D. Brian Lee

D. Brian Lee is a teacher, writer, and singer. His book, Sane Singing: A Guide to Vocal Progress (2018), has been enthusiastically reviewed as a philosophy of voice study, with practical advice on finding and evaluating voice training. He maintains an independent voice studio in Potomac, Maryland near Washington DC. His students have included performs on Broadway, in opera, theatre, and on national television. As a tenor, he performs in solo and chamber concerts, in which he is an advocate for new works and Latin American art song. Brian co-hosts the The Voice Culture Podcast with Justin Petersen.

Formal education includes a BS in music education from the University of Maryland, a BM in flute performance from the the University of Iowa, a MM in flute performance and pedagogy from Bowling Green University, and a MA in instructional design from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Additional coursework includes post-graduate voice pedagogy courses at Shenandoah Conservatory and the Feldenkrais-informed The Singing Self program.

Research interests include lesser-known voice pedagogy texts as well as new translations and interpretations of well-known material. He is a featured presenter on voice pedagogy topics. His poster paper, Self-Assessment Protocol for Singers, a practical system for evaluating vocal progress, was presented at the 2018 NATS National Conference. He has blogged about singing and related topics at vocalability.com since 2009.


  • Private voice teacher. Prepared students for successful college auditions at top schools such as Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, Boston Conservatory, Elon, and Berklee. Work with professional soloists, actors, and teachers.
  • Vocal Coach (musical and audition preparation) for students, amateurs, and professionals.
  • Public School Teacher – orchestra, band, and general music.
  • Mentoring of voice teachers

Writing and Speaking:

  • Day Jobs—Expand Your Possibilities in Journal of Singing, 2019.
  • Featured speaker at Speakeasy Cooperative national conference, 2019. Presentation: What is Learning?
  • Presenter at teacher associations on self-assessment systems for singers.
  • Vocalability (this blog) on singing and voice pedagogy, since 2009.
  • Sane Singing: A Guide to Vocal Progress. Sane Singing is a guide to finding training that works, as well as giving advice on how to assess one’s own vocal progress (Better Baggage Publishing, 2018).
  • Self-Assessment Protocol for Singers (2018): Selected for Poster Paper Presentation at biennial conference of National Association of Teachers of Singing.


  • Tenor with Cantate Chamber Singers.
  • Solo recitals – special interests in Latin American art song and new music.
  • Opera and musical theatre roles.
  • Tenor section leader at churches and cathedrals throughout DC Metro area.
  • Pianist for auditions, seminars, and recitals.
  • Symphonic and chamber music on flute, bass, piano, and viola.



  • M.M., Music Performance, Bowling Green State University
  • M.A., Instructional Systems Design, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • B.M., Music Performance, University of Iowa
  • B.S., Music Education, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Graduate coursework in Vocal Pedagogy, Shenandoah Conservatory
  • Vocal Study with George Gibson, Virginia Grasso, David Jones
  • Coaching with Gillian Cookson, Jorge Robaina, Richard Crittenden

Non-musical interests include cooking, spirituality, consciousness, quantum physics, politics, psychology, fitness, travel, fine dining, and artistic expression of all kinds.