Student Center
Student Center

The Basics

Here's what you can expect:

TakeLesson.com or johnpaulsharp.com?

I give private voice lessons out of my apartment atop Capitol Hill in Seattle. You can order lessons from me through TakeLessons.com or directly through me. What's the difference? Not much difference at all, really. The prices are the same, the policies are the same and there's no change in the quality or style of lessons I give.

General Info

  • Certified Music Teacher 
  • Background Check Complete 
  • Levels: Beginner to Advanced
  • In-Home Lessons: Yes
  • In-Studio Lessons: Yes
  • Ages: 5 & up

Subjects Taught

Singing, Broadway Singing, Music Performance, Music Recording, Music Theory, Songwriting, Speaking Voice, Acting

Education

University of Colorado Denver - Vocal Performance & Songwriting - 2004-2009 (Bachelor's degree received)
University of Colorado Denver - eLearning Design & Implementation - 2010-2012

Specialties

I can help a student prepare for all types of auditions, whether it's a music theatre opportunity, a film gig, or a chorus at their church. Having also been a director of musical theatre, I can give supportive resources and help with creating professional resumes, acquiring headshots and finding an appropriate selection of music and monologues for an individual student's auditions. Perhaps a student wants to write and/or record a song; well, I can help with that too because I've been writing and recording music since 2004 and have self-published well over 20 albums of original music. I can help teach someone how to self-publish their own music as well. I find teaching songwriting can be a fulfilling process not just in one-on-one teaching, but even more so in group classes. 

I am known for taking a metacognitive approach to learning how to sing music. I will ask the student to research their chosen songs and find out about the original composer and the original performer. Who else has performed this music and how has the song come to be heard today? How much do we know about the songs we're singing?

I also help actors and singers with stage-fright issues by engaging in discussions about why we sing. Often, I feel the best help a singer can get is to be guided into self-reflection about the activity itself. Why do you sing? What do you get out of it? How important is it for you to seem "perfect?" Is it such a big deal to make mistakes in front of others? Why? When a student receives support in addressing those questions, I find they become grounded, less frightened and more excited about their stage time. For many students, I believe asking them to keep a journal is very valuable for them. 

I also have a background in distance learning and my plan this summer is to create an online space for all my students so they can access private videos of their performances to analyze at home. They could also go to this online space to review notes on their previous lesson with specific homework instructions to stay connected even when we're not meeting. Because we live in a technological world now, I think it's important to make use out of all available communication tools. I would even consider doing online lessons in the future through video conferencing.

Lesson Details

When you sign up for your first voice lesson with me, this is what you can expect: 

First, we'll do some breathing exercises, then move into stretching the body and relaxing the face and throat. We'll do some fun, simple singing warmups with physical movements and then work on a simple rhythm and sight-reading exercise. Then we'll discuss what possible goals you may or may not have in mind for singing or acting or both so I can create an individualized plan for the next three lessons. 

My teaching style is to cater and create every lesson individually to you. People of all ages get voice lessons for all different kinds of reasons. What should remain the same is that every student has a short and long-term goal for their own education. If you don't have some type of goal or vision for learning, you won't have a great bench marker to determine if you're getting what you want (value) out of your lessons. It's my job to help you make choices for your goals and then to help you achieve those goals. 

I believe that writing and journaling are an important process to learning anything. I consider myself very laid back and I will never judge you or make you feel ashamed for being behind or not being prepared. The only thing I'm strict on is journaling. Even if a student is extremely busy and cannot always practice enough, I would expect she or he to take a few minutes to write some thoughts about their voice. Often, it’s the experiences outside of performing that we learn the most about our selves as performers. The point is that written self-reflection is key to growth.

Students who regularly commit to lessons with me have the option to participate in biannual recitals held at the Seattle Center House. The goal for the recitals is not just to give students something to work toward, but also to give them the opportunity to perform in a community space filled with performing professionals. Because we will sell tickets to friends and family, we will use that money to raise funds for an arts program serving at-risk youth in the Seattle area. It’s not just a recital twice a year, it’s an educational, professional and personal growth experience for students.

Whether you’re seriously looking to improve your voice or you’re just looking to add some fun to your life, I can provide an informative and entertaining private lesson experience that will always leave you feeling better about yourself.

About

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Contemporary Vocal Performance at the University of Colorado Denver in 2009. I graduated summa cum laude (with highest honors) and won the Outstanding Graduate award from the College of Arts & Media. I even sang the National Anthem at my own graduation, in front of thousands of other graduates and their families, an honor usually reserved for faculty. 

While earning my degree, I specialized in singing, songwriting and the recording arts. I also professionally competed in an honors a cappella group. During this time, I took a great deal of leadership and learned how to assist choir directors in warming up and teaching new vocal materials to large groups of students. 

I learned how to get involved with my local community through producing musical events and have raised thousands of dollars for nonprofit organizations this way. Students of mine who choose to participate will be exposed to concert production and performance professionalism through biannual recitals to help raise money for arts education programs serving at-risk youth. 

Since 2004, I have written, recorded and self-published over twenty-five music albums, working with all types of styles, like Pop, Rock, Alternative, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Gospel, Classical and Electronica. I’ve also composed and scored music for several independent short films and documentaries. I have a home studio where I can help you or your child write and record music and I can help you publish your own music as well!

I’m not just a singer/songwriter, I’m also an actor, writer and director in professional theatre. As a private voice (singing and acting) instructor, you can find me leading by example on a regular basis by coming to see the various productions I’m involved with throughout every year. I also write and produce my own original plays and musical theatre works for stage and am currently writing my fourth musical set to premiere in 2013. 

I can help you prepare for your own auditions by choosing the best monologues and 16 and 32 bars songs that fit your specific style and your individual voice. I can help you find affordable head shots and work on perfecting your resume. We can work together to find the right roles for you or your child to audition for. I can also coach you with any current material you’re working on for school or your own theatre productions. I am always developing and maintaining working relationships with other professionals in the theatre industry and I believe this is a great advantage I provide for my students.

Finally, I am currently finishing an online Master of Arts in eLearning Implementation and Design. Through my own website, I am able provide my students with private online access to lesson summaries, homework, and recorded examples of exercises and material we work on together during lessons. I can record you or your child performing during a lesson and upload the video to you privately within a day or two so you have easier options for spending more time developing your voice outside of your lesson.