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Carol Sparrow and Randolph Locke teach performers from the comfort of their home, where they have two pianos and high ceilings. Exotic artifacts, from their time singing across the globe, decorate their walls.
East County Tuesday, Jul. 2, 2013 6 years ago

East County singers turn home lessons into a voice academy

by: Josh Siegel Staff Writer

EAST COUNTY —Randolph Locke believes babies come out of the womb born to sing.

“Babies are born screaming at the top of their lungs,” Locke said. “But, then, they begin to learn and use their vocabulary, and they no longer have to reach deep into their lungs to get someone’s attention.”

Locke and his wife, Carol Sparrow, longtime opera singers and vocal instructors, hope to help singers and performers fulfill their potential at their reorganized Sarasota Voice Academy.

Although the couple has always taught private lessons out of their home, their new Sarasota Voice Academy gives a name to those home lessons.

It is unincorporated — for now — and casual.

The husband-and-wife duo will give private lessons in a broad range of performance, including musical theater, opera, jazz, voiceovers, public speaking and vocal coaching in six languages — all from their living room.

The lessons are geared toward beginner and veteran singers of all ages.

“This is about giving back what we’re been given,” Locke said. “We have acquired a great bit of knowledge during our lives, and we’re passionate about teaching non-stress, healthy singing.”

Their teaching strategy involves going back to the basics — to the simplicity of breathing and how it affects public performance.

Currently, Locke and Sparrow say they regularly teach 20 people.

Locke and Sparrow have two white pianos inside their home, and they use iPads to record how a student looks and sounds when he performs.

Interested students can book appointments for Monday through Saturday.

For a minimum of a half-hour lesson, Locke and Sparrow charge $30 for adults and $25 for individuals younger than 21.

“This is just an evolution of what we do,” Sparrow said. “We want people to know we’re right here in your backyard. Now, we have a name for what we do.”

Interested parties should call 351-1007 or 545-7021. They also can email [email protected].

Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected].

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