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Frances Fenton is very proud of her students and enjoys teaching.

In the past 3 and a half years, her college students have won over $750,000 in scholarships.

Her studio includes NATS winners, recording artists, and students of all ages who want to learn to sing better in any genre. Recent non-classical singer successes include Rob V, FastTracks New Artist, and Hannah Anderson, who has advanced to Hollywood on American Idol.

In the U.S., Frances' students have sung principal roles in regional opera companies, chorus and small roles with Houston Grand Opera, participated in the Domingo-Cafritz Washington Opera Institute for high school singers, and appeared on national television. For the past five years, one of Frances' students has been named "Outstanding Vocal Student" at Houston Community College - NW.

Frances has taught master classes at the Ashdod Opera, Israel, McNeese State University, and the Orange County High School for the Performing Arts.

Letter from a Vocal Mom

with names deleted for privacy

Dear J_____,

First, I want to congratulate you on your move to ______. I am so proud of you for taking this step in your education.

There is so much to try to tell you, but most of the following you will, like all of us, learn on your own. I’m going to make a short list of some random thoughts that have helped me and I hope will help you.

  1. Be brave. Don’t be afraid to admit what you do not know - and then do your best to learn.
  2. Be true to yourself and your upbringing. You are unique.
  3. Remember to focus on the reasons you are studying and have moved away from your present comfort zone.
  4. Choose your friends carefully. Not everyone has the same high goals you do and not everyone will understand the time that must be devoted to your studies.
  5. Be humble and responsible. (God is very generous with beautiful voices.)
  6. Deliver more that you are asked to deliver. No excuses and no whining.
  7. Remember that you are an athlete and be sure to get enough rest, water and the right food. (Get a healthy cookbook and learn to cook a few things really well. Make sure the food that you spend money on "counts", i.e., makes you feel better.)
  8. Remember that there is a big difference in being alone and being lonely. You can always find good ways to spend your time.
  9. Know that all your professors, especially Professor _____, have been through most of the experiences you will have. Take advantage of their knowledge and listen carefully to their advice.
  10. If there is a distinguished artist or speaker who comes to the campus, do your best to attend their lectures/classes/recitals. You need a broad realm of knowledge and experience to be an artist.
  11. Be kind to your fellow students and supportive of them. These friendships can be very long lasting.
  12. Be grateful for any opportunity you are given and show that you deserve it.
  13. College is your first real chance to broaden your knowledge of this world. Be interested in other people and their stories. There are universal hopes and dreams.
  14. Remember that criticism is an opportunity to grow. Criticism means that the people criticizing you think you have the ability to change and be better.
  15. Financially, remember there is a difference between "need" and "want".
  16. If you do make a mistake - and you will at some time or another - take the steps necessary to put it right with yourself, your teachers, your family and friends, and mostly with God. Then, shake it off, forgive yourself and move forward.
  17. If you ever are feeling really down, do some sort of volunteer work, such as singing at a hospital or nursing home.
  18. Discipline yourself to focus on pleasant thoughts.
  19. Be sure to play and laugh a little each day.
  20. Go outside and enjoy the beautiful world!

So, I guess that’s about it for now. I hope you will write or email when you have time. I will think about you and wish you every success.

 Best always,
Frances Fenton

P.S. Someday, I hope you will help a young singer. I also hope your Bible is worn out by the time you finish college.


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