Hello, my name is Stephen J. Childs and I am the founder and head instructor for VirtualVoiceLessons.Net. I just wanted to spend some time letting you know a little bit more about myself and about my decade long dream that has now become an exciting reality. You know, ever since I started training voice professionally in 1991, I had always envisioned a day when perhaps I could give voice lessons directly into peoples homes through their personal computers. The idea of it was so intriguing to me. I mean, the thought of reaching people all over globe, people who I would never have any other way to share my knowledge, drove me to forge ahead through the dark ages of early internet technology to today’s growing virtual world.
When I started out as a young singer, there were really not too many choices when it came to finding a good voice teacher. Lessons were either held at the local church or the towns run-down music store. You kinda got what you could get. And unfortunately most of those types of trainers were classical singers, who really didn’t understand the rock/pop style of singing that I was shooting for. So, twice a week I would have my Dad drive me to the train station after school where I would travel from Warminster, PA to Philadelphia and take lessons with one of the only contemporary voice teachers in the city. Oddly enough his name was Harold Singer. He was an older man roughly in his late 60s still trying to hold on to his youth by dressing in far too stylish clothes for his age (and sporting an obvious toupee.) He used to scare me to death during every lesson for years. I remembered how strangely hard this man was with me, never letting a mistake go without ridicule, never complimenting any progress.
But I do now believe that Harold, in his old school way, was trying to push me harder because he didn’t want me to be like everyone else he had trained. He didn’t want me to pursue voice because it was cool or would get me girls or money or what not. That it was not just a love of “the idea” of singing (as so many students of voice are). He actually wanted me to love the act of singing itself, which ultimately made me want to share its truth’s with everyone I would meet.
Harold also gave me a wonderful gift of insight. I have had many teachers prior to him but he was the first to make the contemporary style of singing equal to or even better than the highly esteemed operatic style of singing which I was used to and wanted so desperately to get away from. He was my first contemporary teacher and he made me proud of the style of singing that I was into for its complexities and underlining beauty.
For the last ten years or so I have kept detailed journals outlining the techniques that were proving successful, waiting for the day technology would catch up with my vision. The vision was to bring the best of voice training to any student in the privacy of their own home, anywhere in the world. In other words, to make lessons affordable, obtainable, convenient and comfortable. And most importantly, make them work.
For over a decade I have owned the Musically Speaking Vocal Science and Performance Studio in Blackwood, NJ, where I have trained singing to an average of 60 students per week, some of which have gone through our internship program and are now successful voice instructors as well. I have also recorded and produced countless bands and solo artists who are professionals in the business and I am myself an internationally touring singer. All of this gained knowledge and experience has given me the tools to help anyone who has a desire to be a truly talented singer reach their goal. And now, since we are in the computer age, voice training is about to fulfill more dreams than ever before by combining a proven system of voice training with technology.
We all love to sing. Just ride down the road one day and look at the cars left or right of you and you will most likely wind up seeing someone singing in their car. This is why most people admire good singers and hold them up in an almost heroic display. Because we all love singing. Or at least the idea of singing. We put posters on the walls of our favorite artists and bands (which always have the singer in the middle and more towards the front.) or we wear their image on a t-shirt or key chain.
To be able to touch someone’s heart through your own voice may be one of the oldest and sought after dreams in history. And now it is lying in front of you through a glowing computer screen. I hope you have a wonderful experience learning about one of the greatest gifts man was ever given.
The gift of voice!
Thank you and God Bless,
Stephen J. Childs
|Separate Ways Performed by Steve Childs|
|Don't Belong by Dez Childs|
|La La Land Machine - Performed by Ayla Gentiletti|
|Everything - Performed by Mike Rossini|
|Here I Am - Performed by Annie Williams|
|Nobody's Home - Performed by Elisa Fredericks|
Some of Steve’s Students Who Sing Professionally
Ed is a former professional stage, film, and TV actor. Living in New York City, he performed in the Off-Broadway play, The Fantasticks for a year. He then toured the country with Rosie O’ Donnell and Debbie Gibson in the smash musical, Grease. Following a short break, he did a 34 city tour of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Among other professional and regional theatrical credits, Ed also can be seen in movies like Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy and Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You as well as on the soap opera, Another World.
As a member of ZOEgirl, Chrissy Conway has enjoyed many hits, including multiple top 5 singles on the Adult Contemporary charts.
Desiree says, “I cannot put into words the value of the instruction that Steve has given me. He has also taught me how to be a voice instructor. He is such an amazing person that I married him!”
Brian says, “I might as well be wearing a billboard for Steve Childs. I have referred so many people to him.”
“I sang for SIX HOURS and then spoke on the mic throughout my only two 20 minute breaks yesterday. I’d NEVER have been able to do that 6 months ago! Thank you Stephen Childs and Musically Speaking, Blackwood, NJ for excellent vocal therapy! You’ve brought me back from the “almost” dead!! Now… if you could just fix my back! lol”
Megan says: “Steve is not only a great teacher, he is also a great friend. He has always believed in me and has helped give me the confidence to be a singer.”
Cody says, “I took lessons with Steve for several years and was so impressed with his abilities that I became an investor and business partner. Having viewed the videos, I have to say that it is amazing how well the online program matches the in studio lessons!”
How do our members rate VirtualVoiceLessons.Net. In a recent independent survey conducted by SurveyMonkey.com, our members were asked the following question:
How would you rate the quality of instruction in the videos?
73% rated VirtualVoiceLessons.Net as Excellent
14% rated VirtualVoiceLessons.Net as Very Good
13% rated VirtualVoiceLessons.Net as Good
0% rated VirtualVoiceLessons.Net as Fair
0% rated VirtualVoiceLessons.Net as Poor
VirtualVoiceLessons.Net is owned and operated by Musically Speaking Studios in Blackwood, NJ. Musically Speaking is the largest full service studio in South Jersey. Our facilities and services include: Recording, Production, Lessons, Rehearsal Rooms and a Live Concert Hall. Check out our website and facebook page for more info and pictures.
The VirtualVoiceLessons.Net Staff
Steve Childs, Head Instructor – Steve has been teaching voice for over 20 years. His goal is to teach students how the body works to produce sounds, and then how to control these physical features to make beautiful music. Read more about Steve.
Dez Childs, Voice Instructor – Dez is an amazing Singer-Songwriter and has been teaching voice for seven years. As a student of Steve’s she learned from the best and was trained in his unique style of teaching voice. In the Spring of 2011 Dez and Steve were married. She has recently released her debut album, which was produced by Steve. Visit Dez’s website.
Cody Smith, Operations Manager – Cody became a partner in Musically Speaking in 2005 and manages the operations of the studio, VirtualVoiceLessons.Net and our record label, Apollyon Records. (See below for a message from Cody)
Craig Dettrey, Technology Consultant – Craig has been doing computer and technology design, installation and repair for over 20 years. As part of the VirtualVoiceLessons.Net team, he advises on web technology and keeps our computers running smoothly. Visit Craig’s website.
My name is Cody Smith and I cofounded VirtualVoiceLessons.net with Steve Childs. If you are considering joining then I want to share with you some information that may help you make your decision. I met Steve Childs in 2004 when I stopped by his studio to ask about taking voice lessons. I had never taken lessons before but had been playing guitar in bands and writing songs since I was very young. I started taking lessons and eventually began recording my first album with Steve. He is not only a great voice teacher, he is also a skilled producer and recording engineer. Steve and I became good friends and started discussing a business partnership with the goal of expanding his existing studio. After accomplishing this espansion, we began work on VirtualVoiceLessons.Net. Steve had always wanted to do something online and I have experience in business and technology that allowed us to create a website and do some marketing. Steve spent countless hours laying out the different lessons and preparing for filming. It took over one year, but it was well worth the effort. The response from our members has been incredibly positive. Steve and I are proud to say that we have never had a member criticize the quality of the instruction and we have never been asked for a refund!
For those of you who are skeptical, let me address some of your possible concerns. First of all, we are real people with a real business. You can check out our studio website at www.musicallyspeakingstudios.com, find us on facebook (Musically Speaking Studios or VirtualVoiceLessons.Net) and visit our Youtube channel MusicallySpeakingInc. Of course, we hope to make money by providing this service, but we only want to make money by giving people a great service at a great price. We firmly believe that VirtualVoiceLessons.Net does this. Steve has taught hundreds of students in his 17 year career. You can hear some of them sing and even visit their websites at http://www.virtualvoicelessons.net/students/. Our website is safe and legitimate. We use Paypal to process payments so we never see your credit/debit card information. I have been working with online businesses for many years, in particular with my website www.sportsnationvideo.com which has been around for over ten years and filled over 35,000 orders. Still unsure? Then you can call me at our studio and I will gladly answer any questions that you have. You can reach me at 856-228-0208.
Some of you may be wonder if can get quality instruction without actually going to an instructor. Having been a student of Steve’s I can honestly say that the information in the videos is exactly what he teaches to his students. I go back to the videos myself sometimes when I am working on a particular skill or having a problem. I also use the exercises in the program as well. I can go to Steve anytime I want with questions but often times I choose to use the website.
Should you take in-studio lessons? Our advice is, yes as long as you have the time, the money, and can find a great teacher. We also believe you should use our program as well. The cost of membership is so reasonable that it is a great additional tool to help you become a better singer. And if you cannot take in-studio lessons then we can help you learn how to sing. Steve’s approach has always been to teach his students how we sing, not just how to sing. This means that he talks about subjects such as anatomy and phsyics and demonstrates how sounds are created and how we can manipulate them. He likes to say that he does not teach people how to sing, he teaches them how to be their own voice teacher.
I hope this information is helpful to you and of course, I would love to see you take advantage of our program. If you decide not to join, please remember that our facebook and Youtube pages have some excellent (and free) information that may be useful to you as you pursue your dream of becoming a great singer!