Sing With Jill is a Vancouver-based vocal studio that aims to help you find your voice; Therapy through music one could call it. Jill works with singers of all levels. Her personal approach to vocal coaching has led her to become highly sought after. Sing with Jill’s recent addition of online coaching has led this local studio to gain international appeal. We chatted with Jill from Sing with Jill to further understand why her approach to vocal coaching is gaining so much buzz within the community and what lead her to start vocal coaching.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Sing With Jill is my in-person and online vocal studio. I help singers at all levels break down personal and technical barriers, discover their unique voices and feel confidence and joy in singing and music.
What made you want to do this work?
I’ve been singing and playing the piano since I was little. I received my ARTC in Piano in 1999 and completed the Theatre Arts and Music Programs at MacEwan University in Edmonton in 2004. And I’ve been teaching privately ever since.
I’ve welcomed hundreds of students from all walks of life into my studio in East Vancouver. Music has saved me in so many ways and I believe it can do that for a lot of people! But it can also be scary and intimidating. So I’ve created a space – in-person and virtually – where people of all ages and abilities can come and express themselves.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
I serve people who want to sing for skill development, personal transformation and self-improvement and the pure JOY of it.
So many people don’t like the sound of their own voice, they want to sound ‘perfect’ (whatever that means?), they’ve been told that their voices are bad, or they feel a general sense of shame around their voice and self-expression. My teaching approach is based on a whole body, connected experience. The more mistakes the better! The more imperfection, the better!
I guide people through a process of self-acceptance and a shift in mindset while also building up singing skills in breath control, pitch, tension release and a deepened understanding of how the voice works.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
I welcome anyone and everyone and create a judgment-free space for all my students. I support amazing humans from all sorts of backgrounds and life experiences including:
● people who aren’t able to sing on pitch and hold a song together
● people with such immense anxiety that they break down in tears
● people transitioning their voices who need a safe place to express themselves
● people traumatized by an old teacher or someone telling them they are not good
I encourage everyone to sing, at whatever age and stage of life and believe that we all have a uniquely beautiful voice to discover and share with the world.
Where in the city can we find your profession?
You can find me in-person at my studio in East Vancouver, or online working with people all over the world!
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
Question: What sets you apart from other vocal coaches?
Answer: First off, finding a vocal coach is an EXTREMELY personal journey. To be successful you need to find someone you connect and jive with. I say this to everyone in their first lesson: “please know that if I am not the right person, keep exploring other teachers.” You need to feel safe… that is the most important thing. You will make mistakes, you will make weird sounds, you might get emotional, and if you are not 100% comfortable in the space and with the teacher, using your voice will be very challenging.
It’s my mission to connect with people through music, listen to their stories and help them feel seen and heard. I’m also committed to understanding each student’s unique starting point and then map out a journey to get the most out of the learning process. If this sounds like the right approach for you, I would love to help you find your voice!
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The absolute best part of my job is the joy and connection between me and my students. They walk into my space carrying with them their wins and losses for that day, BUT still want to connect with me and sing. I get to sit at my piano and watch them transform… It’s magical.
Then when a student starts to notice improvement, techniques getting easier, their voices growing stronger – that’s when I am literally vibrating with joy! It’s bonkers that I get to do this for a living. I feel like the luckiest human.
The worst part of the job is that there are not enough hours in the day!
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
Those who can, do
Those who can’t, teach.
This is a saying (and not even a good joke) that you often hear about teachers, but nothing could be further from the truth! Some of the best vocal coaches in the industry are also fantastic singers. Who better to learn from than someone who really understands how to use their voice really well?
I sing regularly – in fact, I used to perform professionally – and although my focus is more on coaching now, it’s really important for me to keep my voice in shape and continue working on my own singing skills. Plus, singing is my outlet and I feel immense joy when doing it!
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?
Formation Studio. My friends Saschie and Roman opened this amazing dance studio in 2019. They struggled during the pandemic, but they continued to push through and have created this beautiful community. They are all about small wins and creating a habit of success… And what a joyful way to do that… DANCE! Definitely go dance with them – also their social media posts bring me daily joy.