Summer Classes:

Critical Firsts: A vocal pedagogy and instruction course for new voice teachers

Happening now: June, 2021 course section of Critical Firsts on Wednesdays, June 9, 16, & 23 at 7-9pmEST on Zoom

Recent: May course section of Critical Firsts, May 12, 19 & 26

Voice Teacher Training with Dr. Peter: A vocal pedagogy series for new voice teachers

Upcoming Course and Dates: Critical Firsts: Wednesdays June 9, 16, & 23 (note: this June section is another offering of the May, 2021 section; the next course in the sequence will be offered in August, 2021)

Time & location: All June courses will be held from 7-9pmEST over Zoom

Course 1: Critical Firsts

Whether you’re closer to the start of your voice teaching career or have been working with students for some time, developing communication skills on vocal mechanics and artistry is critical and should be ongoing. Finding your teaching style is personal, but the tools and content are shared. This three-session vocal technique-based course focuses on beginning and empowering the journey between voice teacher and student.

In this course you can expect to

  • Develop and grow your knowledge of the three critical components of healthful singing—respiration, phonation, and resonancelearn how and when to address them effectively in your teaching
  • Gain practical and engaging tools to diagnose immediate vocal needs and areas for growth, and how best to communicate them
  • Develop strategies for planning and adjusting a lesson in real-time, and how to communicate clear, flexible and attainable goals for your students and for yourself!
  • Grow more confident in your own knowledge of the voice
  • Empower your ability to guide students to moments vocal discovery, growth and artistic satisfaction
Peter at the piano
Fabulous teaching day in Lebanon!
Peter with colleagues in Turkmenistan

Course Description

Class 1: Respiration & Phonation

In this class you’ll expand your diagnostic and communication skills as they relate to engaging with students about breathing mechanics, and breathing to make sung-sound. Content includes:

(a). Review of related anatomy and vocal mechanics, with a special emphasis of abdominal-diaphragmatic breathing for singing, and demystifying the diaphragm

(b). Defining and understanding phonation for singing, and a walk-through of diagnostic exercises aimed at putting students and teachers at ease in their early lessons

(c). Building teacher-student rapport through initial exercises, vocalizing, and meeting the students at their present vocal journey, and assessing their immediate needs.

Class 2: Phonation & Resonance (and improv!)

In this class we’ll review and expand on phonation for singing and grow your understanding of how it relates to style, shaping the vocal tract, and what it means for vocal classification. Come to this class ready to sing & improvise through some resonance adjustments! Content includes:

(a). Brief review of breathing mechanics and related anatomy and how they’re related to phonation (making sound) and how we stylize and amplify it (resonance)

(b). Defining and understanding resonance for singing, and how to use it as a diagnostic tool in understanding voice type, as well as a singer’s physiological and self/vocal-image related issues, needs, and areas for growth

(c). Effective communication about resonance and acoustics that is instructive to a student in the lesson, and helpful as they practice and adjust to rehearsal/audition rooms

Class 3: Repertoire, rapport, and the return of the student

The focus of this class will be on cultivating a sense and understanding of progress in initial lessons with students, and laying out a clear, yet flexible plan for technical growth and repertoire deliverables. Content includes:

(a). Strategies for gauging and maintaining attention. Here we’ll examine how to course correct a student (and/or teacher) who’s feeling the efficacy of a lesson diminishing.

(b). Creating a rapport and structure to measure achievement. We’ll discuss key strategies aimed at keeping students engaged and aware or their progress through repertoire assignments and diverse practice strategies.

(c). Balancing technical explanations with artistic expectations, and planning for a successful next lesson, whether in a formal education setting or private studio.

Cost, Discount & Dates

Cost & discount option

Course Fee: $375; Discount option: $350 if you register by or before June 2, 2021

Upcoming Course and Dates: Critical Firsts: Wednesdays, June 9, 16, & 23, 2021 from 7-9pmEST held over Zoom

Complete the form below to register for the June, 2021 section of Critical Firsts with Dr. Peter. You will be contacted shortly with payment and Zoom instructions. 

1 + 2 =

Course reading: A supplemental reading list will be sent at the time of registration, and will primarily include vocal pedagogy texts and related articles written by James McKinney, Paul Kiesgen, and Peter Thoresen.

Questions and course readiness: for general questions, or if you have questions about your readiness to grow from this course, please reach out directly to Peter Thoresen by email:

About the instructor: Dr. Peter Thoresen is an award-winning voice teacher, countertenor, and music director. He is the founder of Peter Thoresen Vocal Studios in New York City, and is an adjunct voice professor at Pace University in the BFA Music Theater Program. His students appear regularly on Broadway (Dear Evan Hansen, Caroline, or Change, Hamilton, Mean Girls, Kinky Boots, Beetlejuice, and many others), off-Broadway, in national tours and all over TV & film. Peter’s students regularly appear on the Tony Awards and Emmy Awards and record on variety of labels. He performs and teaches internationally with the Association of American Voices, music directing and performing in their Broadway YES Academies in Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Indonesia and Turkmenistan.

Peter received an inaugural Joan Frey-Boytim award for Independent Teachers (a national teaching award presented by the National Association of Teachers of Singing), and is a previous Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions district winner. He performs throughout the US and abroad. He holds a Doctor of Music degree in voice from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he served as a visiting faculty member.

His dozen+ articles on singing and music education are featured in Classical Singer Magazine, and in the Voice Teacher’s Cookbook: Creative Recipes for Teachers of Singing (Hal Leonard, 2018). Additionally, he holds a Master’s degree in voice from the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor’s degree in voice from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Insta: @peter.thoresen Twitter: @DrPetesTweets

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(+1) 347 749 6929




Sundays: Midtown Studio and Zoom
Mondays: Washington Heights Studio and Zoom
Wednesdays: Midtown Studio and Zoom
Fridays: Washington Heights Studio and Zoom
Saturdays: Midtown Studio and Zoom
Midtown Studio address

853 7th Avenue, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10019

Washington Heights Studio address
700 Fort Washington Avenue 
New York, NY 10040



Please note the special scheduling instructions (holidays, etc.) at the top of the scheduling page. There are no lessons on Mondays, and no online lessons on Tuesdays.