Welcome to the Studio


I teach students who have an interest in traditional voice lessons, who are age 9 and above, and who have some basic musical background or who are willing to explore musicianship skills and train the natural voice.

What are "traditional" lessons? And what is the "natural" voice?

A traditional voice lesson teaches the singer how to operate the voice and to clearly feel and understand how to make the sounds he or she is making. 


Traditional lessons include the practice of vocal exercises that teach assorted techniques similar to passages in song material. Traditional lessons teach music appreciation. Traditional lessons introduce the student to language, cultures, other fine arts, history, and more. 


Traditional lessons with this studio anticipate that the student will be self-motivated to complete assignments including learning vocal exercises, memorizing songs, practicing, and taking the time to improve. The student will be self-starting, self-teaching, willing to explore ways to support studies - such as learning to play song melodies on keyboard or piano which, in turn, leads to learning some piano theory. 

The natural voice is an unadulterated, easily produced, acoustically resonant, flexible sound, devoid of muscular tensions and added stylistic affectation. 

Lessons require an investment of time and money. Studio rates are reasonable and competitive. Students will need to purchase or acquire materials such as sheet music, books, and backing tracks as needed.  

In Closing

There is no end to the process of learning and growing as an artist. There is no "there" there. This makes sense to the student when he or she achieves a certain level of expertise. 

We need to do what we are driven to do - whether for vocation or avocation. 

And... we have fun and a good time while we're at it!

Studio Policy

Patricia Shanks Voice Studio Lesson Policy and Procedures            Effective 07/14/2021


Lessons are offered ONLINE ONLY every week throughout the year. There are no lessons on major holidays. 


All lessons are offered via Zoom online. Please see the blog entry concerning setting up online lessons at studioshanks.com. Make certain you have an updated Zoom program and a minimally operational setup prior to applying to enroll.

Lesson Options:  (Call for rates)

Individual Lessons (booked one at a time)

Lesson Bundle (5 consecutive weekly lessons at a 15% discount)

Mini Lesson (a 15 minute session at a greatly reduced fee that may be booked at any time by anyone and used for song check, technique check, voice evaluation, etc.)


Booking Lessons:  Students may book lessons one at a time or in a 5-lesson bundle. Lessons are only considered booked when payment is received at least 2 days in advance. If payment is not received, the time will be reopened for booking. 

Late and No-Show:  If you arrive late, you will have only your remaining lesson time. If you miss your lesson, it will not be rescheduled and fees will not be refunded.


Payment, Refunds, Cancellations, Make-ups:  Lessons are paid as they are booked. Payment may be made via Venmo @patricia-shanks, or via PayPal at pshanks@studioshanks.com. If you are uncertain that you can take a lesson, do not book the time. There are no refunds. An occasional make-up to be taken within one week may be scheduled if you cannot make it to a scheduled lesson and if you provide 48 hours’ notice. No exceptions. Make-ups are offered at my sole discretion. You are not guaranteed a make-up lesson. If I must cancel (rare), the lesson will be rescheduled to a mutually agreed-upon time to be taken within one week. IMPORTANT: It is your responsibility to EMAIL pshanks@studioshanks.com and/or text (949) 723-4473 if you need to cancel. I must have a time-stamped cancellation in writing in order to offer a make-up. I will acknowledge your cancellation. If you receive no acknowledgement within a few hours, send a follow-up cancellation notice.


Books, Accompaniment Tracks, Materials:  You are responsible for obtaining or purchasing assigned materials. I may occasionally provide you with materials. Please be certain to budget from $30 to $50 over a period of several weeks for materials. If I do not have the sheet music for a song you select, you must provide a PDF of the music for the instructor’s use.


Withdrawals:  If you wish to discontinue lessons or take a lengthy break from lessons, you are encouraged to notify me so that I know not to prepare for continued lessons. This is a courtesy to your instructor. You will not be penalized or demeaned for discontinuing. 


Instructor’s Right to Discontinue Lessons:  I may discontinue your lessons for any reason at any time. Some of the reasons may include noisy environment, pets or people disturbing and interfering with the lesson, inadequate video or audio that has not been corrected, lack of preparation, no materials, no practice, little student involvement, poor or combative attitude, lack of respect for instructor’s assignments or materials.


Instructor-Missed Lessons / Technology Issues:  If I am out or if there is a power outage I will arrange a make-up within one week of the missed lesson. If I must be out for extended illness/emergency, special arrangements will be made to refund fees for missed lessons.


Referral Bonus:  When you refer a singer who takes 5 consecutive weekly lessons you will be rewarded with one free 30-minute lesson. This only applies to the first 5 lessons the singer takes and not subsequent sets of 5 lessons.

Lesson Video:  You will receive the Zoom video recording as a courtesy of this studio.

Photo/Video/Audio Release:  Taking a lesson with Patricia Shanks grants her permission to use video, stills from video, and audio of students for Studio promotion in brochures, on websites, flyers, advertisements, social media, and other promotional materials. Permission is also granted for Patricia Shanks to copyright such media in her name. Names will only be mentioned with student or parent permission (under 18).

Discretion:  Any of the above may be waived in exceptional cases, at the discretion of the instructor.