Curriculum -or- What To Expect when Studying with Mindy


The Studio curriculum is comprised of private lessons, Vocal Intensives (group classes), and, for more advanced students, Studio Spotlight cabarets. Occasionally Ms. Lym will teach courses for other organizations, and her private students are more than welcome to enroll.

The combination of private lessons and Vocal Intensives is the fastest route to vocal progress. One alone is quite useful, but incomplete, and they serve completely different purposes.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are highly customized, and can include technical vocal work, performance skills, personal and professional mentorship, and, if desired, deep emotional work. Ms. Lym has a focus on musical theatre, but is well versed in, and happy to teach, anything from pop/rock to opera. Lately, simply because of demand, she has accidentally begun to specialize in helping classical singers safely transition into a more contemporary sound.

Ms. Lym is hopelessly nerdy about vocal technique, and can help you overhaul, or fine tune your voice in the direction your own personal goals. Through a combination of muscle isolations, deep release work, and diagnosing and retraining any imbalances in your breath support system, she’ll help you find more resonance, agility, and range, while collaborating with you find your own unique sound. She also has a slew of acting styles and exercises at her fingertips, as well as personal experience in both the Bay Area and New York scenes. She often helps students prepare of their auditions, even to the extent of coaching them behind the camera for video submissions.

Ms. Lym is also deeply passionate about the deeper emotional work of being a performer. This kind of mentorship is completely optional, as it is often deeply personal. This can include the simpler things such as how to be professional in correspondence and negotiation with a casting director, or the deeper topics of how to exist in an often turbulent industry, while tending to our own trauma and mental health. How do we remain whole as artists? How do we create a career that reflects our deepest values, and preserves our integrity? How do we reveal the parts of ourself in performance (as our dream roles often demand) that are still deeply wounded and vulnerable? And further than that, how do we do so in a way that is actually emotionally sustainable?  These are her favorite topics, and she always endeavors to approach them with care, tenderness, and a deep respect for the individual.

Vocal Intensives

Vocal Intensives are a phenomenal way to accelerate your progress in your vocal work. They are 3 hours long and cost less than a private lesson. Think of it as a yoga class for your voice: Everyone does the same exercises together at the same time, and everyone still gets personal adjustments. You get a tremendous work out.

That said, there are some things you can get from Vocal Intensives that you simply can’t get from a private lesson, and vice versa. A few things unique to Vocal Intensives:

  • In Vocal Intensives one can learn to sing truly by sensation, rather than by sound. Anyone who’s so much as hummed in a parking garage can tell you that acoustics are radically different from venue to venue, and that their consistency and quality of sound often will suffer for it. When truly singing by sensation, this obstacle can be almost completely overcome.
  • Differentiating between technique and instrument. This is one of the things that accelerates people’s technical progress the most. Hearing the same muscular gesture in 5 or 10 radically different voices starts to clarify the difference between the technique, and the resulting sound. The same muscle dilation will sound wildly different on a soubrette soprano, than on a contralto or bass. And once that differentiation is made a student can attempt to replicate the teacher’s gesture, instead of the teacher’s sound, which may have little resemblance to their own.
  • Initially many singers are hesitant to join Vocal Intensive because they are self-conscious. And what I’ve found is that joining Vocal Intensive has helped melt that self consciousness faster than almost anything else. People imagine that they will get there and be judged or intimidated. But what I’ve invariably heard from my students is that they get there and realize that the people they don’t know, or even the performers that they’ve put on pedestals, are actually all struggling with the same or similar things as they are. It’s humanizing and heartening. And the insecurity invariably melts into deep camaraderie.

Vocal Intensives are for everyone. That said, Ms. Lym does prefer to have a handful of private lessons with students before throwing them into the mix. She needs to know your instrument and your goals to make sure she can give you the proper adjustments during a group class.

Studio Spotlights

Studio Spotlight cabarets are held 3 – 4 times per year, and are held at a local intimate piano bar. Each performer creates and performers a 15 minute set of songs and stories. This is designed not only to pull the student’s singing prowess forward, but also to heighten the art of storytelling, and developing a relationship with the audience.

Students are invited to perform as Ms. Lym considers them to be ready. If this is something you are interested in participating in, please let her know.