Susan Magee

voicepower2@gmail.com | (858)229-3204 | Sessions by appointment

My studio, VOICEPOWER, has been a prominent developer of vocalists in southern California for more than twenty years. I’ve worked with more than 300 artists privately. Hundreds more have enjoyed my popular music camps and school programs. I’m now starting a practice in Danville, California.

I specialize in training the female vocalist to be a complete musician in the field of popular music (as opposed to classical music or musical theater). My ideal student is interested in finding her own sound. That is, she wants to be not only a technically-skilled singer, she is also determined to be able to accompany herself on piano and/or guitar, write and record her own songs, and harmonize. My artists are encouraged to find their originality in music. I’m not out to train karaoke singers.

There are a lot of kids who fantasize about performing and can’t wait to get up in front of people. My kind of students realize it’s not about them, it’s about the music. They are willing to put the time in to learn to make really good music. They hone their craft. They aim at having a voice as pitch-accurate as a finely-tuned instrument. They want to create, arrange and play their own music while they sing.

I think my students would agree that I make this process quite easy and fun, with a great result. I have a unique, chord-based method for training students in self-accompaniment on piano. In assigning songs, I take into consideration the tastes, interests and musical goals of my students.

My alumni students are my best references. My artists have gone on to become skilled performers in Nashville, New York, Las Vegas and L.A. They consistently do well in musical theater auditions, they record original music in all popular styles; blues, country, jazz, alternative, R&B, rock. Check out a few of my former students on the sites below.

Few music students will become stars. The goal should be to enjoy one’s own musical gifts for the sake of the music and possibly share them with friends, family, and (maybe someday!) fans.

The following are focuses of my voice-training program:

1. Breathing: correct breathing for singing.

2. Pitch: accuracy is the most important aspect of singing.

3. Placement/range: the popular music industry places pretty strong demands on the voice with regard to placement of notes. My instruction clarifies the options available for various styles of singing and gives the vocalist a sense of confidence and security in how each note should be presented with their particular voice, and how they should deal with their “break”.

4. Vibrato: from tight to wide vibrato, they all have their place.

5. Stylization; I can help students style songs and design riffs in my very low range, which the student then transposes into her music.

6. Self-accompaniment: chordal self-accompaniment with piano or guitar.

7. Songwriting: I enjoy facilitating students who are interested in developing their own original tunes. Since this would be a big focus of lessons, students would need to devote time to devising lyrics and learning about songwriting structure.

8. Theory and harmony: Sight-reading, harmony groups for intermediate students. Let me know if this interests you.