The conservatory fills the gap in the teaching of modern music
By Andres de Ocampo
Pasadena Weekly Editor
Adreana Gonzalez said music education doesn’t have to be âtraditionalâ to be relevant.
To share that, the Pasadena-born artist founded the Hollywood Vocal Studios Conservatory in downtown LA. The two-year contemporary vocal institution seeks to fill a gap in modern music education for aspiring singers through the mentorship of music industry professionals.
The school is located in the historic Garland Building in downtown LA, and auditions for the school will remain open until October for admission in February. For information, visit
hvsconservatory.com. The school is an extension of Hollywood voice studios.
âI got the idea to create the conservatory because I have been a private vocal coach for over 15 years,â said Gonzalez. “I have a lot of students who come from Berklee College of Music or the Musicians Institute and their singing program is poor.”
She said that there are talented people coming out of well-known musical institutions, but the major schools always manage to fail in terms of vocal program.
âIt’s really about the voice training,â Gonzalez said. “Not only will we teach you the basics, like music theory and stage presence, but we will teach you how to perfect the most impeccable and immaculate instrument possible, which is your voice.”
The conservatory teaches students how to thrive as a professional singer specializing in various genres, such as pop, R&B, indie-rock and country pop.
âIn a few years I would like to get into musical theater because it’s my expertise, but for now we are focusing on contemporary music,â she said.
“There are so many genres that are crosses and hybrids with each other, but what we’re really looking for is an incredible talent so that we can bring out their best style and their best.”
Gonzalez is passionate about her career and helps budding young singers. She said artists came to Los Angeles to try and start their music careers, but left before the 10-year mark because they were struggling.
âThere is so much talent that has to be seen, and it has to be seen by the right people in order to create success,â she said. “I wanted to help streamline this process, and I love working with talented people and helping them shine.”
Gonzalez, who has worked as a professional singer for over 15 years, is supported by five faculty members and two masterclass presenters. The faculty includes voice director Jeffrey Skouson, who works regularly with Imagine Dragons and the Killers, and performance director Ron Harris, an A&R representative who has helped shape the careers of Fergie and Christina Aguilera.
Gonzalez said the school’s program will help train aspiring singers by teaching methods such as Speech Level Singing and the Institute for Vocal Advancement method, led by Skouson.
According to Gonzalez, Speech Level Singing and the Institute for Vocal Advancement are world famous techniques but are not taught in music schools. These techniques, which are also taught in private lessons given by voice coaches, manipulate the muscles in such a way as to mix the different heights of your chest and your head without any difference in quality.
Additionally, HVSC will teach students how to navigate the music industry and their careers through courses such as brand awareness and a wellness course focused on healthy living and vocal longevity.
Gonzalez has said she will accept 20 to 30 students, but plans to expand to more than 100 to 120 students.
âThe reason I want HVSC to be an exclusive program and why we are starting so small is because I only want to take on the best of the best,â she said. “I want to be able to give these talented people everything they need and all the attention they could possibly need so that they can be as successful as they can be.”
With small classrooms, personalized attention, training, and lessons, students can develop their skills at HSVC in two years. Otherwise, it might take 10 years of experience without this program.
âI really believe you can do whatever you want to do, but you can’t give up,â Gonzalez said. âEven if your friends and family tell you that this is not the career for you, if this is what you want and it is a desire deep in your heart and soul, you donât just have to do it. “