I teach voice, guitar, songwriting, and performance and recording skills from my studios in San Jose and Menlo Park, California. Many of my students focus on vocal technique exclusively; whereas others work on a combination of skills. Students may also take online/virtual lessons via webcam and skype. It is always an honor to guide my students in the process of gaining the skills and confidence to free the music that is within them.
“Deborah artfully takes you under her wing with infinite patience, positive attitude, encouragement and clear masterful understanding of vocal mechanics and takes you to where you never thought you could go.” -Alexander Leon, student
I teach a vocal method that is effective for all levels of singers, from people who claim “they can’t sing” to professionals who want to strengthen their vocal technique. Scores of Grammy Award winners, Metropolitan Opera singers, and pop music stars – Stevie Wonder, Amy Lee, Natalie Cole, Al Jarreau, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, Prince, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Anthony Kiedis, and Annie Lennox, to name a few – use the same method to expand their vocal range, flexibility, and strength.
As students develop a kinesthetic awareness of how their bodies work during singing, they gain confidence, their range expands, and they are able to sing with greater ease and freedom through their entire range. As singers improve their technical proficiency, I help them develop their own style and learn how to interpret songs in their own voice.
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RECORDING & PERFORMANCE COACHING
I coach students in performance and recording skills by analyzing students’ live performances or studio sessions. I love to help students improve their stage presence, pacing and stamina, microphone technique, and emotional delivery of live and recorded performances. I also help performing artists integrate singing, playing, performance, style, and stage presence, and advise performers on the creation of album projects.
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I teach beginning guitar to students of all ages and musical experience. Students will learn to read and play from written music as well as understand beginning music theory. Students also focus on how to play guitar accompaniment, so they can play and sing at the same time.
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I teach beginning and advanced students how to write meaningful, well crafted songs. You will learn how to write lyrics, melodies, and instrumental accompaniment that express your unique sound.
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“When I started working with Deborah about 2 months ago, I immediately had the feeling, that I found exactly what I have been looking for. What definitely struck me was Deborah’s positive energy and her encouraging feedback. She is a great listener and follows my goals with complete openness and great flexibility. I always loved singing but I had no clue about voice techniques and easily strained my voice after singing a few songs. Since taking lessons with her I have a much better understanding of how my voice works as an instrument and I don’t strain my voice as easily as before. She has great experience and always finds a way to help me with my challenges. She is wonderful and I definitely can recommend her!” Angela Schulz
“Deborah Levoy is the best vocal teacher I have worked with to date. She knows exactly how to hone in on trouble spots and help smooth them over. Through her exercises and training, she has helped increase my confidence in areas where I had felt hesitant. Singing on stage is much more comfortable for me now that I have Deb’s bag of tricks in my back pocket.” Jill Meniketti, Singer/harpist in the pop harp sensation, Electric Angel,www.electricangel.com
“For 46 years I let myself go through life feeling bad about my voice. I finally decided to do something about it and I’m glad that something was finding Deborah Levoy. She is turning around years of self-consciousness about my voice. Deborah’s teaching is effective, supportive and fun. Step by step I am finding my voice. I have been very excited about voice lately. I can’t wait to get in the car and practice. I am very grateful to Deborah.” Paul Jay Reed, Landscape Architect, www.rala.net
“I have studied under countless coaches and teachers in Mexico and the USA. I have performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico City, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the National University of Mexico, in theater plays such as Hair and Godspell, and have done considerable studio work and/or worked with the likes of Ike & Tina Turner and Buddy Miles. However, what I’ve done was mostly as an instrumentalist who wished he could sing. I sang in choirs and had several vocal teachers and coaches to no avail. It did not matter how “qualified” the other teachers were, I just never “got it”.
Then came Deborah Levoy. There are teachers and then there is a MENTOR in our lives -and that’s Deborah. She artfully takes you under her wing with infinite patience, positive attitude, encouragement and clear masterful understanding of the vocal mechanics, which she is able to convey unequivocally, and takes you to where you never thought you could go. I can sing not just adequately. In less than a year I sing better than many pro’s out there (I know this from my own long experience in the music world). I almost can’t believe it! Sure my music background and experience helped. But believe me, it’s not that I finally got it after many, many years. Deborah made it happen! I am sure that she can make it happen for anyone!” Alexander Leon
“Last summer I was anticipating my audition for a play that was very hard to get in to. I was really nervous, but Deborah and I picked a song and went to work on it. By the time of the audition we had the song down!! After the cast list went up, I was so excited. The director actually came up to me afterwards and asked me if I’d been taking voice lessons; I said that I had a new teacher and she said, ‘What’s her name, I must take lessons from her myself!'” Lizzie Adelman, Peninsula Youth Theatre, www.pytnet.org
“I took lessons with Deb for about 2 years and learned sooo much from our weekly sessions. She not only helped me overcome my shyness of singing in front of people, but built confidence in me that I could sing any song I wanted to. It just took lots practice. I mostly enjoyed our recording sessions. Deb made me feel like a superstar. Deb is a beautiful soul and was my inspiration to start writing my own songs. I recommend her to everyone!” Amaris Dominguez
“WOW, lessons with Deborah were a revolutionary experience, totally different any classical lesson I’ve ever had. In 5 lessons Deborah fixed problems plaguing my voice that 38 yrs of classical training never addressed. She helped me to completely own the transitional part of my voice – no more weak notes in between my high and low registers! Also, I’m a second soprano and could never access my low range. Now I can sing powerfully from very high to very low notes with consistent power, and without any breaks or weak notes. She has a voice anatomy chart on her wall and explains how the voice really works. She applies scientific principles to the exercises that she has developed to teach her students. Best of all, the lessons were fun! I will never lose this ability now that I have it, because I can do these exercises on my own to keep my voice at this powerful level.” Olivia Ebrahimi, Former 2nd soprano SF Symphony
“I had taken singing lessons in the past, but other teachers always wanted me to learn opera-type songs, or show tunes. I wanted to learn songs like Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Beatles’ I Will a capella etc. I wanted to learn enough guitar to accompany my singing. Deborah was able to help me with both! Deborah is an exceptional vocal teacher. She’s hip, patient, encouraging and fun to work with. The method that she teaches builds on everyone’s natural talent (yes people, we all can sing!). At the end of each lesson, she gives you a recording of the lesson so that you can practice at home. Deborah is also a talented musician, songwriter and singer. Check out her cd’s or a live performance if you get the chance!” Joanne Ambras
“Ever since I was a kid I’ve enjoyed singing but I always figured that if you don’t have a naturally gifted voice you should make yourself content with singing in private places, like the car. Turns out this really isn’t true at all. Thanks to the encouragement of some coworkers I went looking for a singing teacher and luckily found Deborah. I wanted to find a teacher who would help me develop some technique but not try to make me sound like I was in a musical or an opera. Not that there’s anything wrong with musicals or operas but I really wanted to learn to sing rock and pop songs. She was the first teacher who seemed to “get” what I was talking about and, listening to some of her music, I could hear that she had that natural sound I was after. Her relaxed teaching style and encouraging feedback have really helped me overcome some of the bad habits I learned singing along with Rush in my car. She has a lot of knowledge about the anatomy used in singing, which I found very helpful to have explained to me. I’ve noticed some significant changes in my singing over the months that I’ve worked with her and I’m looking forward to the improvements bound to come in the months ahead. If you’re looking for a singing teacher who will listen to you and help you figure out how to improve I strongly recommend her.” Peter Cornelius
“Over the past few months I’ve really noticed a difference in my voice (for the better). Working with Deborah is really helping me take control over what comes out when I sing, and when I don’t get the sound I want, I know why and how to fix it. Pretty amazing!!! Deb has a great ear, is fun to work with, and is very supportive. She’s a great teacher and I wish I’d found her sooner!” Midyne Spear
“You have such a sweet teaching spirit. You have been a blessing to me.” Lisa Poor
“Deborah Levoy has a wonderful method of teaching me about my voice to improve the sound of my singing. From Deborah’s guidance I’ve grown in my knowledge, technique and confidence.” Claire Wright
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