Andy Garcia-Ruse - Kansas City, MO - VO Actor/Audiobook Narrator
"I want to highlight the AMAZING Karen Lyu @holisticvoicecoach. I cannot even begin to tell you all the miraculous things that have happened since I started working with her (I'll have to make a video to share all that she has helped me with) Truly-- no one has been able to figure out what was going on with my mouth and words-- and she did!! Brought me to tears in session. EVERY. SINGLE. #voiceoverartist and #audiobooknarrator should at least do one session with her. I'm truly... just blown away grateful for her."
"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 - Platinum Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter
"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 - Counselor/Artist/Art Professor
"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 has been awesome to work with! As a second-generation Asian-American voice actor looking to bring up my audition game now that I have agency representation, I came to Karen working on my standard American English diction. She's very straightforward and informative, and in 5 lessons, we've been able to see a lot of improvement! I also took her vocal health workshop, which is a MUST for any working voiceover artist! She's also been amazing with pointing out my strengths and weaknesses as a singer and has made me more confident as a singer. I look forward to continuing growing with her as one of my coaches!"
Carmilla Jo Wu ~ San Francisco, CA ~ VO Artist/Audiobook Narrator/Author I BOAST.IO VIDEO TESTIMONIAL
"Karen Lyu has taught me so many practical solutions for improving the quality and endurance of my voice. I sought her advice first for simultaneous interpretation and then for singing. But it's surprising how much the singing voice lessons cross over into improving the interpretation voice. I had no idea what I was missing before training with her. Each of her techniques are so clever and make so much sense. Every lesson is like a light bulb going off in my head. She is a therapist, treating the whole person, not just the vocal cords."
Michelle J. Gonzales - Pooler, GA - State Certified Court Interpreter
"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 - Jazz and Blues Vocalist
"Karen Lyu is awesome! I am really enjoying Zoom lessons and I can really see the progress I'm making! She is an extremely patient and compassionate teacher.... It's obvious that her years of experience working with a wide range of students has given her a large repertoire of techniques to draw on as a voice instructor. She is flexible with scheduling as well as always quick to respond via email and text. I also appreciate that our lessons start on time and that every lesson is recorded for my use. This is why I would recommend Karen Lyu as a voice instructor to singers of all levels and musical styles."
Christina Jacobs - Bangkok, Thailand - Musical Theater Student @ Mahidol University
“So far I have enjoyed sixteen voice lessons with Karen Lyu. I had stopped singing for seven years while providing care for my mom. During that time, I lost vocal range, breath and diaphragmatic support in my singing voice. In fact, I had gone from an upper, first tenor to a lower, second tenor when re-auditioning for a chorus! I was slightly shocked and surprised by this change, so began looking for a vocal coach. I had been following Karen’s jazz and commercial singing and acting career on Facebook. She was offering holistic, transformative, voice lessons via Zoom from her home in South Korea. After signing up, I had a ‘vocal range’ breakthrough on my very first lesson with Karen, increasing my range by an octave and a half! We have continued our work in posture, yoga techniques to naturally help with breath support, pitch, song interpretation and expressiveness, memorization and so much more! If you’re looking for a fun, experienced, wise, gentle vocal coach, I highly recommend giving Karen Lyu a try. Ask her to have the tropical, ocean breeze in her background for a soothing visual while learning [on Zoom]!”
Mick Smuk - Ely, MN - Retired Social Worker, Behavior Analyst, and Music Educator
"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/Project Consultant
"Is Karen Lyu a good voice coach? NO! She is a FANTASTIC ONE! Where to start? Is it her personal style—creating custom goals with a reward system? Is it her simple but effective “fixes” for specific problems? Is it her friendly, but objective feedback? Maybe it’s that she has a holistic approach—the whole body, not just the vocal chords?
The answer is all of the above! I have been working with Karen for about a year and a half, and in that time, I have increased my range by a full octave. I have been more accurate with intonation, and have learned how to save my voice and not stress the vocal chords. Karen’s knowledge of vocal instruction means that she is able to spot minute changes that make a difference—things that might seem minute like moving a song up a half-step, can make huge differences—differences that my brother and wife, indeed, my livestream audience can hear. Best of all Karen’s holistic approach not only helps my voice, but helps my physical and mental health! Oh, and did I say she makes it fun while still pushing you to do your very best..."
Stanley Kusunoki - Minneapolis, MN - Retired Poeteacher/Musician
"I used to sing inside the shower all the time, but I wasn’t able to take the step of doing it in a more professional way until I met Karen Lyu. We were together around four months and during that time she taught me about singing, helped me with my English pronunciation, and gave me great advice on how to take care of my voice. She also supported me and gave me the opportunity of singing live in front of people for the first time in my life. She is very passionate about what she does, and I am grateful that we crossed paths."
Natalia Laguens - Seoul, Korea - Recording Artist
"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 - Medical Doctor/Recording Artist
"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 - Host & Creator of the "Living an Aligned Life" cable TV show
"I started taking voice lessons with Karen, as I wanted to speak more confidently and get the best of my natural voice. I enjoyed Karen's dynamic and very friendly personality! As I was interviewing for a global company in Korea, Karen gave me great help with my presentation skills, job interviews, and preparation for the interviews. I got the job after passing a rigorous 5-stage interview process. Apart from the job, I realized the importance of posture and breathing when speaking, and more importantly that opening my mouth and articulating better has a big impact on my voice and my English pronunciation. I also loved the simple exercises to find my natural voice and improve its tone. Thanks, Karen!"
Ayoub O. - Seoul, South Korea - International Consultant
"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 - Employment Specialist/Vocalist/Songwriter
"With Karen’s help, all my interviews went well, and I got my dream job! I am so thankful to her! Without her help, I wouldn’t know whether or not I am on track, I wouldn’t know the important questions of an interview as well as the tips. She is a great teacher with a passion for helping students and patience in leading their way, I was so fortunate to get the chance to have her help, I hope you grab the chance too! Karen is magical!"
Susan Ng - Taipai, Taiwan - Environmental Scientist
"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 - Professional Organizer
"Ms. Karen discovered my potential and helped me to get improved by providing lots of constructive feedback and exercises. She is always supportive, which motivates me to keep on singing! I improved my range, English pronunciation, projection, articulation, musicianship and dynamics. Now, I can sing with more emotion, too!"
Yan Yi On - Seoul, South Korea - University Student/Pianist
"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 - Business Solution Manager
"I’ve had five voice lessons with Karen so far, and it’s been a great investment. Thanks to Karen’s coaching, I’m singing with greater clarity and confidence than ever before - particularly in my upper range. My noraebang friends noticed the difference immediately, and even my toughest critic (aka my husband) was impressed."
Heidi Nam - Seoul, Korea - University Professor
"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 - Senior Business Intelligence Engineer/Internet Radio Host
"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 - Composer/Speaker (3rd place National Toastmasters Winner)
"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 - Consultant/Peacebuilder/Performing Artist/Cross Cultural Activist
"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 - Actor/French Teacher
"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 - Singer/Songwriter/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 - Interpreter/President of TAPIT
"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 - Body Worker
"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 - English Teacher/Performing Artist