My Approach

Strong Technique -- Playfully Serious

Bette is a warm and energetic woman, totally at home with singers of all ages. Her teaching manner is spirited and creative, compassionate and sensitive.  She is deeply curious about current teaching methods and new ways of addressing vocal issues.  I can wholeheartedly endorse her as a voice teacher.

-Mary Saunders, Head of Musical Theatre Voice at Penn State University

Singing is the passion that has shaped my life. My background as a classical singer and professional musical theatre performer informs how I approach singing training: strong vocal technique and dynamic, honest performing.

One of my greatest strengths is my ability to establish rapport with any person, no matter their age or singing experience. I find the talent, vulnerability, desire and heart of my students fascinating.  Intuiting how my words will be received and how best to explain whatever I am teaching comes easily to me.

"What's a lesson like?"

  • A full vocal warmup

  • Exercises to build technique

  • Choosing a song

  • Learning the song

  • Working specific vocal challenges of the song

  • Exploring and polishing the acting/performing elements of the song

  • Addressing issues of stage fright, confidence, and risk-taking

And humor is the lens through which I see so much of life: I have been a member of a comedy group, done improvisation and worked as a stand-up comic. Being playful in lessons, even silly at times, is just what I do. It creates an atmosphere that allows risk-taking and self-acceptance, taking the weight off the work at hand.  It encourages singers to give themselves permission to do it wrong – make a strange sound, crack, or whatever happens during the process – knowing they won’t be judged but rather guided to grow and improve. The results are powerful. Lessons are fun and students feel happy with themselves and their progress. 

I am excellent at encouraging the healthy use of the voice, which is of utmost importance to every singer.  The techniques I teach are solid, expert, and well-grounded in the foundations of posture, breath control, phrasing, relaxation, tone production, resonance and articulation. I am able to teach the classical bel canto vocal placement as well as the very different placement required for the belt/mix sounds used in current musical theater and pop. I understand music theory and enjoy teaching sight singing to interested students.  My years of performing have given me tremendous insight into the art of interpreting and presenting a song as well as the related human issues of stage fright, discipline, preparation and choice of material.

Whether it's learning to make a smooth transition from low to high registers, to navigate the changing male voice, or to try a bold choice in the performance of a song, under my tutelage students are willing to take a chance. To lighten up. To laugh at themselves. To follow their love of singing and to grow.