About Cherilyn Bacon
Hi I’m Cherilyn Bacon and delighted that you’re here to learn more about the conservatory at the California School of the Arts in San Gabriel, California where I teach. (My detailed biographical background is found on the menu under “About.” Or you can skim through the “Reader’s Digest” version at the bottom of this page.
CLASSES I TEACH
I teach Vocal Technique, Repertoire and Technique in the Musical Theatre Department and Vocal Coaching in the Vocal Arts Department at CSArts. This semester I’ve been asked to create a new course for Vocal Technique for 7th-8th grade students.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
I love CSArts because the students I teach WANT to be there! We are in a partnership. You want to learn, and I want to teach. We work together! When that gets out of balance, we check in with each other and work together to find solutions.
My classes are aligned with the California Standards for Media, Arts and Entertainment. The goal is to prepare you for a successful career in the Performing Arts Pathway.
The choices in this industry are vast for actors, singers, and dancers in many settings that range from the recording studio, on the big screen, on the Internet, on the live stage and yes, in the classroom or vocal studio. The income potential varies. A voice teacher can earn between $25 and $450 an hour depending on experience. Television studios hire at the higher rates. Beginning teachers in smaller communities would earn lower rates. The average market in Los Angeles can bear around $80-120/hour.
If you belong to an acting or music union, you will be hired at union rates. An AEA actor-singer in New York on Broadway can earn minimum of $2,000/week. Off-Broadway is minimum $1,100/week.
According to Salary Expert, a beginning actor’s salary can increase from $45,579 to $63,014 per year after three years of steady employment, although this is not guaranteed. Actors with eight or more years of experience report earning $77,503 per year. Here’s an article that includes more information.
The average Singer salary in the United States is $48,551 as of December 27, 2021, but the salary range typically falls between $41,399 and $56,519. Opportunities are found singing for weddings, funerals, corporate events.
L.A. Session Group shows the following rates for booking session singers:
- $100/hour per musician or backing vocalist
- $750/day per musician or backing vocalist
- $4500/week per musician or backing vocalist
- $300/hour for a lead vocalist
Voice overs in a studio can earn a wide variety of session rates depending on the national or local platform or the length of the buyout. Here’s a table of SAG-AFTRA rates.
Whether you are interested in singing for private events, in a band, a voice-over career, a long-term studio singing gig, or a Tony Award on Broadway, the skills you will learn in Voice Technique are solid stepping-stones to your dreams.
In fact, the skills you will learn in the Performing Arts Pathway will be a tremendous advantage to any industry you may wish to pursue.
My classes teach the following Anchor Standards:
- The academic side of singing covers posture, breath management, resonance, tone, range, as well as song interpretation and audition skills that will prepare the performer for getting hired .
- Good communications skills when working with a teacher or coach, an agent or manager, a producer or director, and cast members in a show are essential. You will build on these experiences by learning in class what is expected in the workplace and by practicing it as a student.
- You will learn how to plan and manage your career through good organization, time management and adopting great attitudes for success.
- You will learn how to use technology such as posting a PDF document or an mp3 or mp4 file and preparing and emailing a self-tape. These are standard in the performing arts industry for auditions and getting hired as talent in a production.
- You will learn problem solving when preparing and performing your song selections. You will learn the value of critical thinking as we work together to find material that is best suited for who you are and how to find song choices that will uplift and change the world for the better, both of which I consider my duty as a teacher of future generations.
- The principles of good health and safety are essential to protect your voice and body for a lifetime. You are the instrument. It’s the only musical instrument that is not an inanimate object outside of your body that you must play with your hands, mouth or feet. Your voice is also literally one of a kind – totally unique to YOU! Have you considered that no other voice has the same DNA as your voice? That’s right! No one can sing that song as you can. As you come to believe and know this concept, and as you work hard and stay on top of classroom assignments and in-class coaching sessions, your self-confidence and self-worth will soar. You have a unique gift!
- Of value in any industry are ethics and legal responsibilities. Integrity, respecting and appreciating others, and adhering to the laws under which we live can make or break an industry’s reputation. Without it, society self-destructs. Each individual makes up the whole. When one of us loses integrity, it damages others. When you listen and give your full attention to your classmates when they perform, find the wisdom in learning by watching them, show positive support and feedback when appropriate, avoid crude, sarcastic, degrading language and even when you dress your best (yes, it’s true!), you are learning how to positively strengthen your community and society. When you copy a piece of music without paying for it, you are breaking copyright laws for a song that someone owns and wrote. As singers, we depend on songwriters who cannot write songs unless they are compensated. Submitting assignments on time is a way you show responsibility on a personal level.
- We live in an ever-changing world, and as the semester develops and we may need to adapt a syllabus, we learn flexibility. Flexibility may be the one most important trait that helps you keep a future job.
- Leadership and teamwork means helping others work together and valuing each person’s contribution. We have opportunities to collaborate on creative projects and assignments, especially when working duets or in a semi-private or small group voice lesson or coaching setting.
- Technical skills for singers are fundamental for strong and healthy lifelong singing and are practiced during class vocalise warm-ups. You will learn skills that apply to all styles of singing as well as variations, depending on style.
- Most important in the performing arts is to actually perform: to demonstrate and apply what you’ve learned. You will have that opportunity every time you stand before the class to be coached or when you present your mid-term or final performance.
A READERS’ DIGEST VERSION OF CHERILYN BACON’S BACKGROUND
A number of years ago Cherilyn Bacon taught at CSArts’ sister school, the Orange County School of the Arts, where she created the Voice Technique and Styles and Repertoire courses. She was recruited to OCSA from a summer musical theatre program she developed at Circle in the Square Theatre School after OSCA had sent a couple of students to attend the program, which was a program rated #1 in New York City by Backstage, along with NYU’s program. She was delighted to return to her birthplace (Hollywood) and the good weather.
Cherilyn conducts a multicultural choral ensemble of 65 college-age singers from all over the world, sponsored by the Los Angeles Interfaith Council. She also conducts the Los Angeles Missionary Chorus of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She conducted three concerts to standing room only crowds during the Christmas season 2021.
Cherilyn also performs in a world-class choral organization, The Millennial Choirs and Orchestras. It began in Orange County in 2006 and is currently in five states with 3,500 singers ages 4 through 84 (literally).
In 2019 the MCO performed at Carnegie Hall and made Twitter history by doing an impromptu performance seen by over 5 million people when one of its three performances was cancelled during the NYC blackout on July 13, 2019.
MCO also performs bi-annually at Segerstrom Hall (Costa Mesa) and Abravanel Hall (Salt Lake City). The MCO rehearses in Laguna Woods, California at the United Methodist Church and is scheduled to perform the Mozart Requiem Spring 2022.
Cherilyn maintains a private voice studio located in Woodland Hills, California where she teaches in-studio and also online. Some of her students have performed on Broadway. Each month her students gather for an intensive masterclass. Then at the end of the quarter they present a Cabaret Show at Miceli’s Restaurant, world-famous for its singing waiters and marvelous sets of music from opera to jazz and contemporary commercial music, with Jeff Urband on piano.
She received a BFA from Brigham Young University and a certificate in the Business of Musical Theatre from Northwood University-Dallas.
FINAL NOTES FROM CHERILYN
Through my adult life, I’ve always been a working actor-singer and feel blessed to have chosen an industry where I love to show up to work (whether at school or professionally) to do what I love most — and hope to do it forever. Of the talents that will go with us beyond the grave, I believe there will be singing, acting and dancing!
Most of all, I love giving back to the rising generation by inspiring them to use their musical talents to uplift and inspire others and to choose repertoire that will make the world a better place instead of degrading it.
At the time of this post, I am a mother of five and a grandmother of sixteen, plus one on the way – each one is most cherished production! They have been, and continue to be, my best teachers.