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Stephane Overton-Hall

I wish that I had been able to study with Ken when I was in high school.

Stephane Overton-Hall

I have been a student of Ken's since 2008. I had recently left a full-time public school music job, and was singing professionally with the Philadelphia Singers. I hadn't studied since college (2003) and I knew that lessons would give me an advantage in my re-auditions with Philly Singers. I was also struggling with frequent loss of my voice due to using improper techniques while teaching. I was working at Starbucks at the time, and one of our regular customers was a student of Ken's and recommended him to me when I mentioned wanting to get back into lessons. Throughout college I had struggled with my upper register, and my voice teacher there even classified me as a mezzo-soprano at one point, which I am most certainly not. I tended to crack on anything above a G on the staff, which made professional singing a challenge, especially considering my other vocal issues mentioned earlier. At my first consultation with Ken, I knew he was the absolute best teacher in the area - I was able to vocalize easily up to a high E-flat (8 semi-tones higher

than my former range), and he was able to show me techniques to better support my sound so I didn't crack at all. It was amazing and I regretted that I had not been a student of Ken's since my high school days, as I would have been saved from so much of the poor technique I had suffered with since I began my vocal studies at age 16. I decided to join Ken's studio, and have been with him ever since. I have resolved my vocal issues, specifically due to my improved breath support techniques and through use of my pharyngeal voice which allows me to "belt" loudly and easily while teaching my 80 high school musical theatre students. Also, because I have found so much success with my pharyngeal voice, my classical professional career has also improved. I am more easily able to relate my upper register with my "belting" voice, which has made operatic singing so much easier and more free. I have promoted within Philadelphia Singers from a member of the very large Chorale group that only sings with the Philadelphia Orchestra, to a member of the smaller, more elite Expanded Core, and have even been selected for small group work (8 people) within that group in their concerts without the Orchestra. Ken has helped me maintain and improve my voice via Skype through my pregnancy and following the birth of my first baby (no small feat - I promise you!) and through the many iterations of my professional and teaching careers. He also frequently offers advice for me in my own vocal studio, and I often wish I could just send all of my students to Ken because I know they would advance more quickly and find success more easily. I recommend Ken's studio to everyone I know who is looking for a teacher, and will continue to do so as long as he is teaching voice lessons.

I switched to Skype lessons even before Ken left for England, and I chose to do so because it was much more convenient for me than driving into Philadelphia with my busy schedule. I live near Trenton, NJ, and being able to make a cup of tea & sing in my slippers was a really great feeling after a long day of teaching or during a busy concert season. I have found very little difference between my Skype lessons and studio lessons, and have continued to progress successfully. I am so grateful that Ken is still Skyping with me from London, as I have never in my 16 years of vocal study found a teacher that is as knowledgeable and clear as he is. In fact, I still have to work on correcting vocal issues I developed because of the teaching techniques of my past teachers. I am terrified at the thought of another teacher, and will study with Ken as long as he will teach me, via Skype or any other medium he chooses to adopt in the future.

As I mentioned before, I wish that I had been able to study with Ken when I was in high school. I was doing some very unhealthy belting at that time, and the pushing I was doing was compounded by poor teaching for the next 5 years, which nearly ended my singing career. Had I been able to study with Ken, I would have learned the healthy techniques I know now, without having to constantly combat my bad habits developed during my years with other teachers (who are quite renowned in their field, despite not having the abilities that Ken has). I have worked with many other students both privately and in the classroom/theatre setting who study with other teachers in the Bucks County / Philadelphia area, and they all have issues that have either not been corrected by their teachers (but are easy fixes with Ken's techniques), or worse have been developed because of those teacher's instruction. That is sadly so often the case, and in fact, I think it's more common than not. I tell everyone who approaches me for lessons that they should look into studying with Ken first, and I recommend him to everyone who asks me for teacher recommendations - I refuse to recommend anyone else. If you want your own or your child's voice to improve, stay healthy, be competitive and blossom, Ken is the best you can find, via Skype or any other way you can study!

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