JaZz News & Vocal Health Tips

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Singing Straight-ahead, Latin and Original JaZz...

... with some of the finest musicians in the Pacific Northwest!

Visit the Videos page to see Carolena and her musicians in action!

Upcoming Public Gigs

Hotel Sorrento
September 22, 2018 @ 7:00 p.m.
w/ Randy Halberstadt (piano)
900 Madison St.
Seattle, WA  98104

Patriot's Landing Veteran's Day Celebration
November 11, 2018 @ 3:30 p.m.
w/ Randy Halberstadt (piano)
6008 Mount Tacoma Dr., SW
Lakewood, WA  98499

The Bleu Note
November 29, 2018 @ 6:00 p.m.
w/ Randy Halberstadt (piano)
and Osama Afifi (bass)
6008 Mount Tacoma Dr., SW
Lakewood, WA  98499

Please visit Carolena's Calendar page for additional upcoming public performances.

PLEASE NOTE:  Private events are NOT reflected on the calendar.  Please use the Contact Artist page to inquire about open dates and booking Carolena for your special event.

Tunes - with John Stowell, guitar

Offering Online Voice Lessons

Technology makes it possible for Carolena to teach students from all over the world via Skype, ooVoo and FaceTime in real time.


What is necessary is a high-speed internet connection, a webcam, an external mic (unless your computer is equipped with a good one) and Voila!  You can enjoy the benefits of private voice lessons in the comfort of your own home.

Voice Studio Gift Certificates

Voice lessons make the Perfect Gift for friends and loved ones!  Purchase your Gift Certificates today and give the gift of song.

Upon occasion a prospective student will ask me, in regard to singing mastery, "How long will it take?"  In America we definitely have an "instant gratification" mentality and TV programs like "American Idol" and "The Voice," etc., perpetuate that mindset.  (Not to mention the encouragement that is given to unhealthy and even damaging vocal practices through the avenue of the judge's standing ovations.)  My answer to this question is always, "It depends, how good do you want to be?"


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I have been thinking a lot about limitations recently and how they relate to our preferred experiences; about how we tie our own hands with our self-talk (the dialogue that runs, mostly uninterrupted, in the back of our minds throughout each and every day).  I recently read a book by Richard Bach entitled "Hypnotizing Maria."  In Mr. Bach's book, among many gems, I found this:


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In music, when we first begin learning, there is a tendency to imitate.  It's not a bad thing; it's part of the natural learning process.  However, in the long run, imitation is the kiss of death.  You can never really sound like someone else because you aren't in their head, neither do you have their ...


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When I initially saw this Will Smith video, I flashed on past students who were talented and rested on their laurels (i.e., skated by and didn't practice) and those who were fond of the phrase "It's hard" or "I can't." As author Richard Bach once put it, "Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they're yours."


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I have often said that I would like to keep a sterile bucket by the front door so that my students can deposit their brains in it until their weekly lesson is over. Over-thinking can cause a whole host of problems for your music and your self-confidence. Instead, rely upon your ear and TRUST the process. Those two things, combined with diligent practice, will get you far along on your path!

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Passion is essential in music.  A performing artist who lacks passion might as well pack it up and go home, i.e., don't give up your day job.  What we do is all about passion!  If you really pay attention to the best musicians, you will find that they reveal a little bit of their soul when they are performing.  That's what it's all about.  To have the courage to reveal yourself and a passion so deep that it doesn't matter that you've laid yourself out there for all the world to see because you love the music so much that expressing it in the best way possible is the only thing that really matters.

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"Invest yourself in everything you do. There’s fun in being serious."
~Wynton Marsalis


An expression my friend Joe Baque uses in regard to talent, "Anyone can sing, some just do it better than others."  The right training will improve the majority of voices ... providing that the student practices.  Frequent practice is essential, as is an open mind and an adventurous spirit.

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Breathing well/correctly is critically important to singers. The following excerpt (which is from the book, "Wellness on a Shoestring: Seven Habits for a Healthy Life") emphasizes the importance of breathing deeply in regard to your overall health. Expand your lungs and read on ...

Hugs, Carolena


"Think about the last time you were looking forward to something really exciting. Did your breathing speed up? Could you feel your heart in your chest? Did you gasp in surprise or delight? Did the moment quite literally take your breath away?

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We had an absolutely gorgeous weekend in Western Washington.  Shining sun is very seductive here in the rainy Pacific Northwest. It has a tendency to sing its siren song in the hopes of luring you away from whatever else you might have planned that is important. Sunshine is such an evil temptress! :O)

For all of my students I urge you:  On gorgeous days like this, DON'T lay off of practicing. Instead, throw open the doors and the windows and keep on keepin' on! That's what I do and my neighbors always tell me that they love to hear me rehearse; so don't be shy. Or go outside and practice in the sun or near a waterfall, next to a lake or under a canopy of evergreens or stars. The landscape in Western Washington is exquisite.  Nature can inspire your creativity, so keep up your chops and let Mother Nature be your muse.

Hugs, Carolena

I occasionally hear one of two statements being exclaimed in regard to JaZz: (a) "I don't like/hate it!" and (b) "I just don't understand it!"

In the case of the first statement, about a year or so ago I began experimenting.  When someone tells me that they dislike or hate JaZz, I query, "Really?  Well, do you like 'so-and-so'?", naming a random JaZz artist, be it instrumentalist or vocalist.  Or "Do you like 'such-and-such'?", naming a specific genre like swing, for example.  The response I most often hear reflected back to me is, "Oh, I LOVE 'so-and-so' or 'such-and-such'!"  Or even, "My favorite 'this-and-that' radio station plays that/them all the time. It's/they're my favorite!" My answer to those statements is then to surprise the listener by pointing out that they have been enjoying JaZz all along but just didn't realize it. Since JaZz IS an umbrella term which encompasses multiple styles of music, you too may have been enjoying one or more aspects of it without even realizing it.

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