Tom McNellis: Voice Instructor

  • Tom McNellis: Voice Instructor
  • Tom McNellis: Voice Instructor
  • Tom McNellis: Voice Instructor
  • Tom McNellis: Voice Instructor

Instruments: Voice

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

Ages: 8+

Specialties: Adult beginners, energetics of voice, solfège, ear training, choral studies.

With a holistic approach to pedagogy, Tom employs principals of vocal energetics to empower singers of all types. A lifelong performer with training in Bel Canto, choral direction, and vocal care, Tom is currently co-lead and banjoist for the Twin Cities folk band Skunk Hollow. He is the tenor section leader and a soloist at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Roseville, in addition to working as a substitute cantor. Tom is a passionate student of American folk music, and he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

Voice is your most powerful tool in this life. I want to empower you to get to know your own voice while developing your skills, stamina, and range. Whether you want to sing better in a formal setting or for your own personal enjoyment, together we can design a path to meet your musical goals.

I promote a mind-body understanding of singing and vocal care. The energetics of voice provide a window into the whole person—physical, emotional, and spiritual. Singing deepens the connection to one’s most authentic self. Singing, we will align your ability to express your highest truths with your life’s broader purpose.

Adult beginners find an open and easy way forward in my studio. If you are just getting started, if you have fond memories of singing in school or church, or if you are feeling drawn to come out of your vocal shell, I know how to help. Vocal music is essentially driven by the will toward emotional expression. We will get to the core of your journey’s themes and unpack the messages you desire to share through song.

The self-directed learner is at home in my studio—I want to help you sound the way you want to sound. Lessons are guided by individual student interest across genres while remaining grounded by fundamental classical technique. Vocal exercises are assigned and customized according to each singer’s individual goals, abilities, and challenges, and repertoire is explored through the lens of the student’s passion. While the classical approach informs my pedagogy, I find great joy in exploring varied interests from pop and blues to country and folk.

I welcome students as young as 8 years. Singing must be fun for children, and so we will make it fun! I work with solfege to build a framework for music theory that will last their lifetime and transfer to all future musical endeavors.

A word on social justice: Black Lives Matter. Native Lives Matter. I condemn hatred and demand justice in our world for all racialized populations, and I strive to do my part toward the decolonization of classical music. My studio is an LGBT affirming, safe space.

Discounts available for lesson packages of four or more (contact for details)

Single Lessons:
30 min. – $30 (ages 18 or younger)
45 min. – $40
60 min. – $50 (upon approval)


  • Tom teaches in person and online primarily via Zoom (Skype and Facetime are also available).
  • Payment for lesson packages is due upon scheduling.
  • Cancellation and rescheduling: 24 hours’ notice must be given to reschedule a missed lesson.
  • Tom communicates punctually and promptly.
  • Students should practice at home, hum around the house, listen back to recordings, and take good care of themselves.
  • Warm up before your lesson. Every little bit helps!
  • Please think outside the box and allow your intuition to guide you on your vocal journey.

Tom teaches in person and online primarily via Zoom (Skype and Facetime are also available).

Contact for availability.

  • 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..."