1. I thought speech and acting teachers taught the speaking voice, and singing teachers taught the singing voice. Were you trained in all those skills? Do you have experience in public speaking, acting, and singing?
Yes, all of my degrees are in vocal music education with a minor in speech and theatre, and I’ve had 'tons' of experience in public speaking, acting (and directing), and in singing. You can click on the 'About Leon Thurman' tab and check me out. The .pdf file, 'My Curriculum Vita,' has the most detail.
2. Do people pay for each individual session as they go?
No. I make up a Fees and Schedule sheet each ‘season’ (September through August each year), and it shows my fees and describes my payment plans, and such. Click on Voice Services at the top of this page, then on "Schedule and Fees."
3. Are you expensive?
My fees match the high-end fees that are charged by singing teachers in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, but there’s always the question of value for the price, of course. One session only is $47.00, but by buying a package of four sessions or 10 sessions, the per session cost drops.
When I tell colleagues of mine on the two coasts what I charge, a common reaction is, “Oh god, Leon, you’re giving it away! With your background, you could charge at least $150.00 a lesson in [NYC or LA or…].”
4. Do you have a fee schedule that people can check to see if voice sessions with you are affordable?
Yes. Click on the Voice Services menu at the top of the screen, then the "Schedule and Fees" item, or you can email a request for one to me at [email protected] and I’ll email you a copy.
5. How do people make an appointment to work with you?
Email me [[email protected]] or telephone me [612-839-6806] about setting up an appointment. Hokay?
SOME SPEAKING/TALKING QUESTIONS
1. Do you just teach people how to give formal speeches or humorous after-dinner speeches?
No and Yes. If formal speeches or humorous after-dinner speeches are what people want to learn how to do, then we will ‘gitter done.” But actually, I help people with literally any type of spoken presentation that they’d like to do even more skillfully and expressively than they already do.
SOME SINGING QUESTIONS
1. Do you just teach people how to sing different musical styles? Or do you teach people how to use their voices?
I’m good at teaching some musical styles but not others. Mainly, I help people learn how to get ‘the most’ out of their voices for the least work regardless of which musical style they choose to sing. That’s one way to put it, anyway.
2. Do you teach only ‘classical’ music singing?
No and Yes. If a singer prefers to sing only classical music, then I will help them sing only classical music. But, if a singer wants to sing musical theatre, jazz, and classical music, then I will help them sing all of those musics.
3. Do you also teach ‘belt’ singing for the musical styles that require it?
Yes. But I’ve found that singers who have learned what I call ‘fundamental voice skills’ can master efficient belting rather quickly and they get really good at it.
4. Do you choose all the music that people sing in your voice sessions?
No. Singers choose the music that they want to sing. If there’s part of a song that will help a singer master a particular vocal skill, then I’ll suggest it and tell why, but after the skill is learned, there’s no reason for the singer to continue singing that song—unless they want to.