Building confidence through the arts

Kaylah Joelle Baker

Lisa-Marie Parker is a highly experienced voice teacher and performer, but it is her love for seeing people express themselves confidently through performing arts that makes her Vocal Studio so unique.

Through creating a specialised Kids Division that “prioritises process over outcome”, Lisa-Marie has seen children from the ages of four to 13 grow in confidence, find a place of belonging, and make friends all within a matter of eight weeks.

“We run performing arts classes, but our structure is different because we only do eight-week terms and they don’t accumulate into an end of year concert, they are literally just an opportunity for kids to try something new,” Lisa-Marie said.

“We have had kids with varying levels of anxiety and learning difficulties, and it has been so rewarding to watch kids grow and become more confident, and at the end of the eight weeks we invite parents in for a mini, casual showcase just to show what they have been doing.”

The feedback from both students and parents has been so positive that this year the Kids Division of the business is expanding to include Saturday classes, with three new classes being launched on February 18.

Among the Term One classes still taking enrolments, and offering trial bookings, are Sing Club! Group Singing, Drama Senior (ages eight to 12), Drama Play Time (ages four to five), and S.A.M Snr-Sing Act Move! (ages nine to 13).

“All the classes have a similar structure but different content, so the drama classes for younger ones is more play-based, imaginative, and includes improvisation and confidence building, with some quick voice and movement content,” Lisa-Marie said.

“Whereas for the older kids, because they get really good, they are analysing text and understanding what character adjectives are, which is essentially high school-level training.”

While adapting the classes to the strengths of the students is a priority, the highly trained teachers also ensure that they take the time to understand the needs of each individual student, organising the class structure and size in a way that allows for each student to feel supported.

Recently, the studio has also been running a diversity inclusion program, which stems from Lisa-Marie’s personal desire to help showcase more diversity on stage, something that wasn’t as common when she was a young Greek graduate applying for roles.

“Universities are now seeking further to find people of diversity to train, and we see that in the graduates and therefore in the shows, so I wanted to start thinking of ways we could help,” Lisa-Marie said.

“We have a diversity inclusion program where we allow families, who potentially can’t afford to add a creative activity to their child’s schedule, to apply for a gap in a class that suits the child, and then we offer complementary training for the eight weeks.”


If we can start young and offer training to the children, then maybe we can also help contribute to who we see on the stage.


In addition to having a love for introducing kids to performing arts and the power of using their voice, Lisa-Marie also offers more outcomes driven sessions for adults.

As a leading voice teacher and audition coach, Lisa-Marie specialises in music theatre technique and styling, audition preparation, acting through song, performance anxiety strategy and management, and career mentorship.

In the adult lessons, Lisa-Marie works extensively with actors wanting to extend and strengthen their voice training, and musical theatre performers needing to train their voices to navigate eight shows a week.

“Depending on people’s goals, every lesson is tailored,” she said.

But no matter your age, intentions or goals, there is one thing all students can be sure of when it comes to this North Melbourne Vocal Studio – it truly was formed out of “a labour of love”.

Lisa-Marie Parker Vocal Studio can be found at Level 1, 175 Arden St, North Melbourne. •


Photo credit: Chris Parker Photography

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
Like us on Facebook