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Sid Learns Vocals with Cassie

Hi everyone! My name is Sid and I'm not only the Marketing/Events Coordinator at TKAM, but I'm first and foremost a teacher.

If you've followed along with our Musical Journey series, you'll know that I'm taking on the role from Syd and Caitlin. They have graciously passed the torch before both leaving for Western University in London!

We'll miss them, but I have been so excited to share my experience taking lessons with all of the TKAM teachers!


My First Singing Lesson!

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This was first vocal lesson... EVER!

Some of you may know, I love to sing. And I even convinced Cassie to perform a duet at the Spring Serenade earlier this year!

However, before this month, I had never taken a proper singing lesson.


About Cassie

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Cassie joined us last September and has been an amazing addition to the TKAM team. She teaches vocal lessons and piano lessons, and often subs for our guitar teachers!

Cassie studied opera at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, before moving to Waterloo to pursue her teaching degree at Laurier. She is also an active member of local KW choirs!

We are so lucky to have her teaching with us!


Starting Off The Lesson

Although I sing all the time, I have to admit I was still nervous going into my lesson with Cassie!

To work through the nerves and feel comfortable, Cassie lead me through a warmup. She not only gently corrected me along the way, but also made sure to offer encouraging words the entire time. We started by singing on the syllable "Ya."

To lead me through the warm up, Cassie played all the notes as I sang so I could hear if I matched the piano.

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Working on Goals

After the initial warm-up, Cassie and I discussed the music I like and what I hope to get out of my vocal lessons. My goal for this lesson was to learn how to not sound so nasally when I sing.

Cassie suggested going back to the warm-up, but this time using the syllable "Nya." Her reasoning was that singing on "Nya" to help me bring my sound forward (i.e. project) with better tone and a less airy sound. Using this syllable helps to create a more resonant sound!


Real-Life Application

Singing on syllables like "Ya" and "Nya" can feel silly and fun, but Cassie let me know that we are doing this to learn and apply similar concepts in our day-to-day singing.

After the warm-up, Cassie asked me to sing a familiar or favourite song. I chose to sing "You'll Be Back" from Hamilton, since I had just performed this song at our Music In The Park(Ing) Lot concert.

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After I sang for Cassie, she let me know that the chorus would be a perfect place to practice singing less nasally! I was very excited that we could apply what we worked on in the first half of the lesson to my song.

When isolating and singing the chorus, Cassie said the best thing to do is move my mouth less and use my tongue more. She asked me to place my thumb on my chin to feel how much I moved my jaw up and down to sing. Then she asked me to leave my thumb there, and try to not move my jaw at all. Only use my tongue to pronounce "La!"

We did this a few times until I got the hang of it! It took me a couple tries, but Cassie was incredibly patient and re-explained the concept whenever I needed.


We're Done Already?!

The half hour lesson ended up flying by! Although I was nervous at the start, I left my lesson feeling super confident and sounding better than ever.

Thank you Cassie for your patience and kind attitude! I can't wait for our next lesson. To see more from our lesson, checkout our Tiktok below!

Should I tackle opera next?!


Interested in voice lessons? Have questions?

Feel free to reach out via email to or fill out a contact form on our website!

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