Student Comment

          You're never too old to learn. At age 71, I was concerned about difficulties I was having with my voice. Having sung in a choir for 40 years it was devastating to think I'd no longer have the joy of singing. A hearing check and music lessons were recommended at a workshop for the so called aging voice. Weekly sessions recommended by Erica have solved my problem. Now I am well past 71 enjoying singing as much as ever and doing better that ever. Thanks Erica!

How to Practise Piano Scales


They are many ways to practise scales.  My favourite method is as follows.  I set the metronome at a nice comfortable speed, 60 to the quarter note.  I play the scale in quarters, then eighths, then triplets (for a two octave scale play the scale 3x in a row so that you end up on the downbeat), then sixteenths. 

Read more: How to Practise Piano Scales

Care of Oboe Reeds

Basic reed care for Oboe and Bassoon reeds.
Erica Skowron Principal Oboe PGSO

The reed after you is the most important part of your instrument keep it working by doing the following...

Read more: Care of Oboe Reeds

Am I Too Old For Voice Lessons?

There is a simple test you can take to see if you are too old for voice lesssons? Take the first two fingers of your right hand and place it on the inside part of your wrist of your left hand. Do you feel anything? If so, you are not too old to take lessons.
You may not be able to sing the part of "Annie" (unless you are naturally very short) but there is no reason why you can't learn to sing and to sing well. There is also no reason why you can't perform in public in choir or on your own if you want to.
There are also many physical benefits of singing. It will keep your speaking voice young. Just like any muscle the voice deteriorates through lack of proper use. It can also deteriorate through misuse which is even more reason to take lessons.

Read more: Am I Too Old For Voice Lessons?

Singing in Tune

Singing in tune is a difficult thing.  It requires 1) a technique that allows you the comfort and flexibility to adjust your pitches quickly and freely and 2) a constant awareness of everything around you and 3) knowing what to listen for. 

As singers, we may have days when we are physically compromised and are struggling with technique, then we have words to deal with sometimes in a foreign language words that we have to pronounce correctly and interpret.  We also have our facial expression and in the case of an opera or musical or actions and or dancing. 

Being nervous can add another complication.  It is a lot to juggle and a lot of elements fighting for our attention.  All of it is important, however the one that will be noticed the most will be the tuning.  It doesn't matter how big your voice is or how lovely the tone or how well you act, if you sing out of tune it isn't pleasant to listen to and will even give the listener the impression that your voice is not that beautiful. 


How do we fix it?


Read more: Singing in Tune


What kind of a teacher is Erica?


Student's describe me as easy going.  I like that they think that.  I constantly encourage my students and challenge them to get to the next level.  In my mind I am nudging them on maybe even pushing.  The fact that they see me as''easy going'', shows that their steady progress is enjoyable to them and doesn't feel difficult.  This is ideal, the student progresses steadily without frustration.  I enjoy teaching very much and enjoy it more and more every year.  With music there is always something new to learn and even with my University degree and 20+ years of performing experience, I am still challenging myself through reading, workshops and the occasional lesson with my mentors.  I have a wonderful group of students of all ages and levels and from different walks of life.  Each student learns in their own unique way and I love the challenge of understanding how they think and how I can help them.   

Alban Classical

Private performance April 14

PGSO April 21

Wind World Alban classical school show April 23 and 30