Tyler here- thanks for dropping by! My passion for teaching comes from a love of the human voice and the problem solving that comes with helping other singers overcome their unique vocal hang-ups.
I began my deep-dive into the mechanism when I experienced voice problems as a freshman in the University of Michigan's Musical Theatre program. Following an adolescence that revolved around singing at a high level, my vocal injury left me feeling embarrassed, isolated, and hopeless about my future as a performer. After the injury healed, I was too afraid of re-injuring myself to practice consistently, so my progress came to a screeching halt. The activity that had defined me, and brought me so much joy, turned into something I was afraid of. While, my singing sounded fine, it was usually uncomfortable, and always fatiguing. Deep down, I knew this wasn't a sustainable long-term strategy.
While my friends at U of M were excited for the big move to NYC, the idea filled me with dread...I had no clue how I would survive in the professional world...Sure, I could muscle through the song once, maybe twice...but Broadway performers are singing athletes, expected to deliver thrilling vocals eight times per week (that doesn't include outside rehearsals, other auditions, concerts, etc.). I knew I wouldn't be able to rest my voice into a successful singing career, but I
Tyler & Co. in THE BOOK OF MORMON
lacked the resources and information needed to get back on the path to singing success. Plenty of well-intentioned peers and teachers reassured me that I was simply too "in my head" about it. "You'll be fine! Just don't think about it so much!" Unfortunately, lip service never prevented me from losing my voice after a show!
With the cast of INTO THE WOODS:
Alice Ripley, Constantine Maroulis, John McDaniel, Darren Ritchie,
Melissa Errico, Jim Stanek, Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoltd, Ayla Schwartz
As you could probably expect, I came across plenty of speed bumps as I gained traction in my career. I was fortunate to find great work as an actor, but the excitement of each victory was always replaced with worry- “Can my voice get through this? How about on a two-show day?” Each project came with new challenges to overcome, like being asked to reliably belt a high D at the end of a show I’ve already sung thirteen songs in! Or performing eight shows per week of THE BOOK OF MORMON…with a pseudocyst on one of my vocal folds! The rampant anxiety I had over singing left me starved for solutions that would make it easier, less taxing. And yet, somehow, it felt like the more information I acquired, the less I knew. Each time I thought that I’d assembled a complete puzzle, I realized a different piece was missing.
It's funny how anxiety has unintended effects: You'd think that being afraid of singing would make me hate everything about it...but it actually made me fall in love with it again- only this time from a mechanical standpoint. On my "quest" for the healthiest, most dynamic singing techniques, I was lucky to meet and work with incredible mentors in the world of voice teaching and therapy. Some instructors were surprised that my questions surpassed the basic information I needed to just sound good myself- I needed to know the when, where, why and how of the entire singing universe! Luckily, each teacher was incredibly generous with their time and knowledge. Thanks to their guidance (and a LOT)
of practice) I was able to dissect and overcome each hurdle I'd experienced, filling my "vocal toolbox" with techniques and strategies that would help myself, and others, achieve healthy, thrilling voice production. I was slowly completing the puzzle I had tried so desperately to assemble, for so long. (And, because voice science continues to evolve, my inner "voice" geek is thrilled to know that there is always much more to learn.)
As a performer, I'm singing better than ever, with ease that I didn't realize was possible. I'm so grateful to have found joy in singing again- like making up with an old friend after years. Although the challenges I encountered were frustrating (and sometimes downright scary) I maintain that each one was a learning experience, all contributing to my efficacy as a teacher. Additionally, every voice and body work system I studied along the way offered new possibilities and vocabularies for voice use, equipping me with an arsenal of approaches to use for different students, depending upon their learning styles. A good voice teacher will have one successful strategy to teach their students a concept… a great teacher will have many. It’s a bit like knowing different languages: the more you can speak, the more people with whom you will be able to communicate.
"Pinocchio" in SHREK THE MUSICAL
With Mark Nelson and Krystina Alabado,
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ROOM IN NEW YORK
My love for teaching lies in helping to free singers from the limitations they've imposed upon their instrument. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than helping artists uncover parts of their range they didn't know they had, or offering them a solution to release traumas they've integrated into their singing. Are you having difficulty hitting that high note? Worried about being able to get through the run of your show? I've been there too, and oh boy, do I have some ideas for you!
I'll leave you with one of my favorite voice teacher stories, which pretty much sums up everything:
For a while, I studied with a hysterically dry singing instructor in New York. She was a wonderful teacher, and very patient about my need to express the fears I had about hurting my voice again. One day, after listening to me gripe for the umpteenth time, she filled me in on her own vocal health history- how she had developed nodules working as an opera singer decades earlier. Her injury had been the impetus to seek solutions to her own problems, and that had ultimately led her to become a teacher herself...(Sound familiar?) She had a big, authoritative voice, with a crystal clear soprano, which is why I was surprised to learn that she still had one of those nodules- singing and teaching with it, full time. "I still have it, and it doesn't bother me one bit." In disbelief, I asked, "And you never wanted to get it removed?"
Without a beat, she replies: "Nope... I earned it."
*Proverbial Mic Drop*
TYLER JONES is an actor and voice teacher based out of NYC. Favorite stage credits include THE BOOK OF MORMON, THE LAST SMOKER IN AMERICA (off-Broadway), THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME (Christopher), NEWSIES (Connecticut Repertory Theatre & Maltz Jupiter Theatre), SHREK (Broadway At Music Circus), BIG RIVER (Huck Finn) and THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ROOM IN NEW YORK (Long Wharf Theatre). He has played "Jack" in INTO THE WOODS opposite both Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, which is honestly more than he could have ever hoped to accomplish. Television: “Little America,” “Boardwalk Empire,” "Masters of Doom." Tyler is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and the New York Singing Teachers Association.
Rockin' MORMON Onesies with
Josh Breckenridge and Gavin Creel
I'm always excited to work with new singers! Shoot me a message and we'll work together on getting you the singing voice you've always wanted.