Tom McNellis: Voice, Banjo & Guitar Instructor

  • Tom McNellis: Voice Instructor
  • Tom McNellis: Voice Instructor
  • Tom McNellis: Voice Instructor
  • Tom McNellis: Voice Instructor
  • Tom McNellis Tom, playing with Skunk Hollow at Lock and Dam Eatery in Hastings, Minnesota, in June 2023.
  • Tom McNellis Tom, playing with Skunk Hollow at Lock and Dam Eatery in Hastings, Minnesota, in June 2023.

Teaching subject: Voice, Beginner Banjo, Beginner Guitar

Styles: Classical, Bluegrass, Folk, Blues, Church Music, Gregorian Chant, Musical Theatre, Pop, Rock, Country

Ages: Primarily adults, but experienced teaching children as young as 8

Specialties: Harmony, Group Singing, Vocal Energetics, Adult Beginners, Aging Voices, Note-Reading, Ear Training, Classical Choral Music, Poetry, Songwriting.

Tom is a lifelong performer and a passionate vocal pedagogue. Regularly presenting folk-Americana around the Twin Cities with Skunk Hollow, he also sings Tenor I in the Schola Cantorum at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in St. Paul. Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict in central Minnesota.

Tom promotes a mind-body understanding of singing and vocal care. He teaches that the voice provides a window into the whole person—physical, emotional, and spiritual – and that singing deepens the connection to one’s most authentic self. Through exploring voice, singers align their expressive abilities to their broader life’s purpose. Tom loves teaching voice, and maintains that “Singing is centering, freeing, and joy making.”

Tom empowers his clients to get to know their own voices better while developing their skills, stamina, and range. He works to help them sound the way they want to sound and to bolster their confidence. Lessons are guided by individual musical interests and aspirations. He customizes vocal exercises according to his students’ individual goals, abilities, and challenges, to explore repertoire through the lens of their own passion. While Tom’s instruction is informed by classical technique, he loves working across most genres from pop and blues to country and folk.

For those who are just getting started, people with fond memories of singing, or experienced singers wanting to get back into practice, Tom knows how to help. Tom insists that everyone can learn to sing, and in his experience, this has been true for even the most novice singers. He says, “I’ve never met a person who I couldn’t teach to sing, and nothing gives me more satisfaction than hearing my clients develop into great singers!”

Tom is grateful to live and work in a diverse community and welcomes clients of all backgrounds. He is committed to social justice and decentering whiteness in this era of reckoning. He condemns hatred and stands in solidarity with all racialized and marginalized populations.

Single Lessons:
30 min. – $35
45 min. – $45
60 min. – $55

Discounts available for lesson packages of four or more.


Payment is due upon scheduling.


Students must give at least 24 hours’ notice to reschedule.


  • Students do not come to in-person lessons if sick.
  • Practice between lessons and take good care of their voices.
  • Please warm up before lessons.
  • Think outside the box and keep an open mind.

Tom teaches in person and online primarily via Zoom.

  • Singing & Music Lessons

    “Tom is a great voice teacher. He has a strong background in music theory, voice technique, and musical interpretation, and is able to share it all in an easily digestible way. He is stylistically flexible . . . He is very attentive to student concerns and offers good counsel; I feel as though my course of study has been closely tailored to my particular challenges and aspirations..."