing from your diaphragm correctly.  Other ways to sing better and tips to sing better are given at each lesson along the way.  We offer solid technique for all musical styles,which is how to improve your singing voice.
  • Clients who started with us as their first voice lessons went on to do some cool stuff!

 

 

Clients Who Started As Beginners w Us Went on to:

  • Signing with majour labels in the US,China,Europe,and South Korea (in conjunction with Ellie’s work as a vocal coach in NYC ofr R&B,K-Pop,C-Pop,US Pop,Rock,and as a jazz vocal coach)
  • Getting on American Idol (client worked with Ellie as a vocal coach in NYC for R&B)
  • Hosting The Voice (client worked with Ellie on Canto-pop training)
  • GRAMMY nomination (indie/folk/rock/pop)
  • Wins and nominations at the Chinese Music Awards (Canto-Pop and Mando-Pop)
  • Wins and nominations in local music awards stateside too numerous to list including Los Angeles Music Awards,San Diego Music Award,and Bay Area Music Awards in the San Francisco Bay Area (Blues,Jazz,Adult Contemporary,Pop,Rock,Indie,Alternative,and more)
  • Multi-platinum album sales – certified by record sales (client worked with Ellie on vocal training for C-Pop)
  • Cutting cds too numerous to list in Blues,R&B,Pop,Jazz,Rock,Folk,Indie and more.
  • Regional winners for International Blues Challenge (um,Blues!) 

 

R&B,Soul,Blues,Rock,More
Vocal coaching is different than singing lessons but we do both voice lessons and vocal coaching in NYC in R&B,jazz,blues,rock,pop,K-pop,C-pop,I-pop,indie and other genres.  Vocal coaching is more about interpretation whereas singing lessons are more about technique.

Some services we offer:

  • Work as a vocal coach in NYC for R&B
  • Jazz Vocal Coaching &New York jazz workshops for visiting groups
  • NYC Singing Lessons for Pop
  • Vocal training in KPop and CPop (Mando-Pop and Canto-Pop)
  • Audition Preparation (SLNYC clients have gotten in to majour universities and conservatories including Berklee,Manhattan School of Music(graduate jazz program),New England Conservatory (graduate jazz program),Indiana University music school,and more
  • Singing lessons for kids
  • Singing Lessons for beginners
  • Singing lessons online via Skype,Oovoo,Facetime,or other video chat programs and apps.

Recovering From Vocal Nodes

Vocal Cord Nodules (Nodes)

A Guide to Avoiding Vocal Nodes & Recovering From Them For Singers

It seems to me as I peruse the web that there is a lot of misinformation about vocal nodes (aka: vocal nodules) and my purpose here is to help you sift through information you need to avoid misuse of the voice that may result in the formation of vocal nodes/nodules.

What the H-E-Double-Eck are Vocal Nodes or Nodules?

Nodules are little growths your body forms on your vocal cords where they meet when you make noise such as singing or talking. These are formed because your body is trying to eliminate repetitive stress on the delicate cords.

Nodules can be very difficult to deal with for people who use their voice a lot. That means us – vocalists. It also means people who speak a lot, though. The reason the voice is difficult to use is because the vocal cords need to start the flutter (vibrate) as air is passed through them. In order to make a solid sound, they need to make contact with each other for much of their entire length. The nodes often will prevent the cords from closing enough for the singer to be functionally able to use the voice in the rigourous and demanding way that vocalists use their voice – even with good technique. To illustrate what I am talking about, out your hands together so that the palms touch. You can pretty much make contact the entire length of the hands. Now, place an M&M in an open palm (the color is irrelevant but I have been getting *excellent* results with a blue one). Place the second hand on top and try to make contact the full length of the hands. You can’t make 100% contact because there is an M&M in the way (damn – how did *that* get there?). And not only can you not make contact at the point where the M&M is, but also there is some surface area *surrounding* where the M&M is that is not making contact because the M&M is depressing the skin around it as well. Any kinda bump on the cords will have a similar effect except that you wil not get to eat the M&M at the end of it. Which you should do now – we are done with the M&M…

Nodes are formed on the vocal cords when an irritation occurs which will cause inflammation to occur. This stage is called a “pre-node”. During this stage, you may experience a little hoarseness or sore throat. It is during this stage that action should be taken if you have a choice in the matter. Therefore, if you have a sore throat that is not related to a cold or persists more than a week or so, please so an Dr. immediately. For normal people, it may be possible to live with a node but for a singer it would be very difficult if it developed into a node.Please note, if you are poor, you may be able to get treatment at a “General Hospital”. It is unfortunate that we are the only industrialized country with no medical care for it’s people but *I* am *not* bitter! There are free clinics in most cities (look in the yellow pages in the front for medical stuff and if you are stuck, call a mental health line or a shelter cause they usually have a good handle on the free medical resources in the area). Even if you go to a free clinic or general hospital, though, still demand to get good medical care. If you annoy them enough they will do it for you.

The person to see is an “ENT Doctor” aka: “Ears Nose Throat Doctor”, aka otolaryngologist, etc. A general practitioner will be able to look at your vocal cords but it is easy to miss without a little camera that a fully equipped ENT will have to examine the cords closely. If you suspect a node or vocal injury, you will need to get two exams that they give together. The first exam is sometimes called the “soft scope” and consist of a flexible fiber optic camera places near the cords to examine them. This is great and gives you a full view of the cords. However, it does not give you a super close up view so you will also need to get a “hard scope” which does not view the entire cords but does give you a closer look. Sometimes the soft scope catches stuff the hard scope misses and vice versa so get both. Push for it and be persistent. Do not accept the little dentist mirror exam.

How do you get Pre-Nodes and Vocal Nodules?

Vocal nodes will develop from pre-nodes (or some say spontaneously with no pre-node phase in certain situations). Nodes can be caused by a variety of things but most likely it is a combination of causes.

If you are a vocalist, the 1st thing the doctor will THINK is it is bad singing technique. It is possible that is the cause and certainly many singers of varying levels of training have developed vocal nodules. It is particularly easy to do if you sing a lot and have poor technique.  Or if you sing a lot at very very high levels of performance such as opera and have slight problems.  It doesn’t necessarily mean you have super awful technique in all cases, but if you make demands of your voice at very high levels, little problems can magnify into big ones. Even those with extensive training have developed nodes from time to time (causes include poor speaking habits, screaming, singing in a range that is not comfortable for you, continuing to sing when you have a sore voice, singing in night air, and a veritable plethora of other things.

As far as technique goes, stress in the voice can cause them. This stress is most often caused by tension in the tongue (you will get a “tight” feeling in the throat and the larynx may move to a higher or lower position than normal), lack of proper breathing support, etc.

Recent famous people who have gotten nodes include Julie Andrews (belting on Broadway in a voice not natural to her), Bing Crosby, and Madonna (Great entertainer but poor singing technique coupled with extensive use of the voice resulted in nodes for her).

They are not uncommon in rock singers due to the way they use their voices (ie: screaming), but it is not very common for people to admit that they have them as it is sometimes looked upon as a stigma. However, even people with good technique can get them through other ways than singing and so this stigma is misplaced.

For the untrained vocalist, it is easy to stress the cords to the point where they will form nodes. In order to lessen your chances of this, you will want to learn not only “breathing” which is fundamental to singing but NOT the only thing to keep your voice safe, but also the so-called “resonation” or “Singing in the mask” or “forward placement” which will stop the cords from taking all the stress of singing and also resonating and amplifying. This is often achieved not in ways you might think but by standing in a relaxed manner that is also fairly tension-free. I know this seems like a weird concept to some people and that is why there are voice teachers! Various things including “poor posture” can cause a tight tongue or tight feeling in the throat which may induce a node or pre-node.

The larynx is suspended by many structures from the top and bottom. From the top, it is very closely connected to the tongue so pressure there will cause strain on it. From the bottom it is connected to the torso so pressure there will cause strain too.Posture is often overlooked and can be a significant contribution to the formation of things such as nodes. Learning posture form a voice instructor OR instructor in Alexander Technique is crucial. If you live far removed from anywhere where you know a good teacher might be, you may want to have your posture looked at by a very conservative Old Lady Voice Teacher in any case – one that is very nitpicky and preferably is an Opera Star! They may not be your cup of tea but one session with them just to check what you are doing is terrific. It is important to note, also, that all of the techniques I mentioned above inter-relate with one another – good posture with a level head will stop tightness in tongue and throat to a certain extent and many other inter-relationships.

Another likely candidate for abuse that results in vocal nodes (and one that is overlooked often) is your speaking voice. Many well trained vocalists have poor speaking voices. It is well documented that most people with problems of this kind speak either too high (less likely) or too low (very common). Sometimes people raise or lower their voices artificially to achieve a more powerful sounding voice (lowering) or a more “feminine” voice (higher). Speaking out of your optimal range can cause stress on the cords. Do not try to compensate for this on your own – it can be damaging to you if you are wrong – get a speech pathologist or voice teacher to give you their opinion. Artificially raising a voice to compensate for possibly artificially lowering can somtimes just compounding the problem. Just be aware that these things are possibilities and bring them up when you see a professional.

Are there any gnarly pictures online of vocal nodes?

Yup! You came to the right place…Her are some links to someone who was brave enough to admit they have them and post them for the benfit of all of the rest of us:

http://www.mewsic.com/voice/nodes.html

OK, I Have Pre-Nodes.  What To Do?

Although many singers continue to work with the nodes, it is likely that any kind of impacted performance schedule or other situation where you are singing or practicing daily (or even less than that by a long shot) will exacerbate the situation and make the nodes larger or at best maintain them at their current state making them older (older nodes are harder to eliminate.  Therefore, the best course of action is to try to eliminate them using non-invasive techniques. Especially if they are fairly recent or in the pre-node state. So go easy on your voice. Some speech therapists recommend not speaking but in any case, definitely no yelling, no prolonged singing, and stuff like that. See someone immediately would be my very strong recommendation. I know it is scary but if you see someone now you can start to work to fix it right away and it is likely to be no big deal if you are in pre-nodes. Even nodes can be not too horrible to deal with so don’t get scared and not want to go in. It is important to letcha know, too, that whispering is generally more stressful on the voice than speaking outright so just be aware that whispering is not really resting your voice.

It is the best idea to see a doctor and to get a second or third opinion. The kinda doctor you want is a nice, conservative one who doesn’t much care for the idea of surgical removal. Cutting should be the LAST resort, especially for singers or anyone else who relies on their voice for their livelihood or happiness (that would be most of us I think). If you are poverty-striken, find the General Hospital nearest you and see if they have a sliding scale option for you. In any case, hospitals are likely to have payment plans which is a lot better than private doctors who are more likely to demand you cough the money up at the time of our appointment.

Your doctor may recommend a number of things. You want to try the MOST CONSERVATIVE ONE. So if you go to three doctors and one says “don’t worry, just try not to abuse your voice too much”, the second one says “let’s cut it out! Won’t THAT be fun?!” and the third one says “total vocal rest for 3 weeks” you go with the last one and rest the voice for 3 weeks. I will talk about techniques for this in a while. In general, the recommendation for voice rehab will tend to be total voice rest [this is somewhat different since this article was written in 2002.  Total vocal rest is now not always the go-to move from speech pathologists – 19 December 2017]

IMPORTANT: SO-CALLED “SPRAYS FOR SINGERS” THAT NUMB THE THROAT IN ANY CAPACITY ARE BAD. THEY WILL CAUSE YOU TO *NOT FEEL* PAIN WHICH MEANS THAT YOU MAY CONTINUE TO WORK ON A VOICE THAT IS ALREADY INJURED OR TO FURTHER YOUR INJURY. NEVER TAKE THESE BEFORE SINGING AND IF YOU DO TAKE THEM DO NOT SPEAK EXTENSIVELY OR SING AT ALL. SAME GOES FOR LOZENGES, TEAS, OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT “SOOTHES” WHICH MIGHT MEAN “DEADEN” IN ENGLISH.

Other things to do include drinking a LOT of water which will hydrate the cords and make them less likely to irritate, avoid the points listed below in bullets as much as you can, do not drink or smoke (these dry the cords out and dehydrate them (see the water entry above), do not consume caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate (!), etc),and try to remain low-stress as stress can aggravate these things).

 

Total Voice Rest?! What up!

Total Voice Rest equals you don’t make any sounds for whatever time period it is. So none of the following:

  • whispering (added 1/17/06-sorry I forgot to put it in!!!! Yikes!)
  • talking
  • singing
  • clearing throat
  • yelling, screaming, carrying on…definitely out
  • coughing
  • crying (the hardest one!)
  • avoid sneezing
  • making barn-yard animal noises (I don’t care if you DO live somewhere where you need to do that to get a date)

It is not as bad as it sounds. Even for those of us with jobs where we use our voices professionally. Most social situations can be remedied by carrying around a Dry Erase (white) board with LOW ODOR dry-erase pens – the delecate fragrance of chemical dry erase pencils is less than charming in my opinion. Avoid taverns or other situations where you cannot heard well – it is easy to vocalize unknowingly if you are not used to not speaking and cannot hear – and anyway you can’t drink so…BORING! Avoid 2nd hand smoke (and 1st hand, too). If you need to communicate with others like in a classroom situation, I suggest a word processor with a large font. You can get pretty good at this and it works great. If you are prone to yelling, get a little whistle (available at sporting good stores) – use it to call your dog from across the park, let your kids know you want to see them downstairs, get people’s attention on the street. This is now your job description so do not be embarrassed.

 

What else should I do?

You need to assess what you did to sustain the type of injury you have. It may be that you will never know really why EXACTLY. But “safening” up your life is in order. You might have a conservative voice instructor (no Am Way teachers!) look your technique over. You might want to contact a speech therapist to see what you can do to get better “oral hygiene” (this is what they call technique for speaking – it is similar to technique for singing). You might want to see someone certified in Alexander Technique about posture – often posture and ergonomics of movement plays a role in injuries. There are resources for Alexander Technique on my site – (http://lessons.EleonorEngland.com/yoga.html), but write if you need help finding a good voice teacher in your area or a speech therapist.

You may wish to get a test called a Video Stroboscopy which will document the nodes, produce a video and picture of them working for you to see how they are functioning, as well as give you a baseline to judge your progress when you again look at them to see if the node is smaller or not. Be sure you ask if they have the equipment before you book the appointment. ENT’s may be able to refer you to others who do have the equipment.

 

What if that doesn’t work?

If vocal rest does not work, you may need to consult three doctor again and see what they say. I have heard of surgical intervention working OK, *HOWEVER* please note that it is POSSIBLE (and likely enough to be a problem) that your voice will not recover to it previous state after a surgery. In fact, it may be screwed up permanently. That is why to be careful in allowing any existing nodes to become well-established nodes and why surgery is a LAST RESORT. You may have not heard the story of Julie Andrews, a clear-voice and famous singer who got nodes singing out of her comfortable range. She opted to have them surgically removed and has not recovered her voice in several years. It can really backfire. [Note that times are changing and surgical intervention has become much more sophisticated.  Now they use lasers and it is muuuch safer.  But still non-surgical intervention has a zero percent risk rate which really ou can’t beat – 19 Dec 2017]

Resources: