I started taking voice lessons with Sheila Dugan when I was 14-years-old. Up until that point, I had perfected the art of imitation when I sang. Like many young singers, I chose to imitate sounds as opposed to actually singing with my own authentic sound. After much training, Sheila Dugan helped me find my own authentic voice and artistic style.
Sheila uses concrete visual imagery, allowing her students to fully comprehend, and more importantly, feel how to correctly use their vocal instrument. Prior to my association with Sheila, I had developed some bad habits and Sheila helped me correct those. Along the way, she employed a number of very novel teaching techniques in order to help me succeed. Because she is such an extraordinary teacher, she continued to use multiple teaching devices in order to help me recreate my approach to singing.
In addition to excellent technical training, Sheila is an extraordinary mentor with regard to song interpretation and performance. She continually challenges you to think about the words that you are singing, honing your performance as well as technique. In the end, the songs you sing are uniquely yours, sung in your authentic voice, perfectly placed, and in harmony with your instrument.
These skills have been noticed by professionals here in St. Louis as well as New York. As I have participated in collegiate and professional programs, directors have repeatedly asked me where I received my training and have complimented it, often using my performance as an example of how to perform a song.
Sheila has always believed in and supported my dreams wholeheartedly. She invests her time, effort, and energy into her students so they can achieve their personal best. I have learned self-discipline with Sheila, as she expects her students to practice on their own, and I have also reaped the benefits of our hard work. Going into senior year in high school, I knew I wanted to go to NYU?s Tisch School of the Arts. Sheila did everything in her power to prepare me for the audition. Thanks to Sheila Dugan, I will be attending NYU?s Tisch School of the Arts in the fall and majoring in Musical Theater.
Sheila Dugan provides her students with tangible visualizations and techniques so that her work with them continues long after the lessons end. She has had a profound impact on my ability as a singer/performer. I am one of many that she has helped transform from a child who could sing to a polished vocal performer. I expected to find great training when I started lessons with Sheila, but I never expected to find such a great friend. Sheila has helped me grow as a person, and I appreciate and cherish all the advice she has given me over the years on life in general. Even though I am leaving St. Louis, I plan to continue to work and stay in contact with Sheila because she has so profoundly impacted my life.