Unlock Your Vocal Potential
Happy Student Reviews
Johannesburg, South Africa
South African IDOLS TV Show!
Kansas City, MO, USA
Got her SAG-AFTRA Card!
San Francisco, CA, USA
Became singing audiobook narrator!
Houston, TX, USA
Pro in less than 9 months + 8 encores in 1 night + sang at the House of Blues!
Houston, TX, USA
Pro in less than 9 months + 8 encores in 1 night + sang at the House of Blues!
I Know Exactly How You Feel
People Used to Make Fun of My Voice
Even I would cringe at the sound of my voice on a recording. I dreamt of captivating audiences with my voice, but I was stuck in a rut. All I wanted was to be heard. At that time I had the goal of performing in front of large crowds and gaining encores. I decided to hone in on my singing skills and hired a classical vocal coach. The old and dated techniques didn't work for me, so I found another coach and got the same results. The long lectures and vague teaching styles just were not working for me. It felt like I was stuck in a rut and not making any progress.
Then It Hit Me...
I got into a car accident and needed to take some time to take care of my health. Just like a damaged trumpet, my voice was off. During my recovery I started to become more aware of my body. After focusing more on my body, like my alignment and breathing, I started to notice major changes in my singing. I was finally able to hit those high notes, overcome stage fright, and infuse my performances with emotion and authenticity. In a matter of weeks I was able to improve more than I had in years. I got more gigs in Minneapolis, MN, then across the country in 40 different musical styles, in over a dozen of language, with 13 bands. After finding my voice through holistic techniques I was ready to share it with the world. From there I taught over 1,000 students in over 13 countries to transform their voices. My students see magic in moments and can start to perform like a pro within months. Some past voice students have gotten awards, nominations, and up to 8 encores. It's been my mission to train creative amateur singers to become passionate pro performers who sing on pitch! Using a holistic approach to singing that encompasses not just vocal technique, but also mind, body, and spirit, my students have been able to get magical results.
That's Why I Created
Holistic Voice Coaching
Learn as much as possible, as soon as possible, as easily as possible.
Proven systems that get 5-star results.
Proven systems that get 5-star results.
Karen Lyu (she/her) is a Holistic Voice Coach + Eclectic Jazz Singer/Songwriter/Actor who has taught over 1,000 students from 13 countries to transform their voices, since 1997. She is an eHow.com YouTube voice expert and EzineArticles.com expert author who has earned IMIA, CCHI, TNAOC, TESOL, and New Science of Singing certifications. In Minneapolis, MN, she was the Voice Department Head and the Executive Director of the legendary West Bank School of Music. Due to her love of jazz, she earned a BSS in Jazz Studies, Vocal Performance from Cornell College. Currently, she is Co-Chair of the Voice and Speech Teachers Association (VASTA) BizCore Committee, and a full member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Her current mission is to train creative amateur singers to become passionate pro performers who sing on pitch! Karen’s honors include a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, a $10,000+ arts patron sponsorship, a MusiCares grant, and being a judge for Hmong Idol USA. Karen has sung in over 40 musical styles and dozen languages with 13 bands, since 1993. She is a huge tech nerd with 15 years of experience voice coaching online and 35 years of computer experience. Karen has lived in South Korea, CA, TX, MN, IA, TN, Chicago, IL ~ now Atlanta, GA. Karen also enjoys food, travel, yoga, animals, and the arts.
Online Voice Lessons
TRANSFORM YOUR VOICE
For singing lessons, we will do fun warm-ups and personalized exercises + sing songs that you like. We can work on breathing, vocal health, vocal technique, vocal range, vocal tone, vocal projection, vocal mix, riffs, harmony, scatting/improvising, performing live and virtually, fan interactions, genres/styles, repertoire, music theory, vocal biology, singing in different languages, auditioning, recording, singing with a band, being a bandleader, making a setlist, booking gigs, artist development, music business, social media, making money in music, and more!
ACTING / VOICEOVER LESSONS
For acting/voice-over lessons, we will do fun warm-ups, exercises, games, partially based on Chekhov Technique and Stanislavski Technique + work on sides/scripts/librettos/books that you like. We can work on breathing, vocal health, releasing tension, vocal projection, vocal tone, emotional expression, connected movement, male and female character voices, efforts/vocal violence, auditioning, improv, monologues, character development, scene study, acting on-stage vs on-camera, casting websites, social media, marketing, and more.
For songwriting lessons, we can work on your own songs and study what makes a good song; creativity, song titles, hooks, prosody, imagery, rhyme schemes, song structures, melodies, chord progressions, genres/music styles, English grammar, overcoming writers block, collaborating with other songwriters, copyrighting, music production, music sync licensing, custom songwriting, and more!
For speaking lessons, we will do fun warm-ups, personalized exercises, and games. We can work on WEIRD voice issues, breathing, vocal health, vocal projection, vocal tone, public speaking, podcasting presentation skills, job interviewing, mouth clicks, laryngitis, spasmodic dysphonia, stroke recovery, vocal dysphagia, acid reflux, allergies, General American English diction, South Korean diction, and more.
ARTIST CAREER COACHING
Not sure how to make it as a passionate pro performer? Karen has been there and can help you with her experience and education to: explore creative careers that are a good fit for your personality, talents, and experience, find the best + latest ways that you make money and save money as an artist (ie. merch, music licensing, custom songs, e-learning, finding an agent, etc.), help choose between: A) 4-year music degree, B) 2-year community college program, C) an apprenticeship, and/or 4) online courses (she's done them all!), help figure out your artist career trajectory, handle taxes + insurance, prepare you for the real world of the multifaceted entertainment Industry, show you how pivot if things go differently than expected, and more!
"Karen Lyu has a comprehensive understanding of how to enhance vocal capacity and essence. Coupled with her astute understanding of coaching and motivation, Karen's students experience transformational learning as they engage the voice. Karen rocks!"
Jean Keating - Minneapolis, MN, USA - Host & Creator of the "Living an Aligned Life" Cable TV Show
"Thank you so much Karen!!! Such a privilege to have learned from you. You are the best!!!!"
Dr. Adepero Meheytab'el Okulaja - Eden Prairie, MN, USA - Recording Artist/Medical Doctor
"Karen is an incredibly sweet person and she always works hard to tailor lessons and techniques to your individual needs. I have been working with her for about 7 months. In that time, she has helped me open up my range, smooth out my transitions between head voice, mix voice and chest voice, taught me how to use my whole body to support my voice as well as how to protect my voice in daily life. And her lessons stick in my head so that I can always remember how to use them and do them. Even after 2 weeks of sickness, I was able to use all the techniques she gave me and still sound great! She also speaks Korean and has helped me practice K-POP songs! In addition to singing, Karen has helped me with writing multiple songs, given me tools to find inspiration and how to put together songs based on my ideas. On top of all of this, she has also worked with me on unlocking and perfecting character voices for animated characters as well as DND original characters, audiobook recording, and advertisement copy reading. She's so supportive of all of my goals and works with me to achieve anything I want to. And she's real about where and when I need work. I've thought about quitting for financial reasons, but I just couldn't give up working with Karen! She's well worth the time you get to spend with her."
Veronyka Martinez - Seoul, South Korea - English Teacher + Aspiring Singer/Songwriter/Actor
"Karen is one of the most underrated accomplished and technically-oriented vocal coaches available. I’m a singer/songwriter who wanted to improve my vocals and in just one lesson, Karen showed me that my body is my instrument, not just my throat and torso. She had me do some stretching and exercises that gave me an immediate improvement in resonance, ability to project, and FEEL in my bones! I feel honored to be able to still access private lessons at an affordable rate. Do yourself a favor and take one lesson. You’ll know what I mean and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Thank you, Karen. I look forward to many more lessons moving forward!"
Lili McGovern~ Bellingham, WA, USA ~ Life Coach/Singer/Songwriter/Artist
"Karen is an excellent voice coach. She'll have you learning so much about your instrument and how to fix those bad habits that you never knew - whether you've been a voice user for ages or not."
Curtis Michael Holland - Hong Kong - Audiobook Narrator/Drama Teacher/VO Actor
"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." UPDATE:""I thought you might be interested to know that Jasmine got to the final of her school poetry reading competition and did a voiceover for a Korean cartoon, thanks to you."
Phil Almond - Seoul, South Korea - Dad of Child VO Actor
Karen is clearly a professional singer who knows what she’s doing. She taught me a lot of new techniques in only one hour, such as using my mask, avoiding the ‘H’ sound when I sing to prevent breathiness, narrowing the width of my mouth to hit higher notes, and switching between five genres of music by changing the shape of my vocal resonators. I also became better informed on how to take care of my vocal instrument: I suffer from post-nasal drip, and the mucus in my nose and throat affects my ability to sing on a day to day basis. Some days, my voice sounds better; other days, it’s worse. Karen recommended Neti pots and sinus rinses that have the potential to help clear my instrument and improve my singing.
Rosa Nguyen - Philadelphia, PA, USA - Actor
"Karen is incredibly patient and encouraging as a teacher. She's helped me understand how my past physical injuries have affected my voice, and through her instructions, I've been able to improve my singing. I highly recommend her."
Sara Matsui-Colby - Alameda, CA, USA - SAG-E Actor/VO Actor
"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 - Founder - UCanDanc' African Healing Arts
"Really wanted to thank you for all the help you have done for me. I can really hear the difference. Thank you so much. I’m connecting more emotionally with the songs now. My voice feels great, sounds more smooth than before. And, I’m on pitch! Amazingly, someone just asked me if I teach voice lessons! I guess it’s true when the student is ready the teacher will appear."
Bill Harris - Houston, TX, USA - Jazz and Blues Vocalist
"Karen Lyu helped me to think about my body alignment, my mouth and facial movement and really getting the most out of my instrument, my voice. She’s an inspiration because I know she herself really worked hard and studiously to learn her singing craft and become the accomplished singer and vocal teacher she is. I am grateful for her teachings and would recommend her to anybody who is serious and passionate about singing."
Benjamin Cartel - New York, NY, USA - Singer/Songwriter
"I’ve gotten to know Karen as a very passionate and professional educator. It’s inspiring to learn from someone with the amount of experience that she has, and I recommend her classes wholeheartedly!"
Ellie Fatou - Den Haag, Netherlands - Singer/Songwriter/Producer
"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, USA - Singer/Songwriter
"Facing doing a substantial part in a big musical, I was searching for a teacher to help revive my voice after years of idleness away from the stage. ...Karen Lyu's approach resonated with me immediately. Her holistic outlook incorporates the body as well as working on placement of the voice. She is knowledgeable, experienced, and fun to work with, and I have improved so much in just three lessons. If you are looking for teaching beyond just vocal coaching, you'll likely find your way back to the voice you once had or even discover one you didn't know you had! I highly recommend Karen Lyu."
Colleen Bates Lance - Birmingham, AL, USA- Semi-Retired Actor/TV Show Host
"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, USA - Senior Business Intelligence Engineer/Internet Radio Host
"Karen is passionate a lot and has been a great help to prepare for my musical theater audition. I can feel that my singing, acting, and English enunciation skills have ALL improved thanks to her. "
Alexandra T. - Seoul, South Korea, USA - French Teacher/Actor
"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, USA - Interpreter/President of TN Association of Interpreters and Translators