DAVID SISCO

Teacher

My Experience

I’ve been teaching privately and at the college level and privately for over 20 years. I love what I do, and believe there’s nothing more gratifying than collaborating with a singer to create more technical and artistic freedom.

I addition to maintaining an active private studio, I have taught at the following colleges and programs:

  • Wagner College (Spring, 2019 - Present)
  • NYU Steinhardt Summer Contemporary Vocal & Musical Theatre Workshops (Summer, 2018 - present)
  • Wagner College Summer Musical Theatre Institute (Summer, 2011 - present)
  • Marymount Manhattan College (Fall, 2007 - 2017)
  • Suffolk University (Spring, 2000)
  • Northeastern University (1999-2000)

My Philosophy on Singing

My job is to help singers more organically express themselves. I enable my clients do this by balancing technical and dramatic approaches to a song. Having a solid technique is very important, but if you’re not telling a story when you sing, no one will be moved. The same is true of those who are great actors but don’t have the technique to support their storytelling. I make small adjustments to a singer’s breath, placement and resonance while also talking about phrasing and the song’s emotional journey. The combination of these elements helps the singer find their own healthy and organic approach to a song. You can read this blog post to find out more about my philosophy.

What's a Regular Lesson Like?

I always suggest my clients come warmed up to their lessons, if possible. Having said that, we will always take time to work on what I've come to call "vocal conditioning." There are always technical exercises we can work on to strengthen our voice and find more release for consistency. I normally spend 20-25 minutes simply working on technical elements of singing. Then, we move into the material the client would like to look at. I always put the client in the driver's seat, asking what they hope to accomplish each lesson. My aim is to help them achieve those goals in the least amount of time possible. If clients don't have repertoire in mind, I'm happy to suggest some after I've heard them sing. We then bring the work of the first half of the lesson to life in the song, helping the singer tell the story with more clarity. I will then be clear about how to move forward in practice to find consistency with the approaches we find work. 

I also do repertoire coachings, which focus much more on finding a wide variety of repertoire based on the client's needs. My collection is pretty vast and I love finding songs that fit a client's style and personality. There's so much great (under-sung) repertoire out there that it's a wonderful challenge to find just the right thing for a particular singer!  

What's Important to me as a Voice Teacher?

Curiosity. A couple years ago, I came across this fantastic quote by Michael Smithson, a Social Scientist at Australia National University: “The larger the island of knowledge grows, the longer the shoreline - where knowledge meets ignorance - extends. The more we know, the more we can ask. Questions don’t give way to answers as much as they proliferate together. Answers breed questions. Curiosity isn’t merely a static disposition but rather a passion of the mind that is ceaselessly earned and nurtured.” You deserve a voice teacher who continues to grow in knowledge with you. I strive to be that kind of teacher.

Vulnerability. Singing is challenging and, at times, painfully vulnerable. Research professor and best-selling author Dr. Brené Brown states: “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.” As someone who continues to wrestle with his own issues as a performer, I seek to be a wounded healer, talking to clients about what's standing in their way. Sometimes technical issues are rooted in a belief system that is deeply woven into our minds and bodies (e.g. "I'm not worthy of being heard"). I in no way attempt to act as an armchair psychologist but, through my own vulnerability, I am able to ask you what's holding you back. 

Mindfulness. If you want to be vulnerable, you must be mindful. Mindfulness has been described as: “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” It is my job to stay present with you as you work to overcome technical hurdles. I regularly practice mindfulness meditation in my own life and use those skills to strengthen my teaching. I have seen incredibly positive outcomes as a result.  

Special Skills

  • Experienced pianist, vocal coach, and music director
  • Balanced approach to finding and maintaining a healthy belt/mix
  • Wide breadth knowledge of musical theatre (especially contemporary) and pop/rock repertoire
  • Well-versed audition coach
  • Rock the Audition Teacher Training (August - September 2019)

 Rates

To inquire about my rates, call/text (347) 451-5861 or e-mail me.