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Enquire & Connect

Fiona as Teacher
‘Best Student Teacher’ ever, because of her personality, knowledge of the voice and her love of young singers ! John Trepp, retired music educator and mentor for Fiona’s BEd degree Fiona’s long and varied career as a singer has resulted in her acquisition of a deep and broad of knowledge of the voice and vocal repertoire. Fiona has earned three university
degrees: a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance; a Bachelor of Education in

Secondary Music; and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting. For her work with young singers, the University of British Columbia awarded her the Don Wright Scholarship for excellence in choral education. Fiona’s ‘forte’ is voice building. She has been a student of what the Italians call the ‘bel canto’ vocal technique. This is a centuries-old vocal technique that has produced the most famous singers of the past few centuries. As well as incorporating this technique into her teaching, Fiona has been studying the most current vocal pedagogy that is relevant to the demands of the 21st century singer, most commonly: mic technique & belting.

Fiona Blackburn Voice Studio
Fiona has opened a voice studio for those who are interested in exploring the possibilities of building, expanding and enhancing their ‘singing voice.’ After only a year in operation, a number of Fiona’s students have won first place standings at the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival and are participants in community musical theatre
Fiona is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the British Columbia Registered Music Teachers’ Association, Coquitlam/ Maple Ridge Branch (BCRMTA).

“Miss Fiona makes singing so much fun and makes me feel like I’m the best singer in the world.”
Ashlene, age 10

“Very freeing – thanks, Fiona! I had never had a vocal lesson before, so didn’t know what to expect – you gave me confidence to try those high notes. Now I don’t just go ‘Ooo – that’s too high for me!’ – I’ll try it!”
an adult participant of the BC Choral Federation sponsored Choral Directorship Course.

“Vocal training with Fiona has been a wonderful experience. Her kind words of encouragement and extensive knowledge has helped me to improve more rapidly than with any other vocal teacher I have studied with.”
Janelle, age 16

Here are some FAQ’s that may interest you.

My 8 year old daughter loves to sing. Is she too young to take voice lessons?
Not necessarily, as long as the singer and family realizes that the teacher’s job is to protect the young voice, see that the child is singing in a healthy way and avert any bad vocal habits. The goal of instruction is not to make the child sound like an adult. A good alternative, at this age, is for the child to sing in a high calibre children’s choir, where s/he will learn good vocal habits and gain musical skills in a comfortable group setting.
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I’m a rock singer. Should I take lessons from a classically trained opera singer?
The ‘classical voice’ sounds the way it does because of years of specific training. Most classical singers are trained to sing in a healthy way and build a wide range - both in pitch and dynamics. Although this is not the sound that a rock singer would use, there are basic, healthy principles of vocal production that all singers should be aware of. A knowledgeable teacher, whether classically trained or not, will have this background and should be able to help any singer, no matter the genre.

How many lessons will it take before I reach my goals?
That depends, of course, on your goals. Communicate with your teacher, so that you both understand what you want. Do you want to be able to sing better to support your church or community choir? Or do you want to pursue a career in classical voice or musical theatre? Your teacher will give you the tools you need and work through repertoire that is specific to your interests. Realize that the teacher has the knowledge to help you; but it is also up to you to work and practice in between the lessons. Most students will notice a difference in just a few lessons; others may study for months and see a slower progression. Also realize that most professional singers take many years to build their vocal technique.

Can I take lessons every two weeks?
Two weeks is a very long time for most people, before ‘checking in’ again with their teacher. If the student wants to experience real progress, bi-weekly lessons are inadvisable.

Do you give 30 minute lessons?
A 30 minute lesson would consist of just a minute or two of welcome and review of the week, about ten minutes of technique and vocal warm-up and 15 minutes to work on just one piece. Progress would be slow. An option would be to arrange semi-private Partner Lessons. In this way, the warm-ups can be done together, with the teacher able to help both singers. At least two pieces each could be taught and the singers can learn
from each other.

I don’t play the piano. How can I practice at home?
You will be given practice cds of your exercises. You will also have your pieces recorded with their accompaniment: with the voice part and with just the backtrack, like a karaoke track. Pieces in languages other than English will have a text practice cd. You may also wish to start learning some keyboard skills so that you can, eventually, accompany yourself! And you can also record your lesson.

Where is the voice studio?
I run two locations. Both are in Metro Vancouver. One is in Maple Ridge and one is in the Burnaby/New Westminster area.

What are your tuition rates and studio policies?

Depending on the length of your lessons, the tuition will run from $40 - $50 per lesson.

You may choose a Private Lesson or a Partner Lesson (semi-private and particularly
good for younger singers, friends or siblings).

There is also a Performance Package for the serious singer who wishes to work
towards a career in music or towards competitions, exams or university entry. This
package includes: private lessons, master classes with a professional accompanist
and at least one recital per term.

Additional costs are: purchase of your music (hard copy or on-line), exam & festival
fees, accompanist’s fees (except for the Performance Package singers, whose
accompanist’s fees are covered by the studio)

Please contact me, and I will be pleased to send you a copy of the Studio Policies
document. See ‘Enquire & Connect’ page for complete contact information

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