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Finamore Voice & Piano Q&A

A. With today’s generation of texting, ipads, iphones, and video games, we are allowing children to become a bit too comfortable with the idea of instant gratification. Piano lessons can enrich a child’s life by teaching him/her the idea of working towards a long term goal. Acquiring skill in the piano takes time and practice. Piano is a long term endeavor that can be very rewarding and provide a feeling of accomplishment. Not only will learning piano be a fun activity for your child, but it may provide many benefits such as an increased attention span, increased concentration, and enhanced motor skills. Actually, the benefits of learning piano are similar to those of learning a new sport!

A. With enough determination, diligence, and practice, you can learn to sing with pitch matching exercises! Training is key with a student who has difficulty carrying pitch and Janelle is very experienced with helping in this area. If you are “tone deaf” you simply need to learn more about how different notes sound and how to mimic these sounds. Essentially, listening and ear training skills need to be enhanced so the student can learn to distinguish between different notes on the piano or notes being sung. Once the student develops a better ear, pitch matching will become easier. Several vocal exercises will be taught and practicing them daily will be key to progress in matching pitch and singing on key! For songs, Janelle will play the melody of each chosen song with the sheet music and the student will slowly learn each pitch note by note until they are proficient at matching pitch.

A. No! Janelle will certainly teach classical music to anyone who desires since she is trained classically in opera, however, this is not a necessity to singing well. In fact, several classically trained singers struggle with learning pop since they such completely different genres and sounds. Janelle has also trained classical singers and transformed their sound into a more pop style simply by making vowel changes. The classical “Ah” sound can be changed to more horizontal vowels such as “aaah” and “ay” and with practice can change the entire sound from opera to pop! There is no doubt that classical training is also beneficial and can provide power in the voice, however pop training can achieve the same benefits through several specific pop vocal exercises that are specifically meant for power and belting in a healthy way. Janelle emphasizes a mix voice when singing pop so that the singer does not damage his/her vocal cords by pulling the chest voice too high. If this is confusing to you now, just take a few lessons and it will all fall into place. Essentially, Janelle tailors the vocal lesson to the student’s needs. For instance, if an already seasoned singer has a Broadway audition for a performing arts college, Janelle will help choose and prepare an appropriate song for the audition and prep them for the audition with vocal coaching. She will also provide copies of sheet music and a piano backing track if needed. Other students may be completely new to singing and will need long term lessons focusing on pitch, technique, breathing, belting properly, and learning new melodies/songs. For every student, however, singing should a fun outlet to release tension and increase confidence!

A. Healthy belting simply explained is when a singer projects without shouting. Singing resonates in all different areas of the body. When you sing in your chest voice (which is where your speaking voice resonates), your tone will resonate in your chest area and should sound loud and strong. Your head voice resonates more in your head area (forehead and top of the head) rather than your chest. Some people try to belt out pop songs primarily in their chest voice, which can wreak havoc if they are trying to hit a high note and they simply cannot reach the note in their chest register. The voice may crack or sound strained when a singer pulls his/her chest voice too high and it begins to sound like they are shouting. The best way to rectify the issue, is adding more head resonance to the sound or pivoting into your head register. However, this takes a lot of skill and vocal training because what can happen is the head voice register may sound light and breathy and may sound too soft compared to the chest voice. Switching from chest register to head register in the middle of a song can disrupt an entire song if not performed with training and finesse. There are several exercises and training techniques that can alleviate this problem that Janelle covers in her lessons. The goal of singing should be one smooth sound and we should not hear a switch or break between the chest voice and the head voice. When you learn how to sing with a combination of chest register and head register and can sing smoothly in a strong voice without any breaks, it is called a Mix voice. Essentially, there should be no distinction between chest voice and head voice, rather there should be different registers and areas where the voice may resonate more, rather than two separate voices. This can be achieved through exercises and practice involving strengthening the head register so that it sounds just as strong and powerful as the chest register.

A. Vowel Modifications are when certain vowels within words are modified or slightly adjusted so that the pitch or tone of the word sounds better when sung. Most vowel modifications work best in the singer’s high range and are used the most here. Sometimes singing on a certain vowel may be causing the pitch to go flat or off key or perhaps the tone is not as bright and round as it could be. For instance, if you are trying to hit a high C in your chest voice on the word “OUT” and it is going flat, a simple vowel modification can help you hit the note. Instead of pronouncing the word as “ow-oot” you can simply put an “ahh” vowel sound into the word as in the word “hat”. In other words, try saying “At” instead of “Out” and you will see how much easier it is to hit the note. Another example of a vowel modification we would use specifically in pop music is the word “all”. Instead of saying “aw-ll” we can put more of an “oooh” sound into the word so it becomes “ooh-ll. This vowel is brighter and will produce a more pleasant tone that is less likely to go flat.

A. One of the most challenging aspects of singing is being able to hit notes in a higher register. There are many reasons why a note may feel too high for your range and many ways to fix the issue. One common mistake is pulling the chest register too high when trying to hit a high note, thereby causing the note to crack. This causes vocal strain and vocal fatigue and can damage the vocal cords. Therefore, it is best to sing the note with more head resonance than chest resonance.  However, as mentioned earlier, it can be very challenging to switch from chest voice to head voice without sounding weak and breathy. Ideally, the singer must maintain power and strength within the head voice so that you cannot distinguish between the chest and head voice. The goal in singing should be to have one smooth register with no breaks in the voice. There are dozens of exercises that Janelle teaches to achieve the flawless transition from chest to head voice and creating power in the head voice. These exercises take time and practice and the transition does not come overnight. Another reason why singers struggle with hitting high notes is because they are not relaxing their larynx or “voice box”. When they attempt to hit the note, they choke up because they may be thinking of how high the note is rather than thinking the exact opposite-you should be thinking down when singing high. If you think down it will allow the larynx to relax and make it easier to hit a difficult to reach note. Another mistake is singing the “high” note on a particular vowel that could be causing the sound to go flat as mentioned earlier. Often times, simply modifying or making slight adjustments/alterations to the vowel that is being sung can work wonders on hitting a higher note with ease.

A. A vibrato is when the voice oscillates or wavers back and forth quickly. Opera singers use a heavy vibrato whereas pop singers like Adele tend to have a light trailing vibrato. Some pop singers do not use vibrato at all and sing in a straight tone.  Having a natural vibrato comes with time and is a sure sign of correct breathing. Breathing from the diaphragm is key to achieving a flawless vibrato. If your vibrato “wobbles” or shakes unevenly, it is usually an indication of improper breathing. There are breathing exercises that Janelle teaches to assist with vibrato. There are a few different exercises to achieve vibrato whether the goal is  a heavy or light vibrato. For example, one simple exercise would be to sing a C and then a C# which are half steps. Singing half steps slowly and then gradually increasing the speed between the half steps is the first step to mastering vibrato. Since it is easier to show this exercise than tell, simply take some lessons and it will all make much more sense!

A. It is not necessary to learn classical piano in order to play pop, especially when learning basic pop chords. However, if you have never played piano before it will be important to work through a couple of Alfred’s basic lesson books initially. These books will introduce you to reading music, basic musical terms, and note recognition. You will need to know where all the notes are on the piano first before learning any type of music and it will be necessary to master the basics such as some piano exercises and playing basic piano melodies before launching into playing full pop accompaniment. However, pop chords can be introduced immediately and once you have mastered all the chords, you can pick up sheet music for any pop song and should be able to play it with the chords. Over time, this can evolve into playing the melody and full pop accompaniment as you advance in learning how to read music. Therefore, it is recommended that lessons include a basic lesson book, pop chord sheet (provided), and a pop songbook to work on.

Finamore Voice and Piano Lessons - Newport BeachExcellent5.0 Based on 52 reviews fromSee all reviews review us onG JG J ★★★★★ Janielle has been our Piano and voice teacher for 3 years! She has helped my two kids thrive in several musical genres from classical to pop. She keeps the kids interested and passionate about music and they have both excelled under her guidance.Hannah SchullerHannah Schuller ★★★★★ Ms. Janelle is the best! My daughter really loves taking from her. The lessons have made her love piano more than previously.Response from the ownerI enjoy working with Hannah! I look forward to her continued progress! Brady BartoBrady Barto ★★★★★ My kids love her lessons! She teaches them music they love, and she is able to work with our tricky schedules.Response from the ownerThanks so much for the positive feedback, Brady! I'm glad to hear that your kids are enjoying their lessons and that I've been able to accommodate your schedules. It's always a pleasure working with them. Looking forward to their progress and the upcoming recitals! Jessamyn WilkinsonJessamyn Wilkinson ★★★★★ Truly great experience. Janelle teaches my 7-year old piano and she is so patient and has such a wonderful approach to how she teaches. My daughter sincerely loves going to her lessons and I couldn’t be happier with how she has progressed. Highly recommend!Response from the ownerThank you so much! I love seeing her progress! A NikkiA Nikki ★★★★★ I’ve been coming to Janelle for over a year and she was able to help me ‘re-find’ my voice with her extensive knowledge of opera, jazz & pop alongside with aiding me with vocal therapy. Five stars!Travis LawmasterTravis Lawmaster ★★★★★ Before I started lessons with Janelle, I would hear classical and operatic singers at church and elsewhere, and thought to myself, "I would never be able to sing like that." However, after only two months of lessons with Janelle, I am now able to hit notes at a much higher range than ever before, and even add vibrato and dynamics to it. High range and good dynamics were two of my main goals when starting with Janelle, and in just this short time, the exercises she's given me have helped me make incredible progress toward that goal. One good example - Janelle shared with me some very good therapeutic vocal exercises that involve singing through a straw, and other challenging but good exercises that help you control your breathing and strengthen your range. We were working on a song where the chorus required me to sing above my normal comfortable range. So Janelle led me through the therapeutic exercises, then had me sing chorus again right afterward, and like magic, I was able to hit the highest notes with much greater ease, less strain, and even some vibrato. Definitely reach out to Janelle if you want to have an excellent and well-educated teacher to help you sing pop, classical, opera or really any style.Response from the ownerThank you so much to one of my most improved student! Aseil Al ShehailAseil Al Shehail ★★★★★ Miss Janelle teaches my kids piano and they are progressing so well! They learn fun popular songs and highly recommend for all ages!Shatha AliShatha Ali ★★★★★ My 3 kids (13year old, 11 yr old, 8yr old) have been taking piano and voice lessons from Janelle for the past 1 year. Janelle is super organized and sweet. She pays attention to detail and my kids love her. Thanku JanelleResponse from the ownerThank you 🙏 I love working with the kids! Ben LiBen Li ★★★★★ Janelle is an awesome pianist and vocalist, and she's an amazing teacher. She's helped me a lot and I feel like my skills have improved vastly. Thank you, Janelle.Doria YaoDoria Yao ★★★★★ My kid likes her and is very happy to take piano and vocal classes with her every time! Janelle interacts with kids and motivate them quite well. I don’t have to push my kid to practice everyday. She just wants to do it. Janelle really nails it!Sarah OrendorffSarah Orendorff ★★★★★ Janelle is a wonderful pianist and teacher. She takes time to get to know her students and their preferences and style. I have one kid that enjoys jazz, and she nurtures that love, and another that loves pop. She introduces them to multiple genres as well.Marina KahanaMarina Kahana ★★★★★ Janelle is an exceptional music teacher who we would wholeheartedly recommend to any parent looking for vocal lessons for their child. Our 15-year-old has been taking voice lessons with Janelle Finamore for nearly 3 years, and it has been worth every cent. Janelle is a true professional- not only has she helped our child develop her vocal range and projection, but she has given her confidence to successfully audition for solo performances through her school choir! She is a true gem of a teacher. You will not regret choosing her for your child!Response from the ownerThank you for your kind response. I look forward to hearing Many more successful performances!! Drew ColemanDrew Coleman ★★★★★ Janelle is wonderful; both my son (9) and daughter (8) love her! I appreciate her patience and attention to detail. We have been taking lessons for 4 years and it makes me proud to know they are learning music.They are learning not only how to read music from lesson books but also learning fun pop songs to keep them engaged.The time and resources invested in piano lessons has helped build confidence and another way for both to understand the world through music.The piano recitals are really fun too. 😊If you’re lucky enough to hire Janelle (she’s usually booked) then look no further.Thank you,DrewJill YaozJill Yaoz ★★★★★ Janelle is a great piano and voice teacher. My daughter and I have been taking lessons with her for five years now and she has helped us both progress in such a nice way. We tried two other teachers before we found her, and she is by far the best. My daughter also does voice lessons with her and she loves doing the recitals. Janelle is easy going and a professional. I highly recommend using her not only for your children, but for adults as well.HanknadoHanknado ★★★★★ Janelle has been teaching me and my younger brother for about seven years and we have both improved tremendously through her fun through her fun teaching style. If you are looking for someone to get your child into piano the Janelle’s the right teacher for you!Halleigh HillHalleigh Hill ★★★★★ Ms. Janelle has been teaching my daughter Paino and voice lessons for the last 2 years. We have done a combination of in person and online and I am amazed how much my child has learned to read and play music. She is prompt and very reliable. I highly recommend her to anyone who wants to learn.Tre Sara WrightTre Sara Wright ★★★★★ Janelle is patient with teaching our toddler piano and vocal lessons. She’s always prompt on time and is great at communicating. We can’t wait to see him grow his love and understanding of music.Ocean OrtmannOcean Ortmann ★★★★★ My 10 year old son takes voice lessons with Janelle and loves singing pop hits. She focuses on breathing and technique while also making the lessons super fun for him! After going to other voice teachers we chose Janelle as our favorite!Bing DuanBing Duan ★★★★★ My 8 and 5 year old daughters enjoy their piano and voice lessons so much! Every week they cant wait to see Miss Janelle and they even practice by themselves at home which I really appreciate! Janelle has magic to engage the kids and they never get bored. We have tried three teachers and will only stay with Janelle!Jeff SchroederJeff Schroeder ★★★★★ My 4 year old daughter has been working with Janelle for a few months and has already shown significant progress in her music skills.d vd v ★★★★★ My 9 year old daughter and 10 year old son have been taking piano lessons with Janelle for the last 2 1/2 years and she has been wonderful! The kids have learned so much and are now reading music and playing very well. Highly recommend!Gemma HawkinsGemma Hawkins ★★★★★ My five year old daughter just started lessons with Miss Janelle and has already learned so much. She is progressing so quickly and enjoys the weekly in person lessons. We look forward to continuing w Janelle for a long time!!Response from the ownerThanks I look forward to continuing! 🙏😀😀 Leonard WattimenaLeonard Wattimena ★★★★★ My 10 year old daughter is so happy she found miss Janelle. She looks forward to seeing her in person every week. She is a fun and friendly teacher. My daughter is learning how to read music while also playing fun pop songs. She also takes singing with Miss Janelle. She loves the breathing exercises and all the disney and pop hits. Highly recommend Miss Janelle for kids looking to learn new instruments!Cindy DiazCindy Diaz ★★★★★ Wow! This was the best piano lesson experience that my daughter has ever had . Janelle was amazing and patient with my daughter and was able to accommodate our busy schedule with no problem. Highly recommend her and so grateful we met her. My daughter can finally read music on her own and sing along with the piano. Thank you so much for everything!Zoe TZoe T ★★★★★ I have been a student of Janelle for 3 years now. I have improved tremendously. I went from barely even sounding on tune to being able to sing effortlessly with the help of her. My diction and performance also improved greatly. Learning the basics with her helped strengthen my voice and for that I am grateful that I got to be her student. I would really recommend signing up for lessons as it has helped me over the years and can help you or your child too!Aava GhorbanianAava Ghorbanian ★★★★★ My sister an I have been taking piano lessons for two years and we are progressing so much. I’m learning a lot of fun classical pieces and my sister is learning how to learn the notes really well. She is a very kind teacher that has been teaching for a long time and knows what she’s doing.MalikaMalika ★★★★★ I've been taking online voice and piano lessons with Janelle and it's been great so far. I've been using a tripod for the piano, and I've been learning so many fun Disney songs. I've also learned how to read notes and stay on pitch, I really enjoy the lessons and I recommend her to anyone who wants to learn voice or piano!SINGER 11SINGER 11 ★★★★★ she is an amazing teacher and has helped my voice tremendously! the online voice lessons were great, we did pop and musical theater and now i can sing louder and on pitch! she has helped me gain confidence in my singing voice as well! because of her i can and will try out for my school musical the lion king! i recommend her to everyone wishing to learn how to sing and improve their skills!Vanessa DiazVanessa Diaz ★★★★★ She is very punctual. I started as a complete beginner, and in just a short while I've learned to read music better and feel more confident while practicing. She is also very nice and helpful during our lessons.Marcos SotoMarcos Soto ★★★★★ Janelle has been a great piano instructor. I learned to play notes and chords at the same time. She has improved my vocal quality while displaying great patience and persistence with my progress. I highly recommend her.Ashley GoldingAshley Golding ★★★★★ I have just started taking voice lessons two months ago and I can honestly say Janelle is the perfect teacher and accommodates your needs for success. For example, she would sing soft and light for me because I could not go loud without going flat on the notes. In the end, Janelle is the perfect voice teacher along with her honesty and kindness to help you to either get the role you want!Jennifer BrennanJennifer Brennan ★★★★★ Janelle is an excellent teacher. She has been teaching my sons (ages 14 and 11) piano for only 6 months and I am blown away by how good they gotten with her instruction. She knows how to help her students reach their full potential. My kids have learned so much from her.Nathan OstroutNathan Ostrout ★★★★★ Janelle was an awesome singing instructor! She gives clear instructions that are easy to follow and makes every lesson enjoyable. You’ll definitely start seeing improvements if you put in the effort to learn from her and do the daily exercises.Noa UrmanNoa Urman ★★★★★ For the past year I’ve been taking combined voice training and piano lessons by Janelle. Coming to the process as an adult with kids, requires a unique approach and she was able to tailor the lesson to my specific needs and skills as well as my learning style. I enjoyed the weekly lessons which broadened my horizons. Not only did I learn new musical skills but she incorporated technique, theory, and musical background to add more depth and scope to the class.kylie mcdonaldkylie mcdonald ★★★★★ I have been taking lessons with Janelle for 4 years now and she has help me improve tremedously. I started out having trouble with my pitch and power and now I have a wonderfully storng voice and I can sing and play with perfect control over my voice. She is an amazing teacher!Maddie SaltMaddie Salt ★★★★★ My six year old daughter Took lessons with miss Janelle for two years and progressed very well with both piano and voice. She learned fun fast piano pieces and sang Disney and pop songs. Janelle focuses on technique but also makes lessons fun. She is patient and kind and Maddie looked forward to her weekly lessons with Janelle.Lessjohn kimjohn kim ★★★★★ My daughter was very shy when she started to take piano and voice lessons with Janelle. Over the past couple of years her confidence and music skills have grown tremendously under Janelle's patient teaching. Janelle is a great teacher and is always kind and willing to walk through the basics as well as work through advanced skills. I recommend her without hesitation.Jasmin NgoJasmin Ngo ★★★★★ Miss Janelle has really helped me to improve my piano skills. Since working with her I have moved up in my piano levels. My technique has improved and I have learned to memorize some really fun and fast songs. One thing I never knew was to sing and play piano at same time in front of people. She really focuses on the techniques of things and she teaches you how the voice actually works. I would definitely recommend her.Sabrina MontaseriSabrina Montaseri ★★★★★ For as long as I can remember, I loved playing the piano and singing. I have never met a teacher who’s classes are informative and fun at the same time. I am now much more skilled and my technique is outstanding. Thank you Janelle!Kristi AnconeKristi Ancone ★★★★★ My 13 and 9 year old daughters have been taking piano lessons with Miss Janelle for over five years. They began with the Faber Piano Adventures series which included a multitude of fun pieces, performance selections, as well as, holiday songs. My girls quickly progressed to more advanced arrangements under her tutelage. In addition, my older daughter is playing a collection of challenging, classical pieces, including Moonlight Sonata. Miss Janelle is professional, punctual, caring and patient. She is a pleasure work with and my children love learning from her. For all of these reasons we have valued our relationship with her for over five years and my girls have excelled in their piano skills. I would highly recommend Miss Janelle to anyone looking for piano lessons for their child.Brooklyn McDonaldBrooklyn McDonald ★★★★★ My sister and I have been taking lessons with Janelle for over 3 years. With struggling to find the right piano teacher for years, we finally found a fit for our specific needs. I wouldn't even sing in front of my parents before meeting Janelle. I now play and sing at the same time in front of many audiences including her annual recitals. She is fun and friendly and makes each lesson a week enjoyable.Abigail CooperAbigail Cooper ★★★★★ I have been taking lessons from her for 3+ years. Janelle has a creative approach to teaching me piano. She does not have a cookie cutter approach. She has a lesson plan that keeps me motivated. We learn to play songs I enjoy ranging anywhere from pop radio hits to Broadway. She never has to remind me to practice because I enjoy practicing daily! I am very pleased with her lessons and my progress!Lisa HamLisa Ham ★★★★★ My daughter Savannah loves taking pop vocal and piano lessons with Janelle. Her goal was to sing and play piano at the same time. Janelle taught her pop chords so that she could accompany herself while singing. She also taught her proper singing techniques including breathing and vocal exercises. Janelle makes the lessons fun and my daughter feels comfortable around her. She is also patient and knows when to slow down and fix trouble spots. I am impressed with my daughter's progress.AnabelAnabel ★★★★★ Ms Janelle is a very professional music teacher and her skills and talents will make any student progress. She also strives to make her students do their best and always makes sure they do it correctly. She holds a variety of topics such as piano and vocal both pop and opera. She is also a loving, caring and supportive person. Whenever you need her, you will find her by your side. I love her and am so lucky to have her as my instructor!Chris TanakaChris Tanaka ★★★★★ My 11 year old daughter has been taking lessons with Janelle for over a year and I am very pleased with the progress. Janelle has taught her to sing and play piano at the same time. I am pleased with the fast results! My daughter looks forward to and enjoys her lessons.Val TitoVal Tito ★★★★★ Janelle is an excellent vocal instructor and she has been working with me for over a year. Janelle has helped me progress tremendously with power, control of my voice and now I am able to sing songs that I have always wanted to sing correctly such as "You're My Everything" my Santa Esmerelda. I can now sing this song with confidence and am no longer worried of my voice breaking at the high point. I was actually singing the song one octave higher than the original key and I am still doing it well!Val TitoVal Tito ★★★★★ Janelle has helped me progress tremendously with power, control of my voice and now I am able to sing songs that I have always wanted to sing correctly such as "You're My Everything" my Santa Esmerelda. I can now sing this song with confidence and am no longer worried of my voice breaking at the high point.Krista OdonoKrista Odono ★★★★★ Janelle is an amazing teacher to my nephew! He has improved his piano skills over the last month and we are very happy to see his progression continue to grow.Brenda LabahnBrenda Labahn ★★★★★ Janelle is an amazing piano teacher always accommodating herself to our busy lifestyles. Our son looks forward to working with fun Ms. Janelle. His homework is age appropriate and engaging. He is learning fast and responding well to the techniques, strategies and curriculum that his teacher recommends.Hsinyi Sarah ChanHsinyi Sarah Chan ★★★★★ Janelle is a great piano and voice teacher. My 7-yr-old boy enjoys her class and always can't wait to meet her to learn new things. She is extremely patient and knowledgeable. I am very glad that we have found her.Krista OdonoKrista Odono ★★★★★ Ever since my lessons with Janelle i'm happy to say my voice has gotten a lot better. Throughout my Voice lessons she has taught me proper breathing that has lead to a whole new style of singing.I have joined my churches choir and have enjoyed singing and traveling. Don't think i would have made it here if it wasn't for the Voice Lessons 🙂Frank PerezFrank Perez ★★★★★ So my nephew has had a passion for playing musical instruments and just started playing piano and i thought i would get him a few lessons with Janelle for his birthday.After a few lessons i immediately saw a huge change in his finger work and what used to be difficult songs to play he eases on through them.Finamore Voice and Piano Lessons has taught my little nephew not only how to play better but also taught him how to have patience when learning new music. Thanks!js_loader

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