Center Grove High School Private Instructor Studio Policies

Attendance Policy

  • Always notify your teacher as far in advance as possible of necessary absences.
  • In case of an emergency or illness on the day of your lesson, please call/text your teacher as soon as possible prior to your lesson, and the absence will be excused.  The lesson amount for any excused absence will be credited to the next month’s payment.
  • Cancelled lessons must have at least 24 hours’ notice in order to be considered an excused absence.
  • Any absence not excused prior to lesson time will be considered unexcused and will not be credited.
  • For any lessons cancelled by your teacher, a credit will be applied to the next month’s payment.
  • If there is a two-hour delay or school is cancelled, voice lessons for that day will be cancelled.


  • Not being able to come to your lesson because of your failure to request a pass prior to 7:00 am on your lesson day will be considered an unexcused absence.
  • If you do not bring YOUR music to a lesson, the lesson will be cancelled and considered unexcused (there will be a 1 lesson grace for this).
  • Excessive unexcused absences or the determination that a student is not working on lesson material outside of lesson time will result in a student being removed from a voice studio.

Lesson Payment

The fee for a 30-minute voice lesson is $25. Payment for a month of voice lessons is due at the first lesson of the month. In other words, payment for September lessons should be given at the first lesson the student attends in September.  Payments may be paid in cash or by check.  Checks should be made payable to your voice teacher.  If paying a month at a time will present a hardship for you, please contact your teacher directly.

*A student’s progress is directly related to practice time outside of lessons and the application of techniques and skills that are presented in voice lessons.*

Practice Expectations

Practice time is important. The voice is an instrument that can be improved through regular application of healthy vocal technique and awareness. Improving your singing is a marathon not a sprint.  There is no magic wand I can wave that will make you a virtuoso overnight. It takes time, daily vocalizing, practice, development of your vocal mechanism, perseverance, and frankly a lot of hard work. Success as a singer will be determined by the effort a student puts into practicing. Lessons are not meant for learning your music or as a once a week practice, and you will not progress if you are not practicing outside of lessons throughout the week. Students will learn and review skills at each lesson that should be applied when practicing.

Warm-up: This is a MUST!!! NEVER sing without warming-up!! Have a routine which will allow you to experience breath coordination, breath management, vowel study, agility, and range expansion.

Singing: Work out the music problems to the end so that you will be able to perform the music rhythmically and melodically with proper pronunciation, phrasing and style.

Studio Policies

At weekly voice lessons, you can expect our private voice faculty to help you:

  • Develop tone, breath control, relaxation and dynamics
  • Improve breath support, placement, phrasing, interpretation, ear training and performance skills
  • Gain awareness of the physical tensions and habits that hinder an individual voice
  • Develop your physical, emotional and technical capacity to sing freely
  • Enhance your enjoyment and confidence while singing
  • Weekly lessons include vocal warm-ups and exercises focusing on proper breathing and vocal techniques that will then be applied to song literature.
  • Students should be open and willing to try different styles of music, as I am open to letting them sing different styles.
  • Students recommendations for repertoire selection will be considered as long as it is appropriate for the student’s age, voice and level of accomplishment.
  • Repertoire assigned from a musical or opera will require the student to research the character and the scene to have a better understanding of the emotion behind the song and how to perform it.
  • If a student is assigned a piece in a foreign language, the student is expected to translate the piece.

Supply Lists and Contact Information

Mrs. Suellen Swaney

[email protected]

  • A pencil for marking music and taking notes
  • A notebook
  • A 1” three ring binder in which to keep copied music
  • Required Music (see below)
  • Any other music currently being worked on (at times you may have a song that is not in either of the required books)


24 Italian Songs and Arias – Medium High – Shirmer’s Library of Musical Classics

The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology Teen’s Edition – Soprano – Hal Leonard Publisher


24 Italian Songs and Arias – Medium Low – Shirmer’s Library of Musical Classics

The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology Teen’s Edition – Mezzo Sop./Alto/Belter – Hal Leonard Pub.

RETURNING STUDENTS PLEASE NOTE: If you have changed voice parts this year, you will need to purchase new books that correspond with the voice part you are singing this year.

Books with accompaniment CDs or online audio access are available. Purchasing the accompaniment CDs or online audio access is optional but may be helpful for practicing at home. These books may be purchased from several different vendors so look for the best price.  There are many volumes to The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology Collection, but there is only one Teen’s Edition for each voice part. Please be sure you are purchasing the Teen’s Edition in the correct voice part.  Here are a few vendors I suggest:

Mr. Metzger

[email protected]

I am no longer requiring that each voice student purchase one music book.  In past years I have required the purchase of the following text.  It is a great resource and I may still assign songs from this songbook in lesson. However, it is no longer a requirement to take voice lessons.

Sopranos – 24 Italian Songs and Arias – Medium High – Shirmer

Altos – 24 Italian Songs and Arias – Medium Low – Shirmer

Tenors – 24 Italian Songs and Arias – Medium High – Shirmer

Baritone/Bass – 24 Italian Songs and  Arias –  Medium Low – Shirmer

Books with accompaniment CDs or online audio access are available.  Purchasing the accompaniment CD or online audio access is optional.  These books may be purchased from several different vendors so look for the best price.

Christina Nicastro

[email protected]

Chloe Boelter

[email protected]

Required Materials:

    • Sheet music – I am not requiring a book, but you will be required to purchase the sheet music for the songs we work on in lessons. Suggestions for sites are listed below.
    • Accompaniment recordings – these recordings will be used in lessons and for you to practice at home. Suggestions for sites are listed below.
  • Notebook
  • 1” three ring binder for all sheet music.
  • Pencil for marking music and taking notes.
  • A straw, it can be reusable or disposable. This will be used for warm-up purposes.

***Important Note! If masks are to be required at any point in the school year, you will be required to purchase a singer’s mask.***

Below are links to some you can purchase. (Please talk to me if this is a financial issue.)

Accompaniment recordings will need to be purchased by the second lesson after the song has been assigned. We will also go over this in your lesson as a reminder. Please let me know if you are having trouble finding a recording. *There should be no voices in the recording, just piano*

Please come to your first lesson with a song that you have sung in the past so I can get a good feel for what your voice part is and how to proceed with lessons.

Sheet Music Site Recommendations:

  • Amazon

Accompaniment Recording Site Recommendations:

  • PianoTrax (also has an App for your phone)
  • Youtube
  • Amazon

Singers Mask Links:

Emergency Procedures

Fire: Exit building through door 10 and move to East teacher parking lot.

Tornado: Exit choir/orchestra room and move to Science Hallway.

Code Yellow: Doors will be locked to the outside classroom, remain in Voice Studio.

Code Red: Move to Costume Closet in choir room, turn off all lights, remain silent, wait for further instructions.