Ashton Singing Cafe’ FAQ’s!

Q. Why do people take voice lessons?

A. Learning to use your voice is a very important step in fulfilling your desire to express yourself more completely. Whether you want to sing your favorite songs in the shower or become world famous singer, learning to improve and eventually master your instrument is very important. Though I personally believe that everyone has the ability to sing, there is indeed an incorrect way to sing that could lead to vocal problems and injury to your vocal cords in the long run. To avoid such problems and become the best singer you can be, it is a good idea to seek voice lessons from a professional vocal instructor.

Q. What is the difference between “voice lessons” and “singing lessons?”

A. They both essentially have the same meaning on the surface but in actual practice, a “voice lesson” focuses on your vocal technique while a “singing lesson” tends focus on improving a song’s performance. Furthermore, vocal lessons tend to improve a singer’s breathing and warmup techniques whereby a “singing lesson” would aim to improve the overall performance and delivery of a song. Ultimately, it is up to the instructor to improve the student’s overall confidence and vocal ability whether the student came for a “voice”, or “singing” lesson.

Q. What should I look for in a good vocal instructor/coach?

A. Your selected instructor/coach should first be able to meet you where you are vocally no matter how novice or advanced you are. I say this because I have had countless vocal instructors tell me, “You don’t need voice lessons…” Being met with this opposition time and again has led me to not only become a teacher myself, but a teacher to less experienced aspiring singers. Teaching a person thirsting for knowledge is quite invigorating, and is like a reverse voice lesson in practice because students expect their instructors to fix their personal vocal issues quickly. Even if it feels like an exchange of information during the lesson and less like a teacher/student experience, a “good” vocal instructor/coach should always be able to share their experience with an aspiring singer whether they be novice, or professional.

Q. Should I take voice lessons if I wasn’t born with the talent to sing?

A. Of course! If indeed you feel that way about yourself then you should rest assured that voice lessons are for you. My first vocal teacher Sunny Wilkinson told me that she felt she wasn’t a “born singer.” However, that did not stop her from seeking the information she wanted and going on to be a studio singer for the NBC television network in Los Angeles. It was her thirst for knowledge and hard work that allowed her to make singing her profession, and eventually my professor at Michigan State University. If you have the desire to sing and perform, you owe it to yourself to get up and do your best. If we are supposed to dance like no one is watching, then you should sing like no one is listening… then get voice lessons so you’d eventually be okay with people listening.

Q. What is Ashton’s singing Cafe’?

A. Ashton’s Singing Cafe’ provides premium vocal instruction for music lovers all over the world. Here in the Cafe’ we cater to any and every person on the quest to improve their singing voice. Each lesson focuses on one or more of my 5 vocal solutions that I believe yields the highest and best results in creating beautiful sounds.

Q. Should I take lessons if I haven’t sang in a while?

A. Most definitely! Starting voice lessons again will build your confidence. With an improved confidence you will be able to breathe easier in any singing situation. Whether you like singing in your church choir or performing in front of a band, investing in voice lessons is sure to be of value to your future success on any musical level.

Q. Can I change the style of my voice if I am classically trained?

A. It is possible to change the style of your voice with time and practice. When I began singing seriously, classical singing was the only option at school in choir, and as a soloist besides singing along with the radio on the way to school. When I began singing jazz i’ll admit that at first I sounded like a classical singer singing standards. However, as I continuously practiced the style and nuances of jazz and other popular styles of singing, my voice transformed to my satisfaction. 

Q. What are some benefits using singing as a hobby?

A. Every person can gain from the benefits of singing, whether you think you can sing or not. For example, singing increases the amount of oxygen you take into your body as you take deep breaths. Singing also increases your ability to appear youthful as you articulate lyrics improving muscle tone in the face, throat, neck and jaw. Since singing requires us to learn songs from beginning to end, we are able to continuously feel a sense of achievement which increases our self-esteem.

Q. How Much are lessons?

A. Lesson fees and options are provided on the Pricing page.

Q. How often should I take lessons?

A. Regular lessons are recommended, preferably weekly. In order to become a “good singer” you must first be able to execute good singing habits. The best way to obtain good singing habits is to practice and sing regularly under the guide of a professional vocal teacher.

Q. Do you offer Skype or phone lessons?

A. Yes. Lessons are available through Skype and also by phone.

Q. What are some good ways to stay healthy as a singer?

A. To stay healthy as a singer the two most important things you need to do is sleep and drink plenty of water. Our bodies are more than 50% water so while engaging in the act of singing, it is of great benefit to be well hydrated and avoid becoming dehydrated. Dehydration could lead to a lot of discomfort and problems while singing on stage. Also, the body repairs itself when we sleep so our memory improves allowing us to retain the music and lyrics we practice. The more confident you feel while performing, the better performance you will be able to provide for your audience.

Q. Who can take voice lessons? (Is this for me?)

A. Any person with a good attitude and a will to learn can take voice lessons. Learning new things is not always easy but I am sure that after taking just one voice lesson, you will feel accomplished, and be a better singer than you were from the start.

Q. Can you teach me to sing in tune?

A. Yes. When you exhibit confident singing posture with a deep low breath, engaging your voice from the bottom of your abdomen, through to the crown of your head you will sing in tune. I understand that executing this on a consistent basis is not easy without the help of a teacher therefore, I would love to help you with the task of singing your song selections in tune with ease.

Q. I’m already singing, why should I study with a teacher?

A. As a singer myself, I like to think of myself as a life-long student of my craft which is singing. As for my instrumentalist friends both young and old, they feel the same. I cannot say that I know a respectable singer or instrumentalist that does not have an elder form which they find their inspiration. To put it lightly, if we both went to the largest cities in the world and participated in their most famous “jam sessions”, would you stand out without question? If so, then perhaps you don’t need a teacher.

Q. What musical background is required?

A. There is no musical background required. Even though I can teach anyone at any level, I love to teach amateurs and beginners the most.

Q. I am not interested in music theory: can you still teach me to sing?

A. The laws of music theory do not matter in my lesson. In my opinion, if you can teach a 3rd grader then you can teach anyone what you have to give.

Q. Which vocal method do you teach?

A. I teach the vocal method that helps a person feel most confident on stage and, since I perform for a living I believe that I can teach and acknowledge the difference between good and bad singing. Your lesson will be catered to yourself with the tools and techniques needed to move your singing voice onward an upward to your satisfaction.

Q. What is a vocal lesson like?

A. Your personal voice lesson will consist of a series of warmups to help you relax and prepare vocally during the lesson to come. If you arrive at your lesson previously warmed up, you are sure to get more ‘coaching’ from your lesson as we will have more time for your selected song choice to be worked on during the lesson. Towards the end of the lesson we will review all of the warmup and vocal techniques touched upon during the lesson before ending.

Q. How long is a voice lesson and how often should I take a lesson?

A. Each lesson is approximately 1hr. unless another time is predetermined by your own choosing. It is recommended that lessons be taken weekly, or no less than once every two weeks. At this frequency, the information learned each lesson will be easier to retain and put to use while singing.

Q. When will I notice a change in my singing?

A. No two singers are the same nor can they expect the same results. On the other hand, I can say that I have noticed students transform within the lesson. It is up to each student’s own practice regimen which determine’s how fast any said transformation occurring during the lesson will turn into a regular good singing habit.

Q. How long does it take to master singing?

A. Learning to sing is a life-long study and one can only improve at singing with each song they learn. There is however a point in which you can demand total control over your voice and that point is reached as the author Malcolm Gladwell describes as after 10,000 hours of practice. Though this number is not factual for every learner, it certainly is comparable in theory to the amount of time you should be prepared to spend in order to “master” any skill, especially singing.

Q. Where do you teach?

A. I currently hold the lessons for Ashton’s Singing Cafe’ at KRH Studios in the Tokyo Metropolitan area nearest to Harajuku Station. Skype lessons are also available upon request.

Q. What should I bring to the lessons?

A. 1. Repertoire as assigned committed to memory.

2. A sound recording device to record lessons for personal review.

3. Printed lyric sheets for ‘works in progress.’

4. Access to instrumental versions of songs that are ‘works in progress.’

5. Lesson sheets provided by your instructor for note taking during lessons.

Q. How do I choose a good voice teacher?

A. Even if you decide not to take part in the Ashton’s Singing Cafe’ curriculum, you should choose a teacher who can thoroughly explain, demonstrate, and execute the lessons and techniques in which you are learning from them upon request.

Q. Why should I choose Ashton’s Singing Cafe’?

A. In Ashton’s Singing Cafe’ we make singers out of anyone.

Q. What are the ASC’s policies?

A. Upon purchasing a lesson plan, a course syllabus will be furnished to students explaining the policies and expectation’s of the student and ASC.

Q. How much does it cost?

A. Please visit the ASC Pricing page found here.

Q. I would like to join, what should I do now?

A. Please make a request to discuss availability at

Q. Do you give trial lessons?

A. Unfortunately I do not. Please refer to my vocal website where warmups can be found at

I hope to meet you soon.