My goal is to create a strong, flexible voice with you that gives you the ability to fully express yourself as a performer, clearly and meaningfully. Every voice is different; my approach is unique to you. A truly free sound, created in a balanced way through skill, craft and passion, will fill you with the confidence to share your sound with the world.
I’ve spent the past five years serving as Adjunct Professor of Voice for Musical Theatre at both American University and George Washington University, as well as working with all levels in my private studio. My students have gone on to thriving careers in NYC, DC, and far beyond; they attend University of Michigan, University of Minnesota/ Guthrie Theater, Loyola Marymount, U Arts in Philly, Boston Conservatory, Catholic University, among many others. And I continue to study regularly with great NYC coaches and teachers as well as attend conferences around the country to stay current with the latest science.
Not only does Susan Derry have an incredible knowledge of vocal pedagogy and repertoire, she is incredibly generous in spirit and one of the most sincere and kind people I know.
Walter Ware III, UDK Casting
Susan Derry changed my life! I know that sounds like hyperbole but it isn’t! Because the one thing she gave me was confidence. Confidence in my voice, that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t sing. She met me where I was and helped me find what worked for me and just me! She works with you to find a mutual vocabulary for your voice and where to place certain notes or phrases. I can’t recommend her enough!!!
Caroline Wolfson, Helen Hayes Award Winner for Fly By Night, 1st Stage
I came to Susan when my voice was in its first stages of changing. This being one of the hardest times to use the voice in a young man's life, I was quite nervous about how my voice would turn out, and if I would be able to sing the same way I did before my voice changed. I was so relieved after my first lesson with Susan. Her patience and care for every one of her students can be felt in the room. She is attentive to every detail, creative in her teaching methods, and never EVER gives up on student. If in one lesson a student does not reach a goal, that goal will be the first thing accomplished during the next lesson. I know that I would not be the performer I am today, and would not have the skills and confidence that I have if I had never taken voice lessons with Susan Derry.
Ethan Miller, University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program, Helen Hayes nominee
Susan Derry exceeded my expectations in every way when I was taking lessons from her. She is the total package. Not only does she create such a caring environment to learn in but her understanding of the voice is amazing! She will take your voice to the next level. On top of this her ability to find exciting rep to expand your book is outstanding. The bottom line is, if you can get into a lesson with Susan- DO IT!
Alice Squeglia, Swing, Be More Chill, Monumental Theatre DC; American University graduate
Novices and seasoned singers alike will have amazing results with the studio. Susan has taken my sound to new places. If you have any performance anxiety, it will melt away with solid technique and the sweetest personal energy. Her connections with other artists, performance companies, theaters and photographers offer students a network of professionals to assist in meeting your career goals.
I’m a government contractor who studied music, but information technology always paid the bills, and I enjoy a great career. Still, there is nothing like music, is there? I study voice for my soul. I expected lessons to help my volunteer choir work, but didn’t expect it to positively impact my professional career. In my daily IT life, I speak often and each conference room is my personal stage. The pictures we took a few years back for an audition landed an audition and a professional choir opportunity, but also enhanced my corporate and linked in profile. You never know where the ripples of the process of self improvement will lead.
Susan Derry Vocal Studio can change your life. Make an appointment and see.
Melina Scotto Maslin
Susan is an amazing teacher and inspiring person. She has taught me so much and helped me immeasurably, both in my vocal technique and in my audition preparation, confidence, acting a song, etc. She has been an incredible mentor for me, helping with my headshot and resume, offering career advice and encouragement, and much more. She is both an amazingly talented performer and teacher (a rare combination!), and a constant inspiration, I cannot speak too highly of her!
Caroliine Griswold Short, A Chorus Line, Frog & Toad, Generation Hope
Susan not only transformed my voice, but transformed how I viewed myself. She is a purposeful and mindful educator who took the time to get to know me, my needs, and my goals and worked diligently with me to grow. I am always in awe of her ability to be present in the room while having her own bustling career. She keeps me motivated to reach my goals, as I see her actually working in my desired field. Susan is my idol and always will be!
Madison Chapman, Theatre and Vocal Arts Teacher, DC Public Schools; Teaching Artist, Imagination Stage, American University graduate
Susan Derry is highly aware of vocal technique and pedagogy, has a vast knowledge of musical theatre/ classical/ pop repertoire, and is dedicated to the individual goals of her students. She made me a more self-aware singer, addressed the specific challenges I faced and how to overcome on my own, and taught me accountability in my practice. Most importantly, her teaching style was always motivating and empowering. Her kind guidance and supportive criticism was what ultimately made me a more consistent and confident performer.
Isabelle Jennings Pickering, American University, Signature Theatre’s Overtures Program, BADA
Susan is one of the best voice teachers I have ever worked with because of her commitment to educate and support her students in addition to cultivating their voices! Her expertise in vocal repertoire, audition prep, voice anatomy, and catering her teaching to my personal goals and needs, has elevated my knowledge and skill as a musical theatre performer. Beyond being a miracle worker of the voice, she is an amazing person. Her patience and dedication to each of her students is remarkable, and I always felt that her studio was a safe and encouraging environment. I am where I am today because of Susan and I will be forever thankful for her!
Sarah Pollock, American University, Signature Theatre’s Overtures Program
Susan Derry is not only by a million the best voice teacher I have ever had, she is the best person I have ever known. First of all, susan has exponentially improved my singing ability, by sharing with me her extensive knowledge about the voice and acting and by teaching me to embrace myself as a performer and walk on stage with ease and confidence (all things I see her do when I watch her perform FYI) she knows precisely how to utilize the vocal folds in a healthy and beautiful way, and find the way to apply this to any of her students in the specific way they need. I wouldn’t be half the performer I am now if it weren’t for Susan’s coaching. Second, she is beyond kind, understanding and inspiring. Susan helps you to love and accept yourself partly because it makes you a better performer and partly because she genuinely cares so much about you. If your feeling upset or insecure, she will comfort you right away. Susan Derry is truly a gift to the world.
Ari Goodfriend, Loyola Marymount