It's been really exciting to work with Ellen as my vocal coach. She teaches with a lot of heart and sincerity. I recommend Ellen for students of all ages and levels. She is a very experienced, warm and likable singing coach. It's been wonderful for me to discover the finer nuances of vocal technique, the joy of singing, and my own true singing voice with Ellen. Thank you so much!!
Smply splendid. Singing demands intimacy and transparency. Ellen creates an atmosphere of warmth and acceptance that is rare for her level of expertise. She knows how to bring out the best within without condemnation or judgment. Thank you Ellen.
Ellen's creative and positive energy, genuine encouragement, and warm smile while coaching singers are critical ingredients of her effectiveness. She is very knowledgeable and helpful and very generous and kind, a gem, a star!
Hi Ellen, Thank you very much for your kindness and the opportunity to sing with a talented group of singers and musicians at the showcase. It was a great experience because I was able to have an opportunity to practice communicating to musicians that I've never met or worked with before. There were lessons in that experience that worked and I learned what I needed to work on to be better. I enjoyed sharing the experience with previous classmates and meeting new and outstanding vocalists. You have definitely been a great inspiration as an instructor and I continue to learn and grow with you in our individual sessions and I've learned a lot from previous classes. I've had wonderful experiences where I've had a transformation with my voice by learning new techniques within a one hour session. I also have seen my growth with each class. I will continue to keep music in my life and strive to grow as a vocalist because it truly feeds my soul and I am so filled when other people enjoy it as well :) Thanks again and I hope to work with you very soon... Linda
Ellen is an intuitive voice teacher. She takes in what a singer has going on already and then pulls from her deep knowledge of the voice, methods to help the student open up and express. On a larger level, she understands the voice as a metaphor for life. I am grateful for her ability to focus on various elements (technique, emotional expression, improvisation, theory) within each session and I love that she not only works with the jazz genre, but also others (musical theater, R&B, etc...though am quite sure that jazz is her first love). Ellen was also instrumental in helping me and another student prepare for and pull off a shared recital. She has helped me rise to a space that I could only dream of before. So if you are looking for someone to work with, look no further - you've found her!
How fortunate it was to meet Ellen Johnson. My songs in her class: Try to Remember/Embraceable you/God Bless The Child/A Change is Gonna Come. Well, a change has come for me and I feel that I can go on because of the wonderful voice lessons and the encouragement she gave to me when I was about to give up. The world would be a better place if their were more Ellen Johnson's in it. Thanks Ellen
Ellen is one of the most energetic, effective, and thoughtful teachers I have ever had. I have taken both "Jamming Jazz Singers" and "The Definitive Jazz Singer" with her at the Jazzschool, and am always impressed with how she is able to give feedback in a positive way and really build each student's strengths while teaching everyone at the same time. I'm also a private lesson student, where she has helped me not only open up my voice and build technique, but also how and why I can work on certain things. She also teaches some theory and history along the way. Many voice teachers try to help you with technique but along the way the student loses what makes their voice special. Ellen is the opposite, truly working with what you have already to make it stronger. I would recommend Ellen to anyone. She is truly a gem!
If you want to begin performing, there's no better place to start than the "Beginning Vocal Jazz Performance" class that Ellen teaches at the Jazzschool in Berkeley. In 10 weeks you will learn how to: prepare a chart in your key, using your own arrangement; communicate with the musicians who are accompanying you; use a microphone; and, perform with feeling and confidence. Along the way you will also pick up some of the basics of jazz music theory that will set you on the road to becoming a better musician. And while this is primarily a performance class, Ellen will jump in when needed with gentle instruction for improving your technique. Last, but not least, Ellen makes the whole experience a whole lot of FUN.
Ellen LITERALLY saved my voice in 1990. As lead vocalist for the R&B Band, The Midnight Hour, I was singing nightly at clubs four hours straight. I had no technique and was ruining my vocal cords in the process! Ellen concentrated on strengthening my falsetto and getting my "transitional notes" to full volume! Thanks to her compassion for singers and patience during lessons, I not only improved my vocal quality but raised my range a full octave! Who does that??!! Some twenty years later I am still blessed to be working in entertainment as a singer and an actor. Among the tours I've starred in nationally are AIN'T MISBEHAVIN', ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, BIG RIVER, SECRET GARDEN to name a few. I've sung backup and recorded with such artists as CHRIS BROWN, BARRY MANILOW, HELEN REDDY and POISON. I originated the role of Curtis in Universal Studios Hollywood's BLUES BROTHERS R&B REVUE for 13 years. I now work primarily as an actor guest starring on a variety of top TV shows and films but I owe a great deal of my career to the incredible teaching techniques of this gorgeous woman. Thank you Ellen for saving (and starting) my career. I love you for life! Dale E. Turner, actor, singer, voiceover artist
I love Ellen's vocal warm-up books! They are very useful, both for your voice and ear training! Thank you so much!
Ellen has the ability to listen & diagnose what is going on with you vocally. She has a gentle, warm Spirit that helps you relax and eventually become uninhibited. She guides you to your vocal creative self and surprisingly, you'll find your way to the stage if you've not gone there before! If you have been there, but not active for a while, she can help you exactly where you are, and encourage you to get back out there! If you're onstage now and seeking a little more, she can help you improve beyond your expectations! I LOVE Ellen's teaching techniques, and have truly missed her regular group sessions, and her private in-person one-on-one sessions. Thanks Ellen... you ARE the BEST! Denise Anya
Ellen Johnson brings the best out of any student who loves jazz, is willing to work and wants to grow. She's an incredible resource who can unlock the fundamentals of song choice, feel, form, chord changes, the rhythmic pocket and all that jazz -- so a student of hers gets a solid structure to play on. Then Ellen guides you to your best efforts: the quicksilver freedom within structure that's the hallmark of all the best jazz. All with a passionate, fun energy that you can't help but tap into. Plus she sings like a swinging angel (if a bit of a naughty angel, perhaps, sometimes . . .). --George Neil (Bass/baritone; vocal jazz student of Ellen's in L.A. in recent years, for several years).
I am so grateful to have had Ellen come into my life. With the time I had with her, she helped open up my voice and we discovered new things that I never knew I could do with my range. She is a very sweet woman and a wonderful vocal coach!
I took lessons from Ellen when I was living in LA. She is a fabulous teacher and made some things stick in my head that hadn't seemed to take hold in previous lessons, me benig the stubborn person I can be! I can also still feel the influence of what I learned from her in my musical activities now. My time with Ellen made me a much more well rounded musician. Additionally, I have seen her take someone I honestly though didn't have much hope for (although they sure loved singing) and turned this person into a competent singer who turned out some pretty good performances. She is open to all levels of talent and encourages you to be the best you can be while not stressing you out. And finally there is the perk of getting to sing with musicians I never could have if it wasn't for Ellen's connections in the industry. That was just plain cool.