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Skidmore College
Music Department

Voice Lessons


Singers learn to develop a coordination of muscle groups used while singing. Functional concepts such as registration balance, breath efficiency, etc. are introduced, refined, and reinforced to help you sing healthfully and efficiently. 

We believe that all music is valid and that healthy singing combined with confident performance are the main goals of private lessons. Therefore students may focus on a range of genres including but not limited to classical song, musical theater, jazz, R&B, pop, and other styles as assigned by their instructor in collaboration with the singer.  Interpretive and stylistic concepts are explored to enhance your musicality and performance skills. All singers will perform a memorized jury at the end of the every semester, displaying their growth in both technique and artistry.


Singers enrolled in voice lessons benefit from many performance opportunities that range from intimate private studio classes, to public masterclasses with guest artists, to vocal competitions on a national level. Many students participate annually in the Eastern New York Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (ENY NATS) annual Musical Theater Competition and Art Song Festival. These events also qualify singers for the Regional NATS National Student Auditions, with a possibility of performance at the National level. Previous Skidmore students have placed and participated in district, regional and national levels of the competition.

Master classesThabi Khumalo Songfest

Master classes with guest singers and clinicians offer singers new perspectives on technique and style. Students have had the opportunity to perform on master classes with many distinguished professional singers. Some of these have included:

  • Dr. Carl DuPont (Peabody Conservatory)
  • Hannah Corneau (Broadway actor, Elphaba, Wicked)
  • Jenny Rebecca (Singer-songwriter)
  • Elijah McCormack (professional singer)
  • Dr. Marcía Porter (Florida State University)
  • Victoria Sofia Botero (professional singer)
  • Dr. Rebecca Folsom (Boston Conservatory)
  • Johnathon Pape (stage director, Boston Conservatory)
  • Daniel Bubeck (professional countertenor and early music specialist)
  • Christin-Marie Hill (professional singer)
  • Sharon O’Connell Campbell (University of Nebraska)
  • Anne Jennifer Nash (Concordia College)
  • Toshi Reagon (recording artist, McCormack resident)

Audition information

Prior to receiving instructor permission for voice lessons, you will need to audition. Auditions will be held during the first week of the semester. Please contact Sylvia Stoner-Hawkins to schedule an audition.

Emma Berkowitz Figaro

Audition Details

  1. Please complete the audition form, linked here.
  2. Please prepare one song that demonstrates your complete vocal range and ability from memory. Be ready to sing this in your audition with an accompaniment track. Please bring a copy of the sheet music to the audition with any cuts noted for the audition panel.
  3. Following the audition, we will assess your musical skills. You will be asked to sightread simple melodies and rhythms, and you will also be asked to play a simple melody on the piano.
  4. Students will be informed regarding studio placement, or placement in "Class Study of Voice" or "Rudiments of Music," by email no later than the day after your audition.
  5. If accepted into a studio, your voice teacher will contact you to set up your lesson time.