Master of Music from University of Houston
Kyra is a Southern Belle trans woman (trans goddess some might say) with classical training, now living safely above the Mason- Dixon Line. She has an extensive background in both music and theatre. In Chicago, she has performed with award-winning theaters and as a solo singer/songwriter and cabaret artist. She is also a composer, music director, and active church musician. Kyra is a passionate advocate for trans visibility in the worlds of pop music, classical music, and theatre. Kyra has been teaching at The Voice Lab since 2018, helping students develop authenticity and confidence in both singing and speaking.
Why do you sing?
I sing because I love it! I feel like singing is a universal language, and sometimes the only way you can express yourself is through song and music.
Why do you teach?
I teach because I want to inspire other people to use creativity in their everyday lives, and hopefully allow them to tap into expressing their authentic selves more and more.
How would you describe your lessons?
Lessons with me are part therapy session and part technique-learning. I like to compare lessons to being an athlete; you’re coming in and learning the routine and the technique so you can go out in the world and have the stamina that you need. I feel like I’m good at helping students get results without ever being overly prescriptive.
What do you like to do in a first lesson?
I talk to my students and get to know them and their personal lives, their interest in voice lessons, and their past experience. Then I try to sing through some warm-ups while explaining some basic technical things, and then we pick a song that they’re comfortable with and put it all together and see how we do!
How do you think singing lessons and speech lessons are different?
Singing lessons, I think, are good for working together long-term. You’re learning a technique that allows you to develop and expand upon a text, probably in preparation for performance. Whereas speech lessons are quicker and more short-term and the techniques are such that you have to apply them more immediately in the moment.
Why do you work with trans singers and speakers?
As a trans person, I want to work with trans singers to help let them know that there is a place for trans people in music and to empower them to be a source of representation and visibility. I also want to shift the way we think about voices and de-gender voice parts. I want to be a sounding board for my students so we can talk about our experiences together. I want to help my students find a voice that is suitable for them, and doesn’t necessarily have to adhere to the world’s standards of what a feminine or masculine or androgynous-perceived voice is.
What would you tell someone who’s thinking about taking lessons?
Do it! Don’t let fear or anything that anyone has ever told you stop you from doing it.