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POPUP VOICE PED CLASS

Child Voice

Ya’ know what?

Since the advent of Reality Talent TV Shows, independent teachers have seen younger and younger singers come through their studio. And the old myths around teaching children to sing are being busted one by one:

  • Children ‘hurt their voices’ if they start singing before puberty (ummm … tell that to every human being who -WAIT FOR IT- sings before puberty. because: have you NOT NOTICED that children sing ALL THE GOSH-DARNED TIME? And that maybe, JUST MAYBE, it might be a good thing for them to be guided along their singing journey by a PROFESSIONAL WHO CARES ABOUT THEM BEING ABLE TO SING FOR A LONG TIME?)
  • Children should have a grounding in piano and choir before taking voice lessons so that we’re not ‘wasting our time’ in the voice studio (ummm … DO YOU NOT THINK THAT A FABULOUS VOICE TEACHER WHO WORKS WITH CHILDREN CANNOT INCORPORATE MUSICIANSHIP INTO THEIR VOICE LESSONS?)

Hooo boy. I better stop it before this entire page devolves into me just yelling away into the void.

So. All THAT to say: now that we’re working with more and more younger and younger singers in the voice studio? Let’s be sure we understand the anatomy and physiology of the child voice so we can adjust our expectations around vocal growth accordingly AND let’s get even better about structuring voice lessons around child development so their learning is both deep AND fun. 

Soon this class will be a stand-alone, self-directed mini-course – be sure to join the #voicepedrev(olution) mailing list to be the first to know when it’s ready!

Here’s what some of the #reallifevoiceteachers who have participated in past POPUP Voice Ped Classes have to say about them:

  • I needed a bit of time to process the amazing vocal ped weekend that we just shared, and I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for doing what you do. I've been in a bit of a... slump. All things considered, my life is pretty great and my pandemic experience has been better than most, but I haven't felt... inspired in a while, artistically or otherwise. I was still teaching my kids, but feeling mediocre at it, at best. For the first time in basically all of my life I have basically stopped singing, and even weirder for me is that I didn't feel compelled to do anything about it. And then I heard you speak on a podcast a few months ago and the way you were talking about your course... it was like it was you were speaking right to my soul, like this course was created specifically for me. The gaps that I've been feeling in my teaching didn't have to be permanent- there were resources available to me, things I could do NOW to be a better teacher for my students. Your course was everything I was hoping for and more. I feel engaged in what I do again, and empowered as an educator, excited to have these new tools. What I wasn't expecting to get out of this weekend was an excitement and urge to sing again. I am inspired and invigorated to get back into the studio and try out all of these great ideas, and I feel more like me than I have in a while.


    Lisa Mulgrew, Voice Teacher (Lethbridge, Canada)

  • I feel engaged in what I do again, and empowered as an educator.


    Lisa Mulgrew, Voice Teacher (Lethbridge, Canada)

  • I have always believed that understanding how young voices work from a physical and pedagogical point of view is extremely important, not only just for training solo voices but also for choral directors and school music teachers. It was an honour for Mississauga Childrens’ Choir to host a teachers' workshop with Dr. Shannon Coates as our guest clinician. Dr. Coates was such a dynamic presenter with lots of helpful information for our participants. It was especially interesting to me to discover what is reasonable to expect from young voices and why (from a physiological point of view) which will help me to select appropriate choral repertoire for my choristers. I would recommend Dr. Coates to anyone/organization who would like to learn more about how to teach/engage young voices. Thank you for being our guest clinician and we look forward to having you with us again soon!!"


    Jennifer Tung, Artistic Director at Mississauga Children's Choir (Mississauga, Canada)

  • Shannon's insightful and incredibly knowledgeable guidance on aspects of my teaching was invaluable!


    Gabriela Farias, Educator & Voice Teacher (Brampton, Canada)

  • I am currently doing a Voice Ped Practicum with Shannon and a group of fabulous voice teachers. The Practicum gave me an opportunity to dive into learning in a hands on, non traditional way that sparked my excitement, interest and curiosity. My co-workers have noticed my joy at work, which is in part due to having our classes spaced out to meet restrictions (which gives me time to BREATHE), but also due to the fact I am excited to go in to work and see RESULTS in my students. I feel valuable. I know when I meet an issue I don’t understand, I have a support group to offer help, insight, and the most current research around any given topic. If we don’t know, we learn together. I am asking questions and getting answers. I am finding new sounds within myself. I am finding myself practicing more, making plans, and dreaming. I am literally full of happiness because I feel I have found something special in what Shannon offers to people like me (aka voice teachers who have not received their doctorate in voice but are successfully working in the field). My confidence is soaring because of the knowledge I have and the results I am seeing.


  • Dr. Coates was such a dynamic presenter with lots of helpful information for our participants.


    Jennifer Tung, Artistic Director at Mississauga Children's Choir (Mississauga, Canada)

  • I feel like you've brought me full circle in my teaching.


    Elspeth Maynard, Voice Teacher & Educator (Windsor, Canada)

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