We know that singing, speaking and using your creative voice is a very vulnerable act – but we also know how life-changing and empowering this journey can be! We offer cutting-edge voice training methods based on voice science, as well as years of specialized education and experience. Most importantly, we always take a holistic and compassionate approach in order to support your unique, authentic self.
In addition to singing, we offer extensive knowledge in musicality, songwriting, performing and creative development, breathing and speech, as well as the many health and wellness concerns and needs of the vocal athlete.
Our clients have ranged from ages 5 to 85, total beginners to professional musicians. We’ve worked with business executives to recording artists, software engineers to music students, film professionals to retirees and beyond. We welcome and value our clients from all backgrounds and levels of experience, and are lucky enough to connect with them all over the country!
Courtney’s clients have won competitions and auditions, earned scholarships and leading roles, recorded albums, booked performances and speaking engagements, recovered from vocal traumas – and much more. Anyone can enjoy a more fulfilled life with an empowered voice and enhanced sense of self-expression!
While your particular bone structure and voiceprint are completely unique to you (like your fingerprint), the components that make up your voice can be trained and strengthened in a healthy way much like any muscle in the body. Not only with singing, but with speech as well.
Learning to embrace your voice and use it freely can have profound effects on all areas of your life, including physical and mental health, emotional well-being, family and social life, career aspirations, and so much more. Listening skills can also be improved, as well as the ability to focus, pay attention to detail and be present. Seadragon Songhouse offers a unique approach which also strives to nurture your creativity and sense of self-expression, ultimately improving communication, empathy and connection.
Research shows that it takes just a few seconds to make a great first impression, and, according to a widely cited study from UCLA, 38% of your first impression comes from your tone of voice! (And 55% is body language!) We use our voices every single day, so having solid vocal control, awareness and strength is of enormous importance. Whether you’re in sales, law, management, education, media, medicine, etc, vocal coaching can help you communicate with more authenticity, confidence and influence. Additionally, we have years of experience with presentation and stage skills, enhancing body language and working through performance anxiety.
All sessions begin with vocal warm-ups and exercises selected to help you access new muscles and sounds, as well as develop your breathing and listening skills. This is always done with the goal of vocal health and wellness in mind. The remainder of the session can consist of a blend of topics depending on your upcoming goals or needs that day, such as song study and application, storytelling, musicianship, creative development, body language, improvisation, songwriting, speech and spoken word, ear-training, yoga and breathing exercises, basic piano or ukulele, performance skills, music theory, etc.
For my musical clients, we focus on contemporary commercial music (CCM) styles: pop, jazz, rock, musical theatre, folk, country, original music, etc. Your sessions are very self-driven, in that you get to choose your own music and pick the songs you love the most. We may explore new ideas, suggest crossover genres or recommend songs and keys you may benefit from, but we believe that you’re more apt to love what you’re doing if you love what you’re doing – and we can help you figure out what that is, if needed!
Yes! Let us explain: your singing and speaking voices are both extensions of the same voice: YOURS – so it’s important to have some facility and training in all vocal areas. Singing also involves breathwork, pitch accuracy and strengthening exercises which positively impact your body’s ability to speak. If you have any concerns surrounding singing, never fear, we’ll work through these worries together – and if you’re a total musical beginner, that’s completely fine as well. We welcome you to come develop a brand new skill while empowering your speaking voice!
Coaching sessions are once a week at the same time each week with a minimum of a month commitment. Feel free to contact us with any additional requests.
In regards to improvement, discovering your voice and creativity is a process that’s truly amazing. Everyone has a different set of goals and expectations, so it’s hard to say what your situation will be. Keep in mind, the physical side of voice training is an athletic endeavor like any other, so developing positive habits in a healthy way takes time, patience and repetition – just like exercise or learning a new skill. That said, we’re always striving for growth, so you’ll complete each session with new ideas to practice, as well as new goals to work toward during the week.
- Singing releases endorphins and oxytocin which combat anxiety and depression.
- Singing reduces cortisol levels which means less risk for stress, fatigue, weight gain and even heart disease.
- Singing has been shown to increase cytokines, immune proteins that boost the body’s ability to fight illness.
- As an athletic exercise, singing improves posture and both cardiovascular and respiration health.
- Singing changes your brain, improving mental alertness, concentration and memory, as well as broadening communication skills and activating regions of the brain associated with language.
- Singing impacts the power and ease of your speaking voice. When your speaking voice brings you satisfaction, it’s easier to speak up and use your voice!
When we hone our creativity, we’re better able to:
- See fresh solutions to tired problems;
- Innovate and think outside-the-box;
- Use our imaginations with a sense of purpose;
- Give ourselves permission to take risks and make mistakes;
- Freely express ourselves and celebrate our uniqueness;
- See the beauty in the everyday; and
- Be a more awesome human and musician!
Music can unlock those creative blocks. We encourage our clients to create ideas and stories using vocalization, singing, improvisation, songwriting, creative-writing techniques, prompts & journals. Upon request, we help identify areas in their lives that could be enhanced with a more creative perspective – and we design personalized goals that achieve results!
I’m not a musician… I have little to no musical experience… I don’t like my voice… I may be tone deaf… I can’t carry a tune… I’ve been told I can’t sing… I don’t know how to read music… My voice is weak… I’ve never written a song… I have stage fright… I’m not a creative person… Is Seadragon Songhouse right for me?
If you found your way here and are worrying about these questions, we’d love to welcome you into our Seadragon family. It’s shocking the number of people who walk around thinking they can’t sing or make music – and they continue through life with this very limiting belief system, never receiving the full benefits of using their own voices to create beautiful things. We’re here to meet you right where you’re at – and we believe in balancing a blend of creative challenges with your innate strengths and interests. You’re definitely going to surprise yourself! If you’re open to trying new things and motivated to explore your vocal, creative and musical potential, we’d love to work with you.
Not at all! We provide or find your accompaniment, whether by piano or tracks on YouTube, iTunes or iRealPro. The rest of what we do is primarily by ear, which is great, as this enhances listening skills and vocal control. Depending on your interests, we can also help you catch up on these topics as needed.
If you’re working on songwriting, some music theory knowledge and basic piano or guitar skills is recommended – but if all of that is fuzzy to you, we can help you with this as well. Eventually, purchasing your own instrument may be necessary in order for you to progress on your music-making journey.
We’ve worked with world-class musicians around the country using cutting-edge methods. It’s our goal to bring out the absolute best in everyone we meet, particularly when it comes to vocal function and contemporary technique. If you’re looking to take your vocal skills and artistry to the next level, we’re here for you!
We also know that sometimes the hardest thing as a musician or other creative professional is staying inspired, feeling supported and reaching your goals. Through creativity coaching, we can help you explore new ways of approaching your personal style, brainstorm goals and deadlines, or we can give you a few new musical tools to add to your list of already amazing skills. We’d like to be your partner, creatively speaking, so you don’t have to walk the road of an artist alone.
For our purposes, based on what we do, we could use these terms interchangeably. The main difference lies in how we feel these terms are perceived. Instead of an “instructional” approach, we work with you in a creative way to blend the technical and artistic with what makes you YOU. We want to align our work with your goals and interests – or help you figure out what those things are. We like the teamwork mentality that comes with a coach/client relationship – and we believe that vocal empowerment is immensely valuable for any age, career or phase of life.
As an added, complimentary benefit for our regular, weekly clients, we offer our Seadragon SongJournal via private Google Doc. These are typed session notes (covering warm-ups, songs and discussed concepts) sent within 24 hours of your session – and collaboration is encouraged! This helps us keep track of weekly ideas, goals and progress – and serves as a great reminder throughout the week of interesting things to practice and think about.
At Seadragon Songhouse, e-learning is not just the future, it’s happening right now – and we specialize in developing our online teaching methods specifically, unlike other music studios who offer this on the side. Don’t get us wrong, traditional, in-person voice lessons are awesome, but the advantages of online sessions are also extensive! It’s incredibly convenient to learn easily at your own computer, which not only saves you time, but avoids a potentially hectic commute. This also provides a level of familiarity and comfort as you work from your chosen space, and particularly if you work with us from home, this reinforces positive habits and can promote practice and creativity even when we’re not “there” with you. As the world is transitioning to more online interactions, some people find they actually prefer to learn through a virtual medium, reporting greater concentration, reduced anxiety and easier access to information. We love that we get to preserve the integrity of a truly personal interaction through video chat, but we also love that we’re able to harness the power of technology to share our voices around the world.
For online sessions, clients must have the capacity to focus at the computer for a length of time, as well as the enthusiasm to use technology.
The required setup is a reliable internet connection, computer, webcam and microphone (many laptops have these built in), as well as video chat software such as Skype or Zoom (which are totally free). If you’re new to this kind of thing, have no fear! It’s easy to learn and we’re happy to help walk you through the process, step-by-step.
Throughout the session, we may ask you to Google information and check out music resources on YouTube. This can be done directly on your computer, but often clients will use their phone or tablet to aid them during the session.
If you’re using a laptop, you may consider using an external speaker for better audio (so you can hear us better!) and/or a higher quality external microphone (so we can hear you better!)
For your ideal learning, we recommend that your computer be set up in a quiet, private space with minimal distractions where you feel comfortable singing, moving and making noise. Often, clients will use a home office, bedroom, school practice room or conference room.
We have several options available, including discounts on monthly packages – please see our Services page for all details about rates and policies!
Should you miss your regular appointment, we’re happy to offer a makeup session via asynchronous Pendragon Session to be completed on your own time. This helps us continue our progress for the week (and provides a very cool alternative for learning and focusing on your music, goals and creative interests!)
As a reminder, should you feel under the weather or unprepared, never fear, we’ll still take excellent care of you during your scheduled time! There are always creative ways to meet virtually on a wide array of devices in a variety of locations! There are also many therapeutic vocal exercises or fun forms of non-singing work we can do together (songwriting, creativity, listening, ear-training, etc) should you not feel like singing. We’ll gladly brainstorm with you to help make our session happen!
If you know well in advance that you’ll miss a session, let us know ASAP. If another client purchases your date, a credit will be added to your future invoice. However, this is not guaranteed.
We’re very excited to offer an asynchronous/self-study learning option via Pendragon Session! These are for clients who benefit from weekly support and direction on their own schedule. Trade weekly projects via email or Google Doc with Coach Courtney and receive written feedback within 24-48 hours. Session plans, creative ideas and a weekly check-in will be provided. This can be as self-directed as you like – whether you have goals in mind, or you prefer to be given assignments!
- Ideas for asynchronous/self-study include: learn and record a new song every week, develop one cover song per month, work through a music theory workbook or course, write a song per week/month, develop and execute a plan to reach a career goal (recording an EP/album, creating your own private studio, auditioning, starting a band, etc), “just” have fun, study a particular genre/artist/style, dive into jazz music – the list goes on!
As many of our VIPs are busy professionals with complex schedules, this also gives us an easy way to makeup any missed session time – and still continue progress for the week!
If you’re interested in working with us, please fill out our application – it’s quick and easy! You’ll find a variety of questions that help us get to know you, your interests and musical background. Recordings or videos are not required! Enrollment is limited so that all of our clients receive our dedicated attention, premium service and time. We’re looking for clients who are reliable, motivated and curious – and we promise to uphold our end as well!
Dragons are magical, fierce and uniquely awesome. In their best form, they’re wise protectors and benevolent guides who aid our daring hero on their journey, giving them knowledge and wings. The real-life seadragon is also an extremely vulnerable creature that is susceptible to the waves, tides and flows of the current – much like the wild ride that is the creative experience (and life). Similarly, we want to bring a bit of magic and support into the lives of our vulnerable, hero clients. Why? Because using our voices and embodying our creativity is a fiercely courageous act in and of itself – and the world needs more Seadragons singing their songs.
We also integrate environmental responsibility throughout our business – and we care about protecting our oceans and aquatic wildlife. If you’d like more information, click here.