Category Archives: Voice Lessons

Emotion Flashcards for Singers


Hey Voice Teachers! I haven’t forgotten about you 😉 These Emotion Cards have been up my sleeve for a while now, and I finally got around to formatting them for the blog.

What are Emotion Cards?

You’ve probably asked your students to “sing with more emotion” before, right? Sometimes it works wonderfully, but sometimes emotions fall… a bit flat. This semester I wanted to come up with a fun way to get students thinking about how to portray emotions physically and vocally.

They’re super easy to make – just download and print double-sided on card stock. (Try colorful card stock if you want them to look a little fancier!) Toss all the cards into a container such as a shoe box or small plastic bin, and you’re ready to go.

We use these cards in the studio during warm-ups or while singing repertoire. Here’s one of my favorite ways to use these cards during a lesson:

Super Emotional Warm-Up Exercise:

  1. Choose a familiar warm-up exercise and put some fun words to it, such as “Oh what a beautiful day” 1-3-5-8-5-3-1 arpeggio up and down, or “I take a test today” on a 1-5-4-3-2-1.
  2. Mix up the emotion cards in a shoe box and have your students draw one card at a time. Whatever emotion they draw, they must sing the exercise with that emotion!
  3. Once they “master” that emotion, have them draw another card.

Download the Cards

Click the image below to download. As always, be sure to download the file first before printing. Open it with any PDF reader for the best printing results.

Terms of Use: By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the terms of use found on 


Teaching Tip: 

Some of the emotions might be a bit confusing for young singers, so I suggest sorting the emotions into age-appropriate piles before using them with your littles! Stick to the basics for beginners, and then add more complex emotions as they get more advanced. I hope you and your students enjoy using these flashcards!

Look out for future vocal resources!

I’m working on another set specifically designed for young singers, and I’ve got a few other resources spinning around in mind. Stay TunedBe sure to SUBSCRIBE to the blog and follow me on Facebook  for announcements about new freebies and resources!

What are some of your favorite games to play during vocal warmups? Share descriptions or links in the comments below!

P.S. Did anyone else notice the Inside Out reference in the image at the top of this blog post? I LOVE that movie!

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Filed under Vocal Exercises, Vocal Resources, Voice Lessons

Getting “New” Books Never Gets Old

IMG_6568.JPGWoohoo! I’m getting pretty close to owning the full set of TSMTA (The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology… because who has the patience to type that out every time. Not this girl.)

With 6 books in each vocal part, this collection is a hefty, but worthwhile investment for voice teachers. A single book (no CDs) at full retail is around $22-23. Want some CDs or online accompaniment access? That’s going to double the price.

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Filed under Vocal Resources, Voice Lessons

Halloween VOCAL Warm-ups to Spook Up Your Studio!


Happy Wednesday, dear readers! As promised, today is ALL about spoooooooooky warm-ups that you can use with your students for the Halloween season.

We’ll start with voice warm-ups. These were a hit yesterday during group lessons, and they can easily be used in a private lessons too.

(Tomorrow will be piano warm-ups… 😉 )

Spooky Tongue Twisters for Voice Students

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Filed under Free Downloads, teaching tips, Vocal Exercises, Voice Lessons

Gearing Up for Fall: Part 3

Copy of Getting Geared Upfor Fall.jpg

Well, I finally got around to writing Part 3 of my Gearing Up for Fall series! In Parts 1 and 2 we covered material preparation and fall scheduling. Now it’s time to get into some of the technology we’re using in the studio this year.

Today’s post is all about subscription services.

You’ve probably noticed that over the past several years music apps and subscription based services have absolutely exploded all over the internet. It can be difficult to keep up with all the options out there!

(Side note: How many of you out there are app hoarders? I have SO many music apps on my iPad that haven’t been used to their potential! Maybe I should start a Music Apps Anonymous group?)

While I haven’t quite addressed my “app issue,” I did make a decision to focus my attention on a few of my monthly subscription services.

Here are a few services I’m focusing on right now:


Studio Subscription: My Music Staff

This “studio assistant” is a life saver. I’m using it for my lesson calendar, invoicing, online payments, and for lesson swaps/reschedules. In the past I used several free services to do these things, but it was just too time consuming!

My favorite part: Automated invoicing and the options to send text/email reminders to families who have really busy schedules. I’m really hoping that this cuts down on last minute cancellations this year.

(And I want to stop playing “monkey in the middle” when it comes to rescheduling. Here’s to hopefully making that part of my business hands-free.)


Voice Students Subscription: Virtually Vocal

While I enjoy being able to accompany my voice students during lesson time, it can be a real a distraction to always be stuck behind the piano. This service is an accompaniment/warm-up database that will allow teachers to assign repertoire to specific student accounts.

I’m hoping to use this service in two ways: 1) to free up my brain so I can focus on teaching and observing when we’re polishing a piece, and 2) as a service my students can use at home.

The studio option for this accompaniment database is pretty new, so it’s seems like there are still some bugs to work out. It’s been a real challenge to get my students to connect, but at least I’ve been able to find at least 1 or 2 accompaniments for each student that we can use in the studio this fall.


Piano Students Subscription: Piano Maestro

This well-known piano app isn’t new to my studio, but the subscription part is! Joy Tunes announced this summer that they were creating a new subscription based model for their flagship app, Piano Maestro. It’s my absolute favorite way to encourage sight-reading in the studio.

This app has been invaluable for some of my young students who have trouble visually tracking a single line of music. Bonus: Parents absolutely love how PM gets their kids to the piano bench to practice without complaints! Students typically practice without the iPad first, and then they do their PM assignments.

Upgrading this service: While it was great to be able to use this service for free over the past two years, I’m happy to pay for the studio/home subscription option. It’s well-worth the money, and I’m excited to use all new options that the Joy Tunes team included.

So far this subscription service “focus project” has worked pretty well.

While those subscriptions do add up each month, at least now I feel more confident about using these services. It’s a nice to know know that you’re getting your money’s worth!

My advice to you: If you have a bunch of subscription services that are only being partially used — take stock! Make a list of all the subscriptions you’re using each month and start really focusing on getting the most out of those services. Don’t let that money go to waste!

Now I just have to start looking at all those other music apps… but I’ll save THAT for another post. 🙂 Have a great weekend, everyone!

Let’s Share: What monthly subscriptions do you use in your studio? Comment below and let us know what works for you!

Be sure to check out Part 1 and 2 of my Gearing Up for Fall series!

Getting Geared Upfor Fall

Getting Scheduled for Fall

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Filed under Piano Lessons, Reviews, Studio Updates, teaching tips, Voice Lessons

Have a Back-up Plan

Crossing out Plan A and writing Plan B on a blackboard.

Well, folks… I promised you 3 posts about Gearing Up for Fall. As you can tell from today’s title, that 3rd post hasn’t happened yet. Issues beyond my control keep popping up, and rather than bemoaning the circumstances, I’m going to change course.

**Part 3 is still in the works, and should be out sometime this week or next.

Today is about having a Back-Up Plan. 

Before we get to the music lesson related stuff… I need to start with a little backstory on why I’m writing about back-up plans.

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Filed under Online Lessons, Piano Lessons, teaching tips, Voice Lessons