On Dec. 16 I had the pleasure of visiting the new Carrie Jay Studio in Dexter for a voice lesson. The studio is run by Carrie Jay Sayer, an assistant director and actress at the
Carrie runs the studio out of her private residence, which makes clients feel much more comfortable. She has been teaching for 10 years and performing for more than two decades.
We started our lesson stretching together. Stretching is very important since it connects the mind and body, and previous teachers of mine have always left out this important step.
We then worked on my breathing. She took me through a series of different breathing exercises, working different parts of my chest, stomach, back and deeper into the lungs. I was breathing into places I didn't know I could hold air.
When we moved into vocalizing I started to get nervous about having anyone listen to me sing, let alone a professional. Carrie stayed so positive that it was easy to let the sounds out. She knew when to sing with me and when to let me go on my own.
I was able to let some notes fly into my head (upper) voice that I haven't had to use in years. After vocalizing for a bit, we started to do some singing. As we were going through her extensive library, I was suprised at just how rusty my musical theater knowledge had gotten over the years.
She picked out for me a song from Evita that I had never heard, and a song from Les Miserables that I was more familiar with. Carrie really took the songs slowly with me and took the time to teach. We started out just humming syllables then moved on to the words and phrases before finally putting everything together.
Carrie is as sweet as she is talented. She really does a fantastic job at staying positive and making you feel less insecure about your performance. She genuinely wants students to succeed. She gives very detailed instructions of what she wants you to do, and can both tell you and show you how she wants you to do it. Carrie is truly a wonderful teacher and I really hope to take a few more vocal lessons from her as well as a few for acting.
For more information on the Carrie Jay Studio, visit www.carriejay.com.