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Sheila Dugan Voice & Speech - 24 Reviews - 12425 Leigh Ln, Maryland Heights, MO - Education & Instruction Reviews - Phone (314) 434-9217

Sheila Dugan Voice & Speech

12425 Leigh Ln
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
(314) 434-9217
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Finally a voice teacher who knows what she's doing and can communicate how to do it!


All reviews seem positive

Editorial review from Citysearch 7/30/2013

In the last 10 years, I have had the good fortune of playing an executive role working for great brand companies like Coca Cola, PepsiCo and Anheuser Busch. With each of these companies my role has been one of a transformation leader and effectively managing the process of change with emphasis on working / interacting with people at all levels. I have also been called upon to present my findings and solutions in several international conferences as a keynote speaker.\r \r Being one who is constantly trying to improve my skills, I reached out to Sheila to help me with my voice production and public speaking skills. That is probably the best decision I have taken to really improve.\r \r Sheila takes a very personal, intuitive and hands-on approach to training on voice and public speaking. Within the first few minutes of our meeting, Sheila was able to pinpoint the challenges I had with my speaking abilities (largely because of the Indian origin and upbringing), and put together a customized program geared for addressing these issues. Each session addressed a different facet of my weaknesses. In all these sessions Sheila not only focuses on the “how,” but also on the “what and why” of the process, so that the student has a complete understanding about how they are to progress. She takes a very scientific approach to addressing each issue.\r \r I am now a much improved speaker and given my excellent interaction with her, I would say I will continue to leverage her as a lifelong coach. I would highly recommend Sheila to anyone who wants to improve their voice and public speaking skills.\r more

Editorial review from Citysearch 9/22/2012

A Parent's Perspective. Great teachers are few and far between, and parents often struggle in finding the best private instruction for their children. We felt no uncertainty, however, in identifying Sheila Dugan as the right vocal teacher for our daughter. The past four years of Saturday morning voice lessons (I couldn't help listening from the waiting room) have confirmed our faith in Sheila's extraordinary abilities. She has had an enormous positive impact on our daughter's life. more

Editorial review from Citysearch 8/26/2012

I am a Musical Theatre performer. I had been studying voice privately for eight years in St. Louis and at college, but it wasn't until I studied with Sheila Dugan that I fully understood a more organized and grounded way to produce my voice. It wasn't that my other teachers were wrong exactly, but she used explanations based in the study of anatomy and her own creative guided imagery to explain how to better control my instrument, making me a far more versatile singer than I had ever been. All of the ill-explained techniques gave way to an entirely new way of singing, and in turn, I produced many new sounds that I had never heard or felt before, all without abuse! I learned how many more characters/roles I potentially had in me, using the new technologies that she taught me! I was only in town for few months, but after weekly hour lessons with Sheila, in that time, she completely changed the way I approach my craft, and for the better. I only wish we could have worked together longer before I moved to New York to begin my professional life. I learned so much from her. more

Finally a voice teacher who knows what she's doing! 5/20/2011

Finally a voice teacher who knows what she's doing and can communicate how to do it! more

The Incredible Sheila Dugan 7/26/2010

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. more

An Incredible Voice Teacher and Mentor 10/25/2009

I began studying with Sheila Dugan almost seven years ago. She was recommended to me by numerous people around the St. Louis area as the best teacher around. As soon as I began studying with her, she quickly identified what I needed to work on in order to become the best singer that I could be using techniques deeply rooted in anatomy and physiology. She explains everything in ways that are straightforward and clear. Every week it seemed that she would have a new diagram of the body to show me that really helped me understand what my body should be doing when I sing. Her methods are CONSTANTLY changing and are individualized to each student; if an image that she is using doesn't help me or I don't understand it, she instantly has another one on hand to help me understand exactly what I should be doing, often, one that she has thought of or adapted to specifically work for me in that moment. Sheila has helped me to become the most intelligent, informed, and self aware singer that I can be. With her help I was accepted to and now attend NYU Tisch School of the Arts where I am pursuing a BFA in Theater: without Sheila I know I wouldn't be where I am. He She is an incredibly skilled teacher and a wonderfully supportive woman, she has guided me in my personal and professional life. I am so grateful to be her student and I know that the techniques she has taught me will stay with me forever and that with her help, I will continue to make new discoveries about how the voice works and how I can sound my best. As far as I am concerned, if you live in the St. Louis area and want to pursue singing in any capacity, Sheila Dugan is the person with whom you need to study. She is the best. Pros: Excellent, specific, and individualized training Cons: None that I can see more

A Fantastic Voice Teacher and Wonderful Person 9/23/2009

While searching for a voice teacher 4 years ago, Sheila Dugan was suggested to me more than any other name, and when I began taking lessons with her it was easy to see why. She had a scientific approach to singing that I had never experienced with any other instructor before. She is completely devoted to helping her students improve and will go to nearly any length to do so. In addition to teaching singing to perfection, she also teaches the physical aspect of singing and the way to perform. When I first began studying with her, I was a 14-year-old who had a voice, but had no idea what to do with it and no idea about how to perform competently. By the time I left for college I was an 18-year-old with numerous leading roles in musicals and plays that I performed throughout the St. Louis area, under my belt. Anytime I played a role that required a specific dialect, Dr. Neville Craven in ?The Secret Garden? for instance, or when I played the Beast in ?Beauty and the Beast? and needed to learn to roar and make other abusive sounds non-abusively, she offered her expertise so I wouldn?t damage my voice. Sheila is an excellent singing, acting, and life coach. When I began applying for college in the fall of 2008 to major in vocal performance, Sheila was the first one to offer her assistance-- whether it was through additional voice lessons whenever I needed them (sometimes 2 or 3 times a week), written recommendations, or guidance. Sheila selected the perfect repertoire for all of my auditions, recitals, and competitions. I received acclaim at each and every one. I am now studying vocal performance at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (which is the number one music school in the United States and has the number one Opera program in the country). I have no one else to thank for that besides Sheila. During my audition at Indiana University, I was told by the voice faculty that I had been very well trained and they were so impressed with my training and voice I received my acceptance letter and scholarship offer 2? weeks after my audition, which is much faster than the typical response time. None of this would have happened with out Sheila. Now that I?m taking voice lessons at Indiana University I realize how much Sheila did for me. I know that I will probably never again have another voice teacher who will be able to accompany me, give me instantaneous solutions/cures to my vocal issues in an easy to understand way, and care for me the way Sheila does. I recently listened to the recording of my first voice lesson and I can?t believe that the voice on that recording was mine, because it has been so improved! If you need a voice teacher it is ridiculous to look anywhere else. Sheila Dugan's knowledge, musicianship and abilities top that of any other teacher in this area! Pros: Unparalleled vocal instruction in every possible way Cons: None to be found more

AMAZING voice teacher! 8/31/2009

My son has been studying with Sheila for a little over 3 years, I believe. Yes, he had a beautiful voice before studying with Sheila, but he had no idea of how to use/control it. Sheila Dugan has been able to connect with my son using terminology and imagery that he can relate to, thereby teaching him not just ""how to sing"", but the actual physiology behind singing. This knowledge has enabled him to not just follow directions, but to understand what he is doing with his body and voice, what is harmful and beneficial to his anatomy and physiology where singing is concerned, and to become connected to his anatomy and voice while singing. The importance of this is immeasurable. My son is now so connected to not only his own voice while singing, but he is constantly hearing harmful techniques used by others while THEY are singing! Pros: Unique ability to connect with each student on his/her level Cons: ? more

There's No One Better 8/15/2009

There are no words that can accurately describe the amazing experience I have had with Sheila Dugan. She is hands down, the best teacher I have had in St. Louis, New York, and everywhere else I have studied across the country. I could not have made a better decision when I decided to study with Sheila five years ago. Her approach to singing encompasses so much more than ""just the basics"" most other trainers provide: the technicality involved in singing is taught in an incredibly sophisticated yet specifically tailored way in order to most effectively get into the mind of her current student. During lessons you are not only taught what you can do physically in order to improve the sound of your voice, but you are also told what is demanded emotionally in giving the most engaging and powerful performance possible. Her knowledge goes so much further than singing- whether I needed to know a specific dialect for a play, needed to know the correct pronunciation of words in the French art song I was singing, or could not find what I was doing wrong in my portrayal of a character very different than myself, Sheila was always there with incredible coaching. When I would get to a point of new improvement, Sheila would tell me to replay the recording of my first lesson with her, and compare my results, and I was always amazed at my own growth. I entered Sheila?s house as a 14-year-old boy without any confidence in my voice, and today I have found the enjoyment and success that comes with possessing a powerful instrument. In addition to a great voice trainer for life, in her, I have gained a life long friend. Her guidance has led me to study at NYU?s Tisch School of the Arts, one of the best artistic training grounds in the country. Because of our work together, I am on my path, creating my dream of working in the fields of straight acting and Musical Theatre. more

The Best in Town 8/12/2009

Sheila Dugan was a God-sent when it came to finding a voice teacher that would both push me and help me prepare for my college auditions. Her dedication to her students is so apparent because unlike other teachers she doesn?t settle for ?pretty good.? With Sheila you will delve into the more minute details of what you?re actually singing, how you?re singing it, and what you should be doing with your voice based on technique, style, context, mood, genre, etc. Her concrete approach to technique is infallible with any voice and truly captures the voice as an instrument whose potential should be maximized, rather than a toy to manipulate and contort. While this approach is different from many voice teachers who will teach you to ?spin the tone? and such, her no nonsense ?this-is-how-the-mouth-and-vocal-tract-work? approach is what qualifies her to teach even the most advanced of singers. After walking away from my first evaluation I knew that my voice would be changing immensely over the coming months! And for someone who is serious about being in professional theater, I found that really exciting! With Sheila, expect to work hard, practice often, and grow much! Every one of my peers and my directors noticed an immediate difference in my voice within a few mere months of studying with Sheila. However, that improvement came with hours of dedication to practicing the techniques that she taught me to utilize. She is a teacher for those who are serious about their instrument and wish to become the most they can?.the correct way. I know that without her guidance I would certain not be going to NYU in the fall to study acting. I wholeheartedly recommend her as a teacher for ANY student in the St. Louis area (and beyond) so I could take her to New York with me :) Pros: unequalled training, great location, wonderful resources more

A lifesaver for the human voice 5/21/2007

I too wish to ""sing the praises"" of Sheila Dugan. I have been studying with her for the past four months. In that short amount of time, Sheila has done more to fix the problems with my voice than any other teacher I've encountered. I am a classical singer and have studied opera and art song since college in 1996. Since finishing my undergraduate program, I notice that my singing was not as strong as it had been in school. I had difficulty with range issues and also breath management. I quickly lost confidence in myself as a classical singer. Since working with Sheila, I have gained back a lot of my confidence as a singer and feel that I am well on my way to full improvement. Using scientific descriptions of how the voice works, along with visual aids, Sheila is able to instruct her students to find the trouble spots and truly correct them. Some of my vocal problems were made known to me by other teachers. But Sheila is the first teacher who has had any success in helping me begin to rid these problems from my technique. In short, Sheila Dugan is a marvelous teacher and musician. I think that if there were a stone that HAD a voice, Sheila could teaching it to sing....beautifully! Pros: one-on-one instruction, thorough music library, grand-piano accomp. more

professional training unlike anything else in st. louis 3/14/2007

As a former MUNY kid and MUNY teen who has gone on to perform more

Sheila Dugan is a great teacher. 2/16/2007

In only a few months, Sheila has helped me do a complete 180 with my singing. I came to her in my senior year needing help for my college auditions. Immediately, she taught me the facts about my instrument, and how to methodically improve what I was doing, using this knowledge. It amazes me I've come so far in so short an mount of time, and it's all thanks to Sheila. Beside giving me the tools I needed for successful college auditions, Sheila has helped me to love singing again. She saved my voice. more

In a category of her own 7/7/2006

I cannot recount for you the number of times I've heard someone raving how wonderful his or her voice teacher is, and then thought to myself, ""but you already had a beautiful voice and great technique to begin with."" What separates Sheila Dugan from other teachers is that Sheila is a voice builder. When I first met Sheila, she broke down the voice and showed me - with visual aids, diagrams, and demonstrations - literally how the voice works. Sheila has one of the most creative and innovative minds I've ever encountered. With every lesson comes a new exercise that relates to what I was struggling with in my last lesson - which she, of course, remembers somehow. Her exercises are uniquely her own so that I, as a student, cannot hold any preconceived ideas about what I'm singing. Most importantly, though, Sheila has the innate ability to relate to her students. Because I've danced all my life, Sheila uses dance terminology in my voice lessons to parallel the concepts she's teaching me. My voice has grown leaps and bounds since studying with Sheila, and I credit her with my college acceptance as a musical theatre major at Syracuse University. I have gained knowledge of my voice and how to use it; but most of all, I have met one of the few shining angels that we get to meet in our lives. I call her randomly just to say, ""Hi,"" because I miss her hugs and loving nature. Without Sheila, I would not have the confidence or skills to pursue my career dreams and ambitions. more

Sheila Dugan- Fantastic! 5/8/2006

Sheila Dugan has been teaching me for a little over a year now. I am a singer/songwriter who performs at local bars and clubs. Sheila has shown me the error of my ways. Through her techniques and visual imagery she has been molding me into not only a better singer audibly but she has improved the health and longevity of my voice as well. I highly recommend Sheila Dugan. -Gary Fleming more

Sheila Dugan - Simply the best!!! 4/20/2006

I have had the honor and privilege of working with Sheila Dugan for the past five years. I am constantly impressed with her perfect ear and amazing knowledge of the voice. I have studied with two other teachers, and Sheila Dugan is undoubtedly the best. She has an unbelievable way of bringing out the best in my voice. Everyone in the St. Louis theater community knows if you want a tough but honest, wonderful, knowledgeable, caring, voice teacher, you go to Sheila Dugan. She has successfully prepared me for auditions for The Muny, Stages St. Louis, and Broadway. Sheila is not a teacher that just plays notes and scales, she also coaches the artistic expression that brings each song to life. This is what makes her such a special voice teacher. We are all blessed to have her incredible talents in the St. Louis community. more

User review by bbr 1/3/2006

All I can say is WOW!! My daughter has been taking voice lessons from Sheila Dugan for only 6 months. I am amazed at my daughter's professional and personal growth with Sheila's influence in such a short period of time. The tonal quality and vocal range of my daughter has improved tremendously. It is an honor to work with a professional instructor like Sheila Dugan. more

My mentor and Freind 11/14/2005

I have been a student of Sheila Dugan for almost 6 years now and she as been so much a part of where and who I am today. She knew exactly what to say to me or what image to use that would help me to become a better singer. If it weren't for her then I wouldn't be where I am today pursuing a career in Musical Theatre. Her knowledge amd talents are truly amazing. She is a kind a caring woman who can really be specific to the needs of each individual. She has become a great freind and I will hope to study with her for the rest of my life. I am truly blessed to have found someone as great as Sheila. more

Absolute Expert 10/23/2005

Sheila Dugan is incredible! In 10 years of studying under Sheila, I have never come across another teacher who has made such an impact in my life or in my voice. Not only does she have an outstanding ear and impressive knowledge of the voice as an instrument, she knows how to teach! Sheila is specific, patient, honest, and persistent. She helps each singer to find their unique voice and helps us to use that voice in the most healthy, powerful way. Sheila has helped me to fulfill my dream. With Sheila's guidance and expertise, I was able to attend a top notch B.F.A program at University of Michigan and now perform professionally. I feel so lucky to have found Sheila and have her in my life as a mentor and friend. more

An Absolute Pro 9/22/2005

Having worked with Sheila for over 10 years, I can honestly say that this is a woman who is a master in the industry. No other teacher has a better ear, a better set of skills or the patience to teach like Ms. Dugan. She will describe the way you use your instrument with precision and strive to make your voice the best it can be, while maintaining your own unique sound. You would be lucky to have the opportunity to work with her. more
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