Find out about our online vocal lessons.
Taking lessons at Skokstudio
Over the last three decades, Heidi Skok’s own philosophy of teaching has been inspired by what she learned from the teachings of the great German soprano and teacher Lilli Lehmann (1849-1928, Author of “How to Sing”). Ms. Skok has developed her pedagogy further into a highly interactive vocal program called the REST™ Vocal Technique, based on a lively, engaging delivery of Lilli’s classical principles. The REST name comes from the technique’s characteristic “Resonance, Sensory, Tactile” features, as well as from the stress-free singing that it produces. Singers of all genres use the REST Vocal Technique to develop a strong vocal foundation, to sing without vocal stress, and to transform their voices. Read More about Lilli Lehmann!
The program also implements the REST™ Toolkit, which contains several therapeutic tactile and sensory items along with some light athletic equipment items that Heidi has chosen, all curated from a few trusted vendors. Heidi uses these items to teach by sensory action, through demonstrating the use of head voice, chest voice, a combination of the chest and head dominance, breath support and air flow, sensation and placement of the tongue, and vowel placement. These six to seven “tools” are utilized in vocal exercises that Heidi Skok has specifically created to illustrate her methodology. Technical vocal concepts are not simply just explained, they are shown to the singer and demonstrated first-hand. These selected tactile items are engaging, and help singers immediately apply the vocal concepts in the REST Vocal Technique. All students are shipped a REST Toolkit upon enrollment.
- Every lesson is carefully planned and tailored to each student.
- All lessons are video recorded for Enrolled students to use during practice each week.
- Ms. Skok currently only teaches lessons online via Zoom and does not teach in person.
“Just wanted to send a quick thank you for these past 6 months of lessons. The improvement is way more than I expected, and exciting. It dawned on me this week that I have not had to ‘rest’ my voice due to strain or injury for a single day over this whole time. That is amazing! Thank you for your method of teaching that helps a student evolve dramatically without risk of ‘down’ time. Just sayin’!”
What to Expect
Contrary to much of what is seen in movies and on tv, singers require long term training and simply do not develop to their fullest ability overnight. While true that transformative advances in vocal development can take place rapidly for students who apply themselves, the mature formation of a foundation of core technique is charted over the course of years, not months or weeks. Furthermore, when vocal development is taking place it simply does not continue to progress without consistent commitment to both regular lessons and weekly practice. A singer must devote a great deal of time, effort, and resources to advance as a professional vocalist.
Heidi Skok makes a similar commitment when working with a student, and endeavors to establish a positive, encouraging, relationship of trust with each new student. This special mentoring relationship between a voice student and teacher must be nurtured over time for it to flourish. For this reason, Skokstudio will dedicate no less than a year of time when working with each newly enrolling singer, and thus seeks students who are also committed to that minimum length of study.
Skokstudio welcomes all talented singers, at all levels of development, who have a desire to sing well, a willingness to learn, and the dedication that is required to become a successful vocalist. Our students are presently somewhere on their journey as a singer and are seeking not only to strengthen the foundation of their vocal ability, but to take their vocal development in the direction they desire to grow.
What happens in a Skokstudio voice lesson?
Private Voice Lessons are delivered to in two formats: Technical and Repertoire-building. Each format consists of specific, regular planned activities that are presented in 30 or 60-minute length lesson sessions. A 60-minute lesson may also contain additional planned activities in a typical lesson routine that can’t be offered in 30-minute lessons. New beginner Enrolled students without prior training take only 30 minutes of Technical lessons per week for the first two months. Enrolled students otherwise take one lesson of each format every week, for a minimum total of 60 minutes. Students under 18 are not permitted to take more than one 30-minute lesson per day. Students 18+ are permitted to take both lesson formats on the same day, scheduled consecutively, with no more than 90 minutes total.
All Technical sessions begin with a brief moment of focus on positivity. Master Instructor Heidi Skok traditionally uses three quick positive quotes, generically taken from notable literary and historical figures. A 60 minute lesson includes breath work using two different breath techniques that Heidi Skok favors and then goes into calm mental preparation. Skokstudio understands the importance of having one’s mind be clear and on a positive track so that the work also follows a path of positivity and achievement, which in turn provides a feeling of confidence and self-love.
Each lesson then follows with lip-flutter and tongue-flutter exercises. These exercises will last five to ten minutes, depending on the student ability. Again, also depending on student ability, in a 30-minute lesson there will then be two to three specially crafted exercises that handle areas of breath support, chest voice, head voice, and the combination of head and chest.
A 60-minute lesson will have four to six custom exercises. In both a 30 and 60-minute lesson, some of these exercises will utilize the REST™ Toolkit of auxiliary tools that is shipped to each enrolled student. Heidi Skok meets the individual need of the singers as the work is being done, and addresses issues and works to solve them in the moment. Singers develop confidence as they work through the technical process.
The Repertoire-building lesson also begins with three positive quotes. There is no technical exercise work in this lesson. Technical corrections however, will be made during the working session within the repertoire itself.
For each 30-minute lesson, Master Instructor Heidi Skok has either assigned one to two songs, or the student has chosen for themselves. A 60-minute lesson will have three to four songs that will be worked on, which will be either assigned or chosen. Songs are selected that are a good technical fit with respect to range, ability, and style for the individual voice. The instructor does assign Classical repertoire to each student, but for technical purposes, only. The student then sings in any genre that their voice best resides.
You are known as an opera singer. Do you teach any other music genre besides opera?
Yes. Heidi Skok has the ability to plug formal classical vocal technique into all genres. She creatively teaches by uniquely incorporating the use of a variety of auxiliary tools that she has researched and applied to vocal development. Heidi Skok is patient and able to explain concepts in many different ways so that the student can understand and put the work into action. Her own experience as a trained vocalist who also sings pop, jazz and contemporary gives her the insight to determine a student’s present needs at their current state of vocal development, and to precisely meet the needs that are being presented to her in any genre.
Heidi Skok’s Personal Journey of Vocal Development
Heidi started her singing life with pop music and only gravitated into Classical style and opera when her voice teacher guided her there after having learned to really utilize head voice at a very young age. And, after a successful opera career as a soprano, Heidi went back to her low voice roots as a mezzo and has gotten back to singing pop music. Utilizing her own classical technique which she has developed, Heidi has a great low belt to her pop and now successfully teaches other singers how to belt. Read more about Heidi Skok’s journey.
What genres of singing do you teach?
Skokstudio works with all genres of singing. Heidi Skok has developed The REST™ Vocal Technique to be applied to all genres. It is a vocal technique that is easily plugged into all ways of singing. Heidi Skok instructs singers of jazz, pop, country, rap, blue grass, blues, rock, soul, gospel, and musical theater, as well as opera/classical. The classical technique that she teaches provides the strongest foundation to support singing in any genre. The correct application of the classical method of singing in this way brings the solid vocal development necessary for effortless, “healthy” singing in any genre.
What’s the difference between Online voice lessons and In-person voice lessons?
In-person lessons are taught on location at the studio, while Online lessons are delivered via Zoom to the comfort of your own home. The training and content that is taught to each student is the same whether delivered in-person or online. However, the benefit of online lessons with Skokstudio is that students can take lessons from anywhere in the world and still receive the same incredible training experience that they would get in person at the studio.
As of March 2020, Skokstudio exclusively delivers voice lessons and webinars from the studio location at Mentor Avenue over the web using Zoom and is not currently offering lessons in person at the studio location at this time due to Covid19 social distancing safety concerns.
What about student accompaniment?
With online lessons over Zoom, the songs in lessons are sung either acapella, with Karaoke, or while singing along with another artist on YouTube. For some repertoire, Heidi Skok can record on the keyboard for the singer, and upload to the singer so that on the singer’s end, they can play the accompaniment and sing to it. Additionally, students may use phone apps that provide accompaniment. We highly recommend that singers use a service like Keith Chambers to record their requested music tracks for use as accompaniment. Visit him at www.keith-chambers.com
Do I receive any items when I Enroll to study Online with Skokstudio?
Yes, Skokstudio will ship the following items to Enrolled students:
- The REST™ Toolkit that Heidi Skok uses to teach her REST™ Vocal Technique
- The Enhanced Online Equipment Toolkit, containing a microphone, headphones, and a pop-filter
- Students also receive a Skokstudio t-shirt and a Skokstudio tote bag
- Both Toolkits are also available for purchase independently by (non-enrolled) Open-Registration students
Learn More About Enrollment at Skokstudio
Students must complete the annual Enrollment Process every year to regularly attend weekly lessons at Skokstudio. Skokstudio not only provides individual and group private lessons for Enrolled students, but also additionally offers special Open-Registration vocal instruction to (non-enrolled) singers as well. Open Registration instruction is offered in formats such as individual lessons (only for advanced professionals), Classes, Workshops, Retreats/Camps, and Intensive Training sessions.
- After taking a vocal evaluation, new student candidates may enroll at any time during the year.
- Enrollment is for a term of one year that begins on the date of signing up.
- Skokstudio has a flexible Enrollment start date and does not have a Standard Annual Term that starts on specific date each year.
- Skokstudio does not have fall/spring/summer terms or semesters but operates without a fixed annual term year round.
- This flexible start date allows students who are interested in long term formal vocal study the ability to begin right away, at any time of year, instead of only at one or two start dates prior to a “Spring Term” or “Fall Term”.
The Enrollment Process
Once a student candidate has taken an initial Vocal Evaluation they may begin the Enrollment Process. Candidates that have completed the steps of the Enrollment process are then considered to be Enrolled. Enrolled students are then permitted to schedule lessons, reserved at the same time slot each week and receive the discounted subscription rate and other benefits of enrollment.
To complete Enrollment each year, all students must sign the Student Enrollment Agreement and pay the annual Enrollment Registration Fee. New students must also pay the Enhanced online Equipment Fee.
STEP 1: Sign the Student Enrollment Agreement.
The Agreement simply says that the student has paid the enrollment fees and also agrees to adhere to the policies and procedures described in the Skokstudio Student Handbook. This is not a financial obligation, and students may cancel with 30-days written notice, and with no penalty.
STEP 2: Pay the Enrollment Registration Fee and Enhanced Online Equipment Toolkit Fee.
STEP 3: New students select a Subscription Tuition Package Plan that suits their development goals.
- New students pay first month of Subscription Tuition Package Plan at the time of enrollment.
- Subscription Tuition payment is accepted by credit card, auto-renewed on last week of every month.
- Students are only permitted to attend enrolled lessons with an active Subscription Plan in place.
OUR CORE VALUES
The REST™ Toolkit
Shipped to all students, the REST™ Toolkit contains six or seven auxiliary vocal therapeutic tools and fitness equipment utilized in Skokstudio lessons, all kept in a Skokstudio tote-bag. And yes, (by popular demand) a Skokstudio T-shirt in the student’s size is included too!
Twelve BONUS Monthly Group Classes
Students are offered the additional opportunity to come together as a group online with Heidi Skok once a month, learning by helping each other grow though demonstrating, accepting, and encouraging each other’s work and talent. Heidi Skok offers guidance to attending students as they perform whatever they’re currently working on.
Other Amazing Benefits
Students are invited to participate in the Skokstudio Student Facebook Group, featuring special discussions and “members-only” posts covering the REST™Vocal Technique.
Video recordings of all lessons are available for each student to view online and/or download.
Guaranteed fixed weekly time slots every month, and easy 24/7 online self-scheduling/rescheduling.
Subscription Packages offer a discounted lesson fee rate from the standard per-lesson fee rate.
Tuition is paid in easy monthly installments, automatically billed to credit card for convenience.
Scheduled upcoming lessons can be added to student’s own Google and/or Outlook calendar.
Students receive email notifications of upcoming lessons.
Students of all music genres including pop, jazz, blues, soul, gospel, musical theater, and classical/operatic are eligible to participate in live performance opportunities through Resonanz Opera!
Students are eligible to receive free promotional exposure on social media and website, if desired.
COMING SOON: Student Portal access to scheduling, lesson recordings, assignments, upload music
COMING SOON: Skokstudio REST™ Toolkit training videos and downloadable exercise lesson plans