Jay’s focus for any student is always the STUDENT…hearing what they want and need to achieve their goals. Fostering good technique and a solid artist “identity” to realize these goals becomes the bedrock of his style of instruction. This is called Student Centered Teaching… and without this philosophy of teaching, guiding any learning, the student gets lost in the process of giving information.
Jay prides himself on keeping his focus on each student and letting his knowledge complement the needs of each singer he works with. With over 27 years of teaching and continual learning by Jay, the South Plains College Commercial Music Program has become one of the strongest contemporary music programs in the country. Several students from this program have placed in national competitions, such as the Sing Off and American Idol.
Due to the success of the vocal department Jay formerly headed up…(he’s retired!), he has had many students go on to great careers in Nashville, LA, New York, and other metropolitan centers. They rely on Jay continually to maintain their voices and stay focused.
Jay has not only become one of Texas’ most active and successful voice coaches, but he is an avid songwriter and piano player. He has been playing piano since the age of 7 and his musical abilities have allowed him to coach all sorts of bands and worship teams. His knowledge of vocal training combined with his extensive musical background makes him uniquely qualified to coach, even the most advanced singer.
Jay realizes that for him to be the best teacher he can be, he needs to keep challenging himself to be better and know more. This awareness has driven him to get involved in professional organizations such as ViP (Vocology in Practice) and IVTOM (International Voice Teachers of Mix), where he is required to get continual professional development every year, and display his skill and knowledge. He feels strongly that for him to be effective for any student, he needs to put himself in the shoes of a student…regularly…to have the highest level of empathy for the challenges that they face.
In addition to heading the voice department at South Plains College, Jay teaches voice and worship team clinics throughout West Texas and New Mexico. He enjoys engaging in conversation about voice with many different singers and voice teachers.
Jay’s studio is one of the most effective ways for singers to get connected to the music industry, regardless of style. His studio acts as a portal to opportunities in Nashville, NY and LA due to his extensive industry connections. He works closely with SingPro and is a authorized distributor for this vocal development program, and has made many music business connections through the events and activities of VocalizeU, an LA based network for singers and musicians.