"Voice lessons with Karen Lyu are totally transformative! I have referred many acquaintances and dear friends to her, and In my experience, she consistently connects people with their powerful and authentic voice, and everyone's expectations for the work are exceeded."
Lee Truer - Minneapolis, MN
"Karen Lyu is exactly what you want in a voice teacher, she is knowledgeable and patient, supportive and committed to detail. But it's the small things that make Karen an exceptional voice teacher. The reassurance in her eyes and the genuine caring in her heart. She was able to free that part of me that I thought was imprisoned forever, my own and true voice. With Karen's guidance I was able to take my own music to new heights. From performing with my own band to soloing with award-winning singers and singing on several CD projects."
David Ballman - St. Paul, MN
"I trust Karen as a teacher because she knows and understands what it's like to be the student, having failed and learned, failed and learned. For me, that's the best person to learn from; someone having been there and working hard through it until getting it. Thank you, Karen, for being able to relate to your students, and sharing this big, beautiful part of yourself with me, with us."
Gigi Mascarenas - Seoul, South Korea
"Karen Lyu is one of the finest jazz musicians, songwriters, and performers that I've known for several years who helped me and many others. She did this by teaching me how to be effective in the recording studio. She taught me how to stand, sing, and do a better job recording vocals for my producers at Universal Sound Records. Her tips helped me get 5 single hits on UK, Europe, and other countries' indie charts. There's no better vocal coach that I know of!"
Roy August - Nashville, TN
"I came to Karen Lyu to simply be able to sing "Happy Birthday" and not embarrass myself. It was an incredible journey. I learned so much from her, about why I hadn't been able to sing and what my range really was. She taught me how my spine and tension in my body affect the sound of my voice. My uncle was a music teacher, and he always told me anyone can learn how to sing. I never believed him. After working with Karen, I do."
Shelly Galde - Minneapolis, MN
"Within a few sessions Karen showed me how to expand my range, breathe correctly, and to really learn to use my instrument - my whole body not just those rusty vocal chords. Within a few months I had the confidence to sing without accompaniment, to sing to friends and family, even with a waitress in a coffee shop.... I love to sing! Now my daughter has been Karen's student for several weeks. She's more confident in her singing and speaking voice. She's having fun...and really owns the sense of competence she's developing. We have received so many benefits from working with Karen. She's skilled, intuitive and very patient with us novices....you'll be amazed!"
Maureen Heinen - Minneapolis, MN
"People will tell you all kinds of things, but nobody else tells you how to talk, how to make your voice get better. This is exactly what I was looking for. My voice doesn't get so tired anymore! I can roll my Rs now, and I've been trying since I took my first Spanish class in 1982! My singing is much better! I think Karen can teach anyone to sing!"
Joelle Maria Cowen Key - Nashville, TN
"I've spent years battling with a voice that always seemed to betray me when I needed it the most. I avoided social gatherings, telephone calls and all forms of public speaking simply because I feared that my voice would not cooperate. After fruitlessly spending hundreds of dollars on Ear, Nose and Throat doctors and speech therapists, I decided to try a vocal coach. I found Karen and what a Godsend she has been. Using a variety of tools and techniques, Karen has shown me how powerful my voice can be when it is used properly. Because of Karen, I've found that speaking before one or many is now a challenge I am willing to face."
William B. Patton - Seattle, WA
"Karen was my 8 year old daughter's voice coach in Seoul. Karen is a lovely, bubbly person and she helped my daughter, not only with her singing ,but also with her confidence at what was a scary time - having just moved from Thailand. I would highly recommend Karen."
Phil Almond - Seoul, South Korea
"You guys! During my 1st lesson, Karen helped me fix issues I've had with my voice for years. <3 It's so great to have an expert like Karen examine the way I sing, and really know what exercises (AND custom modifications of exercises) will be most beneficial."
Zoe Yungmi Blank - Seoul, South Korea
"I received help from Karen for a national-level speech contest. After two sessions, I noticed that my speech became more natural and genuine. Her constructive feedback helped my delivery to become concise yet powerful.... Really happy about the results. Thanks so much!"
Sam Ahn - Seoul, South Korea
"I have been singing since I was a child. When I took a voice lesson from Karen she helped me realize that by making a few changes in posture, breathing and where to place my voice for different songs I could make a big difference in my singing. More strength and durability. Her coaching helped me to perform two concerts each 70 minutes back to back while touring in Brazil. Karen is creative and very good at coaching."
Masankho Banda - Lilongwe, Malawi and Oakland, CA
"I've seen great improvement in my projection, and she noticed and corrected many things that my previous instructor didn't.... We were both satisfied with the result. She even taught me to roll my Rs for the first time in my life! I'm glad I was able to learn from Karen."
Sarah C - Busan, South Korea
"If you want to improve your singing or speaking voice, learn how to protect it and learn how to better use your vocal energy and range, I highly recommend Karen. She has taken my voice to a place I never thought possible. I am also amazed at how her techniques apply to my job as a language interpreter. (* Interpreter colleagues, remember that our voice is our tool, and if we do not care for it, sooner or later we will not be able to perform our job.)"
David Morales - Nashville, TN
"Before I met Karen, I thought of myself as a disabled person. I'd been struggling with a voice disorder, spasmodic dysphonia, for many years. Although I had regained my ability to speak before I met her. my speaking was not strong or confident. I don't even remember what exercises we did. I just remember that we laughed a lot and had fun! And I know that I felt I was getting a true sense of what my voice really is like instead of just trying to talk. I changed from feeling disabled to feeling that I had, and have, a unique voice that I could nurture, support and empower. My voice is very much an expression of my sense of my whole self and I've learned that the better I feel about myself, the better and stronger my voice can become. Many people have commented in the last year that my voice sounds perfectly normal now.... and I'm glad to know that more of that fun coaching is always available."
Sarah Dagg - Crosslake, MN
"Over the years I have received training from multiple people in voice- choir, private lessons, and even a speech therapist. A few years ago, during a production of Pirates of Penzance, I was diagnosed with vocal fold dysphagia. I also have sports-induced asthma and was given an inhaler to use anytime I needed to sing or exercise. My vocal range changed. I felt self-conscious with pitch. All of my training
seemed to fly out of the window. I would fry my folds and although I knew to use diaphragmatic breathing, I found I was losing my voice a lot. Coming to South Korea to teach, I use my voice much more than I used to and when I heard Karen was holding a seminar on how to avoid these pitfalls of overusing and losing one’s voice, I needed to sign up.
The class size was perfect for in depth attention to students’ needs. We went through breathing exercises and vocal warmups. The breakdown on what some of the issues that cause us to lose our voice really helped. I always wind up saying “Oh I have a cold” when it in fact something much more serious.
Karen also created acronyms for us to remember the Do’s and Don’ts to prevent losing our voices. I have already started looking into supplements and changing my diet to decrease mucus production and reflux. I have also been using the vocal warmups before I start school every day. Even if it is not always singing in class, teaching uses a lot of voice.
One of the defining moments of the lesson was seeing the other three students showing improvement, in just the span of one class. I have received training while the others were completely new to the experience. Karen helped them find where to put their voice for different sounds, not to strain their neck when trying higher tones, and most importantly where to breathe.
One student was struggling to produce sound long enough. He would run out of air and I said “hey, I think you aren’t breathing correctly”. Karen helped show him where to place his breathing with different exercises. In a few minutes you could already hear a difference.
I had a wonderful time in Karen’s seminar and look to seeing her more in the future to learn. Hopefully I
can learn to scat some jazz like her as well."
Cassandra Otten - Seoul, South Korea