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Meet Stephanie Williams of Los Angeles Voice Studio in Silver Lake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Williams.

Stephanie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I sang in a band in high school and personally had no formal training until I began at college; very much an underdog and very much stubborn and determined to prove that I would accomplish excellence on time with everyone else who had begun with a greater advantage. So much stubborn.

As a senior vocal performance major at Chapman University, I picked up five voice students at a small music school when their teacher returned to their home country. I believe the sensitivity to the heart of the learning student combined with the nearly brand new-to-me technical knowledge I had obtained from my most wonderful and supportive teachers helped my students excel thus propelling my career quickly, beyond expectation.

Nearly fifteen years later, my studio has grown almost entirely via word of mouth, singer to singer recommendations and I love it because it feels like being a part of a gigantic, singing family!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a rewarding but rocky road! Firstly, I did not take what I was doing seriously as a business even though it was paying all of my bills. That perspective held me back a bit and kept me from seeking ways to improve and grow, even in my personal technique and artistry until things became rightly calibrated. I studied music, not business! Learning accounting programs, business plans, etc., has been a necessary endeavor that I feel I still have barely scratched the surface of. Experience is something you cannot fake; there is so much I have learned that only time could have taught me as a teacher and business owner.

I believe the hardest time occurred right when I felt things were finally taking off. I remember losing half of my students in one month, with people responding to the recession and cutting out anything they considered extracurricular. The next month the studio space I was renting from got shut down because the guys on the lease were just taking my rent and not paying anything to the owner. As I was desperately looking for a new place to hold lessons I was served small claims court papers for leaving the music school I had started out with because none of the students that had taken with me continued after I had left. So discouraging! I took on a couple of side hustles to keep things afloat, working random jobs; an Italian jewelry boutique, a children’s shoe store, a framing shop, a casting office. It was hard to keep focused, but I met some amazing people during that time and am thankful for that experience.

My nature in being a good, professional teacher is to remain open, available and focused on the student while being a sensitive artist, myself. If I have a migraine or a broken heart, my students should still do well and I should provide a safe atmosphere for them. This has been a great gift to me in so many ways; watching growth and excitement before my eyes and having fun through difficult times in my personal life.

Los Angeles Voice Studio – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Los Angeles Voice Studio gladly accepts anyone looking to find and love their best, most beautiful voice. Weekly, I work with beginning musical theater kids to Grammy Award-winning artists, to people who just feel more alive when they can sing their favorite songs while driving to work. Though most of my students are not training to sing on the operatic stage, I teach an irreplaceable foundation of healthy, classical technique applied to whatever style is relevant to the singer.

I am most proud of the output and community of gorgeous voices now out in the world being shared with individualized artistry and expression. I believe the quality of voices and confidence of my students set this studio apart from others.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
As a woman of faith, I believe God has a plan for everyone and for whatever talent we might have. If I can reflect and bring beauty and love into the world with whatever gift and talent I have, then I believe that is a successful way to go about things. I do know that is something that cannot be measured nor necessarily appreciated from those not in direct contact with me, but I am content if my students feel seen, heard, helped, and loved. I desire to see things continuously being built and growing, new ideas being explored. I don’t like when things stagnate. And I hate when I am lazy, darn Netflix sucking me in!

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