Perform - Record - Develop - Inspire
Studio Ensemble (SE) is a class designed to enhance what a student studies in his or her private lesson. It offers a valuable supplement of group performance, getting students connected and collaborating together to create music and build relationships with one another. Each class is a mixture of both vocal and instrumental students, collectively learning, recording, and performing a set list of songs for each recital season.
During the SE sessions, students can expect to learn and experience firsthand what it is like to record music as a group, providing them with a hands-on experience using professional level equipment and studio resources. Students will also learn how to effectively communicate on their instrument with other singers and musicians, as well as develop a stronger understanding of applicable music theory. They will cultivate essential skills in learning how to listen creatively, and staying attentive to what is going on around them both in rehearsal and performance regarding musical ideas such as rhythm, pitch, dynamics, articulation, and other concepts. Most importantly, SE students will learn how to artistically move, breathe, and respond musically as a unified band.
At the end of every session there will be a final concert performance for all of the SE groups! Throughout the session groups will also create band names, logos, and bios to go with their recorded CD demo.
Studio Ensemble classes are 75 minutes each week, and break down to a price of $60/class. Students that enroll are expected to commit to the entire 4 to 5 month session as losing any member of the group disrupts the song arrangements and progress of the entire band.
Have a listen to some incredibly talented students on the audio samples page!
See teaching philosophy for more details
Why choose Nikk?
Nikk has worked across numerous stages, both as an educator and professionally managed performer. He's trained students internationally, and shared students with famous celebrity vocal coaches such as Brett Manning (Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Leona Lewis, Hayley Williams), Seth Riggs (Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Madonna), and Mama Jan Smith (Usher, The Band Perry).
Nikk has had the pleasure of watching his students connect with Grammy award winning producer Narada Michael Walden (Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin), Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20), and Harry Connick Jr., while others have gone on to sign record contracts, shoot music videos, perform live on television, and mature into their own musical successes. Nikk has also helped students succeed at the University level, with those attending schools such as the University of Michigan, Berklee College of Music, Belmont University in Nashville, DePaul University, DIME, Michigan State University, and others across the U.S. In addition, many of Nikk's students are avid performers, songwriters, theatre stars, and are well-recognized in the music community.
The most important factor to consider when pursuing an education of any type is the relevant knowledge, training, and experience of the instructor to that of the goals and aspirations a student has. With some music facilities, an unfortunate side effect students often find themselves struggling with is a lack of real progress due to studying with a teacher attempting to give guidance that may be a little (or a lot!) outside of their respective field of expertise. This tends to run most prevalent with certain "all-in-one" type music programs that utilize a high volume of short-term and part-time instructors, some of whom may actually be students themselves still finishing school. This model can also create an instability for students by subjecting them to an ongoing list of replacement teachers due to the school or academy's high teacher turnover rate. First and foremost, always make sure your goals and aspirations match the specific field training and credible experiences of the teacher you're working with.
Over the last 2 decades, Nikk has crafted teaching methods that supplement a focused student-centered approach with a strong blend of healthy curriculum, mechanics, and pedagogy, enabling him to provide students with real results that keep them moving forward. Click the bio and teaching philosophy pages for more information on Nikk and how he has successfully coached thousands of students across the country throughout the past 20 years, and is a preferred choice for singers seeking strong vocal guidance and development.
Additional Studio Info
Online Lessons As Well As In-Studio
Students have the option of coming into the studio or taking private lessons virtually using the studio's online teaching platforms. For online classes, the studio utilizes professional level microphones, multi-camera setups, and dedicated equipment designed for online learning. This allows students to experience the same level of quality and efficiency as they would with in-studio sessions, while also being able to study throughout performance touring, long distance learning, or even just from the comforts of their own home.
Competitions and Performance Events: Classes can be tailored to provide students with the best musical preparation for those pursuing competition involvements and/or audition-based opportunities. Such competitions have included various district, regional, national and international events, with organizations such as The World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA), American Guild of Music (AGM), MSVMA Solo & Ensemble, Federation, and others. Student involvement with other notable organizations include Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in both their summer programs and international choirs, as well as Interlochen Center for the Arts. Students are also supported in theatre auditions and perform regularly on local stages.
Recitals: Recital participation is not mandatory but is encouraged! Recitals are free of charge to students and take place seasonally throughout the year. Recitals consist of a combination of students in voice, piano, guitar, as well as violin and viola from collaborations with Jennifer Berg Violin Studio. Recitals also include vocal and instrumental ensemble performances featured in the group class "Studio Ensemble" (SE) program.
Fully Equipped On-Site Recording Studio
Private lessons can be tailored to provide students with their very own professional recordings of mastered songs and performance ready material. Students enrolled in the Studio Ensemble (SE) program will experience first-hand what it's like to record live as a group in a pro-grade studio, while building performance set lists for the upcoming concert season.
Additionally, the recording studio provides full-scale production services including composing, writing, tracking, editing, mixing, and mastering, to artists and songwriters.
Acoustically Treated Lesson Space
Other music learning facilities tend to only offer thinly walled and sound reflective multi-purpose rooms for lessons, rather than a professionally designed and acoustically treated lesson space. In addition, they are often focused primarily in younger, pre-school oriented kinder-care types of music education. These programs typically lend themselves to more recreational, loud and distracting background noises, combining with the lesser quality room design and compromising the formal lesson experience for students.
Here at the studio all students study in a clean, spacious, comfortable, and fully equipped studio environment so there's no need to worry about distractions from noisy lesson rooms or crowded hallways. All students and clientele enjoy an exclusive private studio experience without the noise.
Violin Lessons & Viola Lessons
In collaboration with Jennifer Berg Violin Studio
Violin lessons and viola lessons for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students in a focused, studio setting with regular performance opportunities. Offering complete training in both classical and contemporary stylings, along with appropriate technique, theory, pedagogy, and full certification in Suzuki methods. Holding membership in American String Teachers Association (ASTA), as well as Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA), tenured membership with Ann Arbor Symphony (A2SO) and Flint Symphony (FSO). Click here for more information.
Students enjoy working with both studio performance and stage resources, learning everything from proper mic technique to acoustic balance, and learning how to "sing to the room".
Local, National & International Students
The studio hosts training and instruction services to a student base across the U.S. as well as internationally! With a clientele that ranges from professional artists to aspiring young students, the studio maintains active connections through various teaching networks and performance organizations spanning the globe.
Specialized Studio Instruction
Move beyond generalized music lessons and into a specialty studio with Nikk May. Providing advanced vocal and instrumental training for students in voice, piano, and guitar, as well as artist development through songwriting/composition and audio production. Study the essential techniques of industry professionals, build understanding through mechanic concepts, and learn how to unlock your abilities to excel as a performer.
For new vocal, piano, and guitar lesson requests please fill out a New Student Application.