HOW DOES THIS STUDIO STAND OUT?
I take a vested interest in the all around well being of my students. Music and acting are performing arts, and as such require a huge amount of emotional, physical and mental endurance and well being. I always make sure that my students are doing well on all accounts and feeling comfortable with where they are in their journey with their craft. I always encourage collaboration and a sense of ownership of your craft. It helps to build self confidence and self discipline while at the same time fostering energy, fun and love for the art.
WHAT DO I ENJOY ABOUT THE WORK I DO AS A TEACHER/COACH?
I love that moment when the light bulb goes off and what may have been a difficult concept or a struggle, suddenly becomes an "ah ha!". I love when I see my students grow in their confidence and start to choose where their music journey is going to take them. Building that sense of self confidence and true self belief is such a wonderful thing. Helping someone to do that, is such a humbling and heart warming experience.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD POTENTIAL STUDENTS THINK THROUGH BEFORE TALKING TO A PROFESSIONAL ABOUT THEIR PROJECT OR DESIRE TO LEARN AN INSTRUMENT?
Private music and acting coaches often do not have a team of employees to do all the other administrative work for them. Not only are we the instructor, but we are the CEO, the administrative assistant, the HR department, and the accounting department. There are so many hours that go into that part of the job that students don't see, so having students come in ready to work and knowing what goals they want to achieve is very helpful so I can help focus the time we have together on reaching those goals.
Questions to consider are:
What do I want to learn this instrument for?
What am I looking for in a teacher/coach?
What musical/acting level am I at?
Do I want to perform or is this more for my enjoyment/to try something new?
Do I want to be a professional in this instrument or is this more for learning as a hobby?
What types of songs/scenes/genres do I like and want to work on?
Am I willing to commit practice time outside of lessons to learning this craft?
Do I want to go to lessons at the studio, have the teacher come to me, or am I willing to try online lessons?
What days would I prefer to take lessons on a weekly basis?
Do I want to have a 30, 45, or 60 minute lesson?
Do I want to learn to read music?
Do I want to compose music or write my own monologues/scenes?
Knowing the answers to these questions before you come to your first lesson will help me create a lesson plan the will help you achieve your goals and desires!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD I GIVE TO A CUSTOMER LOOKING TO HIRE A TEACHER/COACH IN THIS AREA?
When you call, have a list of questions you would like to ask such as:
What methods do you teach?,
Do you provide performing opportunities and if so are they required for my student?
Do I need to buy any books?
What can I expect in a typical lesson?
What is your make up policy?
What is your scheduling policy?
All of these questions are answered here on the website and the answers can be found on most teacher's websites, but it's always good to ask so you can clarify and be on the same page from the get go. Remember, a teacher's time is just as valuable as your own, so do your research before you call and don't be afraid to ask questions if you need clarification. Always look for the teacher that will best fit what your needs as a performer are. If you are unsure if they fit those requirements, then call and see. A short phone interview with a potential teacher can tell you a lot about how things will be in a lesson. Be open to new ideas and new ways of learning. Learning a performance art, especially an instrument, is very much like learning a new language. It can be challenging at first, but once you have the fundamentals down, you'll begin to really experience the growth.
HOW DID I GET STARTED IN THIS KIND OF WORK?
I have always been a singer, pianist and actress. It seemed only natural to want to pass along my knowledge to others. I truly enjoy helping others realize their own potential in these areas. it brings such a sense of joy!
WHAT TYPES OF STUDENTS HAVE I WORKED WITH?
I have worked with all levels and all ages of voice and piano students! My youngest student is 4 years old (although I normally don't start lessons until 5, but he is able to sit through a 30 minute lesson and focus the entire time) and the oldest I've started with as a beginner was 71 (and he's still taking lessons as of this post.) I work with students who just want to play for fun or used to play and want to get back into it for their own enjoyment, and I work with students who are serious about breaking into the music industry or who are already professionals in the industry looking for performance coaching. I have also worked with students who have autism, ADHD, or other physical or mental challenges.
I teach 30 minute, 45 minute and 1 hour weekly individual lessons via online video chat. If the student is within 8 miles of my home, can fit into the studio schedule and has the instrument or materials they need at their home, then I can go to their home for the lesson as well. I teach beginning, intermediate and advanced piano and voice in all styles. I also make sure the student learns music theory and I incorporate music and theater history whenever I can. In acting, I also specialize in the Somatic Memorization Technique (S.M.T. Method) which helps a student learn how to memorize a 3-5 page script in less than 45 minutes and I always incorporate improv activities into my acting sessions.
DO I HAVE A STANDARD PRICING SERVICE FOR THIS STUDIO?
This studio charges:
$125 for 4 half hour lessons per month
$185.00 for four 45 minute lessons per month
$250 for four 1 hour lessons per month
The lessons are paid for at the beginning of the month and are paid on a monthly basis.
Make up lessons are only given for cancellation by the teacher OR 24 hour cancellation from the student.
No financial credits are given for any reason.
A no call/no show does not get a make up.
WHAT EDUCATION AND/OR TRAINING DO I HAVE THAT RELATES TO MY WORK AS A COACH?
I have a Bachelor of Music in voice performance and theater from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. I have a Master of Music in Kodaly Music Education and Performance from Colorado State University. I am certified in the Somatic Memorization Technique (S.M.T.) created by David Dalton and Chad Schnackel from Mocksides Studios in Denver, CO. I still work my craft at an acting studio here in LA and take workshops and go to conferences whenever possible to stay current on my instruments. I am consistently booking film, television, and voiceover, am a member of a sketch comedy troupe, and consistently performing and auditioning in all fields that I teach. I also stay connected through teachers organizations such as NATS, MTAC, and MTNA. I am a member of SAG-AFTRA. To view more about my performing career go to www.marybetheversole.com.
WHAT IS MY TYPICAL PROCESS WORKING WITH A NEW STUDENT?
In the first lesson, I always talk a little about goals with the student to find out what they are most interested in taking away from lessons. Then I introduce posture, breathing, and some warm ups or how to orient oneself with their instrument. If the student is more advanced, I have them bring a piece they recently worked on and observe as they play, sing, or act. From there I will give my notes on that piece and then we will discuss any fundamental issues that may need to be addressed as well as pick new pieces or assign new scenes/monologues. In acting sessions, I will begin teaching the S.M.T. method right away and the first few lessons will be about learning this method and then putting it into practice. All students will be expected to purchase books or sheet music to bring to each lesson. We will determine which books and repertoire in this first lesson and on an as needed basis as lessons continue.
My studio has an open door policy. It takes awhile to learn about each other and how we work together so I always encourage a student to try at least 1 month of lessons before deciding whether it is for them or not. As we are learning what pace is best for the student, I encourage students to bring questions and always let me know if they feel I am moving too fast or too slow with assigning music and working on concepts. Lessons for beginners can feel overwhelming, so come in with an open mind and a willingness to put in the work outside of lessons with practice time. Also come with an understanding that not all concepts will be mastered right away. Learning an instrument or learning the S.M.T. Method, just like learning a language or learning how to work out, is a process.