Vocal Instruction

Develop a stronger & more expressive voice

FV's 2019 Banff Ensemble (Banff Center for Arts & Learning)
FV’s 2019 Banff Ensemble (Banff Center for Arts & Learning)

Fay Victor is an exceptional educator with an international reputation around creative improvisation, language integration and vocal technique.  A self-taught vocalist, Fay sought world class opera teacher (Onno van Dijk) while living in the Netherlands to expand the range and depth of her instrument, giving Fay the agility needed to improvise using extended vocal technique as her improvisational language developed. This technique enables Victor to sing almost anything with the jazz tradition as a bedrock, including the blues, metal, contemporary, new music and free improvisation.

As a student, this is a unique tapestry to tap into – an educator actively performing across many genres on a consistent basis (see FV Bio). With Victor’s understanding and guidance a vocalist develops ready to perform in almost any style from a healthy vocal foundation. Students are challenged in an honest yet comfortable and non-competitive environment during private, group or workshops settings. Students soon begin to unlock their individual voices, gaining more confidence in sounding like themselves. 

students can study a number of ways

**Private instruction – In person in NYC, while on tour, or via remote 
**Creative Improvisation Workshops (4-week course + final concert)
**Workshops & Master Classes at renowned universities and institutions around the world.

**Special ‘FOCUS’ Sessions (Workshops for One)

>Private Instruction

Fay teaches private students through her private practice (located in East Flatbush, Brooklyn) and through the New York Jazz Workshop focused on technique for jazz and improvising vocalists. Things we work on include vocal technique (breath support, tone production, placement), vocal coaching, improvising for vocalists (within/without jazz harmony), composition and improvisational language integration.
What’s on offer:
*vocal technique and health
*improvisational language development and integration

*confidence building & audience connection
*jazz and creative improvisation for vocalists

>Creative Improvisation WORKSHOPS

In 2017, Victor began running Creative Improvisation Courses in NYC. Victor developed her strategies for these workshops through her years as an improviser and by putting on Creative Improvisation courses on the road in the US and Europe.

These 4-week long courses aim to teach students how to improvise with tangible tools for improvising inside and outside songs with an improvising vocalist that has over 15 years of experience as an improvising performer, performing with some of the most innovative improvisors on the planet from Marshall Allen (Sun Ra) to Randy Weston to William Parker. These experiences has lead to a deeper understanding and clarity on how to improvise and interact with instrumentalists as equals with a vocal instrument.
Participants learn how to:
*listen in new and different ways
*the breakdown of musical components at their improvising disposal
*the integration of melody, text, and composition
*develop their own improvising language
*interact with improvising instrumentalists bought in to engage with participants

>Traveling Workshops & Master Classes

FV takes her show and vocal expertise on the road, teaching masterclasses, clinics and private instruction at institutions around the world.  FV also gives lectures and talks on Creative Improvisation as well as Cultural representation through language and message. Get in touch with FV at lessons@fayvictor.com to learn more about how you can bring this unique artist and educator to your institution.
Short list of notable institutions FV has appeared for lectures, talks, workshops, masterclasses & clinics:
*The Royal Conservatory of Antwerp (Antwerp, Belgium)
*HogeSchule-Bern (Bern, Switzerland)
*The Creative Music Studio (Big Indian, NY)
*University of California at LA (UCLA) (Los Angeles, CA)

*Banff Center for Arts & Creativity (Banff, Canada)
*University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
*School of Improvised Music (New York, NY)

*TD Vancouver Jazz Festival (Vancouver, CA)
*New York University (New York, NY)
*Hampshire College (Amherst, MA)
*UC Irvine & UC-Berkeley (California)
*Cornish School for the Arts (Seattle, WA)
*Rostov Jazz School (Rostov-on-Don, Russia)
*Bogazici University (Istanbul, Turkey),
*The Graham Foundation for the Fine Arts (Chicago, IL)

*The Georgetown Day School (Washington, DC)
*The California Jazz Conservatory (Berkeley, CA)
*School for Improvised Music (SIM), (Brooklyn, NY)
*Highbridge Voices (Bronx, NY)

*Long Island University (Brooklyn, NY)

*Catch a one-hour long workshop here that Victor gave in June 2017 on the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada.

*Here (click on the links below) at Creative Music Studios (CMS) held at the New School in July 2019. Guiding students through their voices and sound to connect to their bodies and to each other.
FV CMS jul20192

FV CMS jul20192 FV CMS jul191

>Special FOCUS Sessions (Workshop for One)

Book an extended lesson (or block of lessons) to work and FOCUS on an areas such as improvisation, composition or vocal technique.  These sessions are a minimum of 3 hours long and FV invites an accompanist for 50% of the session should the student so desire. Get in touch for pricing and scheduling around the FOCUS Sessions and how custom made your study can be.

Get in touch to learn more about pricing, scheduling, booking FV at your institution and more at lessons@fayvictor.com

The New York Jazz Workshop
FV continues to give private lessons through the New York Jazz Workshop and will join them as an instructor in Italy in June 2020 (www.newyorkjazzworkshop)
Here’s a clip of the Jazz Vocal Workshop where Fay coaches students in singing the Civil Rights Anthem “I Wish I Knew How It Would Be To Be Free” by Dr. Billy Taylor

Vocal IMPROV Sessions – Coming UP

Starting in February 2020, FV will host monthly sessions (schedules permitting) to gather at her home to meet around improvisation in a casual way.  FV feels that it’s great to teach improvisation but a good improvisor needs to develop.  Improvising on a regular basis is a way to get better and develop one’s own language with depth and breadth. FV will host these relaxed sessions mainly for vocalists but instrumentalists are encouraged to join. Get in touch at the email address to learn more.

FV at Creative Music Studios (CMS) in June 2019 giving a workshop on Creative Improvisation.


*The moment I was inspired to try singing jazz, I googled jazz vocal workshops in NYC. A bunch of stuff popped up and looked generic and boring. Then I came across New York Jazz Workshop and saw your bio. Just seeing your photo, I knew you were legit… I googled you, heard some of your stuff, and I signed up to audit your workshop.After observing your class, I didn’t have to search any further. 3 years later, I’m still here. You’re an amazing teacher, you’re honest, kind and get straight to the point…no sugar coating. You think outside the box and encourage us to be our true selves. Your class is fun and has a good balance of music theory, signing / performing, improvisation, listening sessions, etc. Plus, you’re a working musician who performs and tours regularly, so your insight is based on real experiences, not what you’ve read or studied. Your talent inspires me and you’re a dope down to earth person. I’ve learned and grown so much thanks to you. We need more teachers like you in this crazy world. Never stop teaching, ever. -Yvette

*You are the best voice teacher I ever had. You helped me to solve my questions. Very quickly and accurately. Especially I appreciate that you helped me to find my own voice. – Yasuno

*Fay is an inspiration. She recognizes the individuality in each student, meets them at their level of musicianship and provides a well-rounded education in music theory, jazz style, appropriate repertoire and jazz vocal pedagogy. She keeps it positive and is a LOT of fun. I enjoy my lessons with Fay immensely. -Thais

*Fay Victor is the embodiment of a master teacher in her field. She understands the history, content and real world application of the jazz vocal idiom and also possesses a deep understanding of how students with diverse skills and background knowledge can learn. She is committed to the success of her students and creates a positive learning environment for all students regardless of current skills or ability levels. It has been an honor to be studying with her in both private coaching and workshop settings.-Cherina

*Deeply encouraged and inspired to become a better singer!!!I appreciate being taught by not only an amazing artist but a beautiful human being – Ali

*The mark of a great vocal coach is one who truly understands vocal technique and can effectively relay this learning to students through the history of the genre, music theory and individual expression.As a vocal student studying under Fay Victor for three years, I have learned so much about vocal control, pitch, intonation, theory, jazz as a music genre, improvisation and myself. Fay is a true professional who models all that she teaches and remains true to the art form, herself and her students. For holistic musical development, I unequivocally recommend Fay’s approach and curriculum. You won’t regret it. -Jacquii

*Fay Victor is an extraordinary teacher. She is a ‘free vocalist’ with a solid jazz background whose method focuses a lot on style, phrasing, improvisation and interpretation. Though all these terms are often used to describe vocal coaches, Fay has an entirely different approach to teaching. She is able to free up personal expression allowing students to feel comfortable exploring well beyond the boundaries of a given stylistic canon.-Olivia

*As a beginner, I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher than Fay. She is not only extremely knowledgeable regarding technique, but also highly intuitive when it comes to tapping into the creative and mental blocks that keep us from realizing our full potential. Because of her compassionate and encouraging nature, opening up and trying new things with my voice has been much less scary than I had imagined, and even therapeutic for the soul.–Kristin

*Not only is Fay Victor an incredible artist who is a master at her craft, but she is also an amazing educator- a combination that is often hard to find. Her pedagogical approach combines technical rigor while at the same time prioritizing creativity, innovation and feeling. It has truly been a pleasure and an honor to be a part of her class. -Adjoa

*Your philosophies on voice really appeal to me. Your views on artistic interpretation and what makes a great vocalist is why I decided to start studying with you. It makes me want to work harder to learn the rules so that I can break them! For me, singing is such a personal experience that trust is a big issue. And I’ve come to the point in our lessons that I truly trust you and value your advice. I look forward to many, many more lessons and great things to come. -Lucy

*You make me feel safe to explore my own voice and guide me toward finding whatever I would like to do with my talents. That is a rarity in a teacher as many will try to put there style or wants for you on you, you however adapt to what you think I need. That is the best part of being your student; the freedom and safety you give me to learn. -Kia

>>Testimonials/Creative Improvisation

“Fay Victor is the truth. She is a Teacher, Guide, and Mentor to so many. I took Voice Lessons with Fay for several years and when I saw she was kicking off a Creative Vocal Improvisation Workshop, I was thrilled. This was my chance to get past this fear & anxiety I have battled with for a decade or more. I also knew that Fay would provide me with the guidance and a safe space to work through those issues, while also challenging me to maximize the potential of my instrument. As I guessed, Fay took the Vocalists on a beautiful journey. One, with no rules, with the exception of one, and that was to listen. Listen to your yourself, your fellow Vocalists, and the band. Be mindful of where the music is going and where you can go along with it. My view of the possibilities of vocal expression are forever changed. I see shapes, colors, and the ability to interpret even a painting into sound on my own terms! I owe this all to Fay and recommend this Workshop, Private Lessons, and any chance to afford yourself the opportunity to work with her.– TM

The Creative Improvisation Workshop allowed me to step out of my mind and into the depths of my feelings. What I’ve learned most from the experience is that being in the moment, both still and actively listening, brought out my true artistic expression. Fay provided a foundation for us in the form of technique and improvisational language. But, the heavy focus that I normally apply to my singing was lessened because I was trusting in the moment. As a result, the technique and language followed. I encourage all singers to jump into the experience, step out of their norm and find their whole creative selves. Sharing this experience with other women also added a spiritual element that is not always present in traditional jazz workshops.I am looking forward to the next time.- JL

“Fay Victor’s vocal improvisation workshop allowed me to explore the capabilities of my voice outside the bounds of traditional melodic singing. It awakened me to new possibilities as a vocalist, and led me to realize that the voice is perhaps the most versatile instrument in any ensemble, so it’s disappointing how little of its range we get to hear in most performances. The opportunity to improvise with other vocalists and instrumentalists was one of the most valuable aspects of the workshop, and also served as a crash course for how to listen, interact, and innovate with an ensemble when you’re playing outside traditional harmonic and melodic structures.” – KV

I thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from this learning. Thank YOU so much for leading us into our creative selves. Thank you for creating an atmosphere of safety, which allows us to be curious, experimental, and free. What a journey, as each week our skillset expanded. We listened. We explored language. Next an accompanist was introduced to the process. Then a variety of accompanists.  We each created (and had a welcome opportunity to tweak) an original piece.  At last, we “performed” our piece, bringing concepts into actuality. The concert was rich and evocative.” -BD


FV’s Teaching & Workshop Page
Skype: fayvocal