working with allison
As a non-singer, with the intention of using my voice to connect to inner wisdom and as a tool for healing, working with Allison has been an insightful and joyful experience. She is clearly passionate about sharing the knowledge she embodies from the awakening process of her own sacred voice. In our sessions together, I have gained a deeper understanding of the mechanics of the breath as a trustable wellspring from which my voice arises, as well as the importance of getting the mind out of the way for a deeper resonance and alignment (body and pitch) to naturally occur. I’m so grateful for Allison’s technical expertise rooted in trust and heart-centeredness, which has given me tools to build a voice practice based on profound listening and inquiry, holistic embodiment and a reverence for the voice as a sacred instrument. Each exercise and prompt that Allison gives is a mini-celebration of the unfolding mystery of my unique voice. I believe Allison is shining a beautiful light on the pedagogy of the voice.
As a life-long singer who has taken voice from other teachers in the past, I have found my private sessions with Allison to be revelatory. Her approach is enabling me not only to address the bad habits I’d developed over many years, but also to rethink and retool my entire instrument, both mentally and physically. I feel so fortunate to have found her!
I approached Allison after a masterclass she was leading for my choir, because I was so attracted to her style of teaching and the way she talked about the voice. I had just begun teaching voice lessons when I met her, and I was longing for mentorship and a method that would resonate with me. Working with her was a deeply healing experience, and I discovered so many underlying pains and blockages in my mental approach to music that had been holding me back for a long time. I learned so much about the connection of the voice to the entire body, and learned how to pull my singing out of my head and into my breath. This knowledge has helped to guide me in my own teaching and my own singing. The Sacred Voice model for singing is the most organic and intuitive form of musicianship I’ve ever come across, and I would recommend it to all singers.
I’ve been taking private voice lessons with Allison for almost four years. Every week I learn something new–about singing, music, sometimes even life… Allison is a great teacher; she is always funny and supportive, but gently pushes me past my comfort zone when necessary. Her teaching style is flexible and never dogmatic; if one approach doesn’t work, she’ll find another that does. She’s an amazing diagnostician, and can almost always figure out problems in vocal production just by listening to a few notes. Allison is an excellent and sensitive musician (and she’s also a tremendous scholar of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music and performance practices), and this informs her teaching and classes. Anyone looking for a skilled, supportive, and creative voice teacher with a terrific sense of humor cannot do better than Allison Mondel.
Working with Allison is wonderful…she somehow extracts the sound that you didn’t realize was inside the whole time. She cares deeply about helping each student find their own path to a healthier relationship to their voice. As a bonus: I walk away from each lesson deeply relaxed.
Working with Allison over the past five years has been a tremendous growth experience for me, one that has helped me to understand the physical, mental and spiritual components to unlocking my singing and performing potential. I’ve learned how to relax certain muscles while engaging others, which has increased my range and allowed me to sing with greater ease and beauty. A big part of the journey has been about cultivating and focusing awareness, as well as quieting the self-judging inner voice that so distracts from the task at hand. Allison’s mastery of repertoire and technique have empowered me to evolve in whatever direction I choose to go. One could not ask for a more caring, attentive, and gifted vocal coach!
I’m honored to be an Allison’s student. I never thought I could sing and one year after my singing has improved so much. She has told me many of the things she shared with us in the workshop but I guess I never took the time to really think about what I needed to do for singing the way I want to. Something happened at the workshop and I feel more confident. I trust my voice in a way I couldn’t before. Allison is very special and she makes you feel you can do it. Thank you, Allison.
It’s been incredibly exciting to work with Allison; she is an enthusiastic and curious teacher who takes a holistic view of the connection of voice and body. She has access to repertoire outside the mainstream, and every lesson feels tailored to where my voice (and mind and body) are on that day. I am so excited to see where our lessons lead next!
Associate Director of Music and Organist
Washington National Cathedral
Allison’s tenure with us at the National Cathedral has been an absolutely wonderful blessing in every way. As a teacher, she is a fierce, passionate advocate for her students, always seeing their gifts and inspiring them to grow into and take ownership of their persons and voices. As a colleague, she is the kindest, most loving person I could ever have hoped to work with – her support and friendship have meant the world to me in my own teaching and musicianship.
Allison has helped me to see singing in a different way. She has helped me learn how to breathe in a way that positively improves my voice. She is now helping me learn how to add “character” to the words I am singing. She always looks for different ways to explain or help me understand what she is describing. Her patience is much appreciated. I believe my voice and confidence have greatly improved by working with her. And I enjoy singing much more as a result of her efforts.
My experience of Allison as a voice teacher has been a pleasure from the outset. Allison’s open and relaxed style is guaranteed to enable you to sing to the best of your ability. In addition, Allison has a multiplicity of techniques for improving breathing, tonality, sight-singing or whatever else you wish to improve about your singing style. Her in-depth knowledge of many musical genres, in particular early music, means that you will also be exposed to new and exciting music. I would not hesitate to recommend Allison to anyone seeking a voice coach.
The workshop with Allison gave me so much to think about! I feel like I’m headed down a new path with my voice. There’s a lot more work to do but I have some idea of how to approach it now. And I felt unself-conscious about singing (or less self-conscious, anyway) for the first time in a long time!
My experience with Allison has been a great one. I enjoyed tremendously attending one of her workshops. Her teaching skills, as well as her calm approach and understanding of music and life, were very rewarding to me. She is charismatic and kind… She is wonderful!!!
Former Chorister Program Manager
Washington National Cathedral
I know Allison well as a voice teacher, working with the choristers at Washington National Cathedral. In that capacity, she taught students as young as age nine through high school. The voice tutoring was crucial to their success as choristers who had a demanding schedule of rehearsals and services to sing. I observed her in lessons, and can attest to her professionalism, knowledge, and especially her care for each individual. She was always concerned with the well-being of her students in all facets of their lives. Her wise and extremely caring presence with them was truly a gift; all that in addition to helping them always to improve as singers, and appreciate their accomplishments. She enjoyed the trust of students, parents, and of her colleagues. She approached each opportunity with great, infectious joy. Allison is a fine musician, and a delightful person, with whom I was privileged to get to know and to work with for four years.
When I first heard Allison sing in our church choir I was in awe of her beautiful voice. Then I took her workshop on Hildegard von Bingen and I was in awe of her scholarship. When I started taking singing lessons from her I experienced what a wonderful teacher she is as well! Her approach is very personal and intuitive. She listens and then makes suggestions based on her knowledge and intuition. She has loads of patience and a depth of vocabulary. I am always amazed at how many metaphors she knows to explain how the sound can come out fuller and richer! My favorite may be “imagine the sound blowing up and out of the highest rafters of the church!” If that doesn’t make sense, she has others!! She also tailors the lessons to the type of music the student prefers, whether it be medieval French, Broadway show tunes, or 60s rock. We have had lots of fun going through my Joanie Mitchell songbook. I could go on, but basically I would highly recommend Allison. If you would like to improve your singing, sign up for some lessons and expect a life-enhancing experience with a lovely musical professional.
I have been working with Allison for three years. I have experienced tremendous growth in my singing and with it an increasing level of joy in music. Allison is a truly great teacher of singing technique. She is a master of all the technical and physiological details that one might need to know, while being an incredibly caring and positive communicator. She finds the right way to get the message through to each singer according to his or her needs. The workshops she has offered with early instruments have been eye-opening and delightful. Her Lute Song Workshop, I must say, was simply spectacular. I plan to work with her for many years to come.
Former Associate Director
The Reston Chorale
Allison’s coaching with The Reston Chorale unlocked a more sincere, expressive, and invigorating sound. The singers were dwelling on the details of correct execution. Allison redirected their worried energies into creative energies. They were inspired to create something meaningful. In the end, their singing was more beautiful, more in line with the breath, and simply full of life.
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Schedule your free 30-minute consultation with me and let’s see how we can work together to discover and and celebrate your Sacred Voice. How exciting is that?