Private Voice Lessons
I offer private singing lessons and vocal coaching for bands and recording artists at my studio in Berkeley, California. I work with students ages 13 to adult, ranging from complete beginners to professional performers. I am happy to help students prepare for specific auditions, recording projects or performances. I also offer singing workshops for groups and singing classes for the LGBTQ community and allies.
Setting Up a Lesson
At this time my private studio and my waiting list are full. Please consider taking a group class with me instead.
You can find a list of other area voice teachers and singing groups that I recommend here.
Current students can login to the student portal to schedule lessons and make online payments here.
"I always leave these lessons feeling kind of giddy and like I want to sing every single day. I highly recommend checking out his classes, or trying out individual singing lessons. Really, I can't say enough good things." Phoenix S. Read More Student Testimonials.
My teaching style bridges my experience as a touring indie folk singer-songwriter, my time as a member of award-winning classical choirs including the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and the International Orange Chorale, and my training in Somatic Voicework - The LoVetri Method™. I continue to study to deepen my practice of this method of vocal pedagogy based on deep listening and voice science to help my students sing freely and expressively.
Students work with me to develop and train their natural voices by learning to identify and strengthen their head (high/falsetto), chest (low), and mix (middle) registers; smoothing the transitions between registers; addressing muscle constriction and finding freedom and ease in singing; improving vocal strength, flexibility and stamina; building breath support; developing a variety of vocal colors; and deepening their expressive song performance. I also work with interested students on harmony singing, songwriting, ear training, and sight reading.
I teach a variety of contemporary popular styles of singing, including (but not limited to) folk, country, R&B, rock, pop, hip hop, soul, musical theater, jazz, gospel, cabaret and metal. I encourage my students to sing in multiple styles and bring in music they're interested in singing. Please note: Though I have experience with classical singing myself, people looking to sing primarily classical music or opera will likely find a better fit with a teacher who specializes in classical singing. You can find a list of voice teachers I suggest here.
I have studied jazz singing at Berklee College of Music and classical singing at Oberlin Conservatory. I also have experience singing folk, indie rock, country, pop, soul, music theater, classical and contemporary a cappella music. I have completed three levels of training in Somatic Voicework - The LoVetri Method™ at the Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University.
As a singer-songwriter myself, I am particularly interested in working with students who would like to develop their skills in writing and performing their own original music. In additional to vocal technique, I work with interested students on basic music theory, songwriting, ear training and live performance skills.
Gender and the Voice
I am a part of Bay Area transgender, queer, and social justice activist communities, and so are many of my students. I work with singers of all genders, including genderqueer and non-binary people, agender people, trans women and people on the trans feminine spectrum, and trans men and people on the trans masculine spectrum. You can find my advice regarding transgender men, testosterone and singing in this blog post. In working with me, your gender identity, body, and boundaries will be respected.
Please note: I focus my work on the singing voice. If you are transgender and looking for a voice coach to work with you on your speaking voice, you can find a comprehensive list of voice coaches and therapists who work with trans people at Laura's Playground. Cal State University East Bay sees transgender clients at their Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic in Hayward, CA. If you're a member of Kaiser Permanente, you may be able to receive speech therapy through their Multi-Specialty Transitions Department in Oakland.
Working with a coach in person is generally the most effective, but if you can't find a coach in your area, my friend Peter Fullerton in Portland, Oregon is a wonderful teacher who is transgender and genderqueer himself. He offers speech and singing training online through Skype, and I recommend him highly.
Accessibility & Allergen Info
My teaching studio is up a flight of twenty stairs. If you need to meet in a wheelchair-accessible space, please let me know and I can make arrangements for us to meet elsewhere.
My home is completely fragrance-free, but I have a cat and I have some students who wear body products with fragrance. If you have chemical sensitivities or feline allergies, please let me know and I will run the air purifier the day of your lesson.
Lessons take place in south Berkeley near the Ashby BART station and the 12, 18 and F bus lines. There is free street parking, and the location is very accessible by bike.
Tuesdays 1 - 5 pm
Wednesdays 2 pm - 7 pm
Thursdays 1 pm - 6 pm
"Eli has truly been one of the best teachers my daughter has ever had, in any subject." Katherine H.
"I was surprised by what quality of sound and control Eli cultivated in me in so few lessons.... He is both informative and challenging. A great mix." Malcolm G.
Read More Student Testimonials
$90 for a one hour private lesson
$110 for a one hour lesson for two people
I reserve a small number of need-based sliding scale spots in my studio for low-income students. Contact me to discuss details.
Singing lessons can be a wonderful way to treat the singer (or singer-to-be) in your life. I offer gift certificates for pre-paid lessons and group classes. Contact me for more information.