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I have studied classical voice with James Vanderpost for a little
over 3 years now. When I first came to him, I was expecting him to tell
me I was ready for opera. Instead, he did something better: he began me
with scales and the proper breath technique. Additionally, he focused on
the natural method of singing; never straining, pushing, or pulling the
voice like many teachers do. He has always been extremely respectful and
polite, but he will also tell you the truth if you need to hear it.
Thanks to his help, I went from a 2 octave range to nearly 5, and I now
sing art songs and operatic arias. Because of his teaching, I have
received invitations to audition with music schools such as USC and
Oberlin Conservatory. Not only does his teaching help with opera, but
the natural method helps all singers, no matter the genre of music.
Through high school, I was able to sing in musicals, choirs, and
Gregorian chant, all without straining or bothering my voice. Thanks to
Mr. Vanderpost, I have come further in these 3 years than I ever thought
A chorus of thanks to Mr. Vanderpost for giving my daughter a voice. My daughter Zoe was born with a very rare disease called Congenital Central Hypoventilation also called Ondine's Curse. Zoe (my daughter) simply put is on life support machines, when she was a baby she had a trach (tube in her throat), and I was told she would never talk. After years of speech therapy and getting her trach out, she could talk, but her voice was not strong enough. Just a couple of months with Mr. Vanderpost Zoe's started to understand how to breathe better and to project her voice. Mr. Vanderpost taught her, she who sings frightens away her ills. After a year she was singing high and low notes on pitch. Mr. Vanderpost did what medical professionals couldn't do, Mr. Vanderpost gave Zoe her voice.
In his gentle and encouraging style, James teaches you how to allow your natural voice to develop and grow. No manipulations, no tricks, no force-just allow your voice to find itself through training, experience, focus and self-confidence. In the time I've taken from James, I grew from someone with a "good" voice to someone singing in a professional chamber chorus, opera chorus, church soloist and confident speaker. Yes, not only did my singing voice grow, but so did my speaking voice. Better diction, breathing, and disciplined study in music have carried over into other areas.
James' experience as a performer allows him to take the "tricks of the trade" and apply them not only to classical performance, but all styles of music. Whatever your goals as a singer/performer, etc., your investment and commitment to James will be rewarded.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about my voice coach! He has helped me explore my voice and be a blessing to sing things I never even dreamed possible! He was instrumental in helping me train for my dream role as Mimi in La Boheme! He is gentle, patient, honest and such a tremendous teacher. I highly respect his teaching methods and would encourage anyone who wants to learn to sing to consider him as your instructor.
James Vanderpost began teaching my son Sam when he was a 13 year old seventh grader. Sam's voice had not yet changed when he began taking lessons, so he started out as a tenor. After about 2 years, Sam's voice dramatically dropped to a bass. James helped Sam through that awkward time, giving him the confidence to continue to develop his singing voice.
Sam has continued taking lessons from James throughout high school. Sam has competed in the TPSMEA vocal solo competition each year, earning the highest ranking at both regional and state levels. Largely due to James' mentoring, Sam plans to major in music business and minor in vocal performance next year in college. I would highly recommend James to anyone seeking a voice teacher for their son or daughter.
James is by far the best vocal instructor I have ever had the pleasure of working with. His unique teaching method, coupled with his unwavering patience has helped me to achieve vocal control I never thought possible. He understands the importance of every last detail, and will work with you until you have a full grasp of the concept. I highly recommend James to any aspiring vocalist.
For years, I've been interested to sing, but didn't get started until about 5 years ago when my wife and I joined the church choir. I was doing OK in the choir as a more experienced choir man gave me the sage advise. ...."just belt it out"... Well with that as my singing boot camp, I decided to add real voice training 3 years ago when I began weekly lessons with James Vanderpost. The progress has been amazing as he has taught me, among many things, to "dare to let the voice do what it will do". While such advise seems simple, making it happen has been a process of personal discovery that has unfolded in consistent weekly lessons. Recently, the choir director pulled me aside to say my progress has been amazing. Now, when the other men in the choir strain to hit the high note, I calmly double support and think "vertical out, not up" and the note effortlessly emerges without the wretched "straining sound" as the less well trained men "reach and tense the voice." Indeed, many bad habits needed to be unlearned. I would add that, as a side benefit, that I am much more confident with my sales presentations at work as I often face large crowds of both friendly, and at times, hostile customers. Indeed, the confidence gained by disciplined voice training has had a very positive impact on me. I highly recommend James Vanderpost.
James makes singing simple. I have studied with various teachers throughout the last few years and feel that I have made more progress with him in the last few months than I have studying with other teachers in the last few years. I was initially very hesitant and speculative by how simple he made singing seem; I would always think to myself, "There must be more to this!". But since allowing myself to trust his great judgement and experience I have found singing to be easier, freer and more and enjoyable than I have in a very long time. I study classical voice but have found that singing other genres has become easier and easier as well since beginning lessons with him. I look forward to continuing to work with James and would highly recommend him to anyone who wishes to learn to sing with more freedom and with the natural beauty of THEIR OWN voice. He is great, patient teacher and simply an enjoyable person to be around.
James is a FANTASTIC voice teacher. I'm a rock singer but the Opera fundamentals that he teaches have taken me to an entirely different level. He single handedly took my range from 2 octaves to over 3. Not only a great teacher but a great person and friend also.
James is an amazing vocal coach. He pushes his students while showing encouragement and compassion. He is honest and has a unique ability to express to his students proper techniques in a manner that I understood. I have been involved with music for almost 30 years and I can say that James by far, is my favorite music coach that I have had. There is none greater!.
As a long time instrumentalist, I always wanted to be able to sing lead or support the band with harmonies. My lessons with James gave me a foundation for improving the power of my voice in a rock context while still singing safely. That's important if you are going to be gigging regularly.
rock musician and singer
I started taking lessons from James soon after my 56th birthday. I had never taken voice lessons before and had done very little singing since I was a young girl. When I started, I could hardly hit a D above middle C. One year later, I was singing G's with ease. James is wonderful to work with. He has such a positive, encouraging approach, always focusing on what I was doing right rather than the many things I was doing wrong. He brought the joy of singing into my life, and I will always be grateful. I highly recommend him.
The following is my testimonial:
I’ve always wanted to sing but have had absolutely no training and have never been satisfied with my ability. Although I’m in my fifties, a few months agoI thought I would give some classical voice lessons a try. James has been very encouraging and patient. He has taught me to quit listening to the voice in my head telling me how I was supposed to sound, and has coaxed me to sing with my natural voice. James has become a friend to me and I very much look forward to our weekly sessions. I’m now beginning to like what I hear when I record myself singing, and even my wife is has remarked upon my rapid improvement! I trust James, he is knowledgable, experienced and objective, and will help you get the best sound out of whatever voice you happened to be born with.
James Vanderpost provided me with training that took me from two to a four and 1/2 octave range. He is a master in the field and one who works patiently with his students to help them achieve their dreams