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FAQ

♫  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS  ♫

Q: Why do you have an audition process? Can I be turned down?

A: It's not as hoity-toity as it sounds! It's really just a chance for Darci and the potential student to test each other out and make sure they are a good fit before making any serious investments of time and/or money in each other. Darci has only turned a handful of students away in over 15 years. A couple were simply too young to be able to focus yet and it was suggested they come back in a year or two.  In one instance, a singer had vocal damage and Darci is not qualified in vocal repair.  In that case, Darci referred the student to a voice coach who was.  


Q: Why do I have to pay in advance and why don't you offer refunds?

A: If you signed up for a college class, a dance class, a pottery class - ANY kind of class - you'd have to pay for it up front and you would not be reimbursed for classes you did not attend. DMVSS runs our studio the same way. We do allow rescheduling under certain circumstances (see "policies").


Q: I don't live out of state, but you're in the Valley and I'm by the beach. Can I opt for Skype lessons instead of fighting traffic once a week?

A: Absolutely! We realize that Angelinos spend more time in their cars than anywhere else and that's just one of the reasons we started offering Skype lessons. If you wanna sing in your jammies, we won't stop you (or judge)!


Q: Why do you charge the same for children as you do adults?

A: Because every single student receives the same time, effort, commitment and wealth of knowledge regardless of his or her age. And hey, keeping a child focused is no joke!


Q: I don't have any grand ideas about becoming a professional singer: I just want to sound better at karaoke with my friends. Do you take hobbyists?

A: Of course! We take students of any skill level. As long as you love to sing and you're willing to put in some practice time, that's all we ask. 


Q: Why do you charge a late fee?

A: Unfortunately, over the years, late payments have become an issue and we were forced to put a protocol in place in an effort to avoid moving to an automatic withdrawal system, which would in turn require us to raise our rates to cover operational fees. DMVSS makes a serious effort to remain in the median range of qualified vocal coach rates in Southern California. On-time payments are imperative to that end.


Q: What is your teaching style like? I don't respond well to a Simon Cowell style of instruction.

A: Neither does Darci! DMVSS is a safe place where students learn in an encouraging, nurturing, empowering environment full of positivity and laughter. Darci doesn't shy away from challenging her students or speaking the truth and she definitely runs a tight ship, but she is never in the business of crushing spirits, tossing out abusive critiques or using any personal information against her students. That is a promise.


Q: But wait! I don't respond well to someone who's just gonna let me sing easy songs and never push me to get better. You're not like THAT, are you?

A: Darci is a former nanny. She has the tough-love thing down and she will expect you to work and challenge yourself. If you haven't broken a sweat by the end of your session, she hasn't done her job! So, if you're ready to work, so is Darci.


Q: How can you be a good voice teacher if you don't accompany your students on the piano?

A: To that we have to ask, are you taking voice lessons or hiring a musical director? They are not one and the same! Darci has used pre-recorded tracks the entire time she's been teaching as a living and it has never once been an obstacle. Darci also knows several pianists with whom her students can connect and several places to go to get free run-through experience before an audition, should the need arise.


Have a question not addressed here? Contact us!